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Thread: Using Borax to kill fleas?

  1. #1
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    Default Using Borax to kill fleas?

    Anyone heard of this? I read on a couple other forums about using Borax to kill fleas...sprinkle into carpet and some people put on their dogs? Think it's safe to put on the dog?

    I have 2 boxers and have been fighting off fleas now for 2 weeks...luckily I only find a few each day with combing because of the Frontline Plus but I need to get rid of them ASAP, creeping me out
    Nicole: 18' round AG with AstralPool Sand Filter and 1.5hp AstralPool Pump

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    Default Re: Using Borax to kill fleas?

    I am sure it will kill fleas--it can kill anything if you use enough. But is it SAFE to use on your carpet? Probably not--it will probably ruin it.

    And you WILL burn your poor dog's skin if you use it on the animal--it probably would be and should be considered abusive, legally.

    Borax actually gets warm or even hot when it gets wet...Lumps of old Borax in your skimmer can get very hot when they get wet.

    Go to your vet and get proper flea-killers and use them as directed. There a substance you put on the dog's neck between the shoulders that kills fleas and ticks for 30 days or more.
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter and 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; Solar heated. Test kit: PS 233; PF:6.3

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    Default Re: Using Borax to kill fleas?

    Hi Nicole,

    Frontline Plus will work but if you have a serious infestation, the dogs' environment will also need treatment (floors, bedding, furniture, carpet, vehicles the dogs ride in, etc.). If the dogs are getting reinfested from areas outside your home such as dog parks, kennel or daycare, or walks through the neighborhood, then a change in routine may be necessary.

    Carl's right...get some solid advice on the proper products to use from your vet.

    As for borax, I wouldn't have that product anywhere near my dogs. I also don't use borates in my pool because I have one dog that swims and drinks a fair amount of water each time she's in the pool. Waterbear, and others, have trained their pets to NOT drink pool water and so they've added borates. That's great for them, but I don't think I could really train my one dog to forego the water, even if I wanted to, so I'll forego the borates instead.

    Boric acid, and its chemical relatives like borax, "...can be harmful if accidentally INGESTED and must be kept away from food, children and PETS" (emphasis added). This partial quote comes from the article I've linked here
    http://www.pesticide.org/boricacid.pdf. I don't know about Boxers, but I know my dogs will lick their fur and paws, so if it's in the environment, it's in their stomaches!
    Sandy
    15,600 gallon, screened 15x30 IG plaster sport pool with 6x8 tanning area, Aquarite SWCG, Hayward cartridge filter, Polaris 280 cleaner

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    Default Re: Using Borax to kill fleas?

    I don't think it's a serious infestation. I have yet to find one in the house. I vacuum 2 times a day, have washed their bed several times. I comb them 4-5 days each day with the flea comb and will usually come up with 1-5 fleas total on each dog for the day.

    I have treated the carpets, furniture (even though they are not allowed on the furniture) and bedding with a Zodiac furniture/carpet spray.

    They only go in the backyard, no kennels, or daycare, or walks. We have never had fleas before and they are 7 years old. Vet says this year because of the drought is a very bad year for fleas/ticks.
    Nicole: 18' round AG with AstralPool Sand Filter and 1.5hp AstralPool Pump

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    Default Re: Using Borax to kill fleas?

    Sounds like you're on top of what has to be done. Hopefully some really cold weather will help. Just skip the borax, IMHO.
    Last edited by dawndenise; 11-06-2007 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Add'l thought.
    Sandy
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    Default Re: Using Borax to kill fleas?

    Boric acid is sold as a treatment to kill fleas in carpets and upolstery. My vet recommeded it and it works! He said it would be safe for use with my animals, probably safer than the insecticide based sprays made for treating carpets and furniture! Fogging was not an option for me because of my birds and marine fish! You just sprinkle it on heavily, work it in with a broom, let it sit for a week and then vacuum it up. It kill both the adults and destroys the eggs. My cat and 3 dogs all were on the treated carpets and suffered no ill effects. I bought the boric acid at the hardware store in a shaker container and it was labeled for killing fleas. I would use it again if I needed it!
    BTW, it is NOT meant to be applied directly on your pets.

