Cockroaches are extremely common in apartment buildings, and even if you practice the highest degree of cleanliness, they’ll still move in. While cockroaches pose a small health threat, they are nearly as large as an adult’s thumb and are unsightly. They can hide in crevices, and make sudden movements. It’s no surprise that humans find them creepy, and a lot of money can be spent to eradicate them from the home.
Cockroaches may be the oldest living insect. There are different species that can live in a variety of different habitats around the world. They can live in water, in the desert, and in the freezing cold temperatures of the Arctic. It’s no surprise when scientists say that cockroaches may be the only creature on the planet who would survive a nuclear attack.
While there are over 4600 species of cockroaches, there are actually only about 30 that cohabit with humans. Humans make it easy for them to have a warm home, with a ready food source.
However, it is possible to rid the home of cockroaches. Many people call in an exterminator, who will spray a toxic poison around the walls and floors of a home. While this can be effective, it’s unsafe to do this around children, animals, and even adults. It’s also extremely expensive.
Many landlords and home owners’ associations refuse to pay for an exterminator. Often the cost is on the renter or the homeowner. This may be why the cockroach population is growing, as few like to see cockroaches milling around a home, yet many cannot afford to do anything about it. But when you see that cockroach run across your baby’s bed, or get into the food, then that’s the time to take action.
That’s why many people choose to use boric acid to get rid of cockroaches. Not only is it an effective treatment, but it can provide an ongoing solution to keeping the cockroaches from moving in again.
Why is Boric Acid an Effective Treatment to Eradicate Cockroaches?
Boric acid is a natural ingredient found in plants, such as fruit. Boric acid is removed from borax, which is another natural substance that is mined from mineral deposits. The benefit of boric acid is that it’s harmful to cockroaches and other small insects, but is safe to use around humans and animals. It’s better than using a spray pesticide which can be toxic and requires a family to move out of the home for several days.
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Boric acid is sprinkled on floors or in traps in locations where cockroaches can be found. Usually they like to stay away from the human’s high traffic areas, so good spots are in the corners, and along the walls. Behind the fridge and stove are also good spots, as this is often where those stray food crumbs accumulate, and that the roaches love to eat.
As the roaches walk across the floor, the boric acid particles will stick to their bodies. Cockroaches are like cats or dogs in that they lick themselves clean. After cockroaches ingest this poison into their stomachs, they die, as the poison dehydrates and eats through them.
Cockroaches can also die from two other methods. They’re cannibals, so if one dies from the boric acid and is eaten by others, the others will die as well. The third tactic involves rubbing boric acid on some food and placing it on the floor to eat. You don’t even need to place a lot of boric acid particles down.
You’ll want to keep boric acid out of the way of your other pets. They’re safe with smaller dosages, but you would not want Fluffy to consume large amounts of boric acid. But there are no worries that if they lick a few particles off their feet that anything will happen. Of course you’ll want to be extra vigilant with floor cleaning while eradicating a roach infestation.
Differences Between Boric Acid and Borax
Many people make the mistake of using borax instead of boric acid. Learn the difference so you can purchase the right product. Borax is actually a mineral much like salt or silver is. It can be mined from the ground like other types of minerals. The crystals look like any other when cut out from a geode.
Boric acid is derived from borax through processing. It will be much finer than borax that is sold in laundry detergent. It’s better to use boric acid to kill cockroaches as the toxins contained within are more concentrated, and the powder can be more easily ingested by the insect.
How to Make Boric Acid Balls
A great way to kill cockroaches is to make boric acid balls. These can be placed in the hidden reaches of your home, and are less messy than if you dumped a box of boric acid all over the floor.
Things you’ll need:
- Boric acid
- Confectioner’s sugar (powdered)
- Begin by making a fifty-fifty mixture of flour and boric acid.
- Then add about 1/4 of the amount of sugar.
- Pour in a small amount of water and mix until you have doughy balls. It should be like bread dough and not runny.
- The next step is to make it into balls the size of marbles. Roll them all up and then place around your walls, under appliances, near the garbage and even outside your home.
Other Effective Boric Acid Insecticide Treatments
Boric acid is an effective insecticide for any other insect that grooms itself, like the cockroach. If you can also entice the insect to eat it, it can kill them. Silverfish that are composed of mostly water can also dry up when walking through it. Ants and termites are other insects that will lick and groom their bodies, so boric acid can be an effective treatment for them. Centipedes and millipedes are other pests that can invade the home and be harmful to pets, so you’ll want to add them to your boric acid pesticide list.
Parasitic types of insects such as lice, scabies, and bed bugs are mostly immune to boric acid, as they don’t eat it, and they don’t lick it off their bodies. It can take time for the boric acid to work its way into their bodies. While you can try a boric acid treatment, it may take months to kill these types of pests this way and there are more effective treatments that focus on bloodsucking pests instead.
Is Boric Acid safe?
While boric acid is relatively safe, much like using cleansers around the home, you’ll want to exercise caution. While it can be corrosive, hand washing is recommended if you’ve touched it. It’s not likely to happen, but if your child ingests significant amounts, you’ll want to take them to a hospital. It may cause vomiting and diarrhea, as the body attempts to eradicate it.
Pets are more likely to ingest it and it causes the same issues as in humans.
Generally, if boric acid enters the body it is not stored within. It will be removed through urine in not more than four days. There has been no evidence at all that boric acid causes cancer, unlike some of the other pesticides on the market today.
Since boric acid is natural, it can be found in soil, water, and plants. It can enter plants but stops at the leaves, and never enters the fruit. It cannot emit vapors into the atmosphere. Boric acid is nontoxic to most forms of wildlife and animal life, and is even safe to use around bees.
Recommended Safety Measures
Just like with too much of anything, boric acid can be harmful, particularly to younger children or small pets. When you’re placing your balls or powder around the home, place them in regions that no one can reach. You don’t want to sprinkle it in the middle of the floor, as that’s pointless because roaches love to hide along the perimeter of a room.
It’s also not necessary to pour the entire container in one spot. Do read the instructions. Often only a pinch here or there is all that’s needed.
If your skin comes into contact with boric acid, rinse it off with water. If you get it into your eyes, flush them out with water. Ensure you keep your boric acid in its original container, and never an unmarked bottle. Keep your boric acid containers out of the reach of children and pets. If you feel that someone may have come into contact with a large amount of boric acid then take them to the hospital.
Boric acid must be one of the most effective cockroach killers. From its low cost, to a treatment that you can do yourself, you’ll begin to see you uninvited guests soon dwindle down to nothing over the next several weeks. Best of all, you can always keep some boric acid balls in the hidden regions of your room in case any strays decide to try and move back in again.