Can you use boric acid outside and in the garden?
This is one of the most common questions we receive. So instead of writing almost the same reply to our customers I thought I’d put together a blog post.
But a few things first before we get into it.
Why boric acid works well in the home
Boric acid is a pesticide, herbicide, insecticide and an anti-bacterial agent. They are the main reasons why it is very effective at getting rid of uninvited 6 legged visitors in the home.
Our guides are focus on use within the confines of your home. If you have cockroaches under the sink, or ants coming in through the crack in the windowsill, it’s relatively straightforward for formulate a bait for the insects and only target the pest.
It’s unlikely your dog will open the cupboard door and venture under the sink, or a child would climb up to the window. It’s also likely that anything that does venture into the baited area is equally as unwelcome.
You have a lot of control over the area that you can safely lay baits to eradicate the pests.
Using boric acid outside
While boric acid does work well in the home, outside is a whole different story.
All the pests on the radar of boric acid are found outside and they are just as susceptible to its affects when outside.
Sure, you can lay baits, spray pesticide mixtures on weeds or use any of our other guides. But how can you ensure that your bait in only targeting the pest? How can you ensure no other animals take your bait? How can you ensure it’s not adversely affecting sometime else?
In short, you can’t.
Outside the home is whole different ball game. The challenge is ensuring beneficial insects are not adversely affected by your treatment.
Using a boric acid bait outside
If you lay a bait, how can you ensure only your targeted insect takes it? You could cover it with a container, but how would the insect get at it?
You cover it with a net. But how do keep the net in place? You could cover it with mesh, but how do you keep out the smaller insects. How do you stop other animals knocking it over?
There are so many things that can happen that it’s impossible to list them all. There’s a very good chance that something else will take your bait.
Using a boric acid spray outside
The same goes for sprays. Boric acid is a herbicide and when used as such, how do you ensure the boric acid only targets the weeds? If there are other plants nearby, how do you stop it affecting them? Even after the weed has died, the boric acid is still around. What do you do with the soil now?
Like with baits, there are so many eventualities that it’s near impossible to list them all.
Boric acid and the ecosystem
The main point about the outdoors is that it’s just that. It’s outdoors.
The outdoors is the domain of insects and if you’re finding insects in your garden, that’s a good thing. That is a sign of a heathy ecosystem where plants and other microorganisms will thrive.
Cockroaches, ants, and mould all consume the waste and dead matter found in your garden. They consume it and their poop is a natural nutrient which feeds all the new growth. An when they die, they too become food for new growth. The circle of life.
Introducing boric acid into the mix interrupts that cycle and runs of the risk of destroying the entire ecosystem.
If you are going to use boric acid outside, please be careful and take whatever steps are needed to ensure the most targetted and localised approach.
If you’re looking for some alternatives, this guide is quite good for getting rid of cockroaches from your garden.