Borax to kill termites: effectiveness, recipe of dilution and usage

Boric Acid, Borate or Borax Insecticides to Control and Eliminate Termites

Borate is a mineral salt of boric acid. The active component is boron. This substance is mined from the earth and applied mostly for industrial purposes. Another substance from boron is Sodium borate or borax. It is officially called orthoborate or disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT). It is widely used for medical and household applications. Moreover, the effectiveness of borax to kill termites and to protect timber and wood from future infestations is evident. It is a low-cost remedy you can buy at the pest control store to eridicate home insects.

Borate is a natural compound, which is broadly mined from the land. Salt flats near Death Valley Savoy

What Is Borax?

Borax is the common name of disodium tetraborate, sodium tetraborate, or sodium borate. This salt of boric acid and mineral is a boron compound.

Borax is commonly used as a component in enamel glazes, cosmetics, and detergents. Borax is made of sifting crystals that are colorless, but in its powdered form, Borax is white.

This compound happens naturally when seasonal lakes are evaporated repeatedly. Their evaporation produced evaporite deposits where Borax is found.

There are important Borax deposits in different world regions, from the Atacama Desert in Chile, Romania, Tibet, Bolivia, and the Southwestern United States. The main Borax deposits are located in Boron, California; in Searles Lakes, California; and in Turkey.

But it is not necessary to find Borax naturally as it can also be produced synthetically.

How Is Borax Used?

Many different household cleaning and laundry products, some tooth bleaching brands, and even some powdered soap use Borax.

But it also has some other, less known uses. For example, it is now being used as a method of extracting gold in some small mines, mostly in the Philippines. This is unsurprisingly known as the borax method.

Combined with polyvinyl alcohol, borax is also used as a glue. This is normally known as Elmer’s Glue and it is most commonly used in science demonstrations.

In some countries, Borax is used as a food additive (E285). This additive is banned in some countries, including the United States and Thailand. It is also sometimes used as a preservative or as a food ingredient because it can add a firm yet rubbery texture to food. This use is mostly used in Asia, mostly in Chinese food: some rice and hand-pulled noodles, and in other recipes.

Borax is also a component in pottery, glass, and ceramics. It is used in enamel glazes. It is also a fire retardant, a skin curing agents for snakes, a buffering agent to control the pH in swimming pools, a taxidermy preservative, among many other uses.

But, Borax is also effective as a killer and preventative agent against pets that are used in areas that are hard (or impossible) to access for more traditional pesticides.

How Does Borax Kill Ants?

If you want to try out Borax and see for yourself how effective it is at eliminating pests, all you will need to do is mix the following ingredients:

  • One and a half tablespoon of Borax.
  • Half a cup of sugar.
  • One and a half cup of warm water.

Then, soak a few cotton balls in the borax-sugar-water mixture. Place the soaked cotton balls in the areas affected by the ant infestation.

The sugar that you have added to the mix will attract the ants to the cotton balls. When the ants take the cotton balls with them to their nests, they will be taken the lethal Borax with them.

If ants are such busy workers, how come they find time to go to all the picnics? – Marie Dressler

If you have any house pets or children in the house, make sure that they do not have access to the areas where the cotton balls are. Lock doors or do the necessary to isolate the areas where you place the cotton balls from children or pets. If you leave the cotton balls in place overnight, you would be given the ants enough time to be attracted to the Borax-laced cotton balls. You will not need to do anything else, just let the Borax do its thing. Then, the following day, pick up the reminding cotton balls and clean the area thoroughly by wiping up the floor to make the area safe again for pets and children.

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You might have to repeat the same action for a second night, depending on the size of your ant infestation. But it is rare that you would need to do this more than two nights in a row to solve the problem.

The first time should deal with most of the ants and the second time should just kill them all off.

Does This Method Always Work?

If you do not see a noticeable difference the next morning after leaving the cotton balls out all night, then there is a problem with the mix.

Given that you have followed our instructions to the letter, this lack of success could only mean that the ants are not attracted to sugar. Believe it or not, not all ants are attracted to sugar. Some have a taste for savory things. It might be worth adding some peanut butter in the mix instead of sugar. If you do not want to wait and need to get rid of the ants as soon as possible, just do two different mixtures at the same time: one with sugar and one with peanut butter.

“Ants are good citizens: they place group interests first.” — Clarence Day

Either the sugar or the peanut mixture will work, and you will get rid of your ant problem at least for some time. Unfortunately, using Borax will not guarantee that the ants will stay away forever. If they happen to come back sometime later, just do the mixture again to get rid of them.

Sweet Sugary Boric Acid Ant Bait

Do not eat! Many types of home-invading ants will gather this sugary syrup and feed it to their nestmates and queen, killing their colony within 10 days.

How Can Borax Get Rid of Termites?

Borax to kill termites has proved to be very effective and orally toxic to pests. That fact that borax can be used to get rid of termites is obvious. Boric acid does not work on contact. It is necessary to make insects to ingest borates. Once eaten, borax acid comes into operation and starts killing a termite destroying its stomach and nervous system. Termites die just from dehydration.

Is borax treatment safe and environmentally friendly?

