Aaagh, roach!

hbwrightApril 2, 2012

My family just moved into a late 40s home 2 weeks ago, which we absolutely love. Okay, it's taking my oldest teenage daughter some getting used to. It sat empty for a few years before the owner decided to sell it after going into assisted living. Before moving in there were rats, but those have been taken care of and I've cleaned this house top to bottom, sterilizing. During that time I only saw 1 dead Palmetto bug in the sunroom. Tonight I went to grab a snack and opened the silverware drawer to find a small roach scurry around the drawer. Yuck,in our silverware??? I ordered some Maxforce bait stations as they seem to get good reviews, but I really have to get rid of these suckers (I'm imagining there is more than just the 1). The house is clean, I never leave food out or dirty dishes in the sink. There is no clutter. We just moved in, no time for clutter yet.

Any other suggestions besides the Maxforce? I've never had to deal with this before and want to get rid of the problem once and for all even if I need to keep some kind of bait out long-term.

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Roaches can show up in the cleanest of houses and it's not a reflection on you or your housekeeping abilities. The problem with the damned things is they reproduce like, well, roaches.

You might enjoy greater piece of mind if you employed a professional.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 6:25AM
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I feel your pain, I grew up in Houston, TX--OMG, the stories. Everything's bigger in TX--especially the roaches!

I haven't ordered from the link below yet, so I can't exactly recommend, but they seem to have good pest control guides, and there are lots of product reviews.

Just try to select something and use it in a way that does not contribute to bee colony collapse disorder. Frankly, I think homeowners are less than 1% of the problem there. I was shocked to read about Termidor--it's a potent termite pesticide, but also extremely toxic to fish, and really messes up bees; I think it causes CNS problems and they can't find their way back to the hive. So basically, you'd want to bury it in a perimeter around your house, have it nowhere on the surface where it can runoff into water supplies, and NOT on flowering plants where bees would contact it. So what does big agribusiness do? Spray it all over their crops, of course! A bit digressive, but I hope you get my intention; use your pesticides thoughtfully, and don't go spraying them all over plants in flower. Unbelievable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roach control info

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 8:27AM
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If you live in a climate where roaches can survive outdoors for most/all of the year, there really is no permanent solution. You either can put baits and traps out forever or pay an exterminator service to treat the property on a schedule.

BTW - there is no amount of cleaning that you can do that will keep roaches out. They can get all the water they need just from condensation and they can eat pretty much anything eg the glue used to bind books.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:09AM
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When we lived in the Rotten Apple, they were a fact of life. Our cats liked to hunt the big ones. But frustrated when their claws couldn't finish them off, they'd eat them whole.

Boric acid worked well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cockroach elimination

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Boric acid in every nook and cranny.

Under the cabinets, under the stove, under the DW, under the sink in the cabinet, behind and under the cabinets, etc.

You want it in as many places as you can get it that will not be accessible to any pets or children.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:28AM
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I've heard of the boric acid. I'll have to research a little more on it. Maybe my bathroom but something about having it about my kitchen just kind of, hum? I don't think it would bother me to do behind or under the appliances or sink. I was reading to just do a very thin layer, wonder about using some kind of make up brush to kind of do a light brushing in those areas.

Slateberry, that is the site I ordered from after researching. I didn't want to have to hire a professional and may end up consulting. I just realized we now have carpenter bees on the front porch and under the carport. I don't want to bother my bumble bees though, which we have tons of around here. I may see about consulting and treating at night when the carpenters are active but the bumbles are not. Obviously I cant have the carpenters eating my front porch. Ugh, not feeling too good about this one. I'm picky about what I use because I also put up houses and don't want the birds eating anything that has been poisoned. I had a whole nesting die on me and I suspect it was due to people in the neighborhood using insecticides.

Billl, that is what I was thinking. Probably will have to be diligent throughout the year. I haven't seen one since, but that one is enough to make me know there are more. I work 3rd at home so I'm up throughout the night turning on lights so I'm at a prime advantage to catch them if they are scurrying about.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 4:25AM
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Boric acid! Get a large container of Roach-Pruf, and a cheap turkey baster and do this. Do it thoroughly and do it soon, or you will be using those stupid baits forever.

