Insecticides that have a desiccant action on bugs are used in pest control
to kill a variety of pests, including fleas, ticks,
bedbugs and cockroaches.
Insects are invertebrates, having an
external skeleton commonly known as an exoskeleton. This exoskeleton not
only gives support and structure (as does our internal skeleton network of
bones) but protects insects from drying out. Desiccants or desiccant
insecticides have the ability to dry out bugs and kill them. Not all
insects are immediately killed by a desiccant, due to the thickness or hardness
of their cuticle or outer shell.
Flea Stoppers, boric acid and Mop Up are examples of borates used in pest control. These special boric acid products have two modes of action: desiccation and slow acting stomach poison. Flea Stoppers is a great example of an insecticide that kills bugs by desiccation or drying them out. The eggs and larvae of fleas are soft and pliable, making them an easy target for a desiccant. Larvae that eat foods in areas treated with Flea Stoppers are also killed by the other mode of action: stomach poison. Feeding on adult flea droppings that have been coated with Flea Stoppers kills the larvae from the inside while direct contact with the insecticide kills them from the outside.
Amorphous Silica Gel is another desiccant that pest control operators feel
that is safe to use in homes that have infestations of ticks, bed bugs and other
unwanted creatures hiding in wall voids, attics, cracks and crevices. Drione
Dust contains two active ingredients (Amorphous Silica Gel and Pyrethrins)
and a synergist (Piperonyl Butoxide). This combination gives Drione
Dust multiple modes of action: desiccation and internal action from silica gel
as well as the well-known knock down power of natural pyrethrins.
No matter which desiccant insecticide you choose, always follow label instructions. Not all borates are labeled for the same uses. For example: boric acid powder can be used in cracks and crevices but not in carpets. Flea Stoppers is a very tiny boric acid type granule that can be safely broadcast on carpets but cannot be used to preserve and protect wood from wood destroying organisms. Timbor is designed to spray wood for termite and powderpost beetle protection but cannot be broadcast on carpets to kill fleas. Bora-Care kills termites and powderpost beetles in wood for many years but is not used to spray on baseboards to kill spiders.
Desiccant insecticides that kill bugs by desiccant mode of action are generally considered safer to use than an insecticide dust that contains a heavy organophosphate pesticide. In other words, Drione Dust has far less possible hazards to humans and pets than Diazinon Dust; Permethrin, Talstar and Onyx are much lower risks than Lindane (a chlorinated hydrocarbon); Flea Stoppers is safer for mammals than Dursban flea sprays.