Roach powders and roach killer dust are one of the best tools for battling cockroach infestations, as well as many other insect invaders. Simple to use and practical, they outclass a lot of other insecticides and roach killers in many different aspects. When used correctly they don’t make a mess, they typically don’t have an odor, and they have a long-lasting effect unless you wash them off yourself.
Roach dust and powders are great for placing behind or under appliances where cockroaches and other insects frequently pass through, as well as right around nooks, cracks and crevices into which insects build their nests. They offer great extermination potential and a ton of convenience.
Still, with hundreds of different promising products on the market, as well as thousands of types of cockroaches and millions of other insect pests, it can be hard to choose the right insecticide powder for the particular problem you’re facing. What works in some cases doesn’t work in others and this principle applies to even the most prominent brands and their highest rated products.
So, to help you choose, we decided to compile a quick list of the best roach powders and dust on the market right now. We’ve singled out the Top 3 products in our opinion and we’ve also listed several more options in case you want to get a broader picture. After those lists, we’ve also assembled a quick guide on how exactly roach powders work, how best to use them, what mistakes you should avoid, and a lot of other useful information.
But first, here’s our Top 3 best roach powders:
Bayer Tempo 1% Dust
This Bayer Tempo dust insecticide comes in a 1.25 lbs bottle and includes Cyfluthrin 1% as its active ingredient. This product offers a pretty nice coverage as one pound of it is enough for 1000 square feet area. It’s labeled for both indoors and outdoors use. It’s safe to use in all types of rooms and premises – residential buildings, add-on structures, food-storage or cooking facilities and buildings, transport storage areas, hotels and motels, warehouses, hospitals, and others.
The Bayer Tempo 1% dust is also more than just a roach poison powder. It works great against bedbugs, ants, wasps, and other insect pests that dwell in hard to reach places. What makes this roach powder even better for residential use, in particular, is the fact that it has no odor and leaves no stains behind it. The fact that it is odorless also means that pets such as dogs and cats won’t be attracted to it. Still, as with any other roach powder, it’s advisable to only spread it on nooks and crevices that are outside of the reach of your pets.
As it is a traditional roach powder, the Bayer Tempo 1% dust shouldn’t be mixed with water and should be spread to places that are not likely to get wet in the foreseeable future. Mixing it with water even a little bit (to a paste, for example) will dilute the 1% Cyfluthrin too much and it won’t do its job. Additionally, as a powder, the product is meant to be transported by passing insects into their nests where it can kill the rest of their colony.
- The Bayer Tempo 1% dust is odorless and non-staining
- This cockroach killer powder killer powder is safe to use anywhere, including in food-processing facilities
- The Bayer Tempo dust insecticide is highly effective against cockroaches, bedbugs, ants, wasps, and a myriad of other insect pests
- It should be kept away from the reach of pets, kids, and water
Zap a Roach Boric Acid Cockroach Killer
If you are looking for a great boric acid powder for roaches, then the Zap a Roach Boric Acid Roach Killer is an ideal option for you. This cockroach dust comes in 2x one pound (454 gram) bottles. It’s designed to combat some of the most pestilent common household insects such as cockroaches, ants, water bugs, fleas, as well as silverfish infestations and many others. This Zap a Roach compound doesn’t stain so you won’t have to worry about putting it on your flooring, baseboards, appliances, or anywhere else. Utilizing boric acid as its active ingredient, the Zap a Roach cockroach powder is toxic for insects but safe for your home.
What’s more, this Zap a Roach product is also odorless, which is great for all residential areas. This makes it a great alternative to all the pungent smell of chemical sprays. All you need to do to properly use the Zap a Roach powder killer is to shake it well, twist its cap, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle and the powder should start pouring easily.
The Zap a Roach boric acid cockroach killer recipe is applicable both indoors and outdoors. It can be used in all commercial and residential areas. Caution is, of course, advised when using the Zap a Roach boric acid roach killer powder near foot processing facilities – since it is made out of 100% boric acid, it should come into direct contact with food and any other ingestible products.
