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 insects.
- 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 no mess.
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 boric acid.
- 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
- 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.