How to Make Insecticide with Boric Acid — 6 steps

How to Make Insecticide with Boric Acid

Are there pests eating the plants in your yard or garden and you don’t know how to get rid of them? In this article you will find the solution. At OneHowTo we explain how to make insecticide with boric acid, a natural product that can be used to prepare various home remedies. Its mineral base and its properties make it an excellent material to use for insecticides to cleaning products. Boric acid attracts ants, cockroaches and termites, which therefore makes it a very effective insecticide. Follow these tips and learn how to make your own homemade insecticide.

The first thing you need to know is buy some boric acid. You’ll find it in supermarkets or garden centres. Pay attention, because pharmacies sell a medicinal kind of boric acid, which isn’t the same as the one you need to use to make your own insecticide as they don’t contain the same concentrations. Buy the one you want to use for the insecticide in a supermarket or garden centre.

Once you have the boric acid you need to proceed and make the mixture. To make boric acid insecticide, mix one teaspoon of this product in a bowl with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of milk. Stir the solution well until all three products form a paste.

Once it turns into a dough, put it into lids or bottle caps. Fill these caps halfway. This small dose will be enough to eliminate any ants, cockroaches or termites. We also recommend reading our article: how to kill ants with boric acid.

Place the insecticide-filled caps in the areas where you can find these insect infestations. Normally you will find ants, cockroaches or termites in the kitchen, cupboards or furniture, garage. Make sure that these caps are out of reach of children and animals because it could poison them.

The sugar will attract the insects and the boric acid will kill them. However, it isn’t enough to just put down these insecticide-filled caps insecticide just one time. We recommend refilling the caps with the paste every three or four weeks.

The insects will eat the sweet boric acid and take it to their nests to share food with more insects. This process will get them to kill their own colony that is infecting your home. The key is to kill the queen of the colony, this way the whole colony will die off.

If you thought this article was interesting, learn how to make a trap for mosquitoes to avoid them buzzing around your home this summer.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Make Insecticide with Boric Acid, we recommend you visit our Maintenance and home security category.

Boric Acid

To get the right returns, you must ensure your plants get all the nutrients necessary for growth. Boron is a vital nutrient for plant growth, plant development and successful yields.

Boron is needed in small concentrations in the form of boric acid fertilizer since large concentrations are often used for algaecides, herbicides, and other pesticides.

Boron has various functions to plants, including:

  • Maintaining the balance between starch and sugar. It does so by helping in the translocation of carbohydrates and sugar.
  • Essential in the process of pollination and seed production — processes vital in increasing yields.
  • Critical to the normal cell division, protein formation, and nitrogen metabolism.
  • Supports water and nutrient transport throughout the plant.

Although their requirements are small, plants are negatively affected by boron deficient soils. Boric acid is the primary source of boron in liquid fertilizers.

Product Features:

  • Greenway Biotech Boric Acid — Fine Powder — Contains 17% Boron — +99.9% Pure — 100% Water Soluble
  • Boric Acid is a Highly Soluble Form of Boron Recommended for Dilute or Concentrate Application to All Crops with a Known Boron Deficiency
  • Could be Used as a Repellent
  • It is 100% Boric Acid — Odorless and Non-Staining
  • Repackaged from Organic and OMRI Listed Boric Acid

Benefits of Boric Acid Fertilizer:

  • Derived from pure boron — This makes it high quality since it contains a high level of boron nutrients as required by the plants. It is 100% Boric Acid Odorless, and non-staining contains 17% Boron pure water soluble.
  • Highly soluble form of boron — You can use it the way you wish either in its dilute or concentrated form.
  • Applicable to all types of crops — Boron is sufficient in all kinds of plants as long as they are found with boron deficiency.
  • Useful as a natural insecticide — Other than being used on plants, boron is insects, roach, and ant repellent. You can use it to put the bugs away.

After using boric acid fertilizer, you can be assured of increasing your yields. You can also keep unwanted insects from your farm. Do not hesitate to get it today.

Borax as an Insect Repellent

Borax as an Insect Repellent

Related Articles

Store shelves are overflowing with sprays and baits that will kill or repel all manner of bugs, but a quick glance at the warnings on most labels may make you think twice about using any of them. Getting rid of insects without exposing yourself, your family or your pets to so many toxic chemicals can be a challenge, but it’s one that’s well worth pursuing. Once you know how to use safer products such as Borax you can greatly reduce the presence of pests in your life without resorting to harsher methods.

Borax Basics

Borax is another name for sodium tetraborate decahydrate, a naturally occurring compound that is mined in the California desert as well as other places around the world. It has many uses, and is commonly sold as a cleaning and laundry aid for household as well as industrial use. Borax is also highly recommended as a relatively safe method of insect control. It can be used indoors or outside, but must be reapplied if it gets wet.

Borax is very effective in killing and controlling various types of insects, including fleas, silverfish and beetles. It is one of the most effective methods of controlling cockroaches in and around the home as long as it is applied properly, according to the University of Kentucky. Borax will also control ants and grain weevils. It has the added benefit that its residual action is more effective against newly hatched insects than most chemical sprays.


