When it comes to pest control, natural remedies are the best way to go. That is why boric acid is a favorite among many homeowners.
A common type of acid that is even found in fruits, boric acid is a great weapon against many types of pests. Boric acid uses have become as varied as the pests it controls.
However, the type of boric acid that is used in pest control is not the one found in fruits and vegetables. So, what is it and how does it work?
Understanding Boric Acid
Before we look at boric acid uses in dealing with pest infestations, it is important that you get to know the substance you are using. This will not only help you use it effectively, but it will also help you avoid misuse, which can sometimes be harmful.
In its raw form, boric acid is derived from minerals commonly found in drylands or dried up salt lake beds.
Boric acid, the man-made kind, was discovered by Wilhelm Homberg in 1972. For a while, it was even called Homberg’s salt.
Homberg isolated boric acid crystals in his lab by mixing mineral acids, water, and Borax. He then evaporated the water to extract the boric acid crystals. Physically, boric acid looks just like your fine table salt. It is a fine white powder that is both odorless and tasteless. And like salt, it is basically non-toxic.
How Boric Acid Kills Pests
While boric acid uses in pest control are varied, they hinge on 2 basic characteristics of boric acid.
While boric acid may not be a strong toxin to humans, it can prove fatal to insects. But the low toxicity of boric acid is actually its greatest strength when it comes to pest control. This is because it kills the pests slowly.
If the pest you are trying to get rid of is cannibalistic, the slow working poison will give the pest an opportunity to get back to its base. There, the fallen comrade will serve as a meal to its colleagues. For you, it will work as bait or a boric acid carrier.
By feeding on their fallen friend, the other pests will unwittingly poison themselves, and a massive chain reaction that can wipe out an entire colony will take place. This is actually one of the main reasons that boric acid is so effective and popular.
- Abrasive Edges
Another characteristic that makes boric acid an effective weapon in combating pests is actually found in its form. While it may look like a fine powder to the naked eye, boric acid is actually made up of tiny crystals that have razor sharp edges. These edges mortally wound any insect that comes into contact with them. And because boric acid is a desiccant, it causes all the fluids in the insect to dry up resulting in its death.
This is why it is imperative that you apply boric acid properly. Applying it thickly may just deter the pest and it will go around rather than over the boric acid. Instead, apply fine layers. They do work, and that quite effectively.
4 Simple but Highly Effective Boric Acid Uses in Pest Control
Now that you’ve understood what boric acid is and how it works, let’s take a look at 4 ways you can use boric acid to get rid of an infestation.
- Getting Rid of Bugs
Bugs come in different shapes and sizes. While some may just be plain irritating, others can actually be harmful. Others still are a source of food for other more dangerous creatures like scorpions. This is why a bug-free home is important.
While sprays can be effective in getting rid of bugs, they are not the best solution. This is especially true if you have babies, fish, or members of the family who have sinus problems.
This is where boric acid comes to the rescue. One of the most common boric acid uses in getting rid of bugs is by mixing it with sugar (ratio of 1:1) and using it for tackling bugs. Roll the mixture into small balls and sparsely scatter them where you think your bugs may be hiding out. If you have children in the house, be careful to place this bait in places they cannot reach.
- Stopping Stubborn Roaches from Taking Over Your House
Cockroaches are everything a good horror story looks for. They are ugly, invasive, and refuse to die. In fact, a cockroach can live for up to a week without a head. And it’s not the decapitation that eventually kills it, it is thirst.
Another reason cockroaches are so hard to kill is that they quickly build up resistance to most pesticides. And this is the biggest reason boric acid is effective.
For one thing, it is highly effective in killing the roach. And the second thing is that, thanks to the roach’s speed and the boric acids slow reaction times, the roach will find its way home where it will die and get eaten by the other roaches. This will lead to the entire colony being destroyed. No survivors to pass on the stronger genes.
To effectively use boric acid in getting rid of roaches, use it in conjunction with bait that roaches can’t resist – like a greasy piece of bacon.
- Eliminating Fleas from Furniture
If you have pets, then you know the nuisance fleas can be. And no matter how often you clean your beloved furry friend, fleas are completely unavoidable.
This is why it is not rare to find fleas on your furniture. One good way to get rid of them is, yes, you guessed it – using boric acid. One of the most common boric acid uses when it comes to getting rid of fleas is to mix a boric acid and distilled water in a spray bottle. You can then spray the solution on your furniture, carpet, and anything else that can harbor fleas. The spray is harmless to people and pets (including fish), making it one of the best ways to combat fleas in the house.
- Bed Bugs
Like cockroaches, bed bugs are another pest that could make for a good horror story. And in many homes, they have. This bloodsucking parasite, once it enters your home, multiplies fast and is very difficult to get rid of.
When it comes to boric acid uses for getting rid of bed bugs, there are 2 main ways to get rid of this horror of a parasite. And for better results, it is best that both ways be employed simultaneously.
The first thing you need to do to get rid of bed bugs is to thoroughly clean all your bedding and everything in the vicinity of the infested mattress. Fortunately, boric acid is as good at being a detergent as it is at being a pesticide. Simply wash infested clothes with a mixture of hot water and boric acid.
Secondly, you can lightly dust your surroundings with boric acid. This will cut the exoskeleton of any bed bug that comes into contact with the boric acid, leading them to dehydrate and die.
The third thing you can do is, as in the case of fleas, use a boric acid and water solution spray to get rid of bed bugs on furniture.
Boric Acid Uses in Pest Control – Controlled of Course
While boric acid is relatively harmless to human beings, it is important that strict measures are taken when applying it.
For one, make sure not to inhale or ingest it. Ingested in large amounts, it can actually be harmful. This implies that when applying any of the remedies above, don’t overdo it – even if you think the whole cockroach population is in your house.
You will also have to take care to read the labels on the particular boric acid type you are using. This will give you an idea of how much to use, the strength of the acid, and the precautions to take.
Remember, as much as you despise the pests tormenting you, don’t let the boric acid cause you or your loved ones any harm. Safety precautions must be taken seriously.
Boric acid uses