After ants, kill cockroaches – in a non-toxic way | Vidyut Kale

After ants, kill cockroaches – in a non-toxic way

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Sharing some of my non-toxic boric acid related insect control tips. An earlier post was about how to get rid of ants.

Cockroaches are a pain. Apart from the revulsion, cockroaches can be a health risk. Cockroaches have been found to be allergens for susceptible people. And this is in addition to the diseases they help spread. They are prolific breeders, hardy enough to sustain through food scarcity, indiscriminate feeders, and even more versatile nesters. They will even lay eggs inside clothes or books or even completely inorganic utensils.

They are everywhere. If you find one, you are missing hundreds. That is the simple fact. Cockroaches are excellent at hiding. Let me just repeat this. Cockroaches are superb at hiding. If you see one, you are missing hundreds.

Underestimate this at your own peril. You will see a cockroach in the day if they are overcrowding or ill. They detest light and are very fast at escaping it. Most cockroaches in your home, you will never see. They will likely have wandered over every surface in your kitchen and over your utensils and sampled everything edible within reach, from garbage to birthday cake. I am not exaggerating. Did I mention prolific breeders?

I will tell you what won’t work. Killing them on sight. Remember you will never set eyes on most of them? This one is a non starter. Traps. You will kill some like that, but chances are you’ll get fed up of the process before the cockroaches run out. Poison sprays. These will indeed kill the critters, except you have to apply them really thoroughly. This means emptying out cupboards, cleaning away crumbs, spraying the evil stuff, etc. This will be toxic to pets an kids and likely you as well, if you aren’t careful. This will always be a control measure unless you are certain of getting all the cracks and crevice and such. Better use professional quality (more toxic) stuff. Needless to say, the advertisements are lying. You spray like that and the cockroaches won’t even notice. Same for the non-toxic organic sprays. Other than the risk of poisoning the good guys, the rest is the same. This wouldn’t be out if it weren’t for the superior solution coming up.

The best way to get rid of cockroaches is a two level boric acid approach.

Level 1: Frankly you can also do with this one level alone. It is that good. Grab some old muslin cloth or a fine net or something – the purpose will help you choose better – read on. Put some boric acid in it, and tie a bundle. Use this bundle like a powder puff and dust areas cockroaches frequent. This is likely to be “everywhere”, but you don’t have to do everywhere. High traffic areas ought to be good enough. If you know where they are hiding, dust around that. Dust along walls. Dust in dark areas. If you can see the powder, it is already enough. Very, very light dusting. All you need is for a few cockroaches to walk on it and get some of it on their legs. That’s all.

Rub the bundle occasionally if you think only clumps remain. Use gloves, mostly because I don’t want to get sued – you don’t wear gloves while playing carrom, right? The powder you use there is boric acid. Try not to inhale the dust. Tie a wet kerchief on your face. That should do the trick.

What happens next is interesting, though you are never going to see it, so at least like the ant solution you won’t be wasting time staring at your project. When the cockroach walks on the boric acid dust, some of it sticks to their legs. They end up eating it when they groom their bodies in their nest. Boric acid is poison. It will kill the roaches s-l-o-w-l-y. In the meanwhile, they have contaminated their nest with the boric acid and other cockroaches will end up getting it on their feet and bodies. And so on. When your roaches die, they get eaten by other roaches. But they are poisonous to those roaches. Those roaches will die too.

In other words, if cockroaches had a horror film, it would be about boric acid contamination wiping out their entire civilizations.

But there is more to come. Boric acid is chemical. It doesn’t go bad, it doesn’t evaporate. It stays right where you put it and will kill any cockroach walking on it for years and years. You’re welcome.

Now for the bonus level for the impatient types who want to have “done something” – or speed up the process.

Level 2: Take boric acid and wheat floor in equal quantities. Add a fourth of that quantity of powdered or very fine sugar of any sort; say four spoons each of boric acid and flour and one of sugar. If you don’t have powdered sugar of any kind, just make a normal sugar syrup by dissolving it in very little water. Knead dough combining all ingredients and adding water as needed. You can’t go wrong with this. Once you have the dough ready, make tiny balls out of it, and put it in cockroach-friendly places. These balls will also help in places where you couldn’t dust for previous step.

What happens? Same thing happens. Cockroaches get tempted by the bait and eat it. It kills them. Bait sticks on their bodies, goes to their nest with them. Kills others there. Cockroaches eating dead cockroach also die. And so on.

This method is not as fast as aiming an aerosol poison at a roach. It will likely take about a month or so, with later cockroaches being smaller and smaller till they just… end. Your boric acid dust will continue to act on cockroaches from future infestations forever or till you clean it away.

This is so simple, it is a miracle how it isn’t the only way people finish the critters. You cannot go wrong with this. It always works.


Also Read: How to kill ants this summer in a non-toxic way | By Vidyut Kale

(The views expressed in this column are the writer’s own)

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  • http://Website Bijoy PM

    So inexpensive? Seems too good to be true. But Thanks for the info!

  • http://Website Mazhar

    Is boric acid bad for humans.

    It is a good formula and it works. I have used it successfully in my home. If only we could have something similar for Bed Bugs, that would be great.

    • Vidyut

      Technically, boric acid is “mildly toxic” – however most things are that way if you ingest in enough quantities. Using it like sugar in your tea is not advisable. However it is not so toxic that it isn’t used worldwide for dusting carrom boards – heavy “exposure” for kids. This is NOT considered dangerous. So the quantities used in these treatments are not a concern – they are far less than what kids use on their carrom boards – for a reference. Boric acid is also used to make eye wash for pinkeye. So in terms of danger, I don’t think there is any danger at all, unless you end up eating it in large quantities or something. Avoiding inhaling might be a good idea on principle, though no particular harm has been reported. Boric acid is NOT a carcinogen either.

  • Ussamah

    Thanks Vidyut for the info. I know my questions will sound silly, but they are important for me to execute this plan.

    1. Is boric acid liquid or crystal?
    2. Where can l purchase this?
    3. Can we commercialize this and look forward for some thousand$

    Thanks and regards

    • Vidyut

      1. Powder – carrom board powder.
      2. Any medical shop
      3. I suppose you could. I’m sure the pest control guys are doing exactly that. You’d be in competition with them anyway.