Apply a thin dusting of powder in areas where insects such as roaches are a problem. When they walk through the dust, it clings to their legs and is eventually ingested, poisoning the insect. It also has a dessicating effect and can cause pests to die of dehydration. If ants encounter borax, they will typically be repelled rather than crawl over it. Some commercial insect poisons use borax as their main ingredient. You can make your own bait by mixing borax with honey or corn syrup to form a paste and leaving it where insects can find it.


While boric acid is one of the safest and least toxic methods of pest control, according to the organization Beyond Pesticides, this product still has some risks. It may poison animals and humans if ingested, and can be fatal if swallowed in large quantities, according to the information on this compound’s Material Safety Data Sheet. Borax is also a skin irritant and can cause lung distress if the dust is inhaled. Avoid contact by wearing gloves and a face mask when applying borax.

Borax vs. Boric Acid for Pest Control: Safe and Effective?

If you’re in a hurry and looking for natural pest control products that have worked for us, check out our power rankings chart below.

Rank Product Rating Price
1 MILLIARD Borax Powder – Pure Multi-Purpose Cleaner 5 lb. Bag See Prices
2 99% PURE BORIC ACID AKA Orthoboric Acid, Boracic Acid (2 lb) See Prices
3 2 Pk, Boric Acid Roach & Ant Killer NET Wt. 1 Lb. See Prices
4 Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder With Lure, 16 oz. See Prices

Original photo by Walkerma

Borax and boric acid are essentially the same thing and normally associated with making homemade laundry soap. Both materials contain the element boron. Usually, Borax is mined and refined from tourmaline, kernite, and colemanite. Boric acid is mined from the mineral sassolite. In general, the two materials act the same and, in theory, can control pests equally well (although that wasn’t my personal experience).

The way that these materials work is by eroding the waxy coating on an insect’s skin, which causes it to dehydrate and die. Usually, to get insects interested in the powder, you may have to add a bait to the powder, by mixing it with sugar, honey, jelly, peanut butter, or another tasty material. Wasps are attracted to boric acid-laced meats. Within a few days, the insects that touch or eat the powder will die.

Toxic Risks of Borax and Boric Acid

Although Borax and boric acid is a more natural pest control than the sprays available through your local pest control source, or at the grocery store, it is not non-toxic by any means. If you (or your children, or your pets) eat borax or boric acid, the powder can cause nausea, vomiting, throat swelling, and other health problems. If you (or they) eat too much, a hospital visit may be necessary. That’s never a good thing.

To use the material safely, apply the powder in cracks and behind appliances, and do not use within a child or pet’s reach. Some people also report success with using the powder as a barrier around the foundation of their home and in any openings leading into the house.

My Borax Pest-Control Experience

A few years ago, some of the small roaches, often known as German roaches, invaded our kitchen. They not only invaded the kitchen, but they also decided that our electronic items were the perfect nesting grounds. Even though it was a small “roach problem”, we wanted the pests gone as soon as possible.

There are different brands of boric acid that act as a cockroach repellent. There are recipes for homemade roach killers out there, but they also come with extremely mixed reviews.

I’ve tried using a recipe with tea tree oil, mint, bay leaves and cucumbers, but that was an epic fail.

The best way to go about having an ant killing remedy, or any insect for that matter, is to go with a well-reviewed product. What better place is there for reviews than Amazon?

If you look at the Zap-A-Roach Boric Acid , people are leaving reviews like this:

If you’re uncomfortable using boric acid, then you can try borax to kill roaches and ants. According to some reviews that I’ve read, they work equally as well but borax is a safer bet if you have young children.

Whichever item you decide to go with, make sure to read through the reviews and see what others are saying. You’ll find a wealth of information in there from real people like you and me.

One last note to make.

After my incident, I’ve found the best way to get rid of roaches forever is to follow these simple steps:

  • Clean frequently
  • Seal up cracks and holes where roaches and ants can easily enter.
  • Look at your piping and ensure there are no leaks.
  • Hire professionals if none of the household products are working.
  • Try and keep your home at a cool temperature. Cockroaches for example live in moist areas.

Where to find Boric Acid and Borax

When we had our roach infestation, I was thinking, where can I get boric acid? Then it dawned on me that the internet is my best friend when it comes to research.

There are many places you can buy Borax and Boric acid. Myself and a few friends have tried different options and they definitely don’t work the same.

Borax and Boric acid can be purchased at most home stores like Lowes and even superstores like Walmart. If you’re like me and live in the suburbs, you may want to go through Amazon as it ships quick and works as a perfect add-on item.

You can shop around, but buying boric acid will range by the price will be close no matter where you shop. It’s a matter of convenience.

From the 5 different brands we’ve tried, here are the top 4 products that we found to work well.

Rank Product Rating Price
1 MILLIARD Borax Powder – Pure Multi-Purpose Cleaner 5 lb. Bag See Prices
2 99% PURE BORIC ACID AKA Orthoboric Acid, Boracic Acid (2 lb) See Prices
3 2 Pk, Boric Acid Roach & Ant Killer NET Wt. 1 Lb. See Prices
4 Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder With Lure, 16 oz. See Prices

If you have an infestation as bad as mine, it’s worth getting a couple to see which works. Having these in a safe place around the house is always a good to have on hand.

