Make Your Own Ant Bait Traps

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Make Your Own Ant Bait Traps

Dealing with ants now that the weather has warmed up? Yep, so are we. For the past couple summers we’ve had a persistent ant problem centered around our kitchen sink, and our tried-and-true solutions haven’t been working. We’ve made ant poison by mixing borax and powdered sugar together in equal parts. We’ve kept the sink cleaned out and dry. We’ve wiped down the sink and surrounding countertops with vinegar to remove their scent trails. None of it’s working. So, it’s clearly time to up our game.

And up it, we have. We just made a bunch of homemade ant bait traps. One went in the sink, where we’re seeing the ants, and the rest went around the foundation of our house. Makes sense, right? I mean why wait for the ants to come into your house? Kill’em before they have a chance to get there.

Here’s a look at how we made our ant bait traps.

You can watch this short video tutorial, or follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Note: In the video (and in the pictures below), I drilled my holes towards the top of the containers. I now drill them towards the bottom of the containers. This makes it easier for the ants to access the bait.

What You Need:

Empty drink mix containers, or a similar lidded food container
A drill
Granulated sugar
Peanut butter (optional)

What You Do:

Drill Holes in Your Ant Bait Traps

Drill pencil-sized holes, all the way around your containers, about an inch from the top.

Mix Sugar and Borax Together

Mix equal parts Borax and sugar in a bowl.

Add Sugar/Borax Mixture to Traps

Add a couple inches of the dry mixture to each container.

Add Peanut Butter to Traps

Then, add a teaspoon of peanut butter to each container. (Do not dip your used spoon back into your peanut butter jar.)
Add Water to Traps

Stir in water, until you have a soupy mixture. If you want, you can just use the dry borax/sugar mixture as your bait. That’s what I do. My husband likes to add the peanut butter.

Ant Bait Trap in Sink

Replace the lids, and place the bait traps wherever you’re noticing an ant problem.

Ant Bait Trap Placed Outdoors
We stuck this ant trap in an area where we knew there was an ant nest.

Why This Works:

The ants are attracted to the sugar, peanut butter and water. They eat it, and take it back to their nest to share. Once consumed, the borax damages their digestive system and outer skeleton, and kills them.


Keep Borax out of the reach of pets and children. The screw-on lids that drink mix containers come with are great for keeping curious kids and animals out.

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  1. So excited to try this. Last year ants took over some of my best plant pots to the point of damaging plants!

    1. Hope it works for you. We’d had a persistent ant problem the last couple summers, and this seemed to take care of it for us.

    1. Hi Sebo,

      You can find Borax on the laundry aisle at many stores. International grocery stores are another good bet. Amazon sells it, too (though it tends to be more expensive there).

  2. I have had great success mixing honey and boric acid. You can buy boric acid at Dollar Tree stores. Probably can buy honey there too.

  3. Ahhh comedian You buy the borax. Equal parts is a measurement you silly willy ??. Great idea. Gotta beat boiling water soaking tobacco for the nicotine kill. Question is, are you actually killing them or are they relocating? I have 4 acres and I don’t want to play musical borax all summer.

  4. Tried it and ants gone within a few days. The time that was the worst was when we got up in the morning after it being dark in the kitchen, cane in to see the army of ants traveling. One morning, we got up and nothing.

    Even in the midst of heavy rains – no ants!!!

  5. We had a army of ants in our upstairs bathroom. They were coming out of the outlet next to the sink! First I tried sugar and baking soda because that is what I had on hand, following your container directions, but to no avail. I purchased Borax and used it with sugar, that did the trick! Now just to vacuum up all the ant carcasses.
    Thanks Erin

  6. Can’t wait to give this a try! It doesn’t seem to matter how much we wipe the counter and clean they are still there. We deal with them every spring. I usually end up buying the ant bait but was looking for something I could do myself.

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