DIY: Old Fashioned Terro Style Borax-Based Ant Killer

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antSweet-Ant Killer That Works! 

While not dangerous, sugar ants/sweet ants can be highly annoying! 

Odds are, if you are reading this, you’re old enough to remember when you could get a little glass bottle of Terro ant killer…. back when it actually worked. 

I don’t know what they’ve done to it, but it’s no longer as good… so we’re going to make our own! 

I found this recipe over on Stacey’s blog for “Best homemade natural ant killer“… and put it to work. 


“Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of  [20 Mule Team] Borax, and ½ cup of water in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil and boil for three minutes.

Let it cool completely. It will thicken as it cools.”




I doubled the amount of Borax but I caution you from going much higher than that as there is a point at which the ants will not eat it. I also found that I needed a little more water so that it was not a thick mess once cooled. 

Once it cooled, and I added a touch more water to get it to the right thickness, I used a spare syringe from here on the farm, to put it into some old glass medicine bottles so I could share it with family. (I’m keeping the larger jar for me so no reason to re-bottle it, just use a spare canning jar.)


It’s very important to label this stuff because Borax is not pet or kid safe and the sugar will make it highly tempting. 

From the original post, there was a great tip to use an old soda can, laid sideways, to put it into since ants can get in but pets/kids can not. 


The ants didn’t seem to care that I had doubled the borax (unlike a prior version that I had used more and they had completely ignored). You can see them swarming to the stuff. 

The little tray I’m using here is left over from an ant bait that I purchased that didn’t actually kill ants! Fortunately though, the trays are mighty handy for this. You can however use a shallow-lipped lid such as comes on cottage cheese, sour cream, etc. 

This is not an instant kill… they must take it back to the nest.

But in 24-48 hours, your problem will be gone! 

(Ants pictured above were actually gone in 12 hrs but that is unusual.)

Try it out and let me know what you think!

~ Kim ~
Happy Home Magazine


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