Have you used Borax or boric acid to control pests in your home? Do you have any tips?


Jerry Eckardt says

I have used boric acid on several occiasion as pest contro ans each time ith success. Keep in mind that it is not an immediate process – the insects must pass it to others and It take time, yet is is effective. Effectiveness is increased if one is thorough in placing boric qcid in as many of their pathways as possible.

Elaine says

Years ago while living in Houston, we were prone to roaches.. The roaches would come in through the sewers. I bought boric acid in a squeeze bottle which is still available today. I would squeeze the powder around the back of my pantry shelves and under my appliances. Whenever the roaches walk through it, they will clean their feet by licking them and ingest the powder. It takes awhile, but eventually the roaches disappear for good. I think this is the main ingredient in most roach traps.

Gregory says

It is important to not confuse Borax-a water softener, with Boric Acid-used in pest control. They are not interchangeable. Use Boric Acid next time.

Pool Guy says

20 Mule Team Borax sold at the grocery store is nothing more than dry boric acid.

Rick says

It turns out that this is not the case. Borax is not exactly the same as boric acid powder. Borax is extracted from the mineral kernite and boric acid is extracted from the mineral sassolite.

GB says

Boric acid H3BO3 (hydrogen borat
Borax Na2B4O7.10H2O (sodium tetraborate)

So, no they are not the same chemical compounds.

Elaine says

Thank you! My mouth dropped open when the article said they were the same. I am old enough to remember boric acid from the pharmacist was used to treat pink eye.

Kay stewart says

3 Tbsp sugar + 1 Tbsp boric acid crystals + 2 cups water, boil 6 minutes, then cool off and keep in a jar. Use a hole punch to make holes an inch above the bottom of little plastic tubs (like margarine comes in) so the holes arebig enough for the insects to get in and out. Put 2-3 Tbsp of the mixture into the bottom and cover the tub and put it in a place where the insects are.

Pool guy is wrong.
Borax is sodium borate, a salt, a pH over 7.
Boric acid is hydrogen borate, an acid, a pH under 7.

The elements that combine with boron are different and the properties of borax and boric acid are very different.

Most everyone knows the difference between carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) Both have two oxygens, but they combine with hydrogen to make water, and combine with carbon to make carbon dioxide. Not at all alike

Allen says

You are somewhat correct. Boric acid and sodium tetraborate are different compounds. Howevere, both carbon dioxide c-o2 and water h2o do not both have 2 oxygen atoms. Water has 2 hydrogens with 1 oxygen atom.
And the whole explanation has nothing to do with the acid or the salt. H3(bo3) has ah3 ion (similar to the h2 ion of most other acids) that makes it an acid. Na2(b4o7) hhas a boric oxide ion (b4o7) that makes it a salt.

Anthony Hinrichs says

Can you use the 20 Mile Team detergent for same purposes as the Boric Acid? Have you used it and was it effective?

Ruth says

Gregory, I’ve seen the confusion over the years about borax vs. boric acid. How does the common person, like me, know which one is used for what recipe? For example, I’d like to make septic safe laundry detergent for our Colorado home, and another recipe for pest control in our southwest Florida home.

Greg says

I used roach bate in our rental against well roaches . I found this effective on crickets and beetles.
Now that we are in our new house. I’m using borax soup on red (fire) ants. With a teaspoon per hill, 70% of the hills died over night. In less than a week 90% of the hills show no activity.

Pat Richardson says

Stay with boric acid powder only. Don’t mix with anything else. Put small amount in lids in cabinets where roaches or ants found. More not better! For cat fleas remove and wash bedding vacuum dust home lightly with bap carpets outdoor entrants.wait 6 to 8 hours vacuum again. Lightly dust carpets and entrants again leave for 24 hrs. Vacuum again. If treated cat should be done. If not treat cat and home again as above.always works 4 me! Usually done in 24 hrs!

AL says

You don’t use it on your cat do you?

Candace says

I can not take it a single second longer! I want them OUT of my house! i HAVE SO MUCH boric acid applied to my kitchen that it looks as if i have chalked my entire kitchen! It has been two weeks and i only see a few bugs dead every morning, The powder seems to draw them out of their hiding places,where i have to actually see them! How did this happen to me? We have lived here 20 years and NEVER had so much as water bug indoors. Even with three of the piggiest teen aged boys with pizza under the bed did we have a bug, The only thing I can think of is that 6 months ago we bought a like new side by side refridge from an home owner,maybe they hitched a ride.

ockert says

Good old boric acid works wonders, but it takes skill and patience, and the use of a professional bulb duster. More ain’t better with boric acid! Apply it with a professional bulb duster; resisted the instinct that tells you if you can’t see it, then it ain’t enough. so you have to apply more boric acid. For diy purposes, easiest get a gel bait, and apply wisely rather than copiously. The fastest ones contain fipronil, or indoxacarb, and I usually have great results using between 3 and 6 grams per treatment per apartment. Baits with boric acid, imidacloprid and hydramethylnon are more tricky (my opinion). Whatever you do, just read the label etc. carefully, and stick to the instructions.