- The Zap a Roach boric acid cockroach killer is odorless and non-staining
- It’s safe to use on all surfaces as it will not damage or stain them
- It’s excellent at exterminating all manners of insect pests
- As it contains boric acid, this Zap a Roach cockroach killer should be applied with care in food processing facilities
Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder with Lure
When looking for boric acid for roaches, this Harris roach powder is also one you shouldn’t miss. It comes in a 16 oz. bottle together with its own lure. It’s a great tool for killing cockroaches and silverfish, as well as palmetto bugs, water bugs, and many more insect pests that are common in households.
Having boric acid as its main ingredient, the Harris roach powder is very fast acting and kills insects within 72 hours in large quantities. Not only capable of exterminating entire nests at once, this candidate for the best roach killer powder also provides a lasting effect of up to several weeks.
Another advantage of the Harris boric acid roach bait powder over other roach proof powder products is the ease of its application. It comes together with a long straw which can help you apply the powder even to the hardest to reach places in your home. This is very helpful not only because you don’t want boric acid powder in places that your kids and pets can reach, but also because you need to make sure that you’ve covered all nooks, cracks, and crevices that your insect invaders frequently pass through. Even if you had problems applying the powder at the appropriate places, however, the excellent food-grade powder cockroach killing bait is guaranteed to attract a lot of cockroaches to itself.
As a nice cherry on top, this best roach powder candidate is also odorless and stain-free, so you can apply it on any surface and in any residential area without an issue.
- The powerful boric acid in this Harris roach powder exterminates cockroaches, silverfish, water bugs, palmetto bugs, and many other insect pests. It works as a German roaches boric acid killer as well
- The Harris boric acid roach powder comes together with a lure
- Aside from the lure, this Harris roach powder also comes with a straw for an even easier application
- The Harris boric acid cockroach killer is odorless and non-staining
- As it contains boric acid, this Harris cockroach killer should be applied with care in food processing facilities
Other products to consider
Of course, with thousands of different species of cockroaches, and millions of other species of insects and pests, each solution is more or less applicable in different situations. What works wonders against some insects can underperform against others. Even the most wide-range roach powders have their blind spots, so a simple list of 3 products can never be enough to help you in all possible situations. Add to that other complicating factors such as pets, kids, food, rain, and so on, and it becomes even clearer that different situations require different solutions. To that end, here are seven more suggestions for great cockroach killing powders that you might want to consider:
Boric acid and roaches don’t really play well together and BorActin takes full advantage of that fact. The 99% boric acid formula of BorActin Insect Dust is odorless and moisture resistant. As a boric acid product, however, you’ll need to be careful with it around food and in food processing facilities. The lack of a lure and application straw is also noticeable when you want to treat hard-to-reach places.
Rockwell Cimexa Dust insecticide dust offers 4 ounces of dust in one bottle. Its active ingredient is Amorphous Silica Gel 100% and it works against ants, roaches, fleas, ticks, lice, silverfish, firebrats, spiders, mites, and more. It is only usable indoors, however, and covers a smaller area than other similarly-sized products.
This sizable 1 lb bottle of Bayer Drione Dust comes with a puffer duster and a hand duster. It works great not only against cockroaches but also against bedbugs, wasps, carpenter bees, and a lot of other insects. The powder does clump up quite easily in moisture, however, so you’ll have to keep that in mind.
Another great boric acid product, this J. T. Eaton Answer Insecticidal Dust comes in a 16-ounce puffer bottle. Its exact type of boric acid is Orthoboric Acid 99.9% which easily kills all cockroaches, silverfish, water bugs and most types of ants (except carpenter ants). You should be careful when placing it near food or in food storage areas, however, and the lack of an application accessory makes reaching some tricky spots harder.
