a circle of ants

There’s nothing like starting your weekend with a massive ant infestation in the kitchen. I was informed rather early in the morning that we had a bit of an ant problem down there. There were thousands of them milling around, travelling in droves towards the bathroom or making ant highways up and down the walls.

The day before I had noticed a few of them and put down a mixture of borax and sugar in a saucer – clearly it hadn’t worked. I vaguely remembered reading that borax is toxic to ants but sugar disguises it, so they eat it and take it back to their nest. The bit about dissolving the mixture in water had somehow escaped me, so there it sat, untouched in the saucer.

Ants are apparently not that stupid. Here’s what you are supposed to do:


  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon borax
  • ½ cup warm water

Take some pieces of cotton wool and dip them in the water until soaked. Place these soggy blobs in strategic places on the floor, counter or wherever the ants are congregating and wait. You can put them in jar lids too so there is easy access for the little critters. I put about four straight on the floor and one in a lid on the counter. I exhausted myself vacuuming up what seemed like an endless and entire colony of ants but left the one line coming down the wall, figuring it was the main entry point.

It took a bit of time but eventually there were loads of ants around every bit of cotton wool. By the afternoon, the highway had shrunk to an arterial and by the evening there were just a few strays. By morning, there was not one ant in sight – success!