I recall my late father introducing me to one of either boric acid or borax... as a relatively low human toxicity very effective insecticide. The thing is, I cannot remember which chemical my father showed me.

I am redoing my floors and would like to sprinkle a little under the new baseboards/skirting. Obtaining an amount of either chemical looks easy for a few $ on EBay.

I have read the Wikipedia page for each. It seems to me, boric acid is a chemical compound and borax is a naturally occurring mixture of boron salts. But the Borax page says things like "Health Canada says that boric acid toxicity..." as well as other random internet postings saying that the two substances are basically the same thing.

Thank you chemists, for pointing me in the right direction. Does one of these chemicals have a human safety or insecticide-efficacy advantage over the other?

  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia has both. Boric ac. is over the counter in my country. It can be used externally and in solution as skin disinfectant. I wouldn't mind sprinkling it if babies or pet aren't around. This is not an advice about health as for the common sense, even when it suffices, cannot be taken for granted. About ants, Wikipedia mentions just the boric acid, not borax. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Mar 17 at 9:03

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