Argentine ants are a big problem – not in Argentina but in places like New Zealand. The Kiwis have figured out a way to get rid of the ants – combine Borax with sugar and feed it to the little buggers. The article states that Borax is not toxic to humans – but as any regular reader knows, ANYTHING can be toxic in the correct dose. Borax has been around for a century or so and there is some confusion as to whether or not it is toxic to humans. Borax is sodium tetraborate (NOT boric acid) and usually has a high pH (NOT acidic). Borax becomes boric acid when it is combined with an acid like HCL or sulfuric acid. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Borax lists it as not toxic or injurious but the FDA and the European Chemicals Agency won’t allow it as a food additive for concerns that too much Borax in the soil is bad for crops. Regardless, it is a skin and pulmonary irritant and if you eat a lot of it, you can have nausea and vomiting but it is naturally occurring, doesn’t cause cancer, accumulate in the body, or is absorb through the skin and is not harmful to the environment. Borax can be used safely around the house as a detergent and as ant poison, although the ants, like humans, need to eat a great deal of it (relatively speaking) before they get sick.
The Real Ant-Man!
Astoundingly – I discovered that the TV series “Supernatural” uses Borax as a way to identify (and, I guess kill) some kind of alien and or evil spirit called “Leviathans.”