How Scary Is Boric Acid for Carpet Beetles

You can choose from an assortment of all-natural remedies for carpet beetles if your goal is to end the infestation with your own two hands. One of them is boric acid.

If you are planning on using boric acid for carpet beetles, keep on reading. Below you will come across some of the most important matters that you need to know about it.

Borax vs. Boric Acid

Before we talk about essential things such as how boric works against carpet beetles and how to use it to deal with an infestation through the DIY route, let us first discuss the key difference between borax and boric acid.

Their names make it obvious that borax and boric acid have something in common. It’s because of this why a lot of websites talking about killing carpet beetles use borax and boric acid interchangeably.

Well, they’re wrong!

Put simply, borax is the natural form. On the other hand boric acid is the processed form.

Borax is related to boron, and it has plenty of uses or applications. You can find borax in laundry detergents, hand soaps, household cleaners, teeth bleaching products, glass, and ceramics.

When borax is processed into liquid, powder or tablet form, it then becomes boric acid.

Just like borax, boric acid can be found in numerous products. Many ointments and creams for controlling bacterial, viral, and fungal infections got boric acid. A lot of insecticides have it, too.

This is why, when on the hunt for solutions for carpet beetles and other common household pests, too, you will come across insecticides with boric acid being sold at most common hardware and home improvement stores.

Unfortunately, boric acid-containing insecticides usually have other chemicals as well. This is to increase their potency or effectiveness. And some of these chemicals may pose some health risks.

Do you prefer to deal with a carpet beetle infestation naturally? Then get your hands on boric acid and use it. Boric acid is a 100% natural chemical. This is true even if it’s processed to turn it from borax into its current form.

While boric acid is all-natural, sadly, it’s not totally safe. We will talk more about this matter in a few, so please don’t stop reading now.

Works in a Couple of Ways

One of the most effective home remedies for carpet beetles is the use of boric acid, and doesn’t come as a surprise since it works in a couple of ways. If one way fails to deliver, the other is likely to do the job. So, in other words, boric acid for carpet beetles is practically foolproof!

Here’s how boric acid can zap carpet beetles:

It Poisons Them

When carpet beetles come into contact with boric acid, they will try to remove it from their bodies. They will do so by grooming themselves.

This will cause them to ingest some boric acid, which is poisonous for them. It will upset their digestive system. It will also disrupt their metabolism, which can cause their internal organs to fail.

By the way, this is why some baits for carpet beetles have boric acid. When they ingest it, death is very likely.

It Dehydrates Them

Boric acid has the ability to abraid the skin of carpet beetles, which offers them protection from the environment and elements. When that happens, they end up dehydrated.

Just like in humans, dehydration can cause the cells and organs to fail to work. It’s due to this why the dehydrating properties of boric acid can be fatal for carpet beetles.

Moving along…

Boric acid works in the same way as diatomaceous earth, which is another popular home remedy for carpet beetles and many other common household pests.

Just like what’s earlier mentioned, boric acid is a common ingredient in insecticides, including those that are for eliminating carpet beetles.

However, to make them work better, a bunch of other ingredients are usually added by their makers to the formula. It doesn’t mean that they do not trust boric acid’s effectiveness against carpet beetles.

It’s just that they want their insecticides to really impress, which is vital for increased sales and profits.

But boric acid alone can’t put an end to a carpet beetle problem. This is why it’s a good idea to pair the use of boric acid with other DIY solutions.

This is especially true if you want to live a carpet beetle-free life without contacting local exterminators.

How to Use Boric Acid

When it comes to using boric acid for carpet beetles, you have a couple of options.

First, you can use the product fresh from the packaging. Second, you can dilute it in water to come up with a homemade insecticide effective for killing carpet beetles.

Let’s discuss them further…

Sprinkling on Problem Areas

Boric acid is widely available in powder form. If you happen to get your hands on it, using this DIY solution for a carpet beetle infestation is as simple as sprinkling some of it on problem areas.

It is a good idea to sprinkle boric acid on carpets and upholstered pieces of furniture. You may also sprinkle it near or around items that carpet beetles love snacking on.

However, refrain from sprinkling it near food products or where children and pets can come into contact with it. Later, we will talk about some of the safety risks of using boric acid.

Make sure that you allow boric acid to remain in place for at least two hours. Afterward, remove with a vacuum cleaner.

Spraying on Carpet Beetles

Do you prefer to use boric acid in liquid form, just like an insecticide, but your local hardware or home improvement store does not sell it?

Worry not because here’s the recipe for turning boric acid powder into spray:

  1. In a large bowl, place two cups of hot water.
  2. Dissolve one tablespoon of boric acid in it.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  4. Transfer to a 500-milliliter spray bottle.

That’s it — you just made a DIY insecticide for carpet beetles! You can spray it directly on those creepy crawlers. It’s also effective for destroying carpet beetle eggs. Just remember to shake very well before spraying.

Boric Acid Safety Issues

Since boric acid can poison carpet beetles and dehydrate them, too, it’s no wonder why it is one of the most effective home remedies for a carpet beetle infestation.

It’s perfect especially for those who would like to have infestation-free homes without the need to pay the pros.

Unfortunately, the use of boric acid is not a good idea if there are kids or pets around. Other than carpet beetles, the product may also harm children and our furry friends.

Boric acid is generally considered as safe for adults. However, it may cause skin irritation in some. It is very much likely to cause eye irritation if it gets in the peepers.

Exposure to high amounts of boric acid can cause serious problems. Check out the following:

  • Respiratory problems may strike if inhaled.
  • Ingestion may cause nausea, vomiting, stomachache, and other digestive issues.
  • Muscle weakness and headaches are reported by some.
  • Extreme toxicity may cause kidney problems and endocrine issues.

Kids most especially are at risk of encountering the serious problems mentioned above. Because of their body weight, inhaling or ingesting even small amounts of boric acid can easily lead to big problems.

It’s also a terrible idea use boric acid as a home remedy for carpet beetles if there are pets around. In animals, boric acid is known to cause blood and endocrine disorders. Generally speaking, the smaller the animal, the more serious the risks.

Apply boric acid in cracks and crevices as well as other hard-to-reach places only. This is to keep everyone at home, including especially children and pets, out of harm’s way.

Just Before You Use Boric Acid

There is no denying that boric acid can help you in your quest to remove carpet beetles from your home via the DIY approach. When ingested, it can poison carpet beetles. But even if carpet beetles do not ingest it, the product can still kill them by leaving them dehydrated.

Unfortunately, while 100% natural, boric acid is not completely safe. If it gets in your eye, it’s likely for you to experience eye irritation. Your skin may get irritated, too, if it’s sensitive to boric acid.

Large amounts of boric acid can cause respiratory and digestive issues when inhaled or ingested respectively.

If you happen to ingest a lot of it, you may end up with problems related to your kidneys and endocrine system. Children are at higher risk of encountering all sorts of health issues. The same is true for pets.

Needless to say, boric acid should be used with caution.

There are better, safer ways to deal with carpet beetles. Check my post about pesticide-free carpet beetle traps.

Photo Credit: Joseph Berger,

Wyatt Welch

Hi, I am Wyatt, and I live in North Carolina. I've been working as a Pest Control Technician and now I am enjoying my retirement. This blog is a perfect outlet for me to share my knowledge in the field and I'd be happy to help if you have any questions.

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