Roaches are renowned for their status as the world’s no.1 most hated pest. These revolting insects thrive in close proximity to humans and, as a result, are prolific home invaders. Once inside, cockroaches can play havoc with your home and health. These sewer-dwelling bugs are coated in bacteria, which they leave on everything they touch. Food, cooking utensils and preparation areas can all become contaminated as a result, leaving you and your family at risk of developing some seriously nasty illnesses.

Roaches also release allergens (in the form of antennae, skin cases, and feces) into their external environment. This is bad news for allergy sufferers and even worse for asthmatics; living alongside roaches can trigger attacks and generally exacerbate the condition.

Health risks aside, roaches are one of the most unpleasant creatures to share your home with. Their pungent, musty smell is sickening and can become overpowering as their numbers increase, even affecting the taste of your food. Finding cockroaches in your home is a nightmare, but one you’ll have to deal with immediately!

Cockroaches are present on almost every corner of the globe so, chances are, you’ll encounter them at some point. Whether you have a few roaches or a few hundred, speed is of the essence in eradicating them. Cockroaches reproduce very quickly and their numbers can boom in no time at all, so burying your head can quickly lead to an infestation! They key is the take action immediately, before your roach population becomes unmanageable.

Borax and Boric Acid are widely considered to be highly effective for killing cockroaches and are the method of choice for many people.

But how can you use these chemicals safely and effectively at home? Fortunately, both are easy to source and use, helping you to clear out your cockroaches with minimal stress.

What’s the difference between borax and boric acid?

Borax and boric acid are basically the same thing. Both contain the element Boron and both are toxic to cockroaches. So, what makes them different?

Borax is an unrefined mineral that is mined from the ground. It is usually present in everyday household cleaning products, such as laundry detergent and hand soap.

When processed and refined, borax becomes boric acid. This is ground down into a much finer powder than borax and is used solely as a pesticide or insecticide

How to get rid of roaches with borax

First thing’s first – where can you buy borax? Borax is a key ingredient in most laundry detergents, though it is present in different concentrations depending on the brand. Borax 20 Mule Team Detergent has a high concentration of the chemical and is, therefore, likely to be most effective against roaches.

How do you use borax for roaches?

Borax is sold in the form of white powder and is very easy to use against cockroaches.

First, work out where your cockroaches are coming from. Carefully check under furniture, around drains and in cracks (especially in the kitchen) to identify areas with high levels of cockroach activity.

Once you know where your roaches hang out, lightly dust the area with the cockroach powder. Don’t create a thick layer; if you do, roaches will probably walk around rather than through it.

What does borax do to roaches?

Borax powder clings to the legs and bodies of cockroaches when they walk over it. The cockroach then ingests the powder as it preens itself. The effects of borax (which are thought to include neurotoxicity and damage to the gut lining) are fast-acting and the cockroach will die soon after. Other cockroaches will then feed on the bodies of the dead insects, ingesting the remaining poison as they do.

Although borax has been found to be highly effective in killing cockroaches, it is a method that requires patience and consistent use. Reapply the dust every few days over a period of a few months, continuing for one month after your roaches seem to have gone.

How to get rid of roaches with boric acid

Boric acid can also be bought in powder form and is available in most grocery stores.

How do you use boric acid for roaches?

When using boric acid for roaches, you should include some sort of bait to maximize its effectiveness.

This can be done following a simple recipe; just mix equal quantities of flour and boric acid, making sure they are thoroughly combined. This mixture can then be placed in jar lids or small plates and left in cabinets, behind furniture or anywhere else you see roaches. The flour will attract the cockroaches, leading them to walk through the mixture and get it on their legs and bodies.

What does boric acid do to roaches?

Once ingested, boric acid plays havoc with the cockroaches guts. The chemical is thought to cause changes in the cells and to the thickness of the insect stomach wall, effectively altering its shape and structure. This causes the cockