Is it Safe to Use Boric Acid to Kill Silverfish?
According to various internet sources and pest control manufacturers, boric acid is one of the few things that can kill silverfish. By nature, silverfish are immune to nearly all types of bug poison, so why are they not immune to boric acid?
Boric acid acts differently than other poisons as it actually alters the insects metabolism causing them to need more water than they can physically digest which causes them to die of dehydration.
Now we all know that boric acid is a wonderful ingredient used for controlling insects (such as roaches, spiders, and silverfish), but does this benefit out weight the risks of using boric acid?
The picture to the left is an actual government issued warning label for boric acid (something that most insect pesticides fail to include). You may not be able to read the last line, but it states:
Boric Acid Spill Procedures: Notify safety personnel, isolate and ventilate area, deny entry, and stay upwind. Cleanup personnel should protect against dust inhalation. DO NOT SWEEP! Carefully scoop up or vacuum (with HEPA filter).
Now, silverfish can potentially be anywhere within your home, so in order to effectively use boric acid you will need to spread it along the baseboards of your home. Would this not be considered a "Spill" and pose a health risk?
So What Does Boric Acid Do to You?
To adult humans, short term exposure to boric acid isn't much of a concern. Very small amounts of boric acids are used in short-term external medications to soothe burns and sterilize wounds. Long term exposure can cause kidney failure and skin lesions.
Boric acid exposure is extremely toxic to children and pets because their bodies require less concentrations of boric acid to harm them.
If It's so Harmful, then Why Do they Sell it As An Insecticide?
It's not the poison itself which is harmful, but rather the amount you would need to use in your home to exterminate the silverfish infestation.
Most uses for boric acid (like for ant problems) just require you to spread the acid in the areas the ants visit the most, like the kitchen. But silverfish can be all around your house and you may be required to spread the boric acid along all the baseboards in your entire house (which is more than enough boric acid to raise safety concerns for adults, not to mention children and pets).
Whats the Safest Way to Get Rid of Silverfish?
Silverfish and firebrats are both tough insects to get rid of. To completely get rid of all the silverfish and firebrats in your home using safe methods which are guaranteed to work, we recommend downloading our Rid Silverfish guide below:
- Get rid of silverfish & firebrats faster (sometimes within days)
- Learn more effective strategies based on your particular situation
- Get rid of large silverfish & firebrat infestations
- Keep all silverfish from coming back
- Get access to the best strategies which guarantee silverfish elimination