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leungw 09-26-2013 08:23 AM

Boric Acid Safe for Trees?
Hello. We notice that there are lots of house centipedes hiding in the rock bed around our trees. Many seem to say boric acid is a good way to get rid of house centipedes. Would boric acid do any harm to trees?

Thank you.

Angelique 10-09-2013 02:06 AM

No, boric acid would be very safe for your trees. Another possibility is food-grade diatomacious earth, which dries out the exoskeletons of insects. It is also safe for trees. I eradicated roaches in my home with boric acid, but next time i have to get rid of insects I'm trying the diatomacious earth. Be sure to get FOOD GRADE and lay it carefully or carefully mix it with water. It's safe to eat, but can be irritating the lungs if you breathe it in.

Live_Oak 10-09-2013 09:41 AM

Boric acid can change the pH of the soil to be more acidic if you use larger quantities. And, it is completely ineffective once dissolved by rain or sprinklers. (Same thing with DE. Once moisture clumps it up, it's virtually useless.) Unless the centipedes are getting into your home, or are eating a lot of your decorative plant matter, live and let live.

leungw 10-09-2013 09:44 AM

They are coming into the house somehow. Not in large quantity. We see maybe one every other night on average, but enough to freak the wife out.

Live_Oak 10-09-2013 09:58 AM

Then search for the penetration in the home that they are entering through, seal that, and place some boric acid there on the inside of the house for any residuals. The first line of defense with any pest is prevention. Keep them out of the house.

gobug 10-17-2013 09:01 AM

Boric acid is not at all safe for plants, it is a pesticide, fungicide, and herbicide. It will kill plants and you will not be able to grow anything where you apply it. It doesn't go away. It is not water soluble and will stay in the soil.

Centipedes are one good sign of healthy soil. Why are they bothering you? Are they entering your house? They will not hurt the trees. They eat bugs. How big are they?

teddyxruxpin 10-19-2013 10:30 PM

Diatomacious earth works good, its real easy to spread also. But after it rains you will have to put more down. Works on all kinda insects tho.

I hear if you have a spider problem or spiders around your house, they will attract centipedes.

gobug 10-20-2013 08:14 AM

Live_Oak's suggestion to find where they enter and seal it is what I would also suggest.
One new customer I had in my pest control business had centipedes entering the basement. Some of them were large, and 2 of her children's bedroom was in the basement.
On inspection I found 2 of the downspouts for the roof gutters were draining right against the house. The cement sidewalk and porch kept the water from going out away from the house. Downspouts were changed and I sprayed a 4 month long life pyrethroid in the basement along the intersection of the basement wall and floor. It worked.
Don't rely on advice where something is said to be "non-toxic". Toxicity is just a measure, like temperature. Everything (especially nothing - vacuum) is toxic. Like temperature, you need something measure with. Boric acid and DE are definitely toxic. So is water and the air we breathe.
Study the centipede. Then study your environment. Alter something in your environment so the centipede is not encouraged or interested in your basement. My experience is that if you can alter the bug's habitat, food supply, or water you may not need any pesticide. Do not consider pesticide as your first defense.

prestige-pest 11-04-2013 01:01 PM

Why get rid of them? I generally found that houses I had them in were lacking in other pests, since they eat them, and they never bothered me.

Prestige Pest Control
9030 W Sahara Ave Las Vegas NV 89117
(702) 375 6504

noquacks 11-05-2013 06:41 PM


Originally Posted by gobug (Post 1254563)
Boric acid is not at all safe for plants, it is a pesticide, fungicide, and herbicide. It will kill plants and you will not be able to grow anything where you apply it. It doesn't go away. It is not water soluble and will stay in the soil.

Boric acid IS soluble. But like anything, it has a saturation point- happens to be about 5% in water, which I admit, is a low solubility. It WILL eventually be washed away in the soil/diluted, actually, nothing ever "dissappears", but it will wash away, with heavy rains.

Gobug does have a point- yes, it CAN kill plants, even though most plants MUST have boron as a trace element to survive, but not loads/kilos of it.

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