If you look at the internet, you would think that boric acid is a magical, natural insecticide that will work on anything from killing roaches to cleaning your clothes! Well, does it actually work?

I’ve been in pest control for a long time…about 30 years as of writing this article. And I can tell you this…does boric acid kill bugs? Yes…and no. Boric acid works as an insecticide and it will kill bugs when used properly. Unfortunately, when people get a horrible German roach or ant problem, they go to the internet and read that all they need to do is put boric acid out.

Then they go to the store, buy Borax clothing detergent (which actually has boric acid) and they sprinkle it all over the house. This will rarely ever eliminate the roaches.

Weekly I respond to questions on my Youtube channel about what to use for an out of control roach or ant problem and EVERY TIME someone comments “Just put down boric acid!”

No. Don’t just put boric acid down. If it was as simple as “just putting boric acid down”, us guys in pest control would do it. We could save SO much money on product costs. But the truth is, we have a hard enough time eliminating insects using technologically designed insecticides SPECIFICALLY designed for eliminating a certain bug…and it does not always work. So if the high quality stuff that we use does not always work, why would laundry soap with some boric acid in it work?

What Kills Bed Bugs?

The million dollar question…what kills bed bugs? There are many things that kill bed bugs, my shoe is one of them! But the question is, what kill bed bugs effectively?

Yes, boric acid kills bed bugs. And there are probably 50 different kinds of insecticides that will kill bed bugs. But none of these are effective for quick, thorough and long-lasting kills of bed bugs. And when you have bed bugs in your bed, you do not want to take the time to experiment with the everything that everyone on the internet recommends.

I get it, I’m also some guy on the internet telling you what to use for bed bugs. But the difference is that I kill bed bugs for a living…and I can prove my success. My name is Dusty Showers. I own Creepy Creatures Termite & Pest Control in Palm Harbor, FL. You can look at my website & you can Google me to see what others are saying. I don’t say that because I like the way it sounds. I tell you because I want you to understand that I practice what I preach, I am not just some guy on the internet trying to sell you something. I actually make a living USING the product I am recommending.

While things can change, at the time of writing this post, Crossfire is the miracle treatment that works for killing bed bugs. And when we use it, it works 100% of the time.

Crossfire For Bed Bugs
Crossfire For Bed Bugs

Crossfire is an amazing product, and I don’t say that lightly. Perhaps the greatest thing is, when applied according to the label, it is safe to apply to furniture and even mattresses! There is no smelling “pesticide smell” and it will not harm people or pets.

Crossfire is also “transferable”. This means that when a bed bug comes into contact with Crossfire, it does not kill them right away. This gives them a chance to return to the harborage where all the other bed bugs hang out and spread it throughout all the other bed bugs. Boric acid has no transfer effect and therefor is limited in its kill affect.

Super Bed Bugs

Most of us have heard about “Super Bugs”. These are not necessarily bugs with capes, no…these are bugs that become resistant to certain pesticides. While bed bugs can become “Super bugs”, it is not limited to bed bugs. There can be many other super bugs but it is also common with German roaches.

Super bugs occur when a large group of bugs is treated with a certain insecticide. Let’s say there are 100 bugs and the treatment kills 80 of them…pretty good but not 100%. But for some reason, the remaining 20 bugs have some resistance to the treatment, kind of like how some people get the flu while others are resistant. Now, those 20 bugs breed with each other and pass on their “super resistant” trait to all of their babies…and now their babies have babies and so on and so on…

This is one of the reasons that boric acid is not a practical treatment for bed bugs. If you are looking to experiment on a small bed bug problem, sure. Give boric acid a try. But if you really have bed bugs and need them gone…Crossfire is a must.

The Fine Print

There is no “Fine print” of anything that you need to worry about. You just need to have the proper expectations. Crossfire works. Crossfire works every time we use it. However, there are times we may do a second application. There are even a few times where we need to reapply a third time. But I do not recall any situation where we had to apply a fourth time.

It may not be the the product did not work but that the customer did not give it enough time to work. Because of the transfer effect, so that the bugs have time to spread the Crossfire, it does not kill them right away. This means the colony will die from attrition. Meaning, they die slowly over time.

Attrition means that while there may still be bed bugs, the colony is getting smaller and smaller. So essentially, the problem is on it’s way to being solved, it just needs time to continue to die.

With every followup call we are told the problem is either gone or significantly better, normally just 1-5 bed bugs left. So if you do a treatment and you feel it was done properly, you may just need to give it a little more time.

