Boric acid for roaches is a go-to method of killing roaches that your grandmother and mother likely used. This method is so highly known that professionals even recommend boric acid powder to kill roaches to their clients.
And you probably have a lot of questions on boric acid, the roach killer. We’ll be covering a lot of questions about this roach-killing method in the second section of this article, but first, we’re going to talk about the roaches themselves.
Table of Contents
- Roaches 101: Know the Enemy
- 16 Common Questions About Boric Acid
- 1. Is Boric Acid Safe?
- 2. What Is Boric Acid Good For?
- 3. How Does Boric Acid Work?
- 4. Is Boric Acid the Same as Borax?
- 5. Is Boric Acid Safe for Cats?
- 6. Is Boric Acid Harmful to Dogs?
- 7. How Does Boric Acid Kill Roaches?
- 8. Does Boric Acid Kill Bed Bugs?
- 9. Does Boric Acid Kill Ants?
- 10. Does Boric Acid Kill Fleas?
- 11. Does Boric Acid Kill Mice?
- 12. Does Boric Acid Kill Spiders?
- 13. Does Boric Acid Kill Termites?
- 14. What Happens When Boric Acid Is Heated?
- 15. Does Boric Acid Expire?
- 16. What Is Orthoboric Acid?
- Boric Acid Reviews: Our Top 3 Picks
Roaches 101: Know the Enemy
Roaches are the enemy. Depending on the type of roach, they can reproduce in the several hundreds over their lifespan, causing your home to be overrun with roaches. And their eggs can hatch without the presence of their mothers around, which means even if you killed every female, there is still a chance her army of babies is just waiting to hatch.
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Boric acid is an all-around pest killer, and since it can be used to kill roaches, it should be in the cabinet of every home.
The Perfect Roach Environment
Roaches will only enter a home and stick around if they have a good meal and some water to drink. You may not be cooking for your roaches – I hope – but you may be leaving food and crumbs around that are attracting these pests.
And there are a few things that create the perfect environment for roaches:
- Food: They need to eat. If you have kids, they may leave food in their room, behind their bed or in any other corner of the home.
- Moisture: Roaches are attracted to moisture. If you live in an area that is naturally damp, this may be an external issue where proper drainage is needed. But this also can be an issue inside the home, such as a small leak from a pipe or drain.
- Darkness: Have you noticed that roaches don’t seem to be around when you have all of the lights on? For some reason, roaches hate the light, so they’ll search for dark areas. This can be cracks in the wall, or it can be in the attic or basement of the home.
Clean, Fix the Water Issue, and Seal
You need to stop feeding the roaches if you want them to leave. This can only be done with a thorough cleaning of your house. You’ll want to clean everywhere, and I mean everywhere:
- Crawl spaces
Sweep, vacuum, mop and clean all counters. All food that is left behind needs to be thrown in the garbage.
If you have a habit of leaving the garbage in the garage or outside your door when waiting for garbage day, this won’t do. You need to dispose of garbage quickly so that pests have less to eat along the way.
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Leaks and moisture issues need to be corrected. A plumber may be the best course of action in this case.
Holes that lead into the home need to be filled. These holes are normally in attics, near doorways and near windows. Foundation issues and cracks may also be the culprit. In each case, you need to correct these holes so that the roaches don’t have an easy time entering the home.
Find the Roaches
If you’ve seen the roaches in your home but don’t know where they’re hiding, you’ll want to go into each room and turn on the light. Placing a fan in the room is recommended, too.
This will draw out the roaches and alleviate some of the moisture in the room.
Make a list of all these places so that you know where to put the boric acid down to kill them. If you’re very lucky, you may even find the eggs that roaches leave behind. And if you do find these eggs, the best way to kill them is to step on them. Just make sure you have shoes on – it can get pretty messy.
16 Common Questions About Boric Acid
Boric acid is so highly praised, but how much do you really know about this substance? If you’re like most people, you’re blindly sprinkling the acid around your home with no thought to the consequences it may have.
We’ve come up with a list of the most common questions asked by homeowners about this acid.
