A flea has four stages in its life cycle: eggs, larvae, pupae and adult. In order to be really effective, a pesticide should attack them at any stage. Few remedies for fleas are effective at killing them at all stages of life, but borons seem to be able to get rid of fleas during several stages.
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Different Forms of Borons
Borons can kill several types of insects including fleas, but it is a naturally occurring compound that is seldom found alone in nature; it is mostly combined with boric acid and borates. Borons are found all over the planet in rivers, streams, oceans and soil and is an essential nutrient for plants. Borates are found in several laundry detergents; makeup, skin and hair care products; and some medicines. But, at higher concentrations and in powder form, it can get rid of fleas.
Why Borons and Borates Kill Fleas
When used as a pesticide, boric acid or borax can kill fleas as well as other pests, such as cockroaches, because it is not only a stomach poison but also an abrasive, injuring the pests inside and out. It also absorbs the waxy buildup on the outside of an insect ,which is there to protect them, causing the insect to dehydrate and die. In this way, boric acid and borax are deemed effective because they can damage the insect in several of their life cycles.
Using Boric Acid and Borax to Kill Fleas
Borax and boric acid are the most common forms of these products, readily available to the average consumer. Borax is marketed as a laundry detergent booster and is sold in the laundry soap aisle; boric acid is sold as a pesticide. Either works well for killing insects. Sprinkle some lightly all around the house and anywhere you know the insects exist. It can be sprinkled onto carpets, then brushed in and allowed to sit. Vacuum up the excess. Much of the borax will stay in the carpets, allowing the fleas to walk through it. Once it is on their bodies it will start to take effect. They carry it around with them, ingest it and spread it to others.
Cautions of Boric Acid and Borax
Although these compounds are found naturally in our water, soil and food supply, too much exposure to these chemicals is not healthy for us or for our pets. It is still wise to use it with caution and to be careful not to breathe it in as this can cause irritation. Use it in areas that are not high-use areas if you plan to leave it down for long periods of time. If you must use it on carpets where children or pets will play, sleep or lie down, keep them off of the carpet after sprinkling it around until you have vacuumed it back up again. Do not use Borax (which has detergent additives) if you have pets that groom themselves, such as cats or ferrets, as they can ingest dangerous amounts if their fur is exposed to the powder.