To squirt the powder, take the bulb off the baster and dump a tablespoon of powder into the bulb ... then put the tip on and stick the tip into crevices and holes. Squeeze the bulb.

And get a LOT of caulk.

1 - Behind all your cabinets if you have access into any crack or crevice at the back or top. Especially if you have crown molding above cabinets - it's roach heaven there then caulk the cracks.

2 - Into all holes around pipes where they exit the walls, then caulk the cracks.

3 - Under all cabinet drawers, under the drawer under the oven if you have a typical stove

4 - If you don't have access under cabinets, drill a hole into the base of each cabinet, near the back, and puff the boric acid into it. Stick a cork into the hole.

5 - Take the back off the refrigerator and range and dust cautiously onto any flat surfaces. Thoroughly dust the rear of the alcoves they sit in.

6 - sprinkle a line of boric acid along the baseboards and sweep it through the cracks so it's behind the baseboard. Caulk the cracks.

Basically, every spot a roach might care to hang out gets thoroughly dusted with boric acid, then exits are sealed.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Wow, thank you so much lazygardens. Great information.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 1:22AM
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Also ... if you decide to fumigate (I'm doing it today) the best DIY ones are RAID's water-activated foggers. They aren't pressure cans, it's a true fog. No propellant stench and overspray.

And if you decide to fumigate, do the entire house at once or you'll just chase them from one place to another. If you can get to the crawl space or basement, do it AND the upper floors all at the same time so they have no refuge.

One fogger in each bathroom, one under the floor and one in the kitchen ... following instructions exactly.

That, plus the boric acid and caulk treatment and normal cleanliness will keep them at a minimum.

Early spring is best, because the eggs laid last fall have hatched, but haven't reached reproductive age yet ... major kill is possible, which sets them back a couple of generations.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 12:03PM
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You will want to know that boric acid destroys the Kreb cycle of the only works as long as it is completely dry. So when it gets the least bit old and damp it is completely ineffective.

I have lived almost all of my life in the South...New Orleans...where "water bugs" are HUGE and Alabama where they come in ALL sizes. Get an exterminator. There is nothing that you can do that will be as effective as what they do for $30 a month.

If you have any mulch at all around your home remove it/ rake it away from the foundation . If you have Oak trees...get rid of all the debris anywhere near your home.

Never bring in any bags from the grocery and leave them..take all recycling OUT ! Away away away. Roaches survive and the number that you don't see are GREATER than the ones you do a factor of 1000's !! LOL !

You will be exhausted and still seeing roaches unless you pay the exterminator...I do not nor have I ever worked for them...but I do not have even one roach :)...anymore. c

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:33PM
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Hb, glad that site was useful to you. I read my post and guess I got a bit on the soapbox about being careful, but thanks for the reassurance about your concerns. The story about the birds--that was sad. I try to steer a middle course on all these things--no absolutes, no saying "well I'd NEVER use x product," but the more I see, the more cautious I become. My neighbors all have lawn services, while we only use organic fertilizers, corn gluten, and hand-pull whatever crabgrass that misses. OMG it's a pain, but sometimes I look, and my yard is FULL of birds perching, swooping, and pecking, while the other yards are deserted. Sorta makes it all worthwhile. well I've drifted off topic AGAIN, but I hope the suggestions here help you in your battle.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 8:19AM
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Roach Pruf is just Boric acid.

Product Name: Roach Prufe
Sizes: 1 lb
Chemical Formula: 98% Ortho Boric Acid,
2% Inert Ingredients

They received patents on it, but it is unlikely they are still in effect.

If you shop around you can often find just straight boric acid for less money.
When the roaches eat the boric acid it destroys their nervous system.

Here is a link that might be useful: MSDS

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 11:16AM
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One way to guarantee that the roaches eat the boricd acid is to mix it with flour and water and paint it onto places they will scurry, such as along the read of cabinets.

