Introduction: Quick and Easy Indoor/Outdoor Ant Poison

Picture of Quick and Easy Indoor/Outdoor Ant Poison

This is my first published instructable, so be nice!!! (please) [Note: I do not claim responsibility for anything that may happen from this (aka, your ant farm getting out and dying.)] This is how to make an ant poison that is kid friendly and pet safe, and is completely edible, at least for things that aren't ants (and possibly other insects, but i haven't tested). You can get most of the supplies from a restaurant or around your house. (Plus, you get to eat out!)

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

1. Artificial sugar from a restaurant that includes aspartame, or some other product with aspartame.
2. Peanut butter, jelly, or if you're allergic to those, you can always use water.

Step 2: Making It.

Picture of Making It.

Mix together a packet of aspartame substance (be it sugar or another item) and a tablespoon of peanut butter. If you're allergic to peanuts, use jelly. If you're allergic to both (sad ): ) then you can mix in a small amount of water, just to get it moist. (this isn't as effective as PB or J, but it usually works)

Step 3: Placing.

Put the poison in a bottle cap, on a plate, or somewhere where it won't get on your floor, because the peanut butter's hard to get up, and it gets really sticky. Put the cap right where the ants are entering your house/leaving their hill.

Step 4: After Setting the Poison Out.

Picture of After Setting the Poison Out.

As soon as the ants aren't coming to the spot anymore, which should take only a few days, remove the poison from the area. I wouldn't suggest eating it, because it has bacteria from the ants crawling on it. (besides, there won't be much stuff left to eat.) If the ants come back, put more aspartame and less peanut butter in the mix, and put it out again. It should only take once, but you might try putting more than one cap in a corner if they keep coming back.

Step 5: Portable Storage

You may want to put some in a container for later, just in case. if you want to, tic tac containers work well and can be used over and over until they run out, and then you just refill them. (as long as they don't get moldy, which I don't think they will but you never know...)

Comments

Javin007 (author)2009-07-01

I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but Aspartame truly is a poison. Now, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon of one Betty Martini (aka: Nancy Markle) who claims that aspartame can cause everything from MS, to Brain Tumors, to IBS, to Lupus (it's never Lupus!) to Fibromyalgia, to Death and everything in between. While I'm not saying it isn't possible, no real studies have been done here. However, even the Nutra Sweet company cannot dispute the fact that at 86 degrees Farenheit it breaks down into formaldahyde and formic acid. But the FDA says it's "ok" because they don't believe there's enough of it that breaks down in the 96 degree human body to be a problem. In other words, "A little bit of poison is ok." The FDA admits that for certain individuals (some pregnant women, people with liver disease, people with phenylketonuria, etc) it can cause brain damage in small doses. It's been proven in governmental studies to cause headaches in some individuals. The more REAL studies that are being done on it, the more it looks like the "Conspiracy Theorists" may actually be on to something. At any rate, it has been observed that it does, indeed, kill insects, and even small mammals in high enough doses. (Feed 10 packets to your pet rat if you don't like him very much, and test it for yourself.) An ant eating it is getting roughly 1000x the dose that a human consumes. Even being cold blooded doesn't help them at these dosage levels. I will warn you, though, that using a fast-acting poison against household ants can in fact worsen the ant problem. Small black ants (also referred to as "sugar ants") do not have a queen in the nest, but rather each of the female ants takes part in the egg laying. When a large number of the nest dies, in order for the rest of the nest to survive, they split off into smaller nests moving throughout the house. This is called "budding" and can actually end up with one ant colony becoming many. Your best bet for killing sugar ants is a 1:10 ratio of borax (regular old laundry borax, costs like $1 for 400 lbs.) and caro syrup. (Or jelly, or any other sweet solution.) At 10% (do not use more) it will be enough to eventually kill the ants, but not before they've brought the poison back to share with the entire nest, thus killing the whole colony and preventing budding. The aspartame method works well for most kinds of ants, but be careful using it on "sugar ants."

trebuchet03 (author)Javin0072009-07-01

The FDA admits that for certain individuals (some pregnant women, people with liver disease, people with phenylketonuria, etc) it can cause brain damage in small doses.

High levels of Phenylalanine can cause brain damage. It should also be said that those that are at risk (PKU and pregnant women with hyperphenylalanine) must also watch their protein and milk intake for the same reason. The reason aspartame products contain a Phenylalanine warning are for those people that must pay attention to that amino acid (not really expected in sugar products :p)

At any rate, it has been observed that it does, indeed, kill insects...
Can you cite credible sources?