Boric acid in borax is a natural pesticide and wood preservative against termites and wood-consuming and wood-destroying insects. Moreover, it can be used inside and outside the home, as it is environmentally sensitive and safe to humans, plants and animals if used as directed. Of course, the homeowners and operators must be aware of hazards and avoid spillage into soil and water. This green approach to termite extermination makes insecticides with boric acid very popular and easy-to-use yourself.

It is also important to be careful when working with borate powder and to aviod breathing the dust and contaminating the water reservoirs with borax solution for termites.

How Can You Use Borax to Kill Termites?

There is a great variety of professional and homemade remedies from boric acid: borax spray for termites, dry powder, borax mix, solutions and powder for making them, foams, boracide gel, borax soap for termites and baiting systems. All these means are cheap and very easy to use for termit treatment and termit control diy.

The dry powder is applied to treat cracks and crevices in wood and timber.
Baits are filled with borax to kill termites and left where pest activity being observed.
Borax solutions and mixes are sprayed into the trench of infested soil or “painted” on wood surfaces.
Borax foams are injected into wall voids, drilled holes and nest openings.

How does borax insecticide work?

When termites walk through borax dust, the smallest particles of powder stick to their body, antennae and legs. Then they ingest borate toxin grooming themselves. They can also eat poison directly from cheap termite bait stations and borax painted food sources containing wood. When ingested, borax acts as a poison in the stomach and results in death of the termite within three days to a week.

How to Dissolve Borax in Water?

Boric acid is the active ingredient of professional insecticides, namely Tim-Bor, Bora Care, Shell Guard, Borax and Jecta Gel. Follow the instructions on the label of pesticide containers to dilute powder with water. As a rule, borate powder should be dissolved in warm water before use (1:1 dilution). Borax termicide is dissolved this way: 1 teaspoon of borax powder per 8 oz hot water, mix until diluted completely. It is obligatory the concentration of borax solution to be below 2% in order the termite to reach the nest and contaminate the others.

How long does borax powder and solutions remain in force?

Borax treatment is not long lasting. The significant results can be seen after 10-21 days after treatment. For preventative and control measures it is necessary to repeat application regularly. It is also required to protect treated wood from excess rain and moisture.

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How to use borax as wood preservative?

Actually it is better and more efficient to take preventive measures before building and constructing a house than to treat termite infested structures. For the termite control and wood preservative purposes, the homeowners can use Tim-bor professional powder, which is diluted with water. You can use borate solutions to coat, spray or paint with brush all foundation and attic structures, timber, wooden surfaces to preserve them from future termite attacks. Borate foam and borax dust can be used for this purpose and injected into building structures to repel wood-destroying and cellulose-consuming pests.

How to Kill Termites and Protect Wood Using Boric Acid

One of the most common questions we receive from our customers is “Can boric acid be use on timber to guard against termites”? I didn’t have a definitive answer so I thought I’d do some research.

There are a literally hundreds of guides on the Internet which all sort of say the same thing. It’s all quite confusing.

But essentially you mix up a boric acid solution and apply it to the wood. This would essentially kill off any would be trouble makers. But something about that really concerned me.

The termites have to actually eat the wood to get the boric acid.

Doesn’t this defeat the purpose?

It does. But the process of treating wood with a boric acid solution is only one line of defence of many against termites. The last line of defence in fact. So you’ll need to employ other strategies to ensure you have proper protection against termites.

So How Does Boric Acid Guard Your Timber?

Boric acid has two weapons in its armour against termites.

The first works is that boric acid itself is lethal to termites in the same was as it is to ants. When the termites start to gnaw on the wood they ingest the boric acid and it kills them.

The second is not so obvious. Termites have a unique ability to break down cellulose, the main component of wood. In their gut and digestive tract they have microbes and bacteria which digest cellulose into simpler compounds which they use for food.

Due to boric acid’s anti-bacterial properties it disrupts this digestive process removing the termites energy source which eventually kills them.

Some termites in Africa first break down the wood into a fungus before consuming it. The anti-fungal properties of boric acid also stop this process in its tracks. This isn’t that relevant to our Australian variety but nevertheless demonstrates how effective boric acid is on termites.

So how do you treat timber with boric acid? Here’s the guide we’ve put together.


  • A saucepan
  • Metal stirring spoon
  • A container to store any excess solution
  • A bowl
  • A large paint brush


  1. Pour the 1 litre of propylene glycol into the saucepan.
  2. Dissolve about 180 grams of boric acid in the propylene glycol at 25 degrees.
  3. Keep adding boric acid until it doesn’t dissolve any more or begins re-crystallises. That way you know you have a saturated solution.
  4. You can dissolve even more if you warm the mixture on the stove. The more boric acid, the better.
  5. The solution can be stored in this form.

Before you use the solution, dilute it further with equal parts water. E.g. If you pour out 200ml of the solution into the bowl, add 200ml of water.

Apply a thick coating all over the wood with a large brush.

As we said earlier, this is only one line of defence in an overall strategy against termites. You’ll still need to remove food sources, plug any water leaks, fill cracks, keep areas dry, and a host of other things.

