Some of you remember when you first moved in to a new apartment. You move everything in and work hard to organize it all so your new place feels like home. Then you go shopping and bring in food and have your first meal. You think nothing of leaving dirty dishes in the sink. You can do them tomorrow. The next morning you see them. Cockroaches, and lots of them. They bolt for the cracks as you turn on the kitchen lights in the morning. They weren’t there before you think. That’s because there wasn’t a reason for them to come out. Now there is. You cooked last night and they dined on your leftovers when you turned the lights out. That’s how it usually starts. The war for your kitchen, your bathroom, and if it gets really bad the whole house.
So what do you do?
Most people would buy insecticides like Raid or other chemicals that can poison you, your children, your friends. They only help if you can kill them all in one shot. Sorry to break the news but that is impossible. Not unless you know where their harborage is, which is unlikely. If you spray with chemicals and a female is exposed to the chemical, her death process triggers off the production of a last egg. Those young when they hatch are most likely to be immune to whatever killed their mother. Some people buy bait thinking that they come to dine and carry some back to their harborage. Cockroaches are not social. They don’t share food. They do like to congregate and even have a special pheromone for that. They leave an aggregation chemical that others follow in their feces. Not to mention it has been reported that cockroaches have now learned to avoid commercial bait systems.
So baits don’t work. Pesticides work but only for so long and then they become resistant or worse immune. Where do we go from here? Thankfully nature has made a chemical that the little pests can’t build an immunity to. Boric acid is a naturally occurring product that can be mass produced from borax. Boric acid is very effective in killing small insects such as cockroaches. So the game plan to kill the cockroaches that are infesting your home is a three pronged process. The first is to clean the house. Make sure no food particles are left out for the roaches to feed on. That means no dirty dishes in the sink. The second, cockroaches can’t live without water. No standing water anywhere. Make sure all the pipes have no leaks and are insulated. The third, use the boric acid powder.
How do you use Boric Acid?
Boric Acid is very easy to use. However people who are inexperienced have the wrong idea on how to use it. Most people think that the way to use it is to lay it down in thick piles. Unfortunately it’s not the way to use it. Think of thick piles of boric acid like snow drifts. Cockroaches will avoid them and move around the piles like a human would avoid a snow drift.
The way to properly use boric acid is to lay down a light layer of it barely perceptible to the human eye. To do that you can use the bottle that the boric acid came in or you can buy a bellows that was made to make it easy.
Lets talk about how we can do it without the bellows and just use the bottle the boric acid came in. Although it’s been proven that boric acid is no more toxic than table salt, you’ll need a pair of cleaning gloves or latex gloves to protect your hands. You’ll also need a few pennies. The pennies are for the bottle, you’ll open then bottle and drop them in. They’ll help stir up the boric acid when you shake the bottle.
Most bottles come with a blocked nozzle so you’ll need to cut the tip off to open it up. Cut the very first one; you’ll only need a small opening to put out the powder. Unscrew the top and drop in the pennies and place the top back on. Make sure you have your gloves on because now you’re ready to lay down powder and kick some cockroach butt.
Most of the time the bottle is huge and has a lot of air space in it. That’s a good thing. Here’s how to lay down a fine layer of powder. You’re going to put a finger on the opening of the bottle and give the bottle a couple of quick shakes. and tap the bottle on its bottom to shake all the excess to the bottom. Now there should be a fine mist of powder floating around inside the bottle. Take your finger off the opening and squeeze out a fine mist of powder on to the surface you’re treating. That’s all you need. Otherwise it will be too heavy to adhere to the cuticles of the cockroach. You’ll be happy to know that bulbs and bellows are used much in the same way but they are designed to help place a fine layer of powder in cracks and crevices and I’ll add in more later on how to use them.
What does it do to cockroaches?
Now when the cockroach walks over the treated area the positive charge of the boric acid will be attracted to the cockroach and stick to its body. The damage the powder does to the cockroach is two fold. The nature of boric acid is that it’s a mineral and crystalline. So it will damage the exoskeleton of the cockroach. The other way is that a cockroach although a dirty creature that harbors pathogens, likes to keep itself clean. In doing so, it will ingest the boric acid and dehydrate as a result. Once a roach comes in contact with the powder it will die in about 72 hours. Nymphs or juveniles usually die in 24 to 48 hours. Cockroaches exposed to boric acid will exhibit behavior that is out of the ordinary for a roach. They will come out in the daylight or lighted areas. They will walk out in to the middle of a floor rather than along the edge of the room. Cockroaches like to have a wall touching their body at all times, it makes them feel secure and its even better if they’re in between something.
Where do you treat for cockroaches?
Cockroaches like to be near their food. So their harborage is usually located within five feet of any source of water and nutrition. If you’ve seen a few around a certain area there’s sure to be a harborage that they use near by. Cockroaches do congregate and they do leave clues to other roaches as to where to find food. If you start seeing roaches during the day and you haven’t treated yet you have a serious infestation. Places to start treatment are cracks and crevices where the cupboards meet the wall. Those should be sealed with silicon or caulk. If you have pipes that go through the wall they could be using the space inside the wall, if you can seal up that area with expandable canned foam. Check behind and underneath the refrigerator. Place powder behind appliances that have been permanently installed such as your dish washer and trash compactors.
Your bathroom believe it or not is also a prime area for cockroaches. Treat the cracks and crevices there as well. Seal them up with caulk or silicon. Make sure the pipes have no leaks. We don’t want to give them water. Make sure that the hot can cold water pipes are insulated so as to not form condensation. Make sure you cap your toothpaste, they’ll eat it. Keep the sink clean of hair from shaving. Treat the back walls and the wells of the drawers.
I’ll be adding more to this but it should get you started on your way to getting rid of your unwanted guests. If you liked this article or it has helped you, please link to it.