About cockroach powders
Once the insect has passed through the powder and has gotten its legs and body cover with it (or often – has got the piece of food it carried covered with the powder), the insect will eventually go back to its nest. There, several things can happen:
- The insect starts cleaning itself and eats the powder of its own body and dies;
- The insect, together with a large portion of its nest eat the powdered food and they all die;
- Other insects from the nest eat the corpses of the already poisoned and dead insects and they too die (a lot of insects, but roaches, in particular, have the habit of eating their dead comrades).
This simple “Trojan horse” type of strategy is very effective at exterminating entire roach and insect nests even if you don’t know where exactly the nests are located. The possible downside of this method is that poor placement of the powder can undermine its effectiveness as fewer insects will pass through it. Another possible downside is that pets and kids can show interest in the powder so you’ll need to put it in places that they can’t reach.
As for the active ingredients of roach dust and powders, the most typical active ingredient is boric acid. Boric acid is a natural chemical that is found in a lot of fruits and other plants.
Did you know?
The boric acid used in roach powders is usually derived from borax mined from mineral deposits. It’s highly toxic to roaches and other insects and it’s fairly harmless to humans and other mammals when used correctly.
Other roach powder products use artificial active ingredients such as Cyfluthrin, Amorphous Silica, and others, but they all work on a similar principle – they are toxic to insects, they are less toxic or non-toxic to humans, and they are odorless and non-staining.
All in all, roach powders are a highly effective tool for dealing with massive roach infestations or other unwanted insects. It takes several days for the chain effect of the powder to start acting and for the kill-rate to become significant, but if you’re persistent and you’ve used the powder adequately, you should be able to deal with even massive pest problems.
Alternatively, you can opt for other methods of dealing with roaches and insects – dry roach sprays work in a similar manner, roach bombs and foggers can also deal with massive infestations, and when all else fails – you can always call an exterminator. Of these methods, roach powders and dry roach sprays are probably the most hassle-free ones. Other roach-killing methods such as traps or on-contact sprays are either just for monitoring or for smaller pest problems.
Roach powder buying guide
Almost all roach powders are odorless, don’t leave any stains, need to be applied in more or less the same manner, and are effective against most common household insects in addition to cockroaches.
So, to pick the right roach powder for your situation, you’ll need to consider these several factors:
- What types of insects are you having problems with? There is a significant difference between products aimed at roaches, ones aimed at wasps, and powders for bedbugs, for example. Sure, they all claim to work against everything, but some are more effective against some insects and others are more effective against others
- Do you want the product to be natural and safe for plants and animals or not? A lot of powders aimed for outdoor use in gardens are made to be safe for plants as using a heavy insecticide can effectively destroy your entire garden. This effectively means that they are usually less powerful than their more toxic counterparts, but when used correctly some good natural options can still be effective
- Do you want a product with a permanent effect that you can just stuff into your walls or do you want something with a temporary effect that you can just use under the sink
- How big do you want the product to be? Adequately figuring out how much product you’re going to need beforehand can save you a bit of change or can save you the need of having to buy more product next week
- Price is rarely a consideration with roach powders as they are all similarly priced and not too expensive. Still, if you’re planning on using a lot of powder, choosing a cheaper but just as effective product can also save you some money.
- The difference between the various roach powder brands can also be considered. Some are indeed known for decades of producing high-quality products, while others are either new and unknown on the market or are known for producing sub-par items. Here are the brands that we would recommend you look at first: Zap a Roach, Bayer, Enoz, Harris, Rockwell, BorActin, J. T. Eaton, DEsect, Hot Shot, and others.
Other useful information about cockroach powders
If you absolutely have to use roach powder in a food cabinet or on a counter, remove all dishes from it and clean it as well as possible after you’re done with the roach powder.
Roach powder usage
So, what are some of the main things you should keep in mind when using roach powders?
- Location, location, location. It turns out that this isn’t just a marketing maxim, it’s also a vital principle when combating roach infestations. Roach powders aren’t something that you just dust around the apartment and hope to work. Roach powder works only when roaches and other insects are actively passing through it. Ideally, you want every single insect in your home to walk over the powder, but the more, the better. This means that the best way to use roach powder is to know the exact cracks and crevices your roaches and other insect pests are coming out of.If you are not sure about those either, then just spread the powder on all nooks, crevices, and cracks in the infested areas, as well as on all edges and corners that might be traversed by the pests. Roaches prefer dark, dirty and damp spots, so putting powder on the center of a clean, sunny counter may not be worth it.
If you’ve pinpointed the location of the pests’ nest and its exits, all you’ll need to do is circle said exits with powder so the insects are forced to go through it. If you don’t know where exactly your unwanted insect guests are coming out of, it would help to at least know their usual routes and spread the powder there.
- Keep in mind that powders take a while to have a significant effect on the population of cockroaches or other insects. The exact buffer period can vary depending on the active ingredient in the product, but it’s usually around 72 hours. So, don’t get discouraged if you haven’t seen a noticeable change after just a day or two.
- Don’t go overboard with the powder. The manufacturers of roach powders may be happy if you overuse their products and buy them more frequently, but to maximize your success you actually want to use the powder sparingly. Remember that the roaches and other insects are not supposed to notice the powder – they are not supposed to be drawn to it or anything like that. Instead, they are supposed to pass through it without even noticing it. If you pile the roach powder into entire hills, the pests will be more likely to circle around it than go through it.
