Kill Cockroaches With Boric Acid

This is a response to this post about pesky cucarachas:

American Cockroach

Living in a small rustic house with three (sometimes five) college guys in Abilene, Texas, I wasn’t sure who was to blame for the cockroaches. Things weren’t exactly kept clean. But one summer, I stayed to work while others left town. The roaches didn’t leave with them.

I happened to run into the landlord and I mentioned the bugs. His response was unexpected. “Yeah, but don’t worry. They’re tree roaches. They just come inside to look for water.” He went on to explain that the typical cockroaches people worry about are a different, smaller kind. They get into your food, but these don’t.

To get rid of them, he suggested a unique attack. Let’s call it the banana borax blitz:

  • Step 1: Chop up a banana and leave it outside near where you think they might be coming inside.
  • Step 2: After midnight, go outside to check the banana. You should find more cockroaches than you ever wanted to see in one place.
  • Step 3: Lightly dust them with borax, or powdered boric acid. You can buy it at most grocery stores.
  • Step 4: Panic as they scatter. Beware, these things can and fly when disturbed!

When cockroaches clean themselves, they eat the powder. Death is swift. I actually watched a few slowly crawl away and flip over with a kind of cockroach kabuki gesture.

It turns out boric acid is well documented for killing roaches (although others suggest a more subtle approach). Four of the top 10 results on Google are from .edu’s.

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71 Comments »

  Gravatar susan m wrote @ July 24th, 2007 at 10:19 am

We used to have a lot of citrus trees and they’d draw rats. It was so bad, we’d be sitting out on the deck and rats would run along the deck railing right in front of us. People would say, “Oh, don’t worry… they’re just tree rats.”

What is it that makes people think “tree vermin” are any less gross??

  Gravatar eliza wrote @ August 2nd, 2007 at 10:07 am

Careful, Nathan, or you may give birth to the next ComiCon Super Star: Roachman! Once exposed to boric acid, he now scitters across bathtubs and freaks out your wife in the name of fighting crime.

  Gravatar Dr. Cereal wrote @ August 2nd, 2007 at 8:02 pm

I found that owning a cat helped keep the cockroach population in check while I was living in Mexico. (Although she often took to bringing them inside herself).
Strange that the University of Kentucky would have done a study on cockroach elimination–I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in this state. Maybe that’s why…

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ December 14th, 2007 at 9:41 am

The wife and I have been battling roaches, literally, for years now. We don’t know for sure how they came to live with us to start with, but they resisted every formula we researched and tried. Chemicals don’t do the job, either in spray, aerosol, or bait form. They just kept going, and going, and going.

Boric acid is one of the solutions we tried – in gel form, in powder form, mixed with flour, cocoa, sugar, etc. We would ever so carefully place the boric acid in the places we thought the roaches were coming and going from. And, THERE was the mistake.

It’s the boric acid that does the killing. I read an article, which once again stressed that the POWDER sticks to their legs, then kills them when ingested during grooming.

It’s holiday time. I don’t want these little critters running rampant through the house when our sons bring people home for the holidays. I re-read that article, and I grabbed three plastic bottles of cheap store brand boric acid.

Twisted the little tops open, and began SPRAYING the powder all over. Under the kitchen sink, under the counters, under and behind the range, EVERYWHERE in the pantry. Little puffs of air from the plastic bottle, that carried a (mostly) fine powder, which floated everywhere.

I wandered the house, doing the bathrooms, the living room, laundryroom, the hallways. When I got to the central heat and air, I opened the door to it, turned on the blower, and puffed the powder into the air intake. (This may or may not damage the squirrel cage fan – if so, I’ll be replacing that one day, lol)

This fine powder drifted throughout the house, EVERYWHERE.

The roach population was almost depleted. No longer did armies of roaches greet us when we turned on the lights in the morning. Since then, I have powdered the house twice more, and the roaches have become VERY SCARCE. I believe that the few we are still finding are migrating indoors from the yard, or wherever.

If I can locate an outdoor haven, and treat it, then our problems will finally be solved!!

My advice: forget all the high dollar chemicals, forget the mixes, forget everything except the boric acid. Dust your home thoroughly. If you have pets and children, find them a temporary home for the night. DUST!. Get it everywhere! Look for the little nooks and crannies behind cabinets, under refrigerators, and behind loose paneling, and give each one a puff or more. But, puff it out in FINE DUST POWDER, don’t get carried away, and cake it onto anything. You don’t want a roach to be able to walk through your house without getting coated in powder, or at least getting his legs full of the particles.

I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  Gravatar Robert Kelly wrote @ February 8th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Even though Borax or Boracic acid is only class 5 poison and about as toxic as salt, there are warnings about breathing it in. If you ate a half a kilo it could be fatal, much less for a baby. It is effective elliminator of cockroaches but I make up little pellets with flour. milk powder, peanut butter, water and borax. Then put them in out of the way places.It’s amazing the only roaches you see alive the next day are dying. Warning, not good for buddhists.