1. Is Boric Acid Safe?
Boric acid is toxic to people, kids and animals, and it’s not something you want to sprinkle on your dinner. People can touch this acid, but it should not be ingested as it can be dangerous in this form.
If a person or animal is exposed to the acid often, they may suffer from chronic poisoning.
For this reason, most products recommend keeping it out of reach of kids and animals.
2. What Is Boric Acid Good For?
If you’re wondering “what is boric acid powder used for?”, it actually has a lot of usages. While most people know it is a poison used to kill pests, this acid is also used for:
- Medical purposes
- Nuclear power plants
- Fiberglass applications
- LCD flat panel displays
But please take the utmost caution when using boric acid.
3. How Does Boric Acid Work?
We’re going to stick with roaches for this question. Boric acid for roaches will stick to their feet and eventually be cleaned off. And since this is a crystalline material, it will start to damage the roache’s exoskeleton, killing it.
The acid will further cause the pests to dehydrate, killing them slowly.
4. Is Boric Acid the Same as Borax?
Borax is not the same as boric acid. Borax comes in a crystal form and is not considered a pesticide. In fact, this substance is mined naturally from the earth. But borax is refined into boric acid.
So, boric acid is created using borax. But they’re not the same thing.
5. Is Boric Acid Safe for Cats?
No. If ingested, it can lead to poisoning over time. A small amount or exposure will not kill your cat immediately, but it may over time in extreme cases.
6. Is Boric Acid Harmful to Dogs?
No. Boric acid can lead to poisoning, but very small amounts will not kill the animal. You’ll want to keep all animals away from boric acid to remain safe.
7. How Does Boric Acid Kill Roaches?
We discussed this shortly earlier, but it kills roaches through two different methods. The first method will be from ingestion. The roach will try to clean the powder off of its legs and body, which will cause it to ingest the substance.
The crystallized acid will start to rip through the exoskeleton, causing the roach to die.
And the second method is through dehydration. If the crystals do not cause the roach to die, they’ll suffer an undeniable thirst that will cause them to dehydrate and die. There is also a third way that these roaches will die: cannibalism.
Roaches don’t have an issue eating their dead mates. If a roach died from boric acid, the roaches that eat the dead roach will also ingest the acid and may die quickly after, depending on how much was ingested.
Applying the boric acid should be done in:
- Areas where roaches frequent
- In thin applications (used a duster)
Otherwise, roaches will walk around the area if it is covered with a thick layer of boric acid.
8. Does Boric Acid Kill Bed Bugs?
No. Bed bugs don’t groom themselves. You also don’t want to be sleeping on or near this poison.
9. Does Boric Acid Kill Ants?
Yes, boric acid will kill ants, but the trick is how much acid is placed in an area to kill the ants. Ants are resilient and very smart, so if there is too much in place, the ants that go through and ingest it will die on the spot – not a good thing.
Other ants will see these piles of dead ants and start to avoid the area.
But if you put too little acid, the ants won’t die either. The right amount of boric acid will kill the ants slowly so that they bring the poison back to their colony and share the “poison” with the rest of the ants.
Ants will also take 2 – 3 months before they all start to die.
10. Does Boric Acid Kill Fleas?
Yes, but its effectiveness depends on the flea. This acid will kill adult fleas, but it will take some time before the adults die. In most cases, it can take 2 – 6 weeks before the adult fleas start to die off.
You’ll want to vacuum the area often to dispose of the dead fleas.
What’s nice is that this does kill flea larvae with ease, so it will kill the unborn fleas, leading to an eventual slowdown of flea sightings or bites (they’re so itchy, aren’t they?).
11. Does Boric Acid Kill Mice?
Nope. Mice have been subject to long-term experiments with boric acid, and even in high dosages, it will not kill them. Studies fed the mice boric acid for two years to see if it caused a higher rate of cancer, and it didn’t. The mice lived a normal life, too, so try another pesticide.
12. Does Boric Acid Kill Spiders?
Yes and no. The answer to this question seems to not be clear. Some sources state that it is an effective killer of spiders, but a lot of people seem to have an issue getting rid of spiders when using acid alone.
In most cases, it does work, but if it doesn’t seem effective, you may want to find another method.
