Borax Based Bait for Argentine Ants

Recipe #1

We are using two low concentration bait recipes which are designed for Argentine Ants. This method was pioneered in America by Kloft et al and has been widely practised and researched there.

It has been adapted by us to offer Nelsonians a natural, affordable, accessible community solution to the Argentine ant infestations we have experienced since 2001. The Agar gel 1% Borax based bait recipe is slightly more complicated but the video we have made will make it clearer.


In the meantime the basic instructions to make a litre of the 0.5% Borax based bait liquid solution for Argentine Ants are:

Get a 1 litre measuring jug and put into it:

  • 5g Borax ( $13 per Kg at Bin Inn but available elsewhere)
  • 250g sugar
  • Enough boiled water to make it up to 1 litre, stir until sugar and Borax are totally dissolved
  • Add a food colouring if you wish.

Then get screw-top containers eg. small jars (to use as bait stations) and:

  • Pierce the lids with a 4mm hole ( to prevent bees entering)
  • Put several balls of cotton wool inside each jar and saturate them with the BBB solution. This is so the ants can feed easily and do not drown but can climb out
  • Secure the screw top lids and place multiple jars around the outside of your property on their sides so that ants can easily enter them. They do not need to be placed on ant trails, Argentine ants use scouts which will find them in time. Do not use in conjunction with a repellent bait.



Keep jars out of direct sunlight, if evaporation occurs the concentration of Borax will increase and the BBB has to stay below 1% if the worker ants are to keep feeding on it and transporting it to their queens. This is a slow baiting method that has to be sustained and practised by everyone in infested neighbourhoods.

If the ants continue to feed on your bait it is working!

Your ants may have died but your neighbours’ may be feeding on it. You may need to change the bait frequently. You need to keep the concentration at the 0.5% Borax level. Making a litre of this BBB will cost under a dollar!

If you want to make the agar gel recipe you will need the same ingredients plus Agar which can be bought for around $4 from the Asian supermarkets. Gelatine will not work. The video we will publish shortly will provide fuller instructions. We find the gel variant easier to manage and to share.


Borax is a naturally occurring mineral salt. It has low toxicity to humans and pets but reasonable care should be taken in handling it. It is highly toxic to insects. It is widely used as a household laundry product. It should not be ingested and if it gets in your eyes they should be flushed with water. These recipes use it in very low quantities and at a very low concentration. There is ongoing research into the possibility that Borax may be harmful to unborn children. Please check with Product advice.

In case of Emergency re poisoning call 0800 POISON/ 0800 764766