Mwilson says

You are using TOO MUCH BORIC ACID.
Just a dry puff from a squirt bottle to put a THIN film on the surface is all you need.
Too much and the roaches will go round it.

A good trick is to put a little peanut butter or another tasty treat on the treated surface to entice the roaches to walk over the boric acid.

Kate says

Yeah, I let some friends stay at my house. Their payback: roaches. They love electrical stuff, paper, etc

Stephanie says

That is, how you get bugs,most of the time. Situations like that or once when I was a kid we got them because a neighbor bought antiques or something like that, got roaches, exterminated and they marched over to our house. Apartment living is a good way to get them. If they are the outdoor kind, you have to get them out of your yard or you will never get them out of your house. DE, is a good way to do that, I never see those bastards and I only dust every few years.

BettieStiletto says

I went almost literally crazy, I mean, sure you can clean, but these things eat soap, and toothpaste one crumb is a feast, and if you live in an apt as I do, you’re always at the mercy of others.
I got rid of them in three days. I will never use anything else ever, They were in my MAKEUP
t’s MaxForce Gel HCA there is a formula with Filiponil also but it didn’t work miraculously also it’s brown and drippy and to me, stinks.
The HCa is non-toxic, you just need to apply one pea sized amount every 10 feet, you can also use it to seal cracks that the roaches hide in.
DE was horrible for me, it clogged and dried up the plastic in my vacuum so that it cracked, breathing it in is awful both the sensation and it’s not healthy, it sucked every bit of moisture from my skin (that’s why it’s effective on bugs) it’s messy,
There’s no way I want to spray neurotoxic chemicals to get rid of bugs the thought of those Vapona strips still makes me shiver, but there are moderate approaches.

Anyway Maxforce It lasts for a year, I mean one application, it’s used in places that are never able to be entirely sanitary.
I have no connection with Max Force other than my eternal gratitude, I don’t think the magnitude of cockroach and bedbug infestation on our psyches esp those of us without a lot of money is being taken seriously

george milton says

Sounds like you always had perfect conditions for roaches but never had them introduced to the environment until you brought them home in that new appliance. Getting rid of them if they are now dug in through all your furniture and appliances would likely mean not only killing the live bugs but also their hatching eggs.

This involves cleaning and dusting every place they might hide with boric acid (never ever use sugar which can make it worse – yeah if you want a billion roaches in your home sprinkle sugar everywhere and sit back) if you want to mix it with anything mix it with baking soda which neutralizes their ability to eat and causes them to become very agitated and mobile as they slowly starve.

Next step after a few weeks of the initial steps to purge them with common boric acid and baking soda and motel traps would be to use a aerosol bomb to bomb the home twice. Once to kill the bugs and second time a couple of weeks later to kill the hatching eggs and any possible survivors. After the first stage you should have an idea where they may be hiding, so place the foggers near those problem appliances and areas. Finally clean all surfaces off again and dust with boric acid again. If you keep the place clean moving forward they should then be gone and if somehow one survivor turns up you should have him on his way out with little challenge.

george milton says

Oh one thing I forgot to mention is soap water. Your number one first line of defense and primary weapon against pretty much ALL insects should always be simple SOAP WATER.

Soapy water can be made by melting a bar of soap in a jar of water and load it into a spray bottle and it will work as a mostly non-toxic (to humans) completely toxic (to insects) bug spray. Some people use “dish soap” and it usually works in a pinch but I prefer real bar soap like KIRKS brand (or home made bar soap) for the higher oil content and better quicker kills and I don’t mind it on my skin as much as the fake Polmolive type liquid dish soaps (but most of those I have tried work to kill bugs too)

Veronica says

Do you think boric acid with peanut butter works better than acid boric with baking soda?

Paula says

This has just worked amazing for me! Thank you for this

BRS says

Just moved to the beach..These things are nut sub tropical humid climate….I’m and OCD cleaner so it’s annoying.

Bombed the house. Those things walk around like nothing happened. brought chem-spray and a garden bottle and awaiting the results. Boric acid with maple syrup will be a nice surprise Were going gang busters!

Charles Peterson says

I had success with the Terra ant killer, which consists of little pieces you tear off of the cardboard box as platforms, and a liquid borax (borax dissolved in some kind of liquid bait) ant poison. They warn you that it is toxic. I got my box from eBay and perhaps it is discontinued. Most ant traps are enclosures in plastic that none of my ants wanted to get near. But I could rub the top of the little cardboard pieces with peanut butter, and then apply to poison, and that worked dandy, I had ants almost immediately streaming over them and I had to replace the poison every day because the ants gobbled it up (which is what you want–you want to poison the queen and thence the entire colony). And the ants were killed. Then a different kind of ant came from elsewhere, and it worked on them too. I’d been ant free for about a month and now I’m seeing a few again. I liked the cardboard pieces because the location was in the back of the kitchen countertop.