How To Use Crossfire

Crossfire can be purchased as a concentrate or as an aerosol. The aerosol is great for very small jobs or as an added punch to a treatment. We buy large bottles of the concentrate. These bottles also cost more than $300 so you can probably get away with the smaller bottles of concentrate.

I recommend getting a pump sprayer, mixing the Crossfire concentrate according to the label and spraying everything from the floors, walls and beds. Yes, I said walls. Bed bugs love to crawl up walls and congregate where the walls mean the ceilings.

Adult and nymph bed bugs
Adult and nymph bed bugs

Apply Crossfire liberally. Do not be afraid to put too much down. Again, follow the label but be sure to thoroughly treat everything.

Crossfire is not going to hurt you or your pets but it’s best to wait until everything is dry before settling in.

My Favorite Sprayer

If you are a professional exterminator you will want the classic workhorse B&G sprayer. But if you are just looking to treat your home, Smith makes a great sprayer. Stay away from the $15 dollar sprayer from the big box stores, they will only cause you headaches. But you most likely will not need to spend $350 on the B&G. Go with the Smith and it will get the job done.

Pump Sprayer
Pump sprayer for bed bugs.

Extra Punch

Crossfire is the best at killing bed bugs. Apply Steri-Fab will not only add an additional punch to the getting rid of bed bugs but it will help to sanitize the areas which the bed bugs congregate. Keep in mind, bed bug feces are made from your blood…blood, digestion and feces on your mattress…that’s a double whammy…and that’s why you need Steri-Fab.

Steri-Fab Bed Bug Sanitzer
Steri-Fab Bed Bug Sanitzer

Steri-Fab is used in hospitals as a sanitizer. Target pests include bed bugs bed bug eggs lice ticks fleas dust mites fungus bacteria mold and mildew.

Crossfire alone should resolve any bed bug issue but if you have been through a bed bug infestation once, you do not want to go through it again. Sleeping on the same mattress that was infested with bed bugs can be kind of icky. But buying a new mattress can be expensive, especially if bed bugs re-infest. Yes, it is possible. This happens when bed bugs are mostly located on the mattress. When you treat the mattress, you have a centralized area for bed bugs to come into contact with Crossfire. Removing the mattress removes the Crossfire. If you still have bed bugs remaining and you replace the mattress, there is a possibility the bed bugs will re-infest the mattress.

To avoid this, if decide to bring in a new mattress, spray it with Crossfire as a pre-emptive treatment.

After treating the home with Crossfire and Sterifab, go the extra step and put bed bug mattress covers over all of the mattresses in the home. As the finishing touch, put bed bug trays under the feet of the bed to prevent bed bugs from climbing up to the mattress.

Living Without Bed Bugs

If you are currently in the middle of trying to get rid of bed bugs, rest assured, there is hope and it does not need to cost a fortune. As long as you are willing to put in a little bit of effort you will be bed bug free before you know it.

If you are in a situation where you have people coming and going, you will want to keep some Crossfire on hand a perform frequent inspections. Living in multifamily homes like apartments can offer different challenges as bed bugs may move between units. Thankfully, with Crossfire’s residual and transfer effect if you neighbor’s bed bugs come into your home, they will pick up Crossfire and introduce it to your neighbors when they return.

Forget paying the exterminator thousands of dollars, get rid of bed bugs yourself!

Q & A

Q. Is Crossfire and Sterifab safe for my kids and pets?

A. Yes, both products are labelled to be safely applied directly to mattresses and furniture.

Q. Can I just buy bed bug spray from Home Depot or Lowes?

A. No. If may kill bed bugs if sprayed directly on them. But the bigger problem is what you can’t see. And if you spray bugs and they do not die, they may go on to produce babies that are now resistant to the spray.

Get Your Crossfire Here!

Crossfire For Bed Bugs
Crossfire For Bed Bugs
Tags: , , ,
Dusty Showers has been in the urban nuisance wildlife and pest control field since 1993. Taught by Garon Fyffe, a pioneer in humane nuisance wildlife management, Dusty has a passion for finding humane solutions to human & wildlife conflicts. Dusty was the only individual invited by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission in the lat 1990's to help write legislation for legal protection of Florida bats. With an instinct for solving wildlife, Dusty found pest control to be an easy "add-on interest". Dusty started his first business "Animal Instincts Wildlife & Pest Management" in the Tampa Bay, Florida area in 1995. Eventually selling Animal Instincts in 2002, Dusty went on to start Creepy Creatures Termite and Pest Control in 2009, which he still owns and operates today in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Related Article