Boric Acid and its sodium borate salts are pesticides that we can find in nature and many products. Borax is one of the most common products. Boric acid and its sodium salts each combine boron with other elements in a different way. In general, their toxicities each depend on the amount of boron they contain.
Boric acid and its sodium salts can be used to control a wide variety of pests. These include insects, spiders, mites, algae, molds, fungi, and weeds. Products that contain boric acid have been registered for use in the United States since 1948.
What are some products that contain boric acid?
Products containing boric acid can be liquids, granules, pellets, tablets, wettable powders, dusts, rods, or baits. They are used indoors in places like homes, hospitals and commercial buildings. They are also used in outdoor residential areas, sewage systems, and on food and non-food crops. There are over five hundred products with boric acid sold in the United States. Several non-pesticide products containing boric acid include soil amendments, fertilizers, household cleaners, laundry detergents, and personal care products.
Always follow label instructions and take steps to minimize exposure. If any exposures occur, be sure to follow the First Aid instructions on the product label carefully. For additional treatment advice, contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If you wish to discuss a pesticide problem, please call 1-800-858-7378.
How does boric acid work?
Boric acid can kill insects if they eat it. It disrupts their stomach and can affect their nervous system. It can also scratch and damage the exterior of insects. Boric acid and borax, a sodium borate salt, can kill plants by causing them to dry out. Sodium metaborate, another sodium borate salt, stops plants from producing the energy they need from light. Boric acid can also stop the growth of fungi, such as mold. It prevents them from reproducing.
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