Anyway, Raid also makes a liquid poison, not containing boron in any form, and it also worked pretty well. Raid did not say to tear off pieces of the cardboard.

Thanks for the explanations. I was thinking there might be some connection between Boric Acid which I’ve heard about for years as an ant poison, and Borax. And I was wondering about the toxicity of borax. Some people seeking “natural” products seem to think it’s “safe.” If you want a safe cleaner, use baking soda…which may have some effect on ants too, if you can get ’em to eat it.

Jane says

Just letting you know my recent experience. But it’s a bit revolting, so don’t read if you’re squeamish and please, don’t take offence. It’s probably not what’s happening in your house! Well, I hope not, for your sake.

Anyway, I noticed some of those little light-coloured cockroaches, always one or two per day. I keep everything very clean and don’t get cockroaches normally. I thought they just came with the apartment building, although it’s only five years old and a very good quality building.

It’s on ground floor and the landscaping is very bushy, so I thought the droppings that appeared regularly on my balcony were from possums, but didn’t know what the dead insects were. But eventually I saw the culprit: a rat. The building management had professional traps put in the landscaping and no more rat. Well, one or two of his cousins have appeared but they don’t come a second time. I googled the insects, which seem to be rat fleas, so I’m completely horrified and since cleaning the balcony down, the most revolting job I’ve ever done, I can’t bring myself to go out there again.

The rat fleas stopped when the baits were laid, and came back when new rats appeared. Strangely, the cockroaches also vanished when the baits were laid and I have seen only one since. Sorry, this is so revolting, but better to know than not to know! Rats can travel through the walls or other hidden spaces in a building and you won’t know they are there, so rat traps might be an option for your. Good luck with your pests.

sunny says

What brand of traps did you use?

bryan says

I LOVE LOVE LOVE and can not express how great of a HOME MADE PRODUCT I found (
2 parts boric acid, 1 part flour, then enough karo syrup to make a peanut butter like paste. take all your electric outlet & switch covers off, grab a popsicle stick, cover about 1/2 inch of the stick with the mix, and wipe it in the front corner of the box (careful not to touch any wires!), put your covers back on. pull out your kitchen drawers, put a little dab on the back of the drawers, put a little dab on the back of your stove and refrigerator, up in a top corner of all your cabinets (with lower cabinets, make sure it’s in a corner that a baby or a pet isn’t going to get to), under the back corner of pantry/closet shelves, do the same basic stuff throughout the house in dark, hard to access, usually undisturbed places. It’ll take about 2 weeks, but your roaches will be gone. FOREVER. even if you bring a big tub of roaches in your house and dump them out, they’ll all die too in a few weeks. you’ll be protected forever! This paste will harden, and stay there till it’s all eaten (pretty much forever unless you have hoards of roaches enter your house daily). The roaches will each it, go back to their hiding places and die, the other roaches will each the poisoned roach, and die. and so on and so forth.

Tracie says

hey thanks so much for the karo sryup recipe….. Me and my family just started renting a townhouse and we are seeing roaches, german roaches. He has done 6 bombs, and bought roach powder with boric acid in it. I was wondering if it best to use usp boric acid rather than roach powder with boric acid….also where did you purchase your boric acid?

Arletta says

I used a mixture of Boraxo (20 Mule Team) and powdered sugar, to great effect, in one place I lived. It worked so well that I suggested it to two other people and it was great for them. This was a straight 1/2/1/2 powder mixture.

Later, my home was re-invaded by cockroaches that were accidentally brought in from a home where they never cleaned, but, bombed for insects regularly. The mixture did not work on these cockroaches. I tried it in different combinations, but, they wouldn’t go near it. Then, I mixed the diatomaceous earth with powered sugar, and, they did get a little interested The thing is, I am not sure if the Boraxo had lost potency, or, if these bugs were just too savvy.

I know the only thing that has really worked on them, so far, is straight ammonia, or a giant fly swatter, shoe, etc.

Knuckles says

TIP #1 NEVER EVER use sugar in any roach baits. Roaches have become averse to Sugar. As in they wont go near it. Roaches love the smell of rotting meats and cheeses though.

So if you can stand the smell mix small amounts of Limburger cheese with baking soda and Boric Acid.
Or use Peanut Butter with Boric acid and baking soda.
Do not use sticky pads unless you just want to see the death and carnage.
Which leads me to tip #2

DO leave the bait in areas of high roach traffic. Out of reach of children and pets. Places like under the microwave, under sinks, on top of the fridge. Near the back of electronic devices.( Feel for the warm spots or look for openings they can crawl into. Just bait those locations and let the bait do its work.
The roaches will take the poison to the colony and BAM, its roach genocide.


Dusty Showers says

That is silly. I have owned pest control company for 25 years. Ants still love sugar. However, many species of ants prefer proteins and do not care for carbs (sugars). Some prefer carbs and other will change things around once in awhile.