For Thoroughness....
FDA

And here's an MIT study that gave high doses of aspartame to subjects for four months... Conclusion - no difference
MIT Study

I personally am sticking with cane sugar where possible. Why? I prefer the taste and texture (and prefer not depending on corn so much).

aayoung (author)trebuchet032016-11-03

Phenylalanine (which is what you metabolise aspartame into) is also an essential amino acid, meaning you need it to live. People with phenlyketonuria need tyrosine instead, which is what phenylalanine is metabolised into. Unless you have that rare disorder, it will not hurt you. There are several inconclusive animal studies linking it to cancer, however this is ingesting relatively large amounts daily, and is still not conclusive. Also, aspartame has not been proven to kill ants.

Mr. Rig It (author)Javin0072009-07-01

Wow I had no idea it was poisonous, good info

gangstaladd (author)Mr. Rig It2011-11-08

yo dude what bout a scorpion

AmyLuthien (author)Javin0072011-09-22

I agree, aspartame should be outlawed. It should never have been allowed in the first place!

I don't know about aspartame's efficacy against ants one way or the other. I use borax personally. That's VERY effective against all sorts of pests and it also doesn't leave a sticky mess behind. I even use it to clean my windows, works better than Windex!

tanmanknex (author)Javin0072009-07-01

good to know, especially about the sugar ants. thanks for the comment.

CathyB81 (author)2016-07-07

How is this safe for dogs when artificial sweetners are toxic to dogs!

DavidG522 (author)2016-06-13

If anyone want to facts about aspartame, the two best scientific documentaries are a book and a movie. The movie is called Sweet Misery a poisoned world by Sound and Fury TV. I show excepts in class every semester. The book is titled While Science Sleeps a Sweetener Kills by Woodrow C Monte PhD Anyone wanting to know if aspartame is actually an extremely harmful substance (to humans) those are the refererces you need to use to learn the facts.

KMCopeland (author)2012-04-17

I hope I'm not being the original buzz kill here, but I had to post this link from Snopes:

http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/antpoison.asp

Leopardjoy16 (author)KMCopeland2015-02-28

Haha BUZZ kill, get it? because bugs and..ya..

gangstaladd (author)2011-11-08

well then the scoripon has a deadly poision so put that on an arrow

dmitchell1 (author)2011-04-30

Aspartame does not kill ants. It's a silly myth.

http://fireant.tamu.edu/research/projects/pdf/pgs33-35.pdf

Cubie2 (author)2009-08-28

If trees could scream would we be okay chopping them down? ---.....Well... Maybe. If they screamed all the time and for no good reason :)

tanmanknex (author)Cubie22009-08-28

Another question, if a man was made of chocolate, and thought, ate, breathed, and did everything a normal human did, would it be considered cannibalism to eat him?

Cubie2 (author)tanmanknex2009-09-10

Hey!!! I asked that to you first!

tanmanknex (author)Cubie22009-09-10

Yes, but you didn't take the opportunity to post it.

Lftndbt (author)2009-07-03

Don't kill the ants!! They serve a most honourable pupose.

Fix you homes gaps If ants are getting in, heat is escaping etc.
Clean up your mess Ants generally only seek heat and nutrients.
Follow the trail If you want to actual remove the ants, follow the trail and pour boiling water down the nest. No poisons needed.

This is a awesome I'ble!! I have a dog and cat, if I was ever in need of a "poison" I would follow this guide. Thanks!!

austin (author)2009-07-01

sorry to bust your bubble but this is not true
aspartame does not kill ants.
http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/antpoison.asp

Mr. Rig It (author)2009-07-01

Great idea and a very good first instructable congratulations!

rimar2000 (author)2009-07-01

Very interesting. The comment of Javin007, too.

Bongmaster (author)2009-06-30

any info on how aspartame is supposed to kill the ants and why?

tanmanknex (author)Bongmaster2009-07-01

also, some people say that it messes with their nervous system and makes them go crazy and stop eating. eleraama's seems more likely.

eleraama (author)Bongmaster2009-06-30

Presumably it's because aspartame has no caloric value, so they get "full" eating on it and starve to death.

hominid (author)2009-07-01

This is mightily intriguing. Thanks for the 'ible.

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