People use boric acid for many things. It has been used as an eye and ear treatment, a skin treatment, and a fire retardant. Among its many uses, boric acid is an effective insecticide.
Boric acid works on insects as a stomach poison. The insect must swallow some of the boric acid for it to work. There are two common forms of boric acid that insects can swallow – baits and dusts.
Scientists found that when boric acid was mixed with food it made very effective insect bait. There are several boric acid insect baits on the market. They are very effective for ants, roaches, and crickets. However, most bees eat pollen and nectar.. Scientists have not found boric acid bait that is effective for bee control.
Boric acid dust has been used for insect control for many years. The insect swallows some of the dust when it cleans and grooms itself. The insect does not die for a few days after it eats some of the boric acid. People are sometimes frustrated at the length of time it takes for boric acid to eliminate all of the pests.
Insects like roaches groom their legs and antenna, so boric acid is effective against them. Social insects like ants clean each other's bodies, so boric acid works against them as well.
Boric acid dust can be effective for controlling bumblebees, carpenter bees, and some of the ground nesting bees. To eliminate bees that make underground nests, it will take some time to observe the bees to find where the nest opening is located. The treatment should be made in the evening. The bees will be in the nest, so there will be less chance of being stung.
Honeybees usually choose an aboveground location for nesting so they can be protected from the weather. They sometimes find openings that allow them to nest inside of a wall or attic of a home.
When honeybees nest inside of a home, the residents are usually afraid of being stung, so they want the bees to disappear quickly. Because honeybees are valuable pollinators, beekeepers will often come remove them from homes without killing them.
If the beekeeper is not able to remove honeybees from the home, boric acid dust can be used to eliminate them. However, homeowners may prefer an insecticide that works faster than boric acid when bees have nested inside the home.
The dust may have to be injected through tiny holes that are drilled in the wall to access the nesting site. If the bees are in the attic, dust must be applied with great care to prevent drift and contamination.
Homeowners often prefer to have a pest control professional make the insecticide application. The pest control professional will have the treating equipment and the safety equipment to do the job quickly and effectively.