Monday, June 30, 2014

DIY: ANT TRAPS



DIY ANT Kill traps
It seems every spring the ants start invading.  Some ants seek out protein, others sugar, and in arid areas they seek water.  All are a problem once they visit uninvited.  

No matter how well you clean and wipe up spills these pests find something to feast on.  Or so it seems.

If you are like me you hate spraying pesticides around your house.  You probably hate shelling out good money on expensive commercial versions.  


Many people call the tiny ants, sugar ants.  They are indeed attracted to sugars.  Other ants seek out protein.  The basic formula is geared for the sugar seekers.  Adding peanut butter will attract the protein indulger too.

In most cases these traps kill all ants in the first 3 days.  It may take a week to be totally effective.  Once they start coming and partaking of the cocktail, don’t disturb their scent trail.  Let them come and go.  Just put up with them for a few days.  Some will die in the trap itself.  Others will carry the bait back to the colony.  The best scenario is that bait is taken to the colony and wipes them out.  Not an expert on ants, I assume there are eggs that will hatch and create additional waves of invaders.  Just repeat the process as they appear.

Items and ingredients you will need.

Borax
Sugar
Hot Water
Peanut Butter (Optional)

Cotton Ball
4-5 plastic Bottle Caps (From discarded Soda or Water Bottles)
Mixing container and wire whisk or spoon

 

The active kill ingredient is Borax.  If you were born prior to 1960, your mother probably had this sitting on the laundry room shelf at one point of your life.  Used as a laundry detergent.   I remember it.  Many laundry soaps still contain it.  A good size box of this stuff (straight Borax) is about $6 now days.  Buy the smallest you can since it doesn’t take much.  Ironically Borax is the active ingredient in some commercially available ant traps.  Borax is also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate,  A salt of boric acid.



Be sure to keep Borax and your DIY ant traps out of reach of your children and pets.  They can be toxic if ingested.  

Your DIY traps are best placed right on ant trails in places such as windowsills or counter tops.  Once your DYI traps are placed, avoid letting your kids or pets getting into them…If need be place an inverted paper cup over your traps to keep your cats out of them.  Cut little “V”s around the lip of the cup, invert over the trap, and weight it down. 

The basic process is to mix the solution.  Make your traps.  Then bait the area of active ants.  3 to 7 days will normally kill all.  Don’t clean up their scent trail during the process. 

The mixing formula is below.  Use a glass measuring cup and whisk the basic ingredients together until the liquid is clear.  If you are making the protein formula, next add the peanut butter and whisk until mixed.  Discard any unused kill mix.  Wash all utensils in hot soapy water.

Use plastic soda bottle or water bottle caps as your trap container.  Pull a small piece off a cotton ball and place the cotton in the cap.  Soak the cotton and fill the container (cap) ¼ up from the bottom.  You can also make foil containers with 5-6 layers of foil formed over a cap, then trimmed with scissors to be ½- ¾ inch high.  The small batch formula will easily make 4-6 traps.  This is more than enough traps to start out.

Formula

Caps or Foil made containers

Trap in action


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