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20 mule borax vs bedbugs

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  1. denverbugfighter

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri May 8 2009 22:27:56
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    Hello everyone, I hope this helps....

    I once was infected with fleas in another state and I learned about 20 mule borax, which was a successful treatment to eliminate them. There's a lot of people asking if it works just as well with bedbugs, but no one ever seems to give a response on the Internet. So, I took it upon myself to conduct an experiment to test it's effectiveness. I captured a live bedbug and placed the blood-sucking, heartless creature in a jar. Here are the results to date (05082009) -

    The first assumption -
    20 Mule Borax creates a barrier that bedbugs will not walk over.
    How I tested this is by putting the borax down on one side of the jar, in a thin line, but it was one quarter inch high. I did it like this so if the bug was really afraid of the borax, it had plenty of room to stay away from it. The result? It appeared that the line of borax was nothing more than something for the bedbug to crawl over. It walked right on top of it, even staying on the top for a long period of time. Disproved.

    The second assumption -
    20 Mule Borax kills a bedbug within a few days because it will cut them, hence dehydrate them to death.
    How I tested this is simply by waiting. Since the first test was definitely over (bug wasn't afraid of it) I poured about an inch deep of 20 mule borax into the jar, completely covering the bedbug initially. I left it alone for 4 days. The results? Nothing! The bug continued to walk all over, and live on the borax with no slow in its pace. Disproved.

    The third assumption -
    20 Mule Borax laid on the carpet before vacuuming will chop it into pieces once it enters the swirling vacuum chamber.
    How I tested this is by pouring the jar with the borax and bedbug directly into my vacuum chamber and running it for exactly 60 seconds. I think this "myth" might not be true if you have an old style, strait to the bag vacuum. However, I'm only saying that based on what I can see as a difference between the two, I did no experiments to back that. The results? Instant death? No. However, the bug appears to be very injured and can barely move around. I thought it was dead right away. I actually put it in my hand and saw some life, trying to suck blood out of me. I threw it back in the jar alone, no borax at this point. Its legs appear to be half shriveled, as you would see in a dead insect. The only difference is, the legs are still moving when I blow on it or shake the jar a little bit. So, what do I make of this test? Within 15 minutes of conducting this experiment, the bedbug was completely back to life and running around the jar, mad as hell. I think it was simply dazed from spinning around and around in my vacuum at unknown (to me) revolutions per second.

    My analysis -

    20 Mule borax is a great product for so many uses in life. I've had great experiences with it and will continue to use it for them. However, this product has zero effectiveness against bedbugs.

    PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, I'm not a scientist by any means. I'm a person, just like you, fighting to find an answer to this bedbug problem that is running ramped across the world. My apartment is infested with these creatures and I'm doing everything I can to control them. I'm going to post another topic about everything I have done, but this one is long enough. If you have questions for me, PLEASE ask. Within two days I'll have more posted. I just wanted to conduct this experiment because I was trying to search it, and found nothing relevant to this topic. It's a loss for me, but a saving of time and money for you.

    Contact me at:

    denverbugfighter at(@) gmail.com

    PS, I will put steam into the jar tomorrow and kill this insect I'm just waiting 24 more hours, hoping for better results. Why? Because borax is suck a cheap treatment. If I do not respond to this article 24 hours from now, nothing else happened. Which, I'm pretty sure it won't. Thanks for reading and I hope this helped.

  2. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat May 9 2009 15:46:31
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    Hey, this is a cool study you put together. This will probably help a lot of people remember that borax doesn't kill bedbugs. Thanks for posting your results!

  3. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat May 9 2009 15:50:40
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    Sounds to me like a well designed experiment and regardless of the fact you are not a scientist that doesn't negate your results.

