Using Boric Acid vs Borax

Category General
Borax and boric acid are close chemical compounds but they are not always interchangeable. Borax, also known as sodium tetraborate (Na2B4O7 10H2O) is mined directly from the ground. Boric acid or hydrogen borate (H3BO3) is created from the naturally occuring borax. Care should be taken when using borax as it is more toxic and can cause damage to the eyes.
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June 1, 2006

Does anyone have a success story about using boric acid or borax for pest control and or cleaning tips with it?

Thank you,
Lighthouse from Winston - Salem, N.C.

Answers

June 2, 20060 found this helpful
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I had fleas once years ago in carpets. I put Borax powder (in soap section of store) and swept in with a broom, then vacuumed 3 days later. I did this twice and it really worked well! Also pour Borax near doorways to prevent ants and small bugs from coming in. The plus is this does not harm small pets.

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By Loretta (Guest Post)
June 2, 20060 found this helpful
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Hi, The pest contol man gave me some little containers of boric acid. They really worked to kill off the ants that were coming into the house in the bathroom.

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By Leslie (Guest Post)
June 2, 20060 found this helpful
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Used boric acid for fleas in the carpet, worked like a charm! As meoowmom said, the PLUS is it is safe for children and pets.

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June 2, 20060 found this helpful
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I had a great experience with the stuff. I moved into a house in california and discovered the garage was full of roaches. I bought some 20 Mule Team Borax and dusted it all over the garage floor. The next day you could see tracks in the borax.

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Next day, a few more but not many had been added. I never saw another roach. They track through it and track it back to their nests where it kills the eggs also. I've used this many times in many places - we were a Navy family and moved a lot! And it doesn't harm kids or pet! Great stuff!

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June 3, 20061 found this helpful
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Boric acid is not safe for people or animals. Please read the container for the warnings. It is different than Borax. Always read the entire label on any product, especially when you are not familiar with it.

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By Allison (Guest Post)
June 3, 20060 found this helpful
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Boric acid worked great for me when I lived in an apartment infested with roaches and palmetto bugs. When I moved out I saw lots of dead, popped open bugs under the furniture. It works because when the bugs walk though it, it sticks to their bodies. Then when they return to their nest they eat it off each other to clean each other.

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Then it turns into gas in their stomach. They can't pass gas like mammals can, so the gas builds up and "pop!"

As far as the safety goes, boric acid is used as eyewash. It's safe enough to put some in your eye. (But don't do that too much.) However, some powders contain both insecticide and boric acid. That kind is probably more dangerous.

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By PJ (Guest Post)
June 16, 20061 found this helpful
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PLEASE! Borax is NOT safe around children and animals. While, yes, the toxicity is relatively low it is NOT harmless. Many years ago, I mixed Borax, sugar and cat/dog food (a recipe from U of Fl) for carpenter ants. Placed on outdoor window sills. A dead cat a day later and absolutely heartbroken.

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By Floridasun (Guest Post)
December 18, 20081 found this helpful
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A 1 lb. can of 98% pure powder is about $7.00 at ACE hardware. DON'T GET THE KIND WITH SUGAR. It can make a mess and settle in the can so all you get is sugar and no boric acid. If you want to add sugar, mix in powdered sugar yourself.

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PEST CONTROL - I've successfully used boric acid to control roaches. I pour a thick white line along the wall behind the fridge and oven where it can't come in contact with food and usually never see a roach again. In NC, I only had to do this once. However, in FL, the bugs are more numerous and come up through the sewage pipes, so I have to repeat every few months and also sprinkle under the sinks. I am currently attempting to use it to get rid of fleas.

SKIN CLEANER - I have found it to be better than commercially sold salicylic acid skin cleaners for exfoliating skin and cleaning pores. Dampen your skin and sprinkle on with a powder brush or use a shaker to sprinkle on other body parts, such as your feet. In a few minutes, scrub with a damp washcloth. Then, rinse. WARNING - don't get it in sensitive areas. Don't breathe it in or eat it. It can have toxic results.

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November 24, 20090 found this helpful
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I had two apartments in Manhattan with roaches.
I used borax powder to get rid of them, and it worked within a day or two.

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Here's the method I used (with 20 Mule Team brand):

1. I emptied the area to be treated (entire room, shelves in cabinets, etc.).
2. I sprinkled the Borax all over the horizontal surfaces, trying for thin uniform full coverage.
3. Using a broom, I first swept the powder towards all the corners of the room, and of the shelves. Then I swept the powder out of the corners, and using my broom, I moved the pile of Borax around the floor (and shelves) so I had passed over every square inch, to make sure no cracks or small openings had been missed.

4. Sweep up the Borax. DO NOT USE any sort of vacuum or dust buster! Sweeping up the powder will collect almost all of it, but will leave it down in all the cracks and crannies.
5. The stuff is odorless and is not toxic to pets or kids, especially in the tiny quantities that remain after a sweeping it up.

And finally, sprinkling a 2 to 3 inch wide swath of Borax around the house next to the foundation seems to effectively discourage external crawling creatures. Good Luck

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September 21, 20130 found this helpful
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Boric acid and borax are NOT the same thing! Boric acid is the 'acid' part of boron and is a toxic chemical used for pest control.

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Borax ("20 mule team borax") is made from the sodium component of boron and is usually found in the laundry detergent section at the store. This is the mild formula that people are talking about when they say it isn't harmful to pets. You can sprinkle it in the carpet and then vacuum it out to help with fleas.

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Are borax and boric powder the same?

By jayasree

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful
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When the other person talked about boric acid poisoning, that is commercial grade and probably in very strong concentrations. They are right about them not being the same, but reagent grade boric acid is mixed & diluted as an old fashioned eye wash. It comes in a really low %'age. It is very soothing & easy on the eyes. The eye drops these days have too many chemicals I don't want in my eyes or body. So I use the boric acid solution.

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November 16, 20150 found this helpful
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Borax is a naturally occurring mineral, also know as sodium borate. It is a salt and can be easily converted into boric acid, which also occurs in nature. Both can be used for similar purposes, with the boric acid being more condensed, therefore stronger. I'm not sure what boric powder is, it could be either of them.

For more information on both, here are some Wikipedia links.

en.wikipedia.org/.../Borax

en.wikipedia.org/.../Boric_acid

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