Boric acid comes from the form of an absorbent, absorbent white powder that looks like powdered sugar. Combined with water and added to candy bait, it is a slow-acting way of killing ants that is much less toxic than chemical pesticides. It functions both in the digestive tracts of ants and also by absorbing the exterior wax that shields them from drying out.
Black Ant Types
Black carpenter ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) typically nest in stumps and fences (See Reference 1). Black carpenter worker ants have been from 1/4 to 1/2 inch long and do not work in trails as they search of food. They bite but do not sting. Little black ants (Monomorium minimum), about 1/16 inch shiny and long, live in rotten wood and beneath objects. They follow trails as they forage for food. They do not bite or sting. Both kinds of ants such as sweet baits such as peanut butter or jelly.
Scouting Black Ant Colonies
Attempting to kill ants using boric acid when they’re foraging away from their colony isn’t efficient. You can kill some ants this way, but never eliminate their nest. To locate their colony, sprinkle sweet food and adhere to the ants as they go home. As soon as you have discovered their colony, you can put your boric acid bait where it will be most effective.
Boric Acid Bait Formulas
Texas A&M; University’s AgriLife Extension recommends 1 portion of boric acid powder to 100 parts of peanut butter, jelly or other sweet lure. Montana Integrated Pest Management Center suggests combining 1 1/4 cup of boric acid powder to 1/2 cup jelly, peanut butter or other sweet that may attract ants. Another formulation is 3/4 teaspoon of boric acid powder added to 4 tablespoons of peanut butter and 6 ounces of honey. Stronger formulations do not kill ants more efficiency and might dissuade them from eating the bait.
One approach is to take small quantities of bait on pieces aluminum foil or about bottle caps and put them in different areas where you see ants foraging for food, preferably close to a colony. You can also use a squeeze bottle with appointed tip to dump the lure into 2-inch-long parts of soda straws. Another way is to set the lure in a jar, screw the lid back and punch holes in it just large enough for the ants get in and out. Seal the lid with tape and set the jar on its side so the ants can discover the holes. Should you discover dead ants round the jar, then reduce the amount of boric acid from the lure. Should you still find ants following a week to ten days, add more boric acid.