People here are making things WAY too complicated. Just buy some Alpine gel or Alpine WSG. The problem will be gone in a day. My wife is a cancer researcher, I have 5 girls, two dogs, I rescue dogs, we do free pest control at the Humane Society of our county.

Stop complicating things. Boric acid works in certain applications but if you have German roaches, don’t mess around, just get Alpine. It is safe and it works fast.

Dr Russell Cunning says

A good article, thank you.

While not wanting to take away from your article, it overstates Borax’s toxicity. Borax (and boric acid) is only slightly (12%) more toxic than table salt. Eating a large amount of table salt will cause vomiting and can cause dehydration wich would result in a trip to the hospital. Whatever amount of table salt will make you sick, 12% less of borax or boric acid will have similar results.

The FDA in the USA removed borax and boric acid from their schedules in 1986 as borax is a naturally occurring mineral, and the toxicity is so low.

Toxicity is measured by the LD50 (the lethal dose for 50% of subjects).

The LD50 of table salt is 3000
The LD50 of borax is 2660
The LD50 of boric acid is 2660

Stephanie says

The Canadian government has just issued a warning about exposure to low levels of boric acid:

I would be interested to hear your response to this warning. I have been using the sugar/flour/oil/borax recipe described above with great success, and I also make glue/borax slime for my pre-schooler on a regular basis.

Skip says

The article you listed directly states that “overexposure to boric acid…..” the key word being overexposure.

They are advising against homemade/diy use of it because people are using it for children’s projects and bugs and are not using it in a safe manner.

As with most things, toxicity is in the dosage. Too much water will kill you. Too much boric acid will make you, your pets and/or children sick.

Dixie says

I have a flea infestation. I’ve bought a box of 20 Mule borax and will be treating the rooms where we sleep in. I have kids and pets and not able to leave the house overnight.

Can you give me the correct application for the flea treatment inside the house.

Help. They are feasting on us

Sue says

Dawn dishwashing liquid mixed with water in a spray bottled always worked for me with fleas. Spray it anywhere. Once i was cleaning a house from fleas and sprayed it on my legs to keep them from jumping on me! Works wonders!

Michelle says

Just sprinkle the Borax all over the carpets. Use a broom to spread it around and in the carpet. Laundry all bedding and such. ( We’ve used it on the couch too.) Leave on for about a 5-7 days. Then vaccum. Reapply and repeat. Boom! Flees are bye bye.

John says

Boric acid works best by the pest walking through it without realizing it. The fine powder sticks to the hairs on their body, and they groom it off, just like a cat grooms. This causes them to ingest the poison. Normally by this point they are hidden once again with other of their kind, which is good because the poison is just as potent in the pest’s excrement and bodily fluids. So anything the one pest leaves behind before it dies will continue to poison others.

Consequently, boric acid works if you think of it like a minefield. Consider where the pests are most likely to walk, then put down a thin layer of powder. I mean so thin that it’s practically not visible to the naked eye. If you put it in mounds or lines, they’ll just move around it like they do any other obstacle.

Michelle says

Just moved into a house. Apparently, previous tenants were pigs and never cleaned! I am a clean freak. Noticed roaches, german, the day we moved in. I am so upset and grossed out! Landlord says its my responsibility. How do I get rid of these?? I have motels and bait Dupont gel from internet. I am beside myself.

Kathy says

Thank you to ALL 🙂

Gale Fuller says

Combination of boric acid powder applied under appliances and behind them…along baseboards behind furniture and outside doorframes leading into house(and a couple of windows where outside lights draws bugs) got rid of small and large roach types, water bugs, and earwigs. Also, spiders seemed to avoid getting into house. We live in deep south, but never had I seen so many roaches as in our last rental home…and a monthly exterminator was part of lease…sheesh.

Good old Clorox used diluted on kitchen surfaces and floors and in cabinets….and boric powder used as directed are the best to start with…..clean first!!….Another thing I noticed when we moved our two oldest sons into college dorms that had roach problems…when we cleaned their wood desks and wood cupboards out with lemon furniture polish…large roaches ran out and died immediately O.O….so I also apply that liberally to pantry and drawers along to furniture around my home…smells nice too!!

Roaches and their droppings can make you and your family very sick. According to the CDC, cockroaches are known to cause allergies and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. They can also spread bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella (so probably many more germs and diseases they don’t list). I love using natural products when we can, but sometimes you gotta follow it up or use it with a commercial spray or closed traps(use common sense, apply where pets and kids don’t contact it…ventilate properly , don’t apply where spray can’t dry..use non-scented types, and if possible use a professional, highly rated exterminator. even for one visit, to get things under control(the old one where we lived got himself fired for watering down his spray stuff, and using type not required by law around pets and kids). Hold your multi-resident(apartments, dorms, etc) landlords accountable, if all the tenants don’t treat for bugs or aren’t provided pest control services….roaches, bedbugs, and other types become building wide health hazard infestations…call your health department..not just city , county one…call state ones if necessary….Good Luck!!

