Have bed bugs turned your life upside down? These pests can give you and your family sleepless nights and it can be stressful to eliminate them. If you’re considering DIY home remedies to get rid of bugs, you might have come across boric acid.
This article will break down whether boric acid has a killing effect on bed bugs or their eggs. And if it does, then how does it work, and how to use it? Finally, we’ll discuss its effectiveness and some safety tips.
Does Boric Acid Kill Bed Bugs?
Boric acid is popularly used in pest control to kill ants and roaches. It comes in the form of white powder and has several useful health, medical and household applications.
But does boric acid have the ability to remove insects as stubborn as bed bugs? Let’s find out!
Theoretically, boric acid has the chemical composition to kill bed bugs very easily, but practically, it is quite tough to achieve.
Why? Because boric acid can kill bed bugs only in two ways, either on direct contact or when a bed bug ingests boric acid.
There must be a bait to lure bed bugs to ingest boric acid since they only feed on human blood, or the powder should be sprinkled on them directly.
How Does Boric Acid Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Boric acid is a good desiccant, much like alcohol, when it comes in contact with bed bugs, it destroys the outer protective waxy coating and dehydrates the bug, eventually killing it.
Boric acid, when eaten up even in small quantities, has proven to be very poisonous, killing the pest immediately. But it is highly unlikely for bed bugs to consume boric acid.
Then how can we use boric acid to kill bed bugs? Let’s find out!
How to Use Boric Acid to Kill Bed Bugs?
One of the most effective ways to use boric acid for pest control purposes is by sprinkling it.
You should first identify the hiding places of the bugs. The trick is to use a business or credit card. Try inserting a credit card in any crack or small space in your house. Wherever the card can be inserted can make a good hiding space for bed bugs as these insects have almost the same width as that of a credit card.
Once you’ve found the hiding places, sprinkle boric acid powder using gloves over all these places. Sprinkle on cracks, crevices, furniture, the foot of the bed, or any other place which can make a good hiding place.
You should sprinkle regularly to kill the bugs and clean all the surfaces sprinkled from time to time. Also, be very cautious while using or cleaning it as the boric acid powder can be harmful in contact with your skin.
Another method that can be used is spraying. You can dilute the boric acid with warm water and spray it on infested areas. You can spray in cabinets and baseboards, or areas where the powder cannot reach inside.
You can deter bed bugs by spraying boric acid around your bed at night. This makes it tough for them to go through the boric acid and crawl up your bed. But remember to use large amounts of it.
Effectiveness of Boric Acid in Killing Bed Bugs
Using boric acid to eliminate bed bugs has its pros and cons but in reality, it is hard to use and only partially effective. If you want to eradicate bed bugs, we suggest you use boric acid only in combination with another method.
Boric acid is readily available and inexpensive. It is cheap, convenient to use, and has a long-lasting effect. Unlike pesticides, boric acid works physically to kill bed bugs, and hence, they cannot develop a resistance against it.
Boric acid also works well against many other pests like ants and roaches, so it is an all-in-one solution to your pest problem.
So, if boric acid has so many advantages, why is its effectiveness limited?
Boric acid only kills bed bugs on ingestion, and since bed bugs only feed on blood, it is very difficult to get them to ingest boric acid.
Often people think that it can be done with bait, but it is not possible to do so. Even if you sprinkle it directly on the bed bugs, it is impractical that you’ll get every bed bug in your home, and they can simply multiply again in a matter of months.
It is difficult to clean boric acid off the materials you have used it on as it is sticky and often leaves white marks behind.
Even though boric acid isn’t in great danger to humans, it can cause nausea and vomiting if exposed to allergic individuals.
While using any chemical such as boric acid, there are some necessary precautions and safety tips that you should follow.
1. Make sure that the product you buy, boric acid in this case, is intended for use in pest control and is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
2. DO NOT use boric acid on upholstery and beds as it can leave permanent stains.
3. Keep boric acid away from your skin and eyes. If it comes in contact with the skin, wash the affected area thoroughly. If it gets inside your eyes accidentally, wash your eyes with cold water for 15 minutes.
4. Keep the chemical away from children and pets as it can be harmful if ingested.
Other Methods for Eliminating Bed Bugs
Bed Bug Traps
Placing bug traps around your bed will kill the bed bugs that try to crawl up during the night. As bed bugs cannot fly or jump, they cannot cross the traps and will surely fall victim to them.
Get a good quality encasement for your mattress. This eliminates the most important hiding space for bed bugs and this method in combination with bug traps can prevent bug bites to a large extent and give you a sound sleep at night.
Diatomaceous Earth comes in the form of a powder and can be sprinkled around your home and furniture. It is an effective bed bug repellent and killer.
In conclusion, boric acid is the most affordable and easiest DIY method to kill bed bugs, but it works best in combination with other methods, and that way you can ensure 100% eradication. However, if things still get out of hand, it is best to take professional help. All the best on your journey!