How Does Boric Acid Kill Roaches? DIY Boric Acid Roach Killer Recipes

We explain how boric acid kills roaches and how you can use it.
By
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: December 22, 2022
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Boric acid roach killers are one of the most effective methods of exterminating a cockroach infestation. Most people who think boric acid doesn’t work against cockroaches either applied it incorrectly or too generously that it lost its potency. Also, many people assume it is an acid. Despite having acid in its name, boric acid is not actually an acid. It is a powder made with boron and water, which are both natural compounds found in food and water. This means the product is entirely natural and does not contain any odor or harsh chemicals.

So, how does boric acid kill roaches? For boric acid to work, a roach must crawl through it and get the powder on its legs and body. When the cockroach goes to clean itself, it will ingest the boric acid, and some of it will be absorbed in its body. Once in the body, the boric acid affects the roach’s digestive and nervous system, leading to its death. This article has everything you should know about the use of boric acid in killing roaches.

What Is Boric Acid?

As mentioned before, boric acid is not an acid. It is made with boron and water, and it occurs in nature as the mineral sassolite. According to WebMD Trusted Source FV Boric Acid: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing - WebMD Find patient medical information for FV Boric Acid on WebMD including its uses, side effects and safety, interactions, pictures, warnings and user ratings. www.webmd.com , boron is a compound that occurs naturally in food and the environment. Foods like almonds and raisins contain boron.

You can easily access boric acid from a local hardware store or the nearest grocery store. It comes ready to use in a bottle and does not have repulsive odors or harsh chemicals.

According to popular reviews, the HARRIS Boric Acid Roach and Silverfish Killer Powder with Lure is one the best options in the market that offers excellent value for money. It comes in a convenient puffer bottle that makes application easy. Plus, it contains food-grade lure that attracts roaches from their hiding spots.

How Does It Affect Roaches?

How Does Boric Acid Kill Roaches? DIY Boric Acid Roach Killer Recipes

Boric acid affects the nervous and digestive systems of roaches, eventually leading to their deaths. It can only work if a cockroach crawls through it and has the powder all over its legs and body. When the cockroach cleans itself, it will ingest a good amount of the powder. Also, some of the boric acid would have been absorbed into the roach’s body.

Once in the roach’s body, boric acid disables the nervous and digestive systems. You can apply boric acid to bait and traps. A cockroach would take the coated bait back to its nest, and most of them ingest it and die.

Boric acid is a highly effective roach extermination method because roaches are not picky eaters. They eat anything, including their dead. If a roach eats another roach that died from ingesting boric acid, it will also die.

How Long Does It Take to Kill Roaches with Boric Acid?

Boric acid is not an instant roach killer. It takes up to 72 hours to kill roaches, but you can be sure that it will exterminate the entire infestation in your home if you use it correctly.

Is Boric Acid Dangerous to Humans?

Boric acid is safe for humans if used correctly. According to the National Pests Information Center (NPIC) Trusted Source Boric Acid General Fact Sheet npic.orst.edu , boric acid is low in toxicity when ingested or if it contacts the skin. Nonetheless, you should take precaution when applying boric acid. Too much of it would be off-putting to the cockroach and will maximize your exposure to it.

If you get intoxicated with boric acid, you will have minor or major symptoms depending on how much you have been exposed. Minor symptoms are like skin irritation, while major symptoms are like respiratory distress and nausea.

On the bright side, boric acid is safer than most cockroach killing products in the market. Plus, once you take up pest control on your own, there is always some risk involved.

How to Use Boric Acid to Kill Roaches

Boric acid works just like store-bought roach killers. If anything, virtually all roach baits have boric acid as one of their components. According to a research paper by the entomology department at the University of Kentucky Trusted Source Cockroach Elimination in Homes and Apartments | Entomology entomology.ca.uky.edu , cockroaches are best controlled with a combination of techniques. Here are a few ways you can use boric acid to kill roaches.

Making Roach Killer with Boric Acid

You can make either a wet or dry recipe.

Wet recipe: For this recipe you will need something moist to hold the boric acid together. Peanut butter is the most preferred ingredient. Mix the peanut butter and the boric acid powder in a ratio of 1:1. You can use other foods like caramel sauce and jelly to take the bait.

Dry recipe: If you can’t stand the thought of staining and the mess that a wet roach bait can cause, a dry recipe is your best bet. For a dry recipe you will only need powdered sugar. Mix one part of the powdered sugar with three parts of boric acid, then sprinkle the mixture in the infested areas of your home.

The video below shows how to kill roaches with boric acid and sugar.

Safety Precautions

Keep in mind that boric acid has some level of toxicity. Therefore, avoid using the utensils you cook and eat from to make the roach killers.

Keep your pets and kids away from the areas with boric acid baits.

Wear a protective mask, rubber gloves and protective glasses to reduce your exposure and limit your chances of inhaling and ingesting boric acid.

Alternatives to Boric Acid

Boric acid is just one of the myriad roach extermination methods out there. You can use other natural remedies like diatomaceous earth, baking soda and borax, or chemical remedies like insecticide sprays and baited roach traps. Best of all, you can hire a pest control expert to handle the infestation for you.

Are you in need of Diatomaceous earth but have no clue which brand to go with? Consider the popular Safer Brand 51703 OMRI Listed Diatomaceous Earth. Besides roaches, it can kill many other crawling insects including fleas and ants.

Final Thoughts

Boric acid is one of the best effective methods of clearing a cockroach infestation. How does boric acid work to kill roaches? The powder works magic by creating the domino effect. An article by Syngenta Trusted Source ADVION video education series.Module 5 of 5: Horizontal Transfer, or "The Domino Effect".The holy grail of dealing with ant and cockroach problems is the Domino Effect: when a pest that is poisoned by the active ingredient then infects other insects in its harbourage or nest, resulting in the eradication of the entire colony. www.syngentappm.com.au describes the domino effect as the holy grail of dealing with cockroach problems. When a cockroach ingests boric acid and dies and another eats its carcass, it dies as well. This slowly leads to the eradication of the entire nest.

Boric acid is a slow but sure killer if applied correctly. If you are considering other roach extermination methods and have no clue what to go with, read our articles on the best roach killer, best roach bombs and foggers, and best German roach killer for detailed buying guides.

References

1.
FV Boric Acid: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing - WebMD
Find patient medical information for FV Boric Acid on WebMD including its uses, side effects and safety, interactions, pictures, warnings and user ratings.
2.
Boric Acid General Fact Sheet
3.
Cockroach Elimination in Homes and Apartments | Entomology
4.
Horizontal Transfer or
ADVION video education series.Module 5 of 5: Horizontal Transfer, or "The Domino Effect".The holy grail of dealing with ant and cockroach problems is the Domino Effect: when a pest that is poisoned by the active ingredient then infects other insects in its harbourage or nest, resulting in the eradication of the entire colony.
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