Does Sprinkling Borax Really Kill Spiders?

When it comes to removing spiders from your home, there are several methods that you can deploy to get the job done. One that may come to mind is borax, a mineral that you may already have stashed away in your home and may also often use for cleaning. However, will borax actually fix your spider problem? 

As it turns out, probably not. Borax won't get rid of spiders, unless they eat it — which they won't do. Of course, this means that if you decide to use this product, the end result will largely be out of your control, and there is no guarantee of success at all — it'll essentially boil down to the roll of a multi-sided dice and the likelihood of any impact is pretty low. However, it can be effective against flies, termites, and ants, to name a few — it all depends on which type of creature you're targeting. And though spiders aren't named here, it could end up having an indirect impact on them, because of that factor. 

Below, we'll break it down so you can decide if you want to use borax to kill lurking spiders in your home. 

Borax only works if the spider consumes it

Although it may be tempting to reach for some borax next time a spider drops onto your bed, it turns out that the spider actually needs to consume the borax for it to be successful at controlling the population in your home, which generally is between 50 and 300. The likelihood of this happening is near to nothing ... unless, that is, the spider comes across another insect that has eaten borax previously, in which case it will have an indirect impact if it decides to feast on it. The borax in the insect carcass will poison the spider, by damaging the outer layer of its body. 

However, you also have to consider the chances of the spider even coming across such a scenario, as a borax-ridden fly or insect isn't likely to come hurtling into its web. All of these factors combined together render borax virtually ineffective for such a cause, especially for larger populations.

In addition, you will also have to factor in that if you dump borax into parts of your house, you'll be responsible for cleaning it up, which can be a hassle in itself: you have to ensure you collect it all and get rid of it properly, as touching or breathing borax in is risky. That makes this process very time-consuming. For these reasons, you may find it easier to select another option if your goal is to reduce spider populations; it's a lot of effort to go through for it not to work.

There are kinder alternatives to remove spiders, anyway

If you do decide to use borax, you will have to be quite tactical with it and ensure that you keep it away from both your pets and your face, which can present another challenge in itself. However, if reducing the number of spiders in your home truly is your goal, then there are much kinder ways to do so that are easier, gentler, and kinder.

For example, you could try natural methods such as using fruits to deter spiders, or other scents that they aren't fond of. Not only are these methods nicer to spiders, but they're also safer for you and your loved ones. When you do see a spider, you could also just do the simple method of putting a cup over it, sliding a paper underneath, and taking it outside. Leaving them alive is also beneficial for the ecosystem, which may be all the more reason to ward them off rather than kill them. 

However, now that you know how borax works (or doesn't work) to kill spiders, you can make a much more informed decision on whether you want to use it to get rid of them or not. Your best bet is probably to look at other alternatives.