Boric Acid has been in use as an insecticide for centuries, found naturally in volcanic terrains as well as even in the fruits we eat. Officially registered as an insect control method in the 1940’s, it is now an active ingredient in several different insect control products for sale on the market currently. Today borates are mined and refined in factories and plants to produce the quantities high enough to support the current demand in the insecticide market. As an active ingredient, it is not an insecticide that kills upon contact with pests. Instead, Boric Acid acts as a desiccant that dehydrates many insects by causing tiny cracks or fissures in their exoskeletons. This eventually dries them out. The “saltiness” of boric acid also interferes with their very simple electrolytic metabolism.
Pests that can be treated with these products include ants, termites, silverfish and roaches. Brand name and generic insecticides include Boric Acid as the active ingredient, such as Merit, Advance, Nisus and Bora-Care. The applications will vary dependent on the target pest, and are available in gel, bait, dust and aerosol forms. Boric acid as a dust has been used for centuries, in cracks and crevices and wall voids to leave a long-term barrier in the areas that insects find their way in our homes. Boron compounds also inhibit the growth of fungus and have been demonstrated to be a reliable wood preservative, found in Tim-Bor and Boracare.
In addition to home pest control treatment programs, Boric acid and other salts are commonly used in swimming pools and spas to soften pool water and prevent contamination, as a safer and “softer feeling” substitute for chlorine.
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