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I have little black ants coming from an electrical outlet in my kitchen over my sink. I was told to use boric acid in the electrical outlet box. Is this safe and how safe is boric acid around pets and children?
Better yet, just get some Terro. It's only about 3.49 for two small bottles, and a drop the size of a dime will kill hundreds. They come and feed on the drop like cattle at a watering hole, and then when they are done, the drop looks like it hadn't been touched. Know why? They have all gone home to die.
I suggest Googling it, but I would not use it around my dog.
If it is inside the electrical outlet box, pets and kids won't be able to get to it. Take the outlet cover off, place a little boric acid inside, then replace the cover.
I use powdered cinnamon it works, kind to pets and children just sprinkle where the problem is.
The best suggestion here is the Torro. I have used it for years and it's never failed me. In your case, I'd take the face off the socket, attach a small square of paper towel to the inside of it, and put a drop of Torro on the square. Then just put the face back in place and the ants won't come in anymore. They'll take the Torro back to the nest and it'll kill the whole colony.
Based on mammal median lethal dose (LD50) rating of 2,660 mg/kg body mass, boric acid is poisonous if taken internally or inhaled. Also, long term exposure to boric acid is thought to contribute to cancer.
I'm a little confused why people are saying that boric acid is poisonous, It can be used vaginally for yeast infection (empty capsules available from your local pharmacist can be filled with boric acid and inserted into the vagina) If it is safe to use there, then I would imagine it is safe to use anywhere!
Quoted from "Kitchen Hints From Heloise":
Here are two home-made recipes guaranteed to curb your roach problem. Note: Boric acid can be harmful to pets and children if ingested in a large amount at one time or in small amounts over a period of time. Please keep away from little ones!
Heloise's Famous Roach Ball Recipe
You can set out these "tasty" treats in your cupboards for roaches anytime that you suspect infestation. Be sure to keep them out of the reach of children and pets, however, Boric acid can be bought at drugstores, pharmacies or grocery stores.
¼ cup shortening or bacon drippings
1/8 cup sugar
8 ounces powdered boric acid
½ cup flower
½ small onion, chopped (optional)
Enough water to form a soft dough
Mix the shortening and sugar together until they form a creamy mixture. Mix together the boric acid, flour, and onion and add to the shortening mixture. Blend well. Add water to form a sift dough, Shape the mixture into small balls) about ½ inch or so in diameter) or break into small blobs. Drop them into open plastic sandwich bags (to roach balls moist longer). Label the bag clearly so everyone in the house knows it is roach poison. Replace the dough when it gets hard.
Heloises' Famous Dry Powder Roach Recipe
Mix equal parts of boric acid and flour, cornmeal, OR sugar. Use the mixture to dust infested areas. Roaches will walk through it and then ingest it when they groom their legs and feelers.
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If boric acid is safe for pets (as recently posted), why do sites say to keep it away from pets when using as a pest deterrent? I'm really interested, since I've been using it for ants, and I have 2 cats and a dog that I want to keep safe.
Susanmajp from Arkansas/Oklahoma
I have cats and kids and I use Boric Acid. BUT I use it as a "paste" from a recipe I looked up here on the Thrifty site. I keep it in a clear bowl with the cotton balls and a tiny hole poked in the side. The recipe calls for wholes in the top of a butter bowl, I used what I had and they wouldn't crawl to the top. So hubby poked a tiny hole in the side and the ants flocked to it. I do put this in behind things sitting on the counters and on a trash bin that has a cabinet attached...that way the cats don't see it to get into it. Good luck (06/05/2006)
There's a link that will tell you a lot of information about boric acid. It's a PDF file. Basically it says its safe to use in your home and only very large ingested quantities will harm your pet.
I know a lot of people mention reading the warnings on the bottle. That's fine, but you need to remember companies put those warnings on there for themselves, not for you. They don't want to get sued if something goes terribly wrong with your use of the product. They can just say, "well, we warned you". So the warnings probably make things sound worse than they really are. (06/06/2006)
i don't see why you would have to keep the animals away from it. they won't eat it unless it has been mixed with some food product to bait bugs (like sugar) MOST of the warnings on natural substances are to cover their legal matters. you've heard the saying "here's your sign"? Those warnings are for the people that eat toothpaste and then sue the company for not telling them not to eat toothpaste! (06/06/2006)
By Carla B.
I find it at the grocery store in the same area you will find band aids, aspirin, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and things of that type. It's called boric acid powder and a small 4 oz jar will cost around $4.00 in this area. I use it in small quantities and it lasts a long time. The boric acid powder/sugar/water mixture is the only thing in 30 years that has stopped my ant problem by about 95%! Occasionally a few will wander in. I mix up their little treat and in a few days they are gone! (06/06/2006)
By Grandma Margie
Thanks everyone for the posts, especially Allison for the site of the fact sheet. This mixture has been a God-send for these tiny ants that come into my house every spring. I'm now using it outside to help clear some other ant hills out.
I absolutely love this site--everyone is so knowledgeable and helpful. Thanks again. (06/08/2006)
I just wanted to add that I found a recipe for roach and silverfish bait from Boric Acid:
Mix shortening and sugar until creamy. Mix boric acid and flour together. Combine the two mixtures and pour enough water to make a dough. Place balls around the house where roaches are and they will eat it and die. I also found out that it still works after it dries up into a hard ball!
Mix well and place in shallow containers near hiding spots. (06/08/2006)
Take a look at this link and determine for yourself.
Boric Acid is safe for pets in low amounts. There are even some "pet wipes" for cleaning animals that contain low amounts (2%) of boric acid. (10/25/2008)