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Thread: Borax questions

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    Borax questions

    Split from borax-questions-t37998.html Butterfly
    It is best to start your own thread when you have a question.

    I'm a long time reader but just registered, so forgive me if I posted this in the wrong location. I recently added borax to my in-ground plaster SWG pool and everything worked out fine. Based on the warnings concerning pets drinking out of the pool, I looked up borates on the internet and noticed they are used in wood preservatives and in some wood-eating-insect pesticides. I live in the Texas Panhandle and we have a lot of paper wasps. Paper wasps are the type that build honeycomb structures out of wood pulp and their nests typically hang under eaves or other protected areas. For the 5 years we've had the pool, there has always been a constant stream of paper wasps collecting water from the pool's surface. In the heat of the day, a wasp might land every 5 minutes. After adding borax (50 ppm) about a month ago, the wasps around the pool have disappeared. The few wasps I see never land in the pool; they now get their water from the potted plants. Has anyone else with borax pools noticed a similar reduction in paper wasps? If it poisons wasps (instead of repelling them), is everyone sure this is safe for humans?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Borax questions

    Borates around 30 to 50 ppm are very safe for humans. Those levels are also safe for pets as long as your pets don't get all, or nearly all, of their drinking water from the pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Borax questions

    I have 50 ppm of borates in my pool and wasps, dragon flies, and bees all love my water. Wasps especially. I will see one or two at any given time in or around my pool. They don't seem to be harmed by the water.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Borax questions

    Welcome to TFP!

    See this thread for more information on why boric acid (in concentrated form) is toxic to insects such as ants, cockroaches, silverfish and termites that cannot excrete it compared to humans that can (it is much slower at killing bees, wasps, yellow jackets, etc. and usually only in concentrated powder form). It is also used (at up to 50 ppm dosages) in the pool products ProTeam® Supreme, ProTeam® Supreme Plus and BioGuard® Optimizer Plus®.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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