Considered relatively safe, boric acid formulations are commonly used in urban pest management and occasionally as baits in swine and poultry production facilities. Using the house fly, Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae), as a model insect, we conducted bait-consumption assays with 0.5% and 1.5% boric acid in 0.5 M sugar solution fed to flies in no-choice tests. Flies consumed little or no bait containing boric acid, and only fed on the boric acid bait as a last resort. House flies consumed up to seven times more untreated control solution per fly than they consumed the boric acid solutions. Consumption of aqueous bait and resultant mortality was not significantly different between either of the boric acid concentrations. We conclude that house flies were averse to feeding on sucrose solutions of greater than 0.5% boric acid.
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