I made "roach snacks" by mixing sugar, boric acid, and a bit of water into a syrup and pouring it onto cubes of stale bread. Let it dry and toss the snacks into crawl spaces, or place them under stoves and refrigerators.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:59PM
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I looked all over for boric acid and roach pruf, but even Wal-Mart didn't carry it here!
I eventually found it in squirt bottles at the dollar store.

I was also going to mention that roaches don't care or like wet areas, which is some odd misconception. I think it's because we find them under sinks, I guess. They, like ants, like dry places that they can get between like layers of paper, inside the corregation of boxes, between wood joints, etc. They'll sit in there and even look out at you from the dark. It's pretty horrifying.

I am putting piles of boric acid in my walls before I drywall.
I've put it behind cabinets.
I squirted it under the floor and between layers of plywood before they were glued & screwed.
I put it at the bottom of my drawer base cabinets, under the drawers.
I put it on the tops of cabinets before I put them up.
Under carpet padding (when I had carpet).
Behind the fridge.
Around every outlet I could get to, even taking off the plates and squirting boric acid along the bottom of the boxes.
In along plumbing before I caulked the crap out of it. No pun intended.
On my bookshelves, behind my books, I have a line of acid.

I learned from an exterminator who came for the termites in my barn then house, that they don't have to eat it. They take it back to their nests on their legs and it shuts down their breathing ability. Or something like that.

I lived in Houston for 6 months. I've never seen so many roaches in my life. When I'd turn on the bathroom light at night, they'd just look at me, give me the finger, and scream, "Can't a bug get any privacy!?!?" Even spraying them with deodorant or anything I could grab didn't kill them.

I live in the Maryland country now. Although I'll suffer snakes falling down from the holes in my ceiling, or crawling up thru the holes in the floor, I will not have bugs as far as I can control it.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 9:29AM
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"I was also going to mention that roaches don't care or like wet areas, which is some odd misconception."

Moisture begets mold and the roaches will eat the mold.

They do not like to stay in moist areas, but that does not mean they do not frequent the.

"I learned from an exterminator who came for the termites in my barn then house, that they don't have to eat it. They take it back to their nests on their legs and it shuts down their breathing ability."

Thye eat enough of it to kill them as they clean ot off themselves.

It destroys their nervous system.
bugs do not need a nervous system to breath.

Breathing is a passive activity for them, no lungs to inflate and deflate, just absorption.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:20AM
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I'm thinking perhaps my exterminator was using what he believed were "lay" terms in the world of entomology.

Either way?
Boric acid is the answer.
He says ants, too...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Boric acid is only the answer while it is dry....DH is a chemist...believe it. You must use only the very very lightest dusting. It destroys the Krebs cycle of the bug.It makes it impossible for them to oxidize carbs and fats so they have no ability to create energy...they die. But you must have a DRY product .

It also kills anything else that eats/breaths it....pets and people. If your cat/dog walks through it and licks off sufficient amounts...and it does take a lot they too will die. 5-20 grams per kg/body weight...or a teaspoon for every 2.2 # of body weight. Worse is that the long term effect...your body stores it. Just be careful when spraying the mist of dry not put a thick layer..the roaches will avoid it. Wear a very good mask and do not breath it in.