  Gravatar Bill Schmidt wrote @ July 4th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Well, my brother and I just got finished nailing every nook an cranny we coul find in the main room affected. First we dowsed the gaps along the baseboards and then I followed with a bead of caulking to seal the gap on top. My exterior wall has been a source of entry and severe hyper vigilance on my part. At first we just kept a gallon of OrthoMax that comes with the convenient squirt gun. That was OK for awhile, until I realized all that was happening was I was chasing these young parents into the walls for a couple of weeks where they would be fruitful and multiply and then come back with the some of the family in tow! We live within 75 feet of 15 acres of asparagas with plenty of irrigation, but June was full of triple digit days and I think they thought we had the only water around. We are dealing with VERY mature Germans, Orientals, Wood and Brown Banded. The Orientals are big (very big at 2″+) but the creepy are the larger Germans as they fly very quietly too! This time we did Boric Acid and the caulking at what we think are entry points. I work into the wee hours online and it’s been freaking me out when I think I’m feeling air circulating around my calves and it turns out to be…one of them making their way up my calf! If you can imagine the site of a bull elephant realizing a timid little mouse has caught a ride!

I sure hope this has some effect. I made sure there was enough powder for them to ski on in their baseboard freeways! The only side effect are the fumes from the silicone I used (ammonia) which will be present for 24 hours. Maybe then I can finally sleep… My next move might be to mix boric acid with penut butter and maybe a little crusteaz pancake flour and leave some treats around the rest of the house.

I have also read that a large butter tub with inside wall rubbed down with vaseline, a triple folded paper towel sheet inside dowsed with wine and a little boric acid and a ramp to get in, makes for a pretty handy motel. They smell the wine, see the ramp, take the plunge, get drunk and can’t crawl out making them drop dead inside the container. I will try one, just for the satisfaction of seeing the deception avenge me…LOL!

  Gravatar Obaas wrote @ February 10th, 2010 at 3:20 am

Hi
Where can i buy that acid in South Africa.

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ February 10th, 2010 at 7:16 am

Obaas – I have never been to southern Africa. And, as for Northern Africa, I only learned where the bars and the good food were – at that time, anyway.
If you have any major grocery chain, you should be able to find it on the shelves. As has been pointed out, it’s a poison, but it’s not an extremely lethal product that is restricted here in the US. Aside from the grocery store chains, I’ve seen it in hardware stores, and department stores.
Try Google – put your favorite store name and boric acid together as search terms. Just for fun, I ran a search on Ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/BORIC-ACID-142Grams-BOTTLES-ROACH-BUG-ANTS-KILLER_W0QQitemZ160401472173QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2558ac3aad
Depending on import restrictions, you may just order the stuff from that dude in Philadelphia, or run your own search to see if anyone in S. Africa might be selling on Ebay.
Good luck!

  Gravatar Steve wrote @ April 27th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

i have had similar problems my wife and i live in North Carolina and in a townhouse complex. we have a neighbor on either side which makes things a bit worse. when we first moved in we were using clr on them , this worked for awhile then mysteriously stopped working( we believe they adapted over 4 months and 40-50 generations ) well after that i bought a 20$ vacuum cleaner called a scorpion by dirt devil and a free cat this has worked moderately well to fend off the hordes. during all this time we had had small roaches which get to about a quarter of an inch long with wings i was contented with fighting off these as we were until about a week ago when i woke up in the middle of the night for on apparent reason other than what i thought was a roach on steroids it was approx 2-3 inches long and an inch wide i freaked and couldn’t sleep that night. so I appreciate this advice of boracic acid and calk

  Gravatar Michele wrote @ May 27th, 2010 at 11:07 am

I’m sold!!!! trying it tonight. tired of being bombarded late night and stuck in the car. cuz the suckers are staking out the front door :( laughing at me freak out in the car by myself!!

  Gravatar Top wrote @ July 7th, 2010 at 8:42 am

I am SO GLAD to know I am not alone. I actually burst into tears, yesterday, after I had killed the fourth one because I am so tired of them scurrying around. I am about to go on vacation, and I think what I will do is get some boric acid and turn on the fan in every room and let it get all over everything right before I leave. That way, most of it will have settled by the time I get back. I have already treated the areas under the sinks, etc. Maybe a good light covering all over EVERYTHING will get rid of them once and for all. At this point, I am desparate!

  Gravatar steph wrote @ December 30th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

oi! I’ll have to remember this, I moved to texas almost 3 years ago, and no one warned me that the roaches I was so scared of back home were mutated XD and about 20x the size O_O I’ve lived in a house and 2 apartments, my first apt, never had one come in, the house well needless to say they took to using that as their home also, moved out of there into my present apartment where I seen the fist one here, took off running while looking behind me, and of course being careless ran face first into a door (at full speed while video calling my sister) she called me a baby lol. I have arachnophobia, and now a fear of roaches lol. but he was dying, and i caught him in a bowl off the celling and released him outside(too many guts to squish)
I’ll have to remember boric acid if they decide to come back, thinking about the fruit deal, id have to place it away from the house :P
thanks!

  Gravatar Elizabeth wrote @ March 6th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Obaas, I live in SA and you can find it at a grocery store like Spar or PicknPay. It will be called Borax and will be in a little tub. Good luck!

  Gravatar Mumbu wrote @ May 25th, 2011 at 4:13 am

The cockroaches had really become a BIG nuisance to my house. whenever we swithced the lights off, they would take over, esp in the kitchen. Having tried all means available, I decided to go online, and landed the University of Kentucky, that highly recommended the boric acid. On visiting other sites, only boric acid was best known. I also was not sure if I would get it in our market, Kenya in East Africa, but fortunately I got in in the first agrovet I checked. I mixed it with some baking flour, milk, sugar and pasted it in hiding places all-over, I mean they were all-over, even in the bedrooms. After three days, the swarm that used to crowd in the kitchen sink are no longer, and since this is my first week, I believe they will eventually disappear.

