I love gardening, but I hate ants. As soon as I start pulling weeds and digging holes, ants are on my legs and hands and I’m as freaked out as if they were slugs! I’m ready to quit and let the weeds and the ants have the garden. No matter what I have done the previous year, the ants are always a problem. From my research, I’ve found that unless the queen dies, the colony will persevere.
Last year I tried cornmeal. I had read that ants are attracted by the sweetness of the cornmeal and they take it back to the queen as a prize. Unfortunately, from what I’ve read, they can’t digest it and it gets stuck in their bodies and they die. This spring, the ants were back, so obviously the queen didn’t imbibe.
In researching how to make my own laundry soap, I discovered many facts about Borax, and one of the facts was that it kills ants. You just have to get it into them. I mixed some powdered Borax with enough maple syrup (honey would also work) to make it into a syrup and went outside to see if any ants were hungry. My research said that even if the ants didn’t partake, they would walk over it and their trails back and forth to the nest attracts the rest of the colony. The workers would take the substance back to the queen to share the yummy deliciousness. The problem is the Borax that is dissolved in the maple syrup–it kills the ants within four days.
Of course, rain dissolves the blobs of maple syrup and borax, so you’ll need to reapply if it rains. If you see ants after you’ve put out the irresistible bait, they could be carrying it on their little feet back to the nest, so resist the temptation to squash them, click over here.
Borax is dirt-cheap and you don’t need expensive maple syrup to make the concoction–use cheap pancake syrup. Ants don’t know the difference between Grade A Amber or Mrs. Butterfields, so let you wallet by your guide. Since it is so inexpensive I don’t mind putting it out every couple of weeks to wipe out the colony. Who am I to tell them sweets aren’t good for them?