Based on mammalian median lethal dose (LD50) rating of 2,660 mg/kg body mass, boric acid is poisonous if taken internally or inhaled in large quantities. The Thirteenth Edition of the Merck Index indicates that the LD50 of boric acid is 5.14 g/kg for oral dosages given to rats, and that 5 to 20 g/kg has produced death in adult humans. The LD50 of salt is reported to be 3.75 g/kg in rats according to the Merck Index.
Long term exposure to boric acid may be of more concern, causing kidney damage and eventually kidney failure (see links below). Although it does not appear to be carcinogenic, studies in dogs have reported testicular atrophy after exposure to 32 mg/kg bw/day for 90 days. This level is far lower than the LD50.[5]
According to boric acid IUCLID Dataset published by the European Commission, boric acid in high doses shows significant developmental toxicity and teratogenicity in rabbit, rat, and mouse fetuses as well as cardiovascular defects, skeletal variations, mild kidney lesions.[6] As a consequence, in August 2008, in the 30th ATP to EU directive 67/548/EEC, the EC decided to amend its classification as reprotoxic category 2 and to apply the risk phrases R60 (may impair fertility) and R61 (may cause harm to the unborn child).[7][8][9][10][11]
At a recent European Diagnostics Manufacturing Association (EDMA) Meeting several new additions to the Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) candidate list in relation to the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals Regulations 2007 (REACH) were discussed. The registration and review completed as part of REACH has meant the current classification of Boric Acid CAS 10043-35-3 / 11113-50-1 as of 1 December 2010 will be listed as H360FD (May damage fertility. May damage the unborn child.) [12][13]

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 3:44AM
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Trailrunner ... Your information is misleading.

With a LD50 of 5g/kg, I would have to eat over half of a bottle of RoachPruf to have a 50% chance of dying. Aspirin is 5 times more toxic.

It does not "destroy the Krebs cycle". Exactly what it does is still being investigated, but it there is evidence which shows that ingested boric acid destroys the cellular lining of the foregut of German cockroaches. And they starve.

Your body does not store it. Boric acid is excreted by humans (and other mammals) in the urine. That was established in the early 1900s by Dr. Wiley.

"Six male volunteers who ate a single dose of boric acid excreted the majority of the chemical over a 4-day period.

In a study of nine patients who ingested boric acid, the elimination half-life ranged from 4-28 hours."

And more recent research shows the same thing: "Boron levels in the body do not persist upon cessation of exposure."

Boric acid kills roaches (and other insects such as ants) because if they eat it, it destroys their fore-gut. You either have to get them to walk through dry powder, and eat it as they clean it off, or make a bait (like my roach snacks) to get them to eat it directly.

In humid climates, the baits work better than the powder because the powder cakes. explains discusses baits. "aqueous solutions containing mixtures of 0.5-2% boric acid and any of several inexpensive sugars, including fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose can provide rapid and effective kill of German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.)"

Interestingly, the concentration they settled on for their testing is VERY close to the concentration of a recipe from one of my old household remedy books - a cup of sugar in a quart of water with a tablespoon of boric acid, and put out nightly on a cotton ball as bait. They drink the solution and die.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Boric acid used to be used as an eye wash in those little glass eyecups. Some 2% boric acid was mixed with warm water & then held it up to your eye to wash it out when you got something in the eye like grit or inflammation. I've bought it for yrs at dollar stores but use it inside garage. It does something to soil I didn't like & is ugly outside & I don't want to harm the birds & bees. My Pharmacology book says it was a mild astringent meaning lessens swelling & pain relief from tissue inflammation. Doubt that it is used medically much any more!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 1:31AM
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The real issue is to find out where they are getting in. I found one location in the pantry that backs into an outside wall and another in a bathroom that backs into the garage. Blocked both locations with copious amounts of steel wool. That was 4-5 years ago and not another roach.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 4:19PM
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I stored some boxes for a friend and a week later
had roaches everywhere.

Having gone the boric route in the past.. even to
the point of making little dough balls and putting them
out I wasn't going that route again.

I bought Hot Shot ultra Liquid Roach Bait at
home deopt 6 baits per box. in two weeks no
more roaches. it works..even when Bengal didn't.

a friend has a small motel and had battled roaches
for ages, orkin, and other companies couldn't get rid
of the roaches. they used the hot shot ..just put one
in each room and one in each more roaches.

the back of the package says:
roaches enter the home in search of water amd most
are found near a water source. a roach can live up
to a month without food but only seven days without
water. blah blah blah.

the baits are a small glass container with a black plastic
top. not designer..but ok.

before spreading powder all over I'd try these first
for $11.00 its not an expensive or messy investment.

while its always a good idea to caulk holes in houses
roaches can live in refrigerator coils in gas stoves
by the pilot light..lots of places that you can't caulk.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 3:46PM
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