The DEsect Diatomaceous Earth Insecticide for Killing Roaches comes in a large 1 gal bottle. It is an organic product that can be used both indoors and outdoors in your garden, including on plants, fruit trees, and so on. It successfully combats slugs, roaches, earwigs, ants, crickets, grasshoppers, silverfish, pill bugs, sow bugs, lice, carpet beetles, box elder bugs, aphids, Japanese beetles, snails, and many others. It does struggle against some other types of insects, however, such as house centipedes. It also requires a perfect application, since, even though it is effective, it is not as powerful as some of its toxic chemical counterparts.
The Enoz Roach Away Boric Acid Powder contains a 99% boric acid solution. Thanks to that it successfully deals with all types of cockroaches, as well as palmetto bugs, water bugs, silverfish, ants, and other common household insect pests. Its applicator tip helps with a controlled placement, but the product doesn’t come with any additional accessories. Also, since it contains boric acid, you should be mindful about using it near food.
This Bonide Roach Powder contains boric acid and easily kills much more than just roaches. It efficiently deals with ants, silverfish and fleas. The nozzle clogs quite easily, unfortunately. And as a boric acid powder, you should be careful not to use it near food.
GENERAL INFO ON COCKROACH POWDERS
A quick breakdown of roach powders
Roach powders work on a simple but beautifully effective manner. They are a slow acting poison that destroys entire nests of cockroaches or other insects without even having to be applied into the nests themselves. All you need to do is apply the powder somewhere that the targeted insects pass through regularly (either on their most frequented traffic routes or in circles around the cracks the crawl out of). When you do this, the insects will be forced to go through the powder and get it all over their legs and bodies. The powder itself is typically odorless and neither attracts nor repels the insects – its goal is to be inconspicuous to them so that they view it as just a part of the terrain.
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 – 1) the insect starts cleaning itself and eats the powder of its own body and dies; 2) the insect, together with a large portion of its nest eat the powdered food and they all die; 3) 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. 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. Nevertheless, caution is advised as you still don’t want your kids consuming it.
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
Different roach powders typically share a lot of similar features with each other, so choosing between them is not the most complicated choice you’ll have to make in your life. 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. The main difference between the different roach powder brands and products is the active ingredient they are using. Most use boric acid, but there are alternatives such as Cyfluthrin, Amorphous Silica, and others. Depending on their active solution, roach powders can be less effective against some types of insects and more powerful against others. Another difference is the longevity of the product once applied.
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
Even though most roach powders are marketed as fairly non-toxic to humans and mammals (and that’s usually true), it’s still strongly advised to keep them away from food cabinets, kitchen appliances, and counters where you tend to prepare food. This can be uncomfortable since these are the places that you usually want to treat against roaches. Even if you clean the powder properly off the surface you applied it to, some residue is still bound to have gone into the surface, even if there is no stain. Eating off of such a surface or preparing food on it can have long-term ramifications on your and your family’s health. 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. Even then it is ill-advised as roaches tend to avoid clean surfaces – there’s nothing for them there. Unless you’re certain that there is a pest nest nearby and insects will go through that area, avoid putting roach powder in food processing areas or dishes cabinets.
LIVING WITH & USING ROACH POWDERS
Using roach powders is fairly simple in principle, but there are still several things that you need to keep in mind. After all, roach dust and powders are poisons, so handling them should always be done with care. Furthermore, usually when we use roach powders we do it because of a significant pest problem and that’s really not the best time for mistakes or for suboptimal use of insecticides.
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’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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. So, 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.
As you can see, the various different types of roach powders and dust, whether with boric acid or with any other active ingredient, are a great way to combat serious cockroach infestations. Most of them also work wonders on other types of insect pests, from ants to bedbugs and from wasps to silverfish. Cockroach powders and dust work on a very simple principle – they cling to the bodies of the insects that pass on top of them and are later licked by said insects when they are cleaning themselves. Upon ingestion, the insect is poisoned. What’s even better – food dragged through a line of roach powder can infect an entire nest, as can the corpses of already dead and poisoned roaches.
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 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.
The Zap a Roach boric acid cockroach killer 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 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.