Stephanie Frerk says

Hi Dixie. I live in South Africa and in certain areas we have flea plagues. I rented a house and went away for a weekend. When we got back I opened the front door and by the time I got to the kitchen my legs were black (covered in fleas). I was told to pick Kakibos (a weed growning wild next to the road sides) spread the branches all over my house and walk on it for two days. Then pick it up and vacuum clean. I never had another flea in my house. I also bath my dogs with shampoo containing this indgredient and have never ever had a flea on any of them. I am not sure if this is available in your country but it is worthwile researching because it DOES work and is not toxic. It also has quite a tolerable pine smell. Make sure you do not drop any of it in your garden though because it will take over.

Wanda says

Thank you for the recommendation. My entire house is infested with fleas and trying everything people tell me.

hlenga patricia says

can i have the recipe where we use boric acid, peanut butter and baking soda.

Farzad says

Check YouTube
The guy microwave a small spoon of peanut butter. Added half amount Borax
Mixed well

Patty says

I have been trying unsuccessfully for a very long time to get rid of an infestation of pantry moths. I have heard that 1/4 c boric acid mixed with 3/4 c cornstarch will poison them. Several pest control companies say they have nothing that will work and I have done everything I have heard about. Anyone with any info on Pantry Moths?

Lia says

Patty, I had some lady from somewhere in Europe (Sweden?) suggest a certain breed of teeny tiny wasp to get rid of pantry moths. They lay their eggs on the moth, who dies when being eaten by the wasp hatchlings. Eventually the moths die off, and so do the wasp (who no longer has a host to lay eggs on). Apparently it’s quite a popular form of pest control where she is from, according to her.

Susan says

Has anyone used borax (or anything else) successfully against box elder bugs? This past fall and spring we had a terrible infestation. Caulking all the possible crevices in our 2-story, 170-year-old clapboard house is impossible, although that’s clearly the best way to prevent them from getting into the house. I’m wondering whether I could make some sort of spray containing borax, rue, or other natural pesticides and apply it to the exterior of the house in the fall when they are seeking shelter.

saulie r says

Boric acid (hydrogen borate, an acid) and Borax (sodium borate, a salt) are NOT the same. Not even close. The only thing they have in common are boron and oxygen atoms in each compound, and they are not even present in the same proportions. The boron atoms make both pesticides, but they certainly are as different as vinegar and, say, broth.

Farzad says

Come on guys!! Borax is a salt of boric acid. If you add sodium hydroxide to boric Acid it becomes water and Borax and if you eat borax in the stomach the acid will convert it to boric acid. They are different but not totally different.
Actually if you put boric acid in water about 1% if it will convert to the same anion borax or sodium borate will produce in water as well. It’s about proton exchange and PH.

Danny Estes says

Thanks for all the input. I have a pier and beam house and suddenly after living here 20 years the invasion has come. I have been thinking about an application method to mix a Borax/Boric acid & liquid mix under my house. Finally found that reducing my intake hose on my sand blaster gun I can blow 1 quart of liquid over an area of about 200 sq. feet. This will accomplish the thin application under and around the outside. (I have good respirator equipment.) I live at an intersection with a manhole cover and has the key hole opening on it. One night I heard crunching as cars drove thru the intersection. I took a look and the entire intersection had thousands of roaches that had come out of the sewer. I have open vent stacks & several clean-outs plumbers use that I am going to administer the Boric acid into as the roaches have a free run into your home thru them (Drain Vent openings)( Water traps keep the sewer gas out of your living area ) (the clean-out area is a dry spot for roaches to accumulate). My question is will the water/boric acid dry in place and be ineffective? Next I will use the advice in article for in-home applications. Thanks guys!

georgia peach says

hi danny. the boric acid in the water/boric acid solution will still be effective when dry, but at reduced effectiveness. so, depending on your concentration, it may take longer for you to see results. many of the suggested applications of boric acid – paste, bait balls, liquid bait – include some type of liquid. boric acid’s toxicity to some insects is two-fold, working from the inside & the outside. firstly, it scratches the exoskeleton, eventually causing dehydration. secondly, once it is ingested through the insect grooming itself, it disrupts the metabolism, since they can’t digest nor eliminate it from their bodies.

bill says

Borax and Boric Acid are NOT essentially the same. Well, they are if by essentially you mean that they both contain Boron. Boric Acid is a Boron atom with 3 hydroxyl groups hanging to it. Borax is a much more complex molecule consisting of 4 Boron atoms, with 4 Hydroxyl groups, 5 Oxygen atoms, a Sodium atom, and 8 water molecules associated with it.

Andrew West says

Boric Acid and a cheap jar of Smuckers grape jelly is my guarantee solution. I own a 4 unit building and live in one of them. Every spring, small ants show up in every unit, mainly around the kitchens. I make a paste of jelly and boric acid powder (heavy on the boric acid), wipe it on paper squares and strategically place them in their pathways. Within minutes, they start feeding and eventually make their way back to their nests and wipe out entire colonies. The process takes about a week or so and that’s it. Rarely in the past one apartment unit may have a resurgence but I repeat the process a second time and they are gone. This technique is so effective that I’m spared an occasional spring from the horde of ants. I have saved thousands of dollars in extermination costs over the many years of being a landlord. I greatly appreciate this knowledge pasted to me by some wise property owner and hope to share the same results with you, good luck.