    Jim

  4. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat May 9 2009 22:41:01
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    Interesting experiments! Thanks for posting them and the results. Your first experiment reminds me of one I did with an ant. I read that ants hate cinnamon, so I sprinkled a circle of cinnamon around a live ant. For the first 60 seconds, I thought "wow, it really works" as the ant would not walk over the cinnamon and was going in circles looking for a way out of the cinnamon circle. However, after 60 seconds, I think the ant just said to itself "screw it, I'll just walk over the damn cinnamon" and that's exactly what it did, totally unharmed and off on its merry way until I killed it the old fashioned way....
    by stepping on it!

  5. dottie

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun May 10 2009 15:21:03
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    I can't read the complete posts but 20 Mule Team eradicated my horrid 2006 flea infestation immediately. I can swear by it.

  6. denverbugfighter

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun May 10 2009 15:49:23
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    dottie - 25 minutes ago  » 
    I can't read the complete posts but 20 Mule Team eradicated my horrid 2006 flea infestation immediately. I can swear by it.

    I agree! That's what the very first sentence of my post says. I got rid of my flea infestation in just 2 treatments using 20 Mule Borax. The point of this post was to test it's effectiveness against bed bugs, not fleas. I was hoping to have the same results.

  7. cilecto

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri May 28 2010 21:48:34
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    In another post about borax, NoBugs indicated that as washing/drying with most detergents kills bugs, insisting on borax is superfluous.

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/new-feature-bedbuggers-useful-stuff-page#post-9876

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  8. rothalion

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 29 2010 0:01:56
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    I have made a concoction of red chilies, cloves and 91% alcohol. Its turned quite red but next time i see one I'm trying it.

  9. rothalion

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 29 2010 0:04:04
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    we have Borax detergent along the base boards and are bite free for a week and a half or so. Nt sure if its Phantom or Borax causing the die off. My cat hunts them fairly aggressivlly maybe he just eating them all.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 29 2010 0:31:05
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    rothalion - 28 minutes ago  » 
    I have made a concoction of red chilies, cloves and 91% alcohol. Its turned quite red but next time i see one I'm trying it.

    Since the alcohol alone is a contact killer, why add the other ingredients?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 29 2010 0:33:16
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    rothalion - 28 minutes ago  » 
    we have Borax detergent along the base boards and are bite free for a week and a half or so. Nt sure if its Phantom or Borax causing the die off. My cat hunts them fairly aggressivlly maybe he just eating them all.

    I would not personally apply borax to the baseboards. There are dusts which are proven to kill bed bugs, so why choose something which isn't?

  12. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 29 2010 2:06:56
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    Borax contains Boric Acid. Boric Acid works most efficiently when ingested (eaten) by an insect.

    Bed bugs and fleas CANNOT ingest (eat) boric acid.

    With that said ... boric acid will be absorbed via the exoskeleton and the spiracles but this is NOT at all fast acting. It could take months of exposure to kill a bed bug.

    Science has proven over and over how boric acid works for insect control and bed bugs is not one that it works on.

    Sincerely,

    Sean
    Entomologist / Pest Professional
    http://www.bedbugresource.com

  13. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 29 2010 8:39:42
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    Sean,

    I found this article on NewYorkvsBedBugs about Richard Naylor testing the effectiveness of laundering for killing bed bugs.

    http://newyorkvsbedbugs.org/2010/02/16/laundry-and-the-motivating-power-of-the-bed-bug-web-qa-with-richard-naylor/

    Cold soaking

    7 pounds of laundry in about 15°C/59°F tap water, without detergent.

    Almost nothing dies if soaked for two hours. But, interestingly, all adults and nymphs died when soaked for 24 hours.

    The eggs, however, survived. All of them.

    I am curious about whether adding boric acid to a cold water wash might increase mortality with live bugs or eggs.

    I would think that boric acid (20 Mule Team Borox) that is dissolved in water might be absorbed more efficiently by bed bugs than a dry powder application.

    Do you think adding boric acid to the wash would have any effect on viable eggs or live bugs that might otherwise survive?