  Gravatar Debbie Marie wrote @ June 19th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Dear Mumbu:

Can you tell me what your exact recipe is so I can make it. I am in Calfornia in the USA. I am having a terrible roach problem as well. I have tried many chemicals and the roaches are immune to them now. I am embarrassed when visitors come over then roaches appear. I am so frustrated and desperate to get rid of the roaches. Thank you.

  Gravatar S N VERMA wrote @ November 7th, 2011 at 2:12 am

Boracic acid is really effective material to eliminate Cockroache. In this connection I would like to add that try to keep your kitchen clean and do not left any food in the kitchen , it will force the cockroache to eat Boracic acid mixed material. Also fill up all gaps.
s n verma

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ November 7th, 2011 at 4:28 am

People – if you read my longish post above, there IS NO MIXING required. You need no other ingredients – just the powdered boric acid. All the boric acid I’ve ever seen comes in those 1 pound plastic bottles. Simply cut the tip off the application spout, and practice squeezing the bottle to get a fine cloud of dust that floats on the air, and settles slowly. This is very much like old-timey hand operated crop dusters, which were strapped over your shoulders, and cranked by hand.

Understand that you need not entice the roaches to consume this powder. Despite everything I’ve ever seen, thought, or understood about roaches, they are a rather “clean” animal. That is, they don’t like to have dirt on them. To them, the acid is dirty. So, after a hard day’s work finding food, they groom themselves, and clean that nasty, dirty powder from their legs. It is AT THIS TIME that the roaches ingest the acid!

So – it is your intent to ensure that the roaches must walk through an area that is “dirty” with this boric acid dust! The roache’s nature will take care of all the rest!

Please, read my post above, again. I’ll summarize:
1: empty your home of children and pets

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ November 7th, 2011 at 4:38 am

Oooops – accidentally hit “post” to soon, so I continue here:

Please, read my post above, again. I’ll summarize:
1: empty your home of children and pets
2. cut the tips off 1 or more bottles of acid
3. practice puffing a fine powder “mist” from the bottles
4. spray that powder into cracks, crevices, behind doors, under furniture and appliances, behind mirrors and wall fixtures, into closets and cabinets. The trick is to coat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING across which the roaches are likely to walk. You want them to feel “dirty”, with dust on their feet and legs. Nothing more is needed, because just like you or me, after a hard day’s work of “bringing home the bacon”, they want to wash up and relax. It is this grooming that kills them!
5. sit back, yourself, and relax for a few days. If you still see roaches after a week, then look around your home, and try to find the places where those roaches are walking. Are they getting into the kitchen from a loose electrical fixture? Spray that powder into and behind that fixture. Did you miss the holes under your sink, where the pipes come through the floor (or the wall)? Spray that powder into those little holes, getting it into the space between the floor and the floor joists. How about a gas line, for your kitchen range? Again, stick that spout into that wall or floor penetration, and spray.

DO NOT MIX THE BORIC ACID WITH ANYTHING!!

After treating my home, way back when I posted my original post, WE HAVE NO ROACHES!!

Occasionally, on a very rare occasion, we will spy a single roach. It has to have come indoors from the yard. We see it, then we never see it again. I have probably sprayed a total of 5 pounds of that acid into our walls, floor, behind door frames. Total cost of about 7 dollars. ROACHES NO LONGER SURVIVE, because they MUST walk through this stuff to get into the house!

  Gravatar Joy wrote @ November 13th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

just bought a box of 20 Mule Team Borax, will it do the same as boric acid?

  Gravatar Infested wrote @ November 13th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I was helping a friend with a computer “bug”(no pun intended) and noticed a small cockroach crawling on the keyboard, I wrapped up the computer in plastic but as you can guess within a small amount of time my house had become infested! I HAVE NEVER had a cockroach. I was beside myself. I ran out and brought the black traps and foggers (put down the traps, decided not to use foggers) and my husband was demanding I contact an exterminator. I went online and read about boric acid and we got some (ok,we got a lot!- way more than we needed) and put it down in every crack, crevice and under appliances in kitchen. Within a few days, I noticed dead roaches on their backs (I think they came out looking for a water source?) It’s been a week and a half and they are GONE! I can’t believe how great this worked. I have taken back my kitchen from the nasty cockroaches! I left it under the appliances and under the sinks (never want to deal with this problem ever again. Boric Acid really WORKS!

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ November 14th, 2011 at 2:16 am

@ Joy, I don’t think that borax and boric acid are the same thing. A quick search on google indicates that they are NOT the same thing. It seems that borax can be used to get rid of ants, from a couple of posts I’ve read – but I see no indication that it will work on roaches. Use the borax for cleaning – it’s great for that. Get boric acid to get rid of the roaches!

@ Infested – those roaches will surprise you. One of my sisters brought roaches home in her groceries! Those little things like to squeeze into the vacancies in the cardboard boxes. You bring the box home, empty it, and sit the box aside. When the lights go out, so do they – out into your home! I’m glad things worked for you! No mess, no fuss, no mixing, nothing. Just spray or puff it anywhere and everywhere!

  Gravatar Bob the Bugman wrote @ November 15th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Use the Bait Gel

Roaches carry it back to the nest and kill off the whole colony.

Just don’t use any sprays when you are using the bait. Baits will eliminate the whole problem

Check out the video on this website.

http://www.allpestpro.com/products/alpine-cockroach-gel-bait.html

  Gravatar Tae wrote @ November 29th, 2011 at 10:55 am

@ Paul. After you put down the boric acid everywhere, how long did you wait before wiping down everything and putting stuff back (dishes in cabinets, etc.)

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ November 29th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

@ Tae – the next morning. Except – don’t wipe the shelves. Just put paper shelf liners on the shelves, and put the dishes on top of the paper. Leave the dust under the paper, so that if the roaches haven’t been killed off yet, they will get the dust on them.

Anyplace that you can avoid cleaning, avoid it. Like, the shelf under your sink, or behind the refrigerator, you want the dust to remain. Don’t wipe up around your laundry area, or the area around your garbage cans.

The whole point is that you WANT the dust to stay anywhere and everywhere possible. In my home, with older kids (teenagers at the time) I made no special effort to clean much of anything. If you have younger children, your cleanup afterwards will have to be tailored to your own needs. Toddlers especially have to touch, feel, and even taste everything they possibly can reach. Use your judgement!

Clean your cooking surfaces, of course, and your food preparation surfaces, the table, wipe your chairs down. All the things that you actually use and come in contact with. If you have a “spare room”, a “guest room”, or storage room that is almost never used, just don’t clean it.

  Gravatar Tae wrote @ November 29th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Thanks Paul!

  Gravatar Tae wrote @ November 29th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I’m searching for paper liners. Any suggestions? I’m reading avoid anything with ashesive because bugs will eat the glue.

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ November 30th, 2011 at 9:45 am

No suggestions, really, but I would avoid the glue down paper anyway. Paper gets scuffed and torn, and if not, someday you may get tired of the design. Just use plain paper. It’s not going to go anywhere, unless and until you remove all those heavy dishes and things from the shelf, and pick it up.

I suppose that on average, the wife changes the paper on her shelves at around 18 months. Maybe more frequently in the pantry, where our sons tend to spill stuff, and never clean it up.

I know I’ve seen rolls of paper in WalMart, and at a “dollar store” near my home. Speaking of “dollar stores”, I’ve seen paper in Dollar General, as well.

Just go for something cheap, and pretty. Next year, if you don’t still think it’s pretty, it’s easy to throw away!

  Gravatar Nikki wrote @ December 5th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Actually, 20 Mule Team Borax will help get rid of roaches. Read the following on a website recently and tried it…IT WORKED!

Cleans, deodorizes, disinfects and softens water naturally. Repels cockroaches, ants and other bugs.

The following except taken from The Bug Stops Here written by Stephen L. Tvedten and courtesy of http://www.safe solutionsinc.com

BORAX, OR SODIUM TETRABORATE, – is a combination of sodium, boron and oxygen, and is mined from the soil in its crude form. Boric acid is a crystalline material derived from borax. Caution: Remember, boric acid and all boron products can act as a stomach poison when ingested. While 20 Mule Team Borax® is extremely effective in controlling or eliminating ants, termites, weeds, lice, fleas, spiders and roaches, the Dial Corporation notes, “This product has not been tested nor received approval from the EPA for use as a 27 pesticide.” Even so if you mop or spray the floors, voids, sill boxes, tunnels, backs of furniture, appliances and other areas where you see insect pests with borax – you will be surprised on how great the material controls virtually all pests. It has been used for years to make cellulose insulation insect free and fire retardant. It also is great for removing stains in carpeting and/or odors in urinals, etc. – so mop to remove odors and to help clean – in doing so you will also control pests “accidentally”.

  Gravatar Judy wrote @ December 24th, 2011 at 9:09 am

how safe is the boric acid/20 mule team borax-if you have cats ?

  Gravatar Anna wrote @ December 31st, 2011 at 11:58 am

I have read conflicting information regarding how to apply boric acid. One site says put a very thin line down, another says to put the powder all over everything. Which is correct information? Also are there different types of boric acid? If so, which one should I use to kill roaches?

Thank you,
Anna

  Gravatar Lex wrote @ January 9th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Use food-grade diatomaceous earth instead. It doesnt have to be ingested, and it has no negative impact on other living organisms, aside from fungi and insects. Have a nice day.

  Gravatar Shubh wrote @ January 21st, 2012 at 2:45 am

Paul,
ridiculous comment, but I dare say you will help out a guy with fear for the 2 inch ones…
can you PLEASE upload a video of the PUFFING, and do we keep the fan on while puffing the mist in the drawing room and bedroom? do we at all PUFF at bedroom because later we may ourself be affected??

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ January 21st, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Shubh – a video? Never thought of it. I don’t even have a video camera. About all I can do is describe it. Cut that tip off the conical top, kind of shake your bottle a little bit to loosed the powder up, and just squeeze the plastic bottle, quickly and firmly. If you get nothing, tip the bottle a little bit, and try again. At some point, you’ll see a cloud of dust come out. And, of course, if you tip to far, you’ll get a stream of powder, rather than a cloud.

As for the bedroom and all, I didn’t take any special precautions to prevent dust going anywhere. I left the drawers with underwear closed, and washed the bedsheets before sleeping on them. That’s all.

Feel free to take any precautions that you see fit – but no one in my family suffered any ill effects from coming into contact with this dust. People with allergies and sensitivities may very well be dissatisfied with my casual approach.

