People have been fighting cockroaches with boric acid for nearly a century. Boric acid is one of the most effective cockroach control agents ever developed provided that it is used correctly. Unfortunately,
most people use it incorrectly, and in the process waste their money
and effort. Boric acid may be used alone or in combination with the
baiting techniques previously discussed.
Properties and Advantages
Boric acid is a wonderful tool for controlling cockroaches in homes,
restaurants and other buildings. It is effective in extremely small
amounts and retains its potency almost indefinitely provided the
deposit remains dry. Unlike many insecticides, boric acid has no
repellency to insects and, consequently, roaches return to treated
areas repeatedly until they die. Boric acid is deadly to cockroaches,
but is low in toxicity to people, pets and other nontarget animals. It
is also odorless and contains no volatile solvents.
Boric acid is a white, inorganic powder chemically derived from boron
and water. Boron is mined from vast mineral deposits in the ground
and is used in countless consumer products, including laundry
additives, toothpaste and mouthwash. Boric acid insecticide
formulations can be purchased at hardware and grocery stores. The
powder comes ready-to-use, i.e., no mixing or dilution is required.
Formulations sold in plastic, squeeze-type bottles with narrow
applicator tips are the easiest to use. (These containers are similar in
appearance to the squeezable mustard and ketchup bottles found in
Cockroaches succumb to boric acid when they crawl over treated areas.
The tiny particles of powder adhere to the cockroaches' body, and the
material is ingested as the roach preens the powder from its legs and
antennae. Some boric acid is also absorbed through the greasy outer
covering of the insect's body. All species of cockroaches are
susceptible to boric acid provided the powder is applied into areas
where the roaches are living.