Kat says

This is my first response. I live in Arizona and after living in the condo I have owned for several years with NO BUG Problems I have know found small roaches. I paid for professional roach killer and have sprayed 2 times with in 10 days… A unit behind me tore their condo down and rebuilt it I am sure that’s where these little bugs are coming from. I just can’t imagine using sugar or anything sweet to get rid of the roaches… I have only seen 4 in about 4 or 6 weeks but I am told if there is one then their are hundreds….At this point should I just call a professional….

Anthony says

Borax vs Boric acid is like Crack and Cocaine. Crack is made from cocaine, and you acidify crack and you can make cocaine. Chem101. Use Boric acid ‘cause most people don’t snort crack.

Raffy B. says

Indeed. Just please take great care to prevent children and pets from getting into these sweet-tasting mixtures. Place them out of reach of children and animals, and do not leave them around once your pest-killing work is complete.

Juliana says

I live in Texas and when hot weather hits, so do the roaches. First thing is …whatever you use, they WILL become knowledgeable and start to avoid the baits. So you must switch it up every so often. Sometimes straight Boric acid then the peanut butter/ Boric acid paste. Two mire I’ve used successfully are pasta water and Boric acid paste/ spray. And just lately mix Boric acid and canned cat food50/50. Bonus on this if you leave it in the bottom of the can (small pulltab type) they CANT get out and you will find a can half full of critters next morning. Saves you from worrying about dropped eggcases.

Wayne geringer says

I know where the culprits are, but they are very near a lot of lizards. I want the roaches dead, but i love having the lizards around. Any suggestions? Or must i take them both out?

Madhukar M. Nazare says

A mixture of Boric acid (50%)and flour (50%) along with 4-5 drops clove oil; highly effective against cockroach,ants and rats .

Ellen says

Regarding the safety of borax versus boric acid powder, I have read precisely the opposite — that borax is more dangerous. It is particularly dangerous for human eyes and can cause permanent damage. So sprinkling it everywhere can be a tad dangerous. But boric acid powder is less toxic, only toxic when ingested in large quantities, and is supposedly more effective.

It certainly gets very confusing when you read contradictory information on the internet. This site lists reasons boric acid is better and safer, but it is also promoting a product (I think, not sure). It does have a chart listing the dangers of borax.

So from what I’ve read today, I’m going to go with boric acid powder for insecticide and keep using the borax in my laundry.

Christy says

We used boric acid + flour + milk paste and it worked effectively. The roaches are gone but the paste is all dried up and I am unable to wash it away. Any suggestions on how to get rid of those clumps and stains? Only viable option so far is to scrape it off with aknife but it will leave scratches on the surface

Mark Zubik says

Mop your floors and wipe your walls with 20 Mule Team Borax and hot water in Houston. Use the same on cabinets and shelves. It works. You have to sweep up dead roaches every few days, but it’s better than barrier pesticides. Don’t leave any food out. Not even crumbs.

Jon Roback says

1st-Boric Acid Powder & D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth), Both work Fabulous. The chemical make up is Not so important. The barbed crystalline structure is what kills insects. They are very much the same (microscopically). I have been in Houston, Miami, Tampa, & downtown Chicago. If u use either & border Everywhere, the bugs must cross thru it. I have never had an issue with my kids or cats. I buy animal or food grade D.E. & Often mix 50/50 w/ B.A.. Border all. Under & behind all kitchen sink & appliances. A dusting & broom sweep. On carpet too. Killed our flea problem too. I ‘dust’ cats. Same as flea powder. Never a problem. With toxicity or bugs. Border inside & out. Mix with water (50/50). Pump spray. Drys effectively. Never bothered with sweetener, but added cinnamon to repel ants. Also, they all Hate Cedar & cedar oil! Cedar also repels & kills snakes. Peppermint oil 4 rats & mice. – I know. 40yr.s of experience.

Jean-luc says

It is usually said that boric acid is more efficient than borax because the powder is finer. Somebody used a coffee grinder to get a finer product and said the results were much better. I found an easier solution: just a steel file and a piece of cement brick. Borax became like icing sugar, even more so sticking on the file itself, that i knocked on the floor on stratefic spot. Powder was barely visible, as it is recommended.

Jan Jackson says

Flea larva sqirming under my bare feet, in the plush carpeting and on the hard surface flooring could easily be eradicated by hiring a professional pest control company. When I owned my own house I had no problem with this method of larva control. Now I live in an apartment building monopolized by a pest control company. They refuse to spray my interior rooms unless they finď ADULT flea bodies trapped in flea traps they provide. Flea traps are useless. Most of the infestation remains in the larval stage because I vacuum TWICE A DAY. I applied borax and salt worked into carpet fibers. It was laborious but it eventually dessicated the larva. I blew out my vacuum cleaner motor in the process! Next time I will use a shop vac with a hepa filter to clean up the mess!

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