Good luck!

  Gravatar Santa Fe Springs pest exterminator wrote @ February 17th, 2012 at 8:52 am

There is some great information on your site about getting rid of cockroaches. Some ideas I have never even heard about before such as using a boroscope. I personally used the borax powder and I found it worked like a charm. Roaches suck and if they do have a purpose on this earth I haven’t figured it out yet.

  Gravatar Expert wrote @ May 27th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Just spray them Rubbing Alcohol, cleans them on contact. A “banana” would attract ants and all other types of bugs.

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ May 27th, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Expert – alcohol is flammable, and it evaporates quickly. Yes, you can spray them with stuff that kills them instantly, but that does nothing about the greater infestation behind the walls. Or, the eggs.

When I was younger and dumber, I found that some naphtha would do the job just fine. Plain old lighter fluid, conveniently found in a nice squirting can. As I matured, I realized what a fire hazard I was creating, and stopped doing such silly things.

The boric acid is more or less permanent, and it gets rid of ALL the roaches.

Not to mention, the boric acid is cheap, cheap, cheap.

  Gravatar najee williams wrote @ July 7th, 2012 at 5:39 pm

hi you guys, im 17 years old staying at my grandmothers house and the roaches are crazy !!! every little thing that contains water or food, they find their way in. everyday i clean up the kitchen, dishes and all, take out the garbage, wash table, sweep floor, etc. i recently closed the holes at the top of the ceiling where they were entering from. now i can go down into the kitchen without them all over the walls, i just have to worry about the ones, outside of the walls. i am so tired of these damn roaches!! ! i punch, slap, stomp , and KILL THEM. these roaches here are so rude, walk all over the bed railing, it’s just crazy you guys ! ! the boric acid i have, im going to get rid of these roaches !!!! taking down everything that they can possible hide in so that i can kill them. please wish me luck you guys. !! i desperately need it. have a great summer.

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ July 7th, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Good luck, Najee. If you just get that dust into all the hard-to-reach crevices, you’ll see a dramatic decrease in population, almost immediately.

Remember – they don’t disappear overnight. It may take several days to get all of the current roaches. Then, you have eggs hatching in the walls, and they’ll be coming out. Even if you do a really, really great job of dusting everything, and don’t miss a single crevice, it may take two or three weeks before you’ve seen the last roach.

If it takes any longer, then you know that you’ve missed a major thoroughfare from one or more hiding places, into the kitchen. Keep looking for cracks in the wall, cracks between baseboard and wall, spaces behind furniture, electric boxes – any place that those tiny flat little critters can squeeze into! If you’ve found all the holes, cracks, etc, it will take less than a month to kill them all off!

If possible, use some caulk, or silicone to seal all those holes, after you’ve dusted them! Not only will that block new infestations, but it will help on the heating and air conditioning!

  Gravatar babybear wrote @ July 8th, 2012 at 1:39 am

this has really helped me i am in a trailer and im homebound my kids dont live at home right now an everything ive used from sprays to raid to i can just go on an on. but i have what they call german cochroaches never had them till after roommates moved in there terrible my counters and sink covered in them i can open my bedroom door in the morning an they fall from the door. cabinets are omg infested bad, i thouhgt i was goin to have to call an exterminator in
does it matter what kind of roach it is? or how bad the infestation is?
since i am in a trailer what about like in a bedroom or in hallways where like in the corners at the top of the celing how is it goin to stick? would it be better if i mix it with something to make a paste like substance to maybe put up in there??

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ July 8th, 2012 at 9:09 am

Babybear – as far as I know, it doesn’t matter what kind of roaches you have. To the best of my knowledge, all roaches groom themselves after walking through “icky” powdery dust. Grooming, for roaches, is not very different from a cat or a dog grooming itself. They ingest the dust, the dust turns to acid, and presto, they are poisoned.

As for the dust sticking to the ceiling, and other places – some infinitesimal amount may stick, but it’s nothing to worry about. Get that dust everywhere, in all cracks and crevices. If there’s a crack in the ceiling, spray it into that crack, but don’t worry about making it stick to the ceiling. Those roaches can’t stay on the ceiling forever – they’re sooner or later going to a more vertical surface, or the floor, or a counter, or into a crevice.

  Gravatar najee williams wrote @ July 8th, 2012 at 7:47 pm

thanks you guys for all the advice. but where do i tell my grandma to get the “icky” dust ?

  Gravatar najee williams wrote @ July 8th, 2012 at 10:31 pm

and i have the german roaches too and the same thing happen to me babybear. they’re really annoying. i always tell my grandma we have to get rid of these things. my grandma just lost her husband 3 months ago, and its like she dont care as much about the roaches. i have been cleaning for the past days, taking out garbage etc, doing what ever it takes to get the population down, because i really wanna help my grandma. i know she miss her husband and i miss my grandpa but i dont want to miss these roaches.

babybear- these roaches wont stop us ! lol :)

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ July 9th, 2012 at 2:03 am

Najee – I’ll assume that you’re in the United States. Almost every grocery store chain carries boric acid. Wal Mart has it, Dollar General – probably more. Different stores put in different sections. Try the cleaning supply area, then pest control area. Almost every brand that I have ever seen is in a white or yellow plastic bottle, with a slip-on label that is usually predominantly red, or yellow. Hi-visibility bottle, really.

