How Do You Kill Small, Red House Ants?

Get rid of small, red house ants using cotton balls saturated in a boric acid and sugar solution. Boric acid is relatively safe for humans and pets, but is toxic to ants. Worker ants take the toxin back to the colony where it kills other ants.

  1. Dissolve boric acid and sugar in water

    Add 1 teaspoon of boric acid powder to 1/4 cup of sugar in a dry bowl. Mix until well blended. Add 2 cups of warm water and mix until the dry ingredients all dissolve.

  2. Saturate cotton balls

    Drop cotton balls into the solution, saturating them with the sugar water. Lift the cotton balls from the bowl, and place them on old jar lids to catch any drips. If there are pets in the home, place the cotton ball in a small, disposable plastic container in which you have punched holes to give ants access to the boric acid.

  3. Distribute the material

    Place the lids containing the cotton balls near ant trails discovered in the home. If possible, follow the lines outside the home to discover the ant colonies, and place cotton balls there. As ants discover the bait and swarm to it, there is an initial increase in the number of ants in the area. As the boric acid kills the ants, the number decreases.