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The Truth About Boric Acid As An Insecticide


The chemical formula of Boric Acid is B(OH)3. It is also known to some as hydrogen borate, boracic acid, orthobic acid, and acidum boricum. It is characterized as a colorless crystal or white powder that easily dissolves in water. 

Boric Acid was introduced in 1702 by Wilhelm Homberg. In his lab, he tried to isolate boric acid by mixing mineral acids, water, and Borax. During the process, he let the water evaporate to extract the crystals or powder he then called Homberg’s salt. After further research in Europe, boric acid was found to have medical benefits to human beings.

Did you know that boric acid is a naturally occurring compound and it can be found in common foods such as apples, bananas, almonds, peanuts, beer, wine, white bread, and white rice? It has always been a part of the food industry as a fortifying agent for processed foods. However, studies from the World Health Organization show that too much Boric Acid in the human system can be fatal. The average human body can only tolerate about 0.16 milligrams per day.

Uses of Boric Acid

Boric Acid is commonly used to eliminate bugs and insects such as cockroaches, mice, ants, and many more. However, there is more to boric acid than what we expected. Personally, I only thought of boric acid as an easy-fix poison to kill pests. Little did I know that it has so many more uses. Here are some of the most common uses of boric acid that we did not know. 

  • Boric Acid is used as an Eyewash. This practice has been popular among the Greeks and the Romans. Since itchy eyes and irritation bring discomfort, they use a mixture of Boric Acid, Epsom Salt, and Warm water to solve this problem. According to specialists, this mixture is very effective in curing and preventing eye infections.
  • Boric Acid is used as Ear Drops. This chemical is known for its antiseptic properties. Just like the human eyes, ears are susceptible to infection. Boric Acid is effective in alleviating ear infections and irritation. You can mix it with vinegar and distilled water to maximize its effects as an ear drop. It grants you a quick fix to get rid of any infection-causing bacteria. 
  • It is used to Clean Wounds. It is always important to clean and disinfect wounds to prevent further damage or infection. Using boric acid mixed with distilled water can be applied using a cotton ball to clean the wound and its surroundings.
  • Yeast Infections can also be treated using Boric Acid.
  • Boric Acid has antioxidant properties. According to specialists, boric acid has a strong detoxifying property that can clean the body from unwanted chemicals and toxins. It also aids in removing heavy metals in the bloodstream that can cause several illnesses. In a study in 2010, they found that boric acid shows promising results in cleansing the body from toxins and harmful substances. However, it should be taken lightly and under the prescription of a medical professional.
  • Anti-cancer property. Surprisingly, boric acid was not as harmful to humans as I thought it was. In fact, in a stud published in the year 2009, the researchers found that boric acid can help reduce a person’s risk to acquire melanoma. The scientists observed that the number of cancer cells diminished in number when administered with boric acid. Could this be the quick and easy cure for one of the deadliest diseases of all time?
  • Boric Acid helps build Bone Density.  Boric acid is abundant with boron, an element that is proven effective in dealing with bone density loss and arthritis. However, always remember not to inhale or ingest boric acid in its pure form. Always ask your physician for a suitable dosage. Keep it out of reach of children at all times.

How Boric Acid Works as an Insecticide

Knowing all of these wonderful facts about boric acid, how is it effective in killing different pests? According to scientists, boric acid works differently among humans and insects. But it does not mean that it is harmless to human beings. It’s just that it takes less amount of boric acid to take effect on insects. As we have discussed, the average human intake of boric acid must not exceed 0.16 mg a day. If you take in more, it could lead to fatal diseases and complications.

When an insect consumes boric acid, it affects its body differently. It poisons their stomach and it destroys an insect’s metabolism. Plus, boric acid powder is very abrasive. It affects the exoskeleton of the insect, weakening its shell or hard skin, and dehydrating it from the outside. According to entomologists, the reason why boric acid is an effective insecticide is that when an insect is poisoned by boric acid, it goes back to its nest and spreads it to others. So, do not be dismayed to have only baited one insect. The effect of boric acid as an insecticide spreads out and creates a butterfly effect to every insect it interacts with. 

How to Make a Boric Acid Insecticides

What you need: 

  • Protective gloves, safety glasses, and apron. 
  • Measuring devices 
  • Boric Acid Powder 
  • Sugar 
  • Water
  • Stirring Tool 
  • Container

DIY Lawn Pest Repellant Spray:

  1. Dissolve the boric acid in warm water to create your own killer spray. Remember to put on protective gloves, glasses, and apron. 
  2. Afterward, mix 10 oz of boric acid with a ½ cup of water. 
  3. Stir the mixture until it is dissolved. 
  4. Then, dilute the mixture in 2 ½ gallons of water to kill pests around your house. 
  5. To create a mold spray, just change the amount of the solution. Combine one cup of boric acid with 1 gallon of water. That should be good in eliminating mold spores all over the house. 

DIY Insect Killer

To create your very own ant trap at home mix 1 teaspoon of boric acid with 10 teaspoons of sugar and 2 cups of water. Next, put the mixture on cardboard and let it soak. You can also use cotton balls and leave them in areas where ants are present. Eventually, they get so attracted to the sugar. Little do they know that they will be taking the poison back to their colony.

Boric acid is identified as the “secret ingredient” in many treatments for pest control. Apart from the fact that it is inexpensive, it is very easy to administer. To use boric acid as a professional, you do not need to bend over backward just to make sure it takes effect. There is a way you can use boric acid as a repellant without any hassle at all.

Boric acid is very effective when administered in small amounts. It retains its potency indefinitely as long as the surface remains dry. Unlike other insecticides, boric acid is odorless and stainless. It does not give any signals to pests that might signal the danger.

You can use boric acid by merely applying it on carpets where pests such as bed bugs, fleas, and ticks usually hide. Remember to administer the powder deep into the fibers of the mat or the carpet. Any powder that is visible to the naked eye must be eliminated and brushed away. Allow the boric acid powder to remain on your carpets, compartments, and mats for at least 3 weeks before vacuuming. This will ensure that pest activity is under control.

Don’t forget to sprinkle and spread along baseboards, under and behind closets and refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers. Also, administer boric acid around drainage pipes, electrical power outlets, cracks, crevices, and fissures. This ensures that no unwanted insect will survive inside your house. 

Tips to Remember in Using Boric Acid as Insecticide

Keep them away from animals and children. According to experts, boric acid is non-toxic if eaten or if it comes in contact with the human skin. However, boric acid can be corrosive to the eyes. It can also cause irritation to the skin. If you have allergies to certain substances, always wear masks and other protective garments to avoid getting in contact with the raw substance.

People who accidentally ingested boric acid reported having experienced nausea, vomiting, stomach aches, and diarrhea. People who accidentally breathed in boric acid experienced dry nose, mouth, and throat. To infants, boric acid can cause dysfunctions in the nervous system which include abnormal posture, convulsions, comatose, and confusion or disorientation.

Regularly administer boric acid 2x or 3x a month depending on the severity of the infestation. Even when you observe a gradual decrease of pest population around your home, still administer boric acid for maintenance. It pays off to keep pest activity under your control. 

Call for Help

As laypersons, we are not as knowledgeable about pest activity as exterminators. So, if you observe that none of your methods work in eliminating pests on your own, call for your local exterminator near Huntersville, NC. I am sure that they can help you get rid of pests once and for all. You no longer have to worry if your methods will come to haunt you in the future. If you are looking for a competent and affordable pest control service around you, call Lake Norman Home Services – the only company in North Carolina that offers top-quality methods of pest control at an affordable price.