[Sust-mar] Ant control with borates and other pesticide free remedies

Helen Jones hjones at chebucto.ns.ca
Fri Jul 18 14:31:51 EDT 2008

European Fire Ants are a problem in some areas of HRM.  

See Rick Howe’s article at http://www.halifaxnewsnet.ca/index.cfm?sid=153861
<http://www.halifaxnewsnet.ca/index.cfm?sid=153861&sc=608> &sc=608


Here’s a selection of remedies that use borates.  The mint jelly mix for
fire ants is the last bullet.  

Bebbington Chemicals (Burnside) is one source for powdered sodium borate (no
fillers or detergents).


A protein source (cat food, tuna, etc.) can be mixed with borates for wasps
and other insects (e.g., carpenter ants).  If adults are feeding on sweet
solutions, it’s for usually for themselves, but if they’re interested in
protein it’s for raising their young.  Don’t use unless you have a serious
problem; we need all of our pollinators.


Sweetened or protein-rich borate mixes should be kept where kids and pets
can’t get into it.





Ant control, and wood preservatives that use boric acid/ borax/borates

Examples of product names that contain boric acid for preserving wood – 

 TimberSIL  (  <http://www.timbersil.com> www.timbersil.com ) ; LifeTime
Wood Treatment:  http://valhalco.com/  , and





• Tim-Bor


·     BORAX, OR SODIUM TETRABORATE, - is a combination of sodium, boron and
oxygen, and is mined from the soil in its crude form. Boric acid is a
crystalline material derived from borax. Caution: Remember, boric acid and
all boron products can act as a stomach poison when ingested. While 20 Mule
Team Borax® is extremely effective in controlling or eliminating ants,
termites, weeds, lice, fleas, spiders and roaches, the Dial Corporation
notes, "This product has not been tested nor received approval from the EPA
for use as a pesticide."  Even so if you mop or spray the floors, voids,
sill boxes, tunnels, backs of furniture, appliances and other areas where
you see insect pests with borax - you will be surprised on how great the
material controls virtually all pests. It has been used for years to make
cellulose insulation insect free and fire retardant. It also is great for
removing stains in carpeting and/or odors in urinals, etc. - so mop to
remove odors and to help clean - in doing so you will also control pests
"accidentally". In their 1920 - 1928 Burroughs Welcome & Co. (USA) Inc.
catalogue they note borax (Sodii boras) is an antiseptic, used for lotions,
mouthwashes, and gargles. Also given internally for epilepsy.  Note: Chroma
Trim Gum® includes 200 mcg of boron (as sodium borate) as a "food
supplement". The use of borax to disinfect: Mix ½ cup of borax in 1 gallon
of hot water to disinfect all surfaces. This mix will also inhibit mold
growth. Borax and boron products should not be eaten or ingested! Be careful
not to contaminate food, utensils, pets or people.  


MUCH more information on handling ants at
http://www.safesolutionsinc.com/bugstops.pdf   a pdf booklet called “The Bug
Stops Here”  by the same author.  See pages 34 – 36.  Read this.



·     Beyond Pesticides. Boric Acid/ Borates/ Borax.


·         PAN Germany Pesticide Action Network’s borate information


Created for tropical agriculture, this website is an amazing source of
non-toxic methods for farming & gardening anywhere.  


·     TAMU. Homemade boric acid mint-apple jelly bait for ant control. 


- prepared by Bastiaan M. Drees, Professor and Extension

Entomologist, and Director, Texas Imported Fire Ant Project




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