13. Does Boric Acid Kill Termites?
Yes. This works in the same way that the acid kills ants. The termites will ingest the powder, which will do intense damage to the termite’s digestive system, causing them to die.
You can coat the wood where the termites are present.
Bait stations inside of your garden or shed can also be made in an attempt to lure in the termites and kill them.
14. What Happens When Boric Acid Is Heated?
Boric acid, as you know it, will change when heated. You really don’t want to play mad scientist with this material, but for the basis of science, it’s important to know what happens when boric acid is heated.
- 170C: When heated to 170C, the acid will turn into metaboric acid.
- 300C: When heated to 300C, the metaboric acid will start to dehydrate and form tetraboric acid.
- 300C+: If the acid is still placed under increasing heat, it will form boron trioxide.
If all you’re trying to do is kill some pests, I wouldn’t recommend trying to heat your boric acid. These acids do have their own applications, but none of them are related to insects or pests in general.
15. Does Boric Acid Expire?
Not in the normal sense. Boric acid needs to be kept in a cool, dry place. If you keep it dry and cool, it can stay “good” forever hypothetically. If the temperature exceeds 170C, you’ll have chemical reactions occur, which we talked about in our previous question.
16. What Is Orthoboric Acid?
If someone tells you to go get some orthoboric acid, be confident in knowing that this is just another term for plain old boric acid. In fact, boric acid can go under many different names:
- Hydrogen borate
- Acidium boricum
- Boracic acid
Boric Acid Reviews: Our Top 3 Picks
Not sure where to buy boric acid? You’ll be happy to know that this substance is readily available. And the best place to buy it is right online and have it shipped to your door. Forget about going to a ground store.
Want to know where to buy boric acid power? CVS may or may not carry it, but we do know of one retailer that does: Amazon. And the prices are cheaper, which is an added bonus. We’re even going to supply you with the top brands and products that we trust to kill roaches.
1. PestGuard Zap-A-Roach Boric Acid Review
PestGuard is a leading supplier of boric acid, and this formula is specially designed to kill roaches. What’s really nice about this brand is that the top is coned so that you can place the acid in those tough-to-reach places.
And when trying to cover trails, it’s easier than trying to pour an open top bag of boric acid.
This “bottle” comes in 16 ounces, and it’s perfect for households. For under $7, the price is as cheap as you’ll find. And 376 people rate it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Click here to buy PestGuard Zap-A Roach today.
2. Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder with Lure Review
Harris Boric acid is more expensive than our last choice, but this product does come with a lure that aims to help you get rid of pests faster and more efficiently. When kept dry, this acid will last virtually forever.
The lure is 1% of the mixture, with the remaining 99% being boric acid.
An included straw attaches to the top of the bottle and allows you to pour the boric acid in hard-to-reach places, so that you can reach those cracks and places that are otherwise off limits to humans.
This product works very well on roaches, and for under $10, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a harsh pesticide.
Click here to see what other people are saying about this brand.
3. Harris Roach Tablets 4 oz
Harris Roach tablets are a little different than the powder form of boric acid. Many people will look at this product and pass it over because they’ve never seen tablets for boric acid before, but these actually work very well.
This is a great method to try if you have kids or pets.
The tablets are placed under the sink, behind the stove or under the fridge. Roaches will come to the tablet to take a nibble and then die as a result. Other pests will also do the same, which will cause them to die.
A drawback of these tablets is that they don’t get on the feet of the cockroaches, so there is less of a chance that they’ll bring it back to their nest and cause others to die. For this reason, we recommend placing these tablets in places where laying down powder isn’t feasible.
There are 50 tablets included, and this product has been used for over 80 years, so you know it works – and it works well.
Click here to buy Harris Roach tablets today.
Boric acid for roaches and all other pests is a very effective poison. While mice seem immune to these effects, you can kill spiders, roaches, termites and a variety of other pests by sprinkling some boric acid in your home and continuing with the treatment for a few weeks to months.
Even ants will die when they’ve walked through the boric acid and eat it.
Just remember to keep this acid out of reach of pets or children – it is highly toxic when exposed to often or ingested.