Boric acid mixture will rid home of pesky black ants


POSTED: Thursday, October 15, 2009

Question: Is there any low price homemade recipe to put on the kitchen counter to get rid of or kill those pesky black ants found in my sink, counter or trash can?

Answer: Bernarr Kumashiro, insect taxonomist at the state Department of Agriculture, suggests a boric acid mixture that he says works well for most ant species.

A general formula calls for one cup water, 1/3 cup sugar and one teaspoon boric acid powder. Mix well, then put a few drops into small containers, such as something the size of a film canister cover, and place along the ant trail.

Kumashiro warned to keep this away from children and pets.

“;If ants do not readily take to the bait, use a toothpick, dab into the mixture, and make a small trail of droplets leading to the container,”; he said. Refill when the mixture hardens.

“;Keep in mind that this is a relatively slow-acting ant poison, and that the worker ants must be allowed to lap it up and take it back to the nest to feed the rest of the colony,”; he said.

Within a few days, Kumashiro said, “;the whole colony will be killed and you should see no ants.”;

For a few ant species, this concoction won't work. If so, Kumashiro suggests putting a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent in water in a spray bottle, then spray ants as you see them. This will also get rid of ants, “;but new ants will re-appear from the same nest, and this process must be repeated several times,”; he said.

Question: Does anyone know how to get rid of tiny 1/8-inch winged, flying insects? They appear early each morning swarming onto any light that's on in our house, then disappear as quickly as soon as the sun rises.

Answer: It's difficult to answer a question like this without really knowing what those pesky insects are.

“;There are many different kinds of tiny insects that enter into the house and are attracted to lights, as evidenced by those that have been killed in light fixtures,”; said insect taxonomist Bernarr Kumashiro.

Among them, he said, are gnats, midges, winged ants, psyllids and small moths.

As suggested previously, it's best to mail or bring in samples to Kumashiro's office at the state Department of Agriculture, 1428 S. King St., so that the bugs can accurately be identified.

Call 973-9560 first before showing up with any samples to make sure Kumashiro is in.


Shred your papers

Protect your identity and get rid of unwanted personal documents by shredding and disposing them properly.

That's the word from the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii.

The BBB, partnering with Access Information Management, Pro-Filed Confidential Destruction Services and Shred-It, will hold a “;Secure Your ID Day”; from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at three locations on Oahu:

McKinley High School, 1039 S. King St.; Mililani High School, 95-1200 Meheula Parkway; and Castle High School's auditorium parking area, 45-386 Kaneohe Bay Drive.

Bureau experts and volunteers from the Bank of Hawaii also will offer advice on how to prevent ID theft.

Individuals and businesses may bring up to three boxes or bags of documents, CDs and floppy disks to be shredded. Paper documents should be removed from binders, but staples and paper clips can be shredded.