    Edit: I use Frontline on all of my pets also. Also, in the link above given by Dawndenise it does state that borates are one of the least toxic pesticides available! I read the whole article several times and the one quote taken out of context above. The actual quote was not from the above article but was a quote that was included in the article from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cooperative Extension and the FULL quote reads (empahsis mine):

    Although boric
    acid is relatively safe to humans and
    other mammals
    , it can be harmful if
    accidentally ingested and must be kept
    away from food, children and pets.
    Care must be taken not to breathe in
    the dust when you apply it. Like other
    dust formulations, it should be used
    in places where it will not move
    around.
    Last edited by waterbear; 11-06-2007 at 01:50 PM.
    11.75'x23.75' kidney 6.5K gal IG fiberglass pool/300 gal acrylic spillover spa combo; Aqualogic automation/SWCG; Pentair Clean and Clear 150 cart filter; 1.5 hp uprated 2 spd Pentair Whisperflo pump; PF:17
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

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    Default Re: Using Borax to kill fleas?

    Boric Acid is different stuff than Borax. And it IS a bug-killer. It's also a very soothing eye-wash in the correct concentration.
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter and 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; Solar heated. Test kit: PS 233; PF:6.3

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    Default Re: Using Borax to kill fleas?

    Borax in water becomes Boric Acid plus Sodium Hydroxide and raises the pH. So ingesting Borax would be somewhat similar to ingesting Boric Acid as far as the toxicity related to Boric Acid is concerned, though the pH would be alkaline instead of acidic.

    This link is to an EPA report on the toxicity of Boron compounds. The dog study had some disputes in that even some dogs in the control group had some effects, but generally the No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) was on the order of 9 mg B/kg-day and the Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) was 13.3 in the newer study. A 9 kg dog (around 20 pounds) could consume 81 mg Boron per day with no observed effect and that is equivalent to 463 mg Boric Acid per day and is roughly 0.32 milliliters in volume of solid substance (powder might be about double this volume) and is about 1/15th of a teaspoon.

    If you disperse the Boric Acid as a powder on a rug, then the dog would have to be licking it up a lot to get even a small amount. I suspect it doesn't taste good (think the tart taste from the acidity of lemon juice). Even if the dog were to consume this Boric Acid, the main effect is testicular atrophy and this was only after daily consumption over many months. So the risk is quite low, in my opinion, especially for a one-week exposure. This is a little different than dogs drinking pool water at 50 mg/liter (and that's mg/l Boron or about 285 mg/l Boric Acid) every day. There was another reference that I can't find right now that said there was a lower spleen to body weight ratio in dogs at a 0.44 mg/kg/day so that's why I had previously cautioned (i.e. in this post) having dogs drink from a pool with borates every day.

    Richard
    Last edited by chem geek; 11-07-2007 at 04:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Using Borax to kill fleas?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlD View Post
    Boric Acid is different stuff than Borax. And it IS a bug-killer. It's also a very soothing eye-wash in the correct concentration.
    If you read the article in the link above in Dawndenise's post you will see that seven different borate compounds, including boric acid, sodium tetraborate in both the pentahydrate form (Supreme, etc.) and the decahydrate form (20 mule team) are listed as being registered pesticides in the US.
    11.75'x23.75' kidney 6.5K gal IG fiberglass pool/300 gal acrylic spillover spa combo; Aqualogic automation/SWCG; Pentair Clean and Clear 150 cart filter; 1.5 hp uprated 2 spd Pentair Whisperflo pump; PF:17
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

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    Default Re: Using Borax to kill fleas?

    My intent was not to misquote or to alter the meaning of the quote but I will agree that waterbear's citing is more complete.

    I was concerned that in a 6 or 7 page article, that the cautionary portion pertaining to pets would otherwise get missed in the midst of an article carrying many phrases such as "least toxic," "naturally occurring," and "inert ingredients." The caution was still there and, IMO, needed to be highlighted.
    Last edited by dawndenise; 11-08-2007 at 10:36 AM. Reason: spelling
    Sandy
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