How To Get Rid Of Ants With Borax

Ants are the worst! Whether they’re in your garden or finding their way into your home after a big rain, they’re a huge pest! And those store bought ant traps only kill the worker ants who actually find their way to the trap. Luckily there’s a really simple way to get rid of ants (including the larvae and queen!) with borax and sugar!

We had so many ants find their way into our house after the crazy rain storms we had in spring; they were everywhere! We put down bait traps but it only seemed to kill the ants that actually ate the bait; they didn’t take it back to the queen because, sure enough, the next day/week/month we had more ants finding their way into the house!

And in my garden there were so many ants all over my chamomile plants that they drove away all the ladybugs I released to help with the aphid infestation! But after I put out this borax solution, all the ants disappeared from the garden and I was able to release ladybugs who ate all the aphids. Win-win! And, even better, we haven’t seen a single ant in the house since!

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How To Get Rid Of Ants With Borax And Sugar

First, let’s talk about the difference between borax and boric acid. In the most basic terms, borax is a mineral that is mined from the ground, and it turns into boric acid with further processing (usually exposure to an acid such as hydrochloric or sulfuric acid). The borax you can buy in stores is usually 20 Mule Team Borax, which is labeled for use in laundry. It’s actually only 99.5% borax (the mineral), but that’s close enough! So for the purposes of this tutorial, I mean 20 Mule Team Borax when I say borax.

Both borax and boric acid are toxic if ingested. I don’t want to spark an argument over just “how toxic” they are; you can do your own research and form your own opinions. But in my opinion, when the labels say “Toxic if ingested, keep out of reach of pets and children”, it means it’s toxic enough that I don’t mess around with it!

In terms of using borax and boric acid as a pesticide, boric acid is labeled for use as a pesticide, while borax is labeled for use in laundry. But because of the high concentration of borax (the mineral) in borax (the product), it seems to work just as well as boric acid when used in this sugar mixture.

So, all of that to say, for the purposes of this tutorial, you can use either boric acid or borax to kill ants! And, whichever one you use, remember to keep it away from children and pets, and be cautious as it might cause irritation on your skin or mucous membranes if touched or inhaled!

How to Make a Boric Acid Liquid Spray From Powder


Keep boric acid out of reach of children and pets. Although it is less toxic than most commercial cleaners, it can still be dangerous if swallowed. Wear rubber gloves when working with boric acid to protect your skin from irritation.

Boric acid is commonly used around the house to solve various cleaning and pest control problems. Most commonly sold as a powder, boric acid easily dissolves in water to form a liquid spray. Boric acid is much less toxic that most commercial cleaners and can be used for pest control, cleaning, removing mildew and weed control. Try using boric acid sprays around the house rather than purchasing commercial products. Not only is boric acid less toxic and more environmentally friendly, it is often less expensive as well.

Cockroach Killer

Step 1

Boil one quart of water on the stove. Pour the boiling water into the plastic bucket right away.

Step 2

Stir in one cup of powdered boric acid. Stir the mixture vigorously with a spoon to dissolve the powder.

Step 3

Fill an empty spray bottle with the boric acid and water mixture. Use a funnel for easy transfer and use caution so not to burn yourself.

Step 4

Spray the solution liberally in places where you have seen cockroaches. Target moist areas of the home with the spray as cockroaches prefer moist environments.

Ant Killer

Step 1

Combine 1 tbsp. boric acid, 1 tsp. sugar and 4 oz. of water into an empty spray bottle. Shake the bottle to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Step 2

Spray the mixture generously onto cotton balls. Place the cotton balls in areas where you have seen ants.

Step 3

Spray the mixture directly onto the floor, countertop or wherever the ants are visible if you prefer. Use caution when spraying the solution onto surfaces. Although boric acid is less toxic than many commercial bug killers, it is still harmful if swallowed or ingested in large doses. Clean the surfaces thoroughly after using boric acid.

Window Cleaner

Step 1

Combine 2 tbsp. of powdered boric acid and 3 cups of water into an empty spray bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously to thoroughly mix the ingredients.

Step 2

Spray the mixture directly onto windows or glass.

Step 3

Use a dry paper towel to wipe the boric acid mixture from the surface.

Fabric Mildew Remover

Step 1

Dissolve ½ cup boric acid powder into a spray bottle with 2 cups of hot water. Shake the bottle to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Step 2

Spray the mixture directly onto mildew-stained fabric. Spray a generous amount of the mixture and allow it to soak into the fabric for several hours or until the mildew stain is gone.

Step 3

Rinse the fabric with plain water to remove any residue from the boric acid solution.

Controlling Creeping Charlie Weeds

Step 1

Dissolve 10 oz. of powdered boric acid into ½ cup warm water in a large bucket. Stir the mixture well until all of the boric acid powder has dissolved.

Step 2

Add 2 ½ gallons of water to the mixture. This will dilute the mixture appropriately.

Step 3

Transfer the mixture to an empty spray bottle or a garden sprayer using a funnel. Apply the mixture to areas of the yard where there is a weed problem. Try to apply the mixture when no rain is expected for at least 48 hours. Only apply this mixture once a year for two consecutive years.

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