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Borax and boric acid

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Borax or boric acid may be used to control ants
Photo: Insectarium de Montréal (Claude Pilon)
Ant, Québec, Canada.

Caution
The information contained in this sheet is intended only as a guide.
In no case can it replace the information provided on a product label.

Product description

Pesticides whose active ingredient is borax or boric acid are used as insecticides. They are sold as sealed bait points (traps) or gel formulations for spot treatment. Manufacturers often use peanut butter as bait.

Target pests

Pesticides whose active ingredient is borax or boric acid can be used to control ants and, for some formulations, to control earwigs.

NB: The product label presents a detailed list of target organisms.

How it works

Borax and boric acid act as stomach poisons when eaten by insects. Death occurs a few days later.

Bait formulations rely on trophallaxis, a means of food sharing used by ants. After finding and eating the poisoned bait, ants take it back to the colony to share. It can take several days to two weeks before the entire colony is affected. Hence the importance of not crushing any ants that have visited the bait.

Application

In the garden, apply bait or gel formulations along insect routes and near ant nests. In most cases, you will need to punch holes in the sealed bait stations (traps). Never remove the container lid or the bait found inside.

Precautions

Some products contain peanut butter, soy or wheat, and may be hazardous for people with allergies.

The pesticide should be applied or used only in areas inaccessible to children and pets.

Ingestion of the product is harmful. Avoid contamination of food, cooking utensils, food preparation surfaces, water and pet food.

After handling the bait stations (traps), wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

The product should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.

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