What About Boric Acid And Cockroaches?

What about Boric Acid and cockroaches? Boric acid should be applied by a professional. Boric acid is a favored treatment for those who want a less toxic approach to pest control. According to the beyondpesticides.org...

Boric acid is a favored treatment for those who want a less toxic approach to pest control.

According to the beyondpesticides.org website, "Boric acid (borax and boron-containing salts) is a low toxicity mineral with insecticidal, fungicidal, and herbicidal properties. It does not evaporate or volatilize into the air or pose the considerable health concerns associated with synthetic pesticides; however it can still pose health hazards and should be used with care."

Stoy Hedges, an entomologist and Director of Technical Services for Terminix International, says, "Boric acid is one of the dust products that we use. It is a nonrepellent material. It is very effective, when it is applied to the appropriate locations. When we go into homes, people have applied it in really heavy amounts around the baseboards and inside the cabinets. They have to remember that just because it is all over the counter does not mean that it is toxic. Our boric acid has about the same toxicity as table salt. You don't want to be spooning it around in large quantities. We have specialized application equipment that allows us to apply them to cracks and voids where the insects actually live."

Beyondpesticides.org states that, "As with any pesticide, keep boric acid pesticide products out of reach of children and only use it in locations where it will not come in contact with people or animals, such as in cracks and crevices, behind counters, and in baseboards. While boric acid is somewhat slower acting than the synthetic pesticides, like chlorpyrifos, diazinon, or pyrethrins, it is highly effective over a long period of time."

How exactly does boric acid work on cockroaches? The beyondpesticides.org website explains, "Insects travel through the boric acid, which adheres to their legs. When the insects groom themselves, they then ingest the poison, which causes death three to ten days later of starvation and dehydration. As long as the material is not allowed to get wet, its continuous presence ensures that hatching insects, which sprays commonly spare, are exposed and die. Many insecticidal formulations can be effective for more than a year."

How toxic is boric acid though? "While exposure to boric acid has been linked to adverse health effects, experts agree that careful application offers a safe and effective alternative without the indoor air problems associated with sprays. Boron is a naturally-occurring element in the earth's crust and background levels even circulate in the human bloodstream. Boric acid's exposure risks are minimal because of its method of application," according to the beyondpesticides.org website. The website states further, "The Environmental Protection Agency considers boric acid as a moderately acutely toxic due to acute effects including oral and dermal toxicity, and eye and skin irritation. EPA has classified boric acid as a "Group E" carcinogen, indicating that it shows, 'evidence of noncarcinogenocity' for humans."

As for non-human members of the family, beyondpesticides.org states, "Boric acid is practically nontoxic to birds, fish, aquatic invertebrates, and relatively nontoxic to beneficial insects."

So, in summary, boric acid can be a help in the fight against cockroach infestation, just be sure to follow directions on labels closely, or consult a professional.

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