If you live outside the United States, I’m little help in locating a supplier.

And, don’t pay an exorbitant price, either. I believe the going price ranges from 99 cents to a $1.99.

  Gravatar najee williams wrote @ July 22nd, 2012 at 10:54 am

hi you guys , im just back to say that it has been a huge difference at my grandmothers house, since i have been in crazy mode killing the roaches with the boric acid. i have been keeping the food source are clean and saw a huge difference with the roaches. the boric acid is something special, i recommend that product to anyone and everyone !!! it works ! :D

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ July 22nd, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I, for one, am happy to hear that, Najee. I hate those bugs – at my place, or yours!! You most certainly have neighbors with the same problem – spread the word!!!

  Gravatar Jackie wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Paul,
Your posts have given me hope. I bought a house approximately 2 months ago and it came with roaches :( I never would have guessed this in a million years as I viewed the house multiple times and it of course appeared neat, orderly and in excellent condition – Im learning now that cleanliness doesnt necessarily safeguard you from an infestation. Anyhow, I hired an exterminator and things improved for a few days – but not for long. I read your posts a couple of weeks ago and got some boric acid powder and puffed it everywhere – much bigger improvement with this than from the exterminator. However, I clearly have missed something because although they were greatly improved for awhile they seem to be getting worse now instead of better. They’re making me crazy – its very depressing – especially as this is my new home and I really want to focus on picking out paint colors and furniture – not the uninvited house guests that I have… Thanks for your posts. They are encouraging and I really needed some encouragement.

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ July 25th, 2012 at 6:11 am

Jackie – about your home. Is there a basement? Or an attic? If so – dust like mad in them. The attic is probably hot as hell, this time of year, so put it off until early morning before the sun comes up. Is there an attached garage, with maybe a false wall between the garage and the house? Such a place can harbor all sorts of vermin.

Now, about your roaches. Are you seeing mature roaches, or babies? You seem to be describing not a new infestation, but the eggs hatching from the old infestation. I can’t remember the time period right now, but a couple weeks is about right. It’s likely that all the old, mature roaches are dead. The young cannibals have hatched, and the first thing they ate was the dead adults. As those dead adults are consumed, the young then come out into the house.

If you did a good, thorough job of dusting the first time, these babies will be short lived, because they have to track through the same dust that killed their parents.

For peace of mind – you might want to dust again. Search out those two or three cracks or crevices that you may have missed the first time. And, do again all those places that you did already – give them some extra protection!

As long as there are eggs hidden within the walls, you will continue to see baby roaches emerge. The objective now, is to kill all babies as they appear, before they can mature to lay more eggs!!

  Gravatar babybear wrote @ August 6th, 2012 at 7:59 am

WELL WE HAVE JUST PUT OUT HARRIES BORIC ACID TABLETS AND MAXFORCE GEL, WITH A HEAVY INFESTATION BOUT HOW MUCH OF THIS STUFF DO THEY HVE TO EAT BEFORE IT KILLS THEM??

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ August 6th, 2012 at 8:24 am

Babybear – I’m not certain that you’ve understood what you have read here. We don’t want to convince the roaches to eat the stuff. We want them to walk through it. Like a cat, when the roaches feel “dirty” they will groom themselves, the same way a cat does. That is when they will be poisoned.

I guess that some people have had some luck using baits to induce the roaches to ingest the poison. I never did. Gels and other baits were a waste of money, for us.

Get the powder, and dust, dust, dust!!!

Please, let us know how the tablets and gel work out for you.

  Gravatar Yehuda wrote @ August 26th, 2012 at 5:08 am

My wife and I moved into an apartment in NYC this past July. We saw a roach on move in day, which kind of startled us, as the previous tenants said they never had a problem. Long story short, we started off seeing one every other day or so, and by late July we were seeing 3-4 per day. Even though I managed to kill most of them, they still came back in full force, even after I used those Raid baits.

I hate chemicals in the kitchen, so I wanted to avoid hiring an exterminator at all costs. Then I found this boric acid thread. I remember my mother using boric acid for ants, and figured it was worth a shot for roaches. I started puffing the stuff out as directed in all the hot spots. I saw in another thread that recommended mixing it with flour, sugar, and an emulsifier, so I tried that as well. A week and a half pass without much change, but I still have faith in it.

In the beginning of August we were going away on our honeymoon, and I decided that this would be a perfect time to puff boric acid throughout the entire kitchen, so that if a roach walks there they will not be able to avoid getting it on their skin. I puffed a thin layer everywhere. Sure enough, we come back a week later, and all we find that day is a dead cockroach. It is now two weeks after we have come back, and I am elated to report that we have not seen a single cockroach! It is an amazing feeling to not be afraid of a roach sneaking up on my food when it’s cooking or sitting on the counter, after being afraid for so long.

So, just wanted to express my thanks, and to assure anyone following this method that although it may be frustrating since it’s not a quick fix, hang in there- if you do it correctly, it should (hopefully) work!

  Gravatar Luka wrote @ October 16th, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Hey everyone, I think I’m at the beginning of roach infestation since I recently saw 3 roaches this month even though I kill them out n throw the died body. I’m still so scare of there are more than what I can imagine. Worst of all its an apartment which means I can only try to kick them out of my apartment for a period of time I guess but still worth to try.