    I follow your logic about the dry application of boric acid, but I am curious about whether it might work better dissolved in a washing machine.

    The article suggests that most US washers do not get hot enough to be 100% effective.

  14. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 29 2010 9:51:05
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    It is really not the wash that is important. In fact, Mike Potter has shown that even on a hot wash cycle bed bugs survive. It is the dryer that is important. Potter has shown you can skip the wash all together and just put your clothes in the dryer on hot. He has also spoken with the National Dry Cleaning Association and they claim that as long as the items going into the dryer are DRY, you can put dry clean only items in without damaging them. The dryer will kill all stages. The key is not over stuffing the machine.

    For this reason I would not focus on killing them via the wash.

  15. djames1921

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 30 2010 9:20:41
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    Heat is the killer. I've seen homes literally white with boric acid and plenty of healthy bed bugs.

  16. Paula

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 30 2010 14:09:36
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    Boric acid and Borax are NOT the same thing. They may be closely related, but boric acid is stronger than borax. You can find boric acid at the 99Cent store and Hot Shot brand is making it now so it may be found in the insect control portion of places like Lowes and Home Depot.

    I have not tried BA (boric acid) on bedbugs, but have had a problem with booklice (aka psocids,) for awhile now. I had a very bad infestation at first (in all the cabinetry, in toilet paper, etc.) I tried putting down borax in the bathroom because it's easy to find at the grocery store and I had read it might work. The bugs sat in the borax, seemingly stunned, but still alive. Then I tried BA and DE. BA is less dusty than DE so I used it more. It kills them within a matter of minutes. And I've watched them walk in it, walk out, and then turn around and walk right back into it. They do NOT clean themselves so residual poisons are not effective on them (at least none I tried were.) Also, I find it difficult to believe that they ate the boric acid. They eat mold and that sort of thing. Boric acid and borax are used to fight against mold. Makes me think it would not be appealing to them at all.

    So, while I don't know how effective BA is against bedbugs first-hand, I have to strongly wonder how much of the info saying it does NOT work is based on borax and not boric acid. Also, if you get it wet, it sets up and is not as effective. If it works in a matter of weeks on bedbugs, and so does DE, why is DE considered better?

    Side note: Booklice are quite small, range from almost clear to dark brown. If a person had a problem with them in their home and had a wood bedframe, it's perfectly possible that booklice might be seen on the bed. This does make me wonder how many people have booklice and think they are bedbugs. Booklice love damp wood.

    I wish you all luck in your fight against horrible insects.

  17. cilecto

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 30 2010 15:24:51
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    Experts here have indicated that boric acid is ineffective as BB do not have the mechanism to ingest it.

  18. Paula

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 30 2010 16:40:29
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    That's what I'm trying to tell you. It is effective on some other bugs who do not ingest it.

  19. spideyjg

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 30 2010 17:08:03
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    Boric acid will eventually kill a BB, according to Sean Rollo a long time ago, but not fast enough to be considered an effective treatment.

    Borax will do to a snail what salt does to a slug but don't know what, if any effect on a BB, I don't know.

    DE has been tested and within 10 days you get 100% BB kill.

    Jim

  20. uggnobugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 30 2010 18:22:53
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    great experiments...i got a good laugh and some great info. *scratches borax AND boric acid off of my list of bb fighter options*

  21. Domi

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 30 2010 19:18:17
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    Your experiment brought joy to my heart. I look forward to hearing more. Maybe you could test DE in the same manner?