- Don’t use just one type of roach powder. Every roach powder product markets itself as the end all be all of roach killing tools, but that’s not always the case. Yes, most of the good products can single-handedly bring entire insect infestations to their knees, but very often they’ll just a partial job and still leave some stragglers behind. This isn’t so much due to the particular product being “bad” or subpar but is often because of circumstantial factors. Maybe a portion of the insects’ nest had an immunity to the active ingredient in that particular product. Maybe some of the insects in the nest used different routes where there was no powder and they kept away from the corpses of their fallen comrades. Maybe the nest was divided into several subsections and not every section was affected. Or, maybe, there were multiple nests and only a few of them got affected.
- Whatever the situation, it’s almost always beneficial to use more than one product at the same time. Keep in mind, however, that different products can use the same active ingredient (the most common active ingredient in roach powders being boric acid). So, you’ll do well to make sure that the products you’re using actually have different ingredients.
- You can also keep in mind that other types of products can also work in conjunction with roach powders. Roach sprays, for example, work on a similar principle – when roaches pass through the sprayed areas they get infected, they then go into their nests, die there, and infect a bunch of other roaches.
- Replace the powder after a while. Depending on the active ingredient of the individual product, roach powders can have different longevity. Some last just a few days, other – several weeks, and some claim to last forever. In fact, there are certain boric acid products that are used inside the walls, floors, and foundations of houses to permanently keep insects at bay. Still, remember not to use the traps and the powder together.
Take notice of the longevity of the product you’re using and, if necessary, replace it once said period is due. If you’ve noticed a decrease of insect activity after a while, you might want to use a roach monitoring tool like roach traps in between changing the powder to see if you even have a roach problem anymore. Still, remember not to use the traps and the powder together.
- Don’t use products that counteract the effects of roach powder. Roach sprays may work well together with roach powders, but there are a lot of other roach killing or roach monitoring tools that can actually create problems. Roach traps, for example, are often used together with roach powder, but they actually lower their effectiveness. The whole point of the roach powder is that the insect needs to pass through it and successfully reach its nest. If it gets caught in a trap, however, it will die alone there and it won’t be able to infect and kill any other insects. Ill-placed lures, baits, and bait traps can also counteract roach powders as they can lure the pests away from the powder. Roach repellents are also an ill fit with roach powders as you want the roaches and other insects to actually pass through the powder and not be repelled away from it.
- If you are going to use a lure with the roach powder, make sure that you place it in such a way that it actually attracts the insects into the powder. The easiest way to do that is to circle the lure completely with the powder. Even if the powder is inconspicuously placed, insects will often still notice it and choose to walk around it – don’t leave them any such routes. Adequately placing the lure and the powder can drastically improve your kill-rate.
- Don’t mix the powder with water. There are a few types of roach powder that actually can be mixed with water into a paste and they usually say so on their instructions. Most types and brands of roach powder shouldn’t be mixed with water, however. Water will usually only dilute the active ingredient in the powder and make it less potent. Additionally, it tends to make insects avoid the resulting paste even more.
- Keep the roach powder away from pets and children. Most roach powders are odorless so that they don’t tip of the insects the need to walk over them. As a side effect, they also won’t attract your pets’ or kids’ interest with their smell. They are still interesting-looking white powders, however, so you can see how your toddler, dog or cat can show interest in it. Cats typically have the good sense not to eat or touch insecticides from the floor, but the same can rarely be said about kids and dogs. So, make sure that the powder – both the bottle of still unused product and the powder you’ve just applied – are inaccessible to your pets and kids. Apply the powder only in places they can’t reach – under and behind counters and appliances. Alternatively, you might want to cut off the access of your kids and pets to the treated rooms or at least try to reason with your child not to eat the white poison off the floor.
This makes roach powders and dusts into powerful tools that work much better than simple monitoring devices such as glue traps. At the same time, however, they can also pose risks for your pets and kids. Some roach dust and powders are not toxic to mammals but most still are. As such, applying them to places that a pet might lick them or a kid can choose to play with them is dangerous. For that reason, it’s best to apply roach killer dust and powders under and behind furniture and appliances, where they will be beyond the reach of your kids and pets. Fortunately, those are the places where you want to apply roach powders and dust anyway since those are the places that roaches and other insects frequent most often.
Finding the best roach powder or dust for your particular situation is crucial for dealing with the problem as quickly and as easily as possible. To that end, we hope we’ve been of at least a little assistance. And to wrap things up, here are once again the Top 3 best roach powders on the market right now:
- The Zap A Roach Powder uses boric acid to exterminate any insect infestation you might be dealing with. It is odorless and it won’t stay the surfaces you chose to apply it onto, but it should be kept away from kids and pets.
- The Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder also uses boric acid as its active ingredient. Applicable both indoors and outdoors, this powerful product is capable of easily wiping out entire nests at a time. What’s more, it also comes with a lure, as well as an applicator straw for easily reaching trickier spots and places.
- The Bayer Tempo 1% Dust is a great insecticide that uses 1% of Cyfluthrin as its active ingredient. Thanks to it, the Tempo 1% Dust works wonders against more than just roaches and is applicable both indoors and outdoors. It is odorless and it doesn’t stain, but it should still be kept away from the reach of children and pets.