My kitchen is very clean no food outside. Clean every time after cook. Still here they are. So they are big mature ones. Didn’t not see babies yet. I empty the kitchen today spray the kitchen like died with roach spray. Also call in a exterminator who will come in couple of days. Question: I bought boric acid today in drug store. I’m not sure is this the right kind of boric aci. It labels boric acids n it comes as white powder. Instead of saying for roach killing it says for temporary relief of cuts or burns….. Can anyone here tell me did I get the right powder or it doesn’t really matter as long as boric acid.

I also bought Bengal spray since I heard they are quite effective. Together with combat gel baits.

Am I on the right track? If I do all this would I manage to get rid of them in my apartment? I’m planing to use boric acid tmr everywhere in the apartment. Wish me luck.

N weird thing. Those roach only apprear in the kitchen. Not see one in any other places not even in the washroom. But to be sure I will dust powder in every room.

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ October 17th, 2012 at 5:38 am

Luka – a plastic bottle, usually white or yellow, stands about 9 inches tall, and maybe 2 1/2 inches across the bottom. Full of white powder. That’s the stuff. The Bengal spray may knock the population down for awhile, but the stuff is not residual, nor does it get into the roach’s hiding places.

The boric acid will be taken into the roach’s hiding place by the roaches themselves, and the powder will be residual. That means, when eggs hatch, the babies are likely to be poisoned before they wander out to find your food.

Good luck!

  Gravatar anna wrote @ October 17th, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Hey Paul,

I just moved into my.first place and I have been swing baby roachese around my fridge.before I moved in I was told that their.were no roaches. I put down combat. I put down boric acid in the living room and.closets when I saw a mature roach. I just dusted my whole apartment and found a whole behind the fridge. Underneath my apartment is a storage garage. I think they come up to find food. What can I do to fight this. It’s not an infestation but I would like to be proactive. I also believe I have hoarders above me. How can I fight them off and protect my apt from.the garage and hoarders?

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ October 18th, 2012 at 5:37 am

If you believe that hole behind your refrigerator to be a route for invaders, then dust that hole. Spray your boric acid as high as possible inside that hole, trying to get a nice thick, visible coating of dust on all the woodwork inside the wall. When you’ve done your best to coat everything, look down, and you’ll probably have a nice coat of dust on everything below the hole already. If not, spray some more dust in there.

Apartments are tough, because you have no control over anything on the other side of your walls, your ceiling, and your own floor. But, any cracks, holes, crevices that might be used by insect to invade your own home can be coated with the dust. They may come in, but the trip will cost them their lives.

If you have access to the storage garage, you can dust down there too. If you don’t have access, then maybe you can ask the landlord to do so. If children don’t play there, and no pets are kept there, you can lay the dust on really heavy, and never worry about cleaning it up.

Save the money you would spend on combat – as I recall, it was pretty expensive. And, the roaches we were battling just ate it up, and came back for more. No bait, no poison, no preparation that I’m aware of is less expensive than boric acid, and none of them are residual. That basement area, if heavily dusted with boric acid, will remain deadly to the little creatures for years to come.

So, basically, just use the dust, and close down all the highways in to your home. The roaches will stop coming, eventually.

  Gravatar nikki wrote @ November 13th, 2012 at 9:41 am

Paul,

Hi, I have a similar problem. I live in an apartment with kids and dogs. I keep it very clean but i am having a problem with the roaches. I have put boric acid down in my kids room, some in the living room where it is dark and some in the kitchen., but now i am seeing them in the bathroom and in the master bedroom. WHY is this happening to me? Do i need to place the boric acid everywhere in the apartment including closets and restrooms as well. I just need some help. The holidays are approaching and i always cook for xmas. I just dont want to worry about having a roach problem while preparing my meals and getting ready for the holiday. I hope to hear something back soon. Thanks everyone for all the help on previous post. I dont know if it helps but i live in tomball tx.

  Gravatar Paul wrote @ November 13th, 2012 at 10:05 am

Yes, Ma’am – you need that dust everywhere that is accessible to you. If you can get into any spaces that neighbor or surround your own apartment, you need to get into them, and dust. Any place that you fail to dust is guaranteed to be a thoroughfare for the nasty little bugs to get into your apartment.

Apartments are going to be harder to control than any house or mobile home, simply because you can’t gain access to all other apartments.

Cleanliness has nothing to do with roaches. You can clean til you drop dead, everything in your apartment can sparkle and shine – but if a neighbor has roaches, then so do you.

Do the bath, do under your sinks, if there are any access covers that you can open, then open them and dust behind them. Roaches don’t find anything to eat in most closets, but those closets provide nice, dark residential areas for them. Yes, dust every bit of the closets! If you can pry up or pry out any moulding or trim with your fingers, then dust behind those as well.

Do you have dry dog food? I know that roaches just LOVE that stuff! Try to place the dog food some place where you can dust all around the bag of food. The roaches zero in on that good-smelling food, so make them track through the dust to get to it. Any individual roach will visit once – when he grooms himself later, he’s dead!

Good luck, Nikki!

  Gravatar Tony wrote @ December 4th, 2012 at 7:33 am

Thanks guys for all this information. I bought my first ‘starter’ pack today and am going to try it out tonight. I will be reporting every progress I make right here. Once again, thank you.

