Is Boric Acid Really An Effective Stink Bug Repellent?

Unwanted bugs are bad enough, but when they cause bad odor, that's even worse. Stink bugs make their way into your home as the temperatures cool down. Since they're in such close proximity, pesticides are a bad idea — they contain harmful chemicals that could put you and your loved ones at risk. Boric acid is a naturally occurring chemical that can be used as an antiseptic, a fungicide, or to fight off bugs — making it a great stink bug-fighting weapon if you like natural pest control methods.

Though it's natural and can be used around the home and in the garden wherever you find stink bugs, boric acid can still pose a risk to people, pets, and plants. Moreover, since it is dangerous when ingested, it's not recommended as an indoor repellent if you have kids and pets around. When you use boric acid to fight off bugs, keep the other animals that might be crawling around in mind.

How boric acid kills stink bugs

Even though boric acid can be found naturally in the environment, that doesn't mean it's totally safe. While it's a mild to severe irritant to humans, it's lethal to critters with exoskeletons. It damages their exoskeletons and causes them to dry out and dehydrate, eventually leading to death. In addition, if bugs ingest boric acid, it harms their nervous systems and stomachs, which can also kill them. Boric acid is more of a pest control than a repellent, but it will keep them out of your home either way.

The downside of using boric acid for pest control is that the stink bugs must come into contact with it for it to be effective. If they don't walk through it or eat it, it will be next to useless. Fortunately, boric acid comes in many forms, like granules, powders, and liquids, so you can try different methods to see what's effective. Depending on the situation, you may need different forms for different areas of your home.

How to apply it around your home

When the weather starts to cool down, stink bugs become sluggish, so you'll often find them basking in the sun on fall days. They're probably going to bask near an entrance to your home because once the sun goes down, it will be too cold for them. Placing boric acid in their sunbathing spots is one key way to eliminate them. Put dust or granular boric acid around doors and on window sills, as well as any other crevices they can use to get inside your home, and spray liquid boric acid on them when you see them.

Boric acid can also be used in the garden – it contains boron, which plants need. However, excessive boric acid can prevent photosynthesis. The good news is that it dissolves in water and can be washed away, so dousing the soil with water when you're done with the treatment will help your plants not receive too much. Finally, remember to keep kids and pets away from any treated areas.