Borax is a salt of boric acid and is also known as sodium borate. Borax typically comes in a white powder that can dissolve in water. Borax is utilized in a variety of different applications including cosmetics, detergents, fire retardants, enamel glazes and as an insecticide. Borax can be used in different ways to eradicate a number of pests, including ants, cockroaches, fleas, rodents and silverfish.

Baking Soda
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Borax on black background.

Ants

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Ants.

Both pavement ants and carpenter ants can become pests in the home. Carpenter ants are larger and prefer to build their nests in wooden furniture, floor boards and other timber. Pavement ants invade in search of food and can get into pantries and kitchen cupboards as well as other places in the home where moisture or food can be found. Eradicate an ant infestation by lining entry ways with borax. Fill any entry holes or cracks in walls, floors and door ways to prevent ants from coming into the building.

Cockroaches

Cockroach
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Large cockroach.

Common cockroaches that become pests in the home include the oriental cockroach, American cockroach, brown-banded cockroach and the German cockroach. The oriental and American varieties prefer damp and dark areas like basements. German cockroaches prefer bathrooms and kitchens. Brown-banded cockroaches will develop and live anywhere within a building. Eradicate a cockroach infestation by lining walls, trim, cabinets and baseboards with a thin line of borax. Cockroaches that cross the borax line will die and new cockroaches will be prevented from entering.

Fleas

Microscope-Flea (Ctenocephalides)
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Flea close up.

Fleas are tiny insects that are adept at jumping and difficult to see with the naked eye. The only food source for fleas is blood, though they do not discriminate between species and will feed from any potential host including people and their pets. Sprinkle borax across all floor surfaces including hardwood, tile, carpet and cement to eliminate a flea infestation. Allow borax to remain for 24 to 48 hours before you vacuum it up.

Silverfish

Silverfish Bristletail
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Silverfish.

Silverfish infest papers, boxes, book bindings, starched clothing and wallpaper. Silverfish have tapered bodies and long antennae on both ends. Silverfish are wingless insects that eat paper and similar surfaces by chewing irregular patches of surface away. To eliminate a silverfish infestation, line infested areas with fine borax powder. Line bookcase shelves, the insides of cardboard boxes and walls around the laundry room to prevent silverfish infestation from causing damage to household belongings.

Rodents

Mouse
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Mice are rodents.

Both rats and mice can infest a home, focusing on areas where ample food and water can be found. These pests may create burrows in walls and cabinetry to create safe places to hide and nest. Create bait with ground dog or cat food and borax and feed into rodent holes or near areas where rodents are likely to frequent. Rodents will bring the bait home to their nest, exposing other pests to the borax.