Boric Acid is a substance that is used in a variety of products for humans. In small amounts, it is relatively low in toxicity to people. However, it is toxic to insects, so it is often used as an insecticide. It works on the insects as a stomach poison.
Boric acid is often used as a dust or powder. In this form, people use it to control crawling insects, like cockroaches. The insects get the boric acid dust on their bodies. Later, when they get to their hiding places, they clean themselves with their mouth. While they are cleaning themselves, the insects swallow some of the boric acid. In a few days, they die.
In ant control, boric acid is often used in bait. The boric acid is used as the active ingredient. That is the ingredient that kills the ants. The boric acid is mixed with an attractant (something that the ants will want to eat). When they eat the bait, the boric acid kills the ants. If the bait works properly, the ants will eat it and then share the digested bait with every member of the colony. By sharing the bait all of the ants in the colony will be eliminated.
The people who make the bait have to mix the right amount of food attractant and boric acid. If there is not enough boric acid in the bait, the ants will not die after they eat it. If there is too much boric acid, the workers that find the bait will die before they can share it with the rest of the colony. If there is not enough, the ants will eat the bait but none will die.
Several ant baits are being marketed with boric acid as the active ingredient. Some are dry baits. They are made in the form of pellets or chunks. Other baits are made in the form of gel. The secret to success in using ant bait is to use plenty of bait. There has to be enough bait for all of the ants to get a share. If the bait runs out too soon, some of the ants will survive. The survivors will continue to be a nuisance. If the queen survives, she will keep producing eggs and the colony will soon re-infest.