If you are dealing with a mouse or rat problem, chances are you have at least considered poisons. Poisons are definitely one of the more effective ways to deal with any sort of rodent infestation, but with so many on the market, it can be a challenge to decide which one is right for you.
Today, we are going to be discussing boric acid. Most of us have heard boric acid for pest control mentioned before. However, it is most frequently used for controlling insects not mice and rats. Does boric acid even kill rodents? In this article, we will answer this question, along with a few other frequently asked questions, and hopefully leave you with all the information you need about boric acid and mice.
What is Boric Acid?
Boric acid can be either a white powder, or colorless crystal substance and is a weak, monobasic Lewis acid of boron. As far as versatile substances go, boric acid is definitely somewhere at the top of the list. With uses in everything from healthcare to pest control, it is truly a multi-purpose material. Boric acid can be used as an:
- Flame Retardant
- Precursor to Other Chemical Compounds
- Neutron Absorber
How Does Boric Acid Work?
Boric acid is often marketed as an all purpose insecticide and many packages even list the multiple insects that it will be effective against. The reality, however, is that boric acid is mainly effective against cockroaches and ants.
Boric acid is a very fine powder that you sprinkle around your home. It works by sticking to insects as they move through it and then being accidentally ingested as they clean themselves. Because of this, boric acid is unlikely to be of any use against insects that do not groom themselves such as ticks, fleas, or lice.
Is Boric Acid the Same Thing As Borax?
Boric acid and Borax are not the same thing, although they are frequently confused with each other. Borax and boric acid are formulations of the same compound. Borax is a mineral that is taken straight from the ground and is usually used in cleaning products. However, boric acid is processed and refined in order to be used in a variety of products.
Boric acid is commonly used as an insecticide. Borax, however, is not and will not be effective if used for pest control.
Will Boric Acid Kill Mice?
While boric acid is extremely effective at killing some insects, it will not kill mice. Lab studies have shown that even in large amounts, boric acid may do some damage to the reproductive systems of rodents but is not fatal.
Is Boric Acid Safe for Humans?
Boric acid is classified as poison and can be extremely harmful to humans if not used as directed. If using boric acid, always wear gloves and a face covering or mask. Never allow boric acid to come into direct contact with your skin or get into any open wounds.
Boric acid poisoning can be either acute or chronic. Acute boric acid poisoning occurs when someone directly swallows boric acid. However, chronic poisoning from boric acid happens when you have been repeatedly exposed to small amounts of boric acid over a longer period of time.
Side effects of boric acid poisoning can include:
- Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Bright Red Rash or Blisters
Boric acid is also poisonous to pets and small children when ingested so it is always important to keep this product out of reach when using it around your home. Also be sure not to use boric acid on any surfaces where you prepare food, or in high foot traffic areas where it may be spread around and inhaled.
What Is the Best Poison to Kill Mice?
There are a variety of poisons available that will effectively kill mice. Mouse and rat poisons can be purchased in the form of pellets, blocks, and even liquids.
How quickly a particular poison will kill mice depends on the active ingredient used in it. The active ingredient used in a mouse poison is also what determines how a given poison actually behaves in the system of a rodent in order to cause death. The most effective active ingredients in mouse poisons are:
- Acute Toxins – Cause death within 24 hours by shutting down the vital organs.
- Calcium Releasers – Cause death within 1 to 3 days by calcifying the cardiovascular system.
- Anticoagulants – Cause death in 6 to 7 days by internal bleeding.
An important thing to consider when choosing poisons is, of course, the presence of children or pets. Bait stations are available in a variety of styles with some prefilled with bait and completely sealed so that pets or small children cannot access the poison. Childproof and tamperproof options are also available.
Another great pest control option is, of course, traps. Mice are particularly attracted to certain food, and this weakness can be taken advantage of by baiting mouse traps with peanut butter and other sweet treats.
If you prefer a more humane approach, live traps are a great compromise. Live traps allow you to catch a mouse and keep it contained without causing it any harm until it can be relocated (preferably farther away from your home).
Does Baking Soda Kill Mice?
There are a number of sources that say that baking soda does in fact kill mice. Baking soda releases gases into the stomachs of rodents after it is consumed, which can cause death in a matter of days or weeks.
Some studies have suggested that mice and rats may have an uncanny ability to adjust their digestive systems to adapt to these gases, and will soon develop immunity.
One thing that is absolutely certain is that when you are using baking soda or any other poison you will need to stay on the lookout for any signs or smells of dead rodents.
Since poisons do not kill mice or rats instantly, they will crawl off and likely hide somewhere before they perish. Meaning you will need to go searching for rodent carcasses before they can attract more pests to your home.