  22. Aleks

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Sep 23 2010 17:48:52
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    Niiiiiice experiments, I envy you...a little bit...and I was just making an experiment with Borax Acid, following info that, crystals enter into exoskeleton of bugs (cockroach problems)...so...why not bed bugs too, right?! (anyway I live with roaches all my life I know how to maintain them just trying something new)
    Anyway, I believe in what I see and I saw and experimented with Ant & Roach RAID...and...it kills them instantly (well...3-4 secs) although I tried to make sense of this by research on ingredients of particular RAID <p> (because I have used RAID MAX BUG BARRIER and it said contains chemical Delthamethrin, very toxic thing which kills bedbugs...and to tell the truth my guiniepiggy didn't react much and didn't died so...back to roach RAID...)</p> , I didn't find this product meant for bedbugs...but...spraying them directly (maybe they drown in it...even though I used a drop and applied directly on the body, they would die) or let them walk over doesn't matter... now, yesterday around 10 pm I sprayed their regular path...
    (my room is not infested...yet...but they coming under the door from hallway from another room next to mine...at least by my deduction so far. Ahem, I made my own "kill wall"...I tape them on the wall, heh,
    ...to my bed and around...and, around 4:30 am I wake and...there HE (was male 8O) was totally dead, I didn't sprayed excessively, just a little, one pass...still, hes dead...and, of course, tape-wall-grin smile. One of his brothers (hopefully not sisters) get his meal approx. 3 nights ago (based on my breakfast, lunch, dinner bite) and another approx. 10 days ago. Anyway, I'm babbling too much...umm...I told motel service about and they called exterminators, they suppose to come tomorrow...in the mean time I have ordered diatomaceous earth coz I believe it will work and if don't I'LL EAT IT!
    P.S Sorry for my confuse English and, ahem, nothing here is conclusive until these ppl come and do their trick. When, means in a month I don't get any BLD bites I'll come back to tell the story about.

  23. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Sep 23 2010 21:33:51
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    Aleks - 3 hours ago  » 

    (because I have used RAID MAX BUG BARRIER and it said contains chemical Delthamethrin, very toxic thing which kills bedbugs...and to tell the truth my guiniepiggy didn't react much and didn't died so...back to roach RAID...)[/i]</p> , I didn't find this product meant for bedbugs...but...spraying them directly (maybe they drown in it...even though I used a drop and applied directly on the body, they would die) or let them walk over doesn't matter... now, yesterday around 10 pm I sprayed their regular path...

    Lots of things kill bed bugs if you spray them directly. Frankly, deltamethrin is overkill if you're going to spray them directly.

    Also, please do NOT eat diatomaceous earth.

  24. nycyn

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Sep 24 2010 0:30:08
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    I have borax all over my floor. I was, and am still hoping, that my bites were from fleas. In my reading I have never seen it indicated for BB's.

    But my question is this: Is it really Boric Acid?

    There is a BB related use maybe. Someone in my building tossed a like brand new steamer. (IS THAT A CLUE?) It has lime build up. So did my humidifiers and fish tank filters over the years. Right now it has white vinegar water and borax sitting in it. Borax is a water softener--lime build up deterrent and fix.

  25. sillys

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jan 10 2011 13:51:02
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    borax + salt = NO MORE BED BUGS
    & this is how I did it
    when i had these no exterminator would do it cause there was no way to get rid of them so they said.They are the demons from hell.
    I tried everything you can think of spent over $200.00 on chemicals and still there. I know this worked quickly and slept so good the first night we did this. Until I am fortunate enough to have a very dear friend give me a solution of borax 20 mule team detergent and salt.
    First you get an empty large hole size shaker of any kind ( i used an old garlic powder container it wasn't empty but I sure emptied it)
    Then use 1/2 borax detergent & 1/2 salt
    Sprinkle everywhere... All over
    took mattress & box spring outside sprinkled all over
    left all day
    vacuumed everything up including electrical sockets every nook and cranny
    taped up sockets and me not ever wanting these things back taped up along baseboards
    washed everything in hot water
    non washables in black trash bags baking in sun for 3 days
    repeated 3 months later
    I had a couple boxes under my bed so i sprinkled in there also. very important things but anything to rid of bed bugs
    I also, to this day, vacuum my mattress. all the time
    3 years later no sign of them


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