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Sodium borate, or borax, is a salt that is made from boric acid, and it is often used as a less toxic insecticide in pest control procedures. However, this is not the main application of this substance. It’s main application is in home or laundry cleaning. So can this salt be used to deal with a termite infestation effectively, or is it best to stick to tried and tested methods?

The problem with using borax against termites

Borax is effective at killing termites. It works by interfering with the termites’ digestive system eventually leading to their death. So in theory, it should work against an infestation, particularly against drywood termites, which set up their entire colony inside the wood that they consume.

However, in practice, you soon run into problems. First, while borax, whether in powder form or as a solution, can be injected into wood, it is very rarely spread around through the colony, which would be necessary to completely remove an infestation. Borate solutions can be more effective when they are used to treat wood before it is used in construction, and this treatment will protect it from wood-boring insects.


Borax is a good way to deal with numerous other pests, but when it comes to termites, due to the structure of their colonies, borax can be inefficient and it can take a long time to completely destroy a colony, even if it does end up working out. We do not recommend using borax when dealing with termites.

Borax-treated wood is also not completely safe from pests, because the borax will lose effectiveness when it is exposed to repeated, soaking rainfalls. Therefore, this type of wood can only be used indoors.

Nowadays, the toxicity of regular termite treatment options is minimal, and in the situations where toxicity may pose a small threat, you should be completely safe if you follow the instructions of your pest control pro after the treatment has been applied. Going with a borax treatment is not really worthwhile given its ineffectiveness when compared to traditional treatments. On top of that, borax could only be effective in a very limited range of applications, such as when you have drywood or dampwood termite infestations in a single piece of wood. For subterranean termite infestations, or for infestations that are more spread out throughout the home, other control methods will be necessary. If you would like to find out more about termite control, or if you have a termite infestation in your home, contact us today.