If a product can kill a cockroach it is probably not good
for humans either. Many pesticides are extremely harmful to
the human nervous system, so safer, nontoxic remedies are
a wise choice. Boric Acid, a white powder mined from the Mojave
Desert in California, is nature's proven insecticide for long-term
elimination of Cockroaches, Palmetto bugs, Waterbugs, Ants,
Silverfish, Carpenter Ants, and Termites. Boric acid is also
acts as a preservative and a fire retardant.
The first use of borates as an insecticide was in 1922 when
P.F. Harris invented the Roach Tablet. It evolved into many
products including today's "Roach Motel". By 1985 there were
over 200 registered pesticides containing borates.
In 1955 framing lumber in New Foundland began being treated
with borates to control an epidemic of termite destruction.
Since then, none of the homes using borate treated wood has
had any infestation of termites or wood decay.
In the 1970's Europe and the US began studying borates for
wood preserving properties. There was a huge lawsuit involving
an US lumber company that put tropical hardwoods in over 1000
homes. The hardwood had beetles in the wood. The homes were
treated with borates and the hardwood mills in South America
began pre-treating their wood with borates. Since then there
have been NO problems with beetles.
Nature's Own Insecticide:This simple inexpensive,
household chemical is deadly to all insects. In combination
with certain chemical solvents ( such as propylene glycol
) it may migrate slightly into such objects as wood and concrete,
following the solvent, and providing some degree of lasting
protection. Commercial development of such products are Bora-Care,
and Boric Acid type insecticides & products.
As a general household insecticide, Boric Acid is safe enough
to use around children, and has been used in ointments and
salves for diaper rash on babies. It is also used, in a very
dilute solution, as an eyewash.
Boric Acid is the "secret ingredient" in many commercial
treatments for insect control. Boric acid (100%) powder is
odorless and nonstaining. Kills roaches,termites, fireants,
palmetto bugs,ticks,bedbugs, fleas, boxelder bugs, carpet
beetles, centipedes, crickets, earwigs, grasshoppers,millipedes,
scorpions, slugs water bugs,and many many more creepy crawly
- Ants: This past year have been on a rampage here
in Fl, the insect capitol of the world. This homemade treatment
has worked very well on both carpenter ants and pharaoh
ants. Ingredients: 1 Tablespoon of Boric Acid, 1 tsp of
Sugar, 4 oz water, Cotton Balls. Mix Boric Acid and Sugar
in a bowl. This can be poured over a cotton wad in a small
dish or bottle cap. Keep this from drying out for continued
effectiveness. Place Cotton balls in path of Ants.
- Termites: Boric acid when mixed with propylene
glycol (non-toxic version of anti-freeze) has proven to
be very effective against many types of termites. The glycol
helps the solution to penetrate into the wood and become
a part of the wood fiber. This solution is a terrific treatment
for dry rot in wood.
- Silverfish: Rid your home of silverfish, those
hungry, nasty-looking insects that live under your sink,
your drawers, or closets and feast on valuable clothing
and important papers. Mix a small amount of boric acid,
20% or so with an inert ingredient like "whiting" fold into
small packets and place them in dresser drawers, under your
sink, or closets to kill silverfish quickly with absolutely
A Safe Surface Insecticide may be formulated by dissolving
Boric Acid in plain water to make a 5% to 10% solution of
clear liquid. Heating the water first makes it easier to
dissolve the white powder. This simple inexpensive, household
chemical is deadly to all insects, is safe enough to use
around children, and on interior surfaces (test first on
a small hidden area to check for possible -- but rare --
discoloration of finishes). Don't expect instant results,
give it some time, occasionally additional applications
are needed. It lasts about a year, or until the surfaces
are washed. Many modern applications of this ancient item
are showing up in products, and commercial treatments.
To apply as a powder, you can use and old grated cheese
shaker [make sure it has lots of holes] or an inexpensive
mustard or condiment squeeze bottle. Some important places
to make sure you treat: around all pipe and drain entrances
in floors and walls in and under all cabinets, especially
corners and cracks around all baseboards, in corners and
on top of cabinets behind and under range, dishwasher, and
refrigerator In new homes, during construction, the powder
can be sprayed inside walls, soffits, and in the attic.
Also, it is a good idea to apply the powder along the top
of basement walls near the ribbon-plate [where floor joists
rest on the concrete wall of the basement]. For carpenter
ants drill holes in wood surrounding infestation, fill with
- Fleas: Simply sprinkle it on the carpet, ( same
mix as above for silverfish) brush it in so it settles down
and in the fiber, let it sit for about a week then vacuum
and fleas will be gone, eggs and all! An EPA assessment
of a boric acid pilot pest control program conducted at
the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland found
that boric acid was both more economical and more effective
than a monthly spray treatment. Do to its unique mode of
action, insects do not gain resistance to borates. It is
water resistant, heat resistant and remains effective for
long periods of time. Borates are the most effective treatment
for many crawling insects including, cockroaches, silverfish,
larder beetles, carpenter ants, and other wood borers, as
well as wood decay organisms .
How does it work? Sodium borates act as a stomach
poison to insects. Insects can not digest and excrete excess
boron from their system like humans. The insects ingest the
powder from eating wood or from cleaning their legs after
walking in the powder. Upon accumulating the sodium borate
in their system the insect's metabolism and reproductive system
is inhibited and they die. In the case of ants, food is taken
back to the nest and fed to the other ants, which eventually
destroys the nest.
Precautions: There are some precautions that should
be taken when using sodium borate based products.
- Powder should not be broadcast over carpet and furniture
where children and pets are easily exposed. Sodium borate
products are generally safe. However, ingestion can cause
upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. Because children
and pets tend to place their hands (paws) in their mouth,
care should be taken to avoid contact.
- Product should be applied in cracks and crevices, behind
counters, and in other protected locations to prevent contact
by children and pets.
- In small amounts sodium borate provides required nutrients
for plants. However, excess sodium borate can cause harm
to plants and vegetation. Do not broadcast in garden areas.