  Gravatar gabriel wrote @ March 29th, 2013 at 2:27 am

hi
boric acid is the only 100% long term solution. it also takes out fishmoths, crickets, ants mites, fleas, ticks….
for those concerned about the toxicity of boric acid it might be prudent to remember that half a bucket of water is enough to drown in.
a previous poster asked where to get it in south africa, in most supermarkets, pharmacies and chemical outlets like protea.
south africa will soon have its own remedy, http://www.ecozap.co.za
God bless
gabriel

  Gravatar Gabrielle92 wrote @ July 26th, 2013 at 12:09 am

Alright so I read your article. My husband and I never had a roach problem… Until our neighbors moved in next door! We live in New Mexico and small roaches seem to be the issue here… Being from Colorado I had never seen a roach in my life. Anyways once our neighbors moved in we are under the assumption that they had an infestation and called a contract exterminator to spray. Well now all of a sudden our pest free home is over run by the little buggers! Our first attempt was Ortho spray, which worked but for maybe under a week or so… And once again late night drinks of water have turned to freak outs once the lights went on. So now tonight is our first attempt with a mixture of Borax powder and a little pancake mix. We hope to be rid of them before our new baby comes into this world. Wish us luck!

  Gravatar Gabriel wrote @ July 27th, 2013 at 6:08 am

hi gabrielle92, as far as i can surmise the roaches where not really ‘exterminated’ next door but just ‘flushed” out – some of which ending up in your dwelling. the borax on its own will kill them, better yet would be you use boric acid, but don’t worry, they will both kill them – mixed or unmixed!
God bless your baby!
In Christ
gabriel

  Gravatar gabrielle92 wrote @ August 7th, 2013 at 11:23 am

Success!! We’ve had a few little ones here and there, but it seems the population that was trying to take over my home is now diminished! The borax has worked along with the Gel bait! We’ve resorted to putting any kind of open food like cereals and sugars in plastic containers. And have had no problems opening up food and finding little living “surprises” Thank you all so much for the advice! hopefully they will no longer bother us or our new baby! Hurrah!! :)

  Gravatar rumblefish wrote @ August 18th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Boric Acid destroys the lining of the gut of cockroaches. They basically starve to death after ingesting it. It’s cheap and much more effective than many expensive neurological pesticides.

  Gravatar css wrote @ September 4th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Do the roaches start to fly after eating the boric acid?

  Gravatar Gabriel wrote @ September 4th, 2013 at 9:06 pm

hi css
no, some roaches fly anyway, whether they eat boric acid or not. if they ingested it before take-off they’ll surely die within 5-7 days.
in Christ Jesus
gabriel

  Gravatar Nicky wrote @ September 23rd, 2013 at 8:43 am

Hi, I bought boric bowder last week and applied it all over my kitchen. I left it for two days and today morning found few cockroaches in my hall and on ceilings. This is the first time iam seeing them in my hall :( and had seen them till now only in my kitchen.Is it because of the infestation that they moved to hall and ceilings?

  Gravatar Gabriel wrote @ September 23rd, 2013 at 11:12 am

hi nicky, it takes about 5 days for the boric acid to kill the roaches, for lab test results see here http://www.cockroaches.co.za/cockroaches_htm_files/EcoZap_kills_cockroaches_sabs_scientific_laboratory_analysis.pdf . the roaches you spotted could already be dying, alternatively they have a new harbourage in your ceiling. i would sprinkle some boric acid on top of the ceiling by entering it through the trap door. take note that roaches will not move to a place where there is no heat, food and water.
have a good one!
in Christ Jesus
gabriel

  Gravatar Nicky wrote @ September 24th, 2013 at 6:28 am

Hi Gabreil,
Thanks for the quick reply. Today I found a few on my carpet but they couldn’t move much probably because of the warmth ! Think a good vacuuming should clean up !

  Gravatar Nicky wrote @ September 24th, 2013 at 6:29 am

I meant they must be on the carpet because of the warmth!

  Gravatar Gabriel wrote @ September 24th, 2013 at 9:02 am

hi nicky,
i do not know what temperatures you are talking about, but lab tests show that adult male german cockroaches die within less than 30 minutes at 49C and just under one hour at 43C. temperatures for american cockroaches need not be that high to result in death. if boric acid is introduced with the mentioned high temperatures death occurs faster. in all instances where heat treatment is applied roaches tend to flee to the coldest available places like cracks or crevasses. it sure is a good idea to vacuum them off the rugs.
it can do no harm to sprinkle a little boric acid unto your carpets and work it in with a broom – that way it will lie in ‘ambush’ for any critters that might stroll around ;-)
in Christ!
gabriel

  Gravatar Jim wrote @ August 25th, 2014 at 10:09 am

Boric acid has worked wonders for me as well. I’ve had to deal with the small ones that people worry about (german cockroaches). When I first moved into my house, you could see maybe 50 to 100s of them at night if you just flip on the light switch. It was insane. I was installing new hardwood floors, so what I did was apply the powder all around in the gap where the floor and the wall meets. New baseboards covered it up real nice. A couple of months of being an extreme clean freak and they were all gone.

Then a year later, I introduced some of them into my house again from a computer taken from a roach infested home. I didn’t have small children or pets, so I dusted half the kitchen floor with boric acid powder every night. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. They were gone within a few weeks.

  Gravatar german cockroaches pictures wrote @ October 11th, 2014 at 12:46 am

At the same time, there may be less than you think.
This extreme political process many have been responsible for
changing the meaning of the word exterminate. The pet water bowl is a safe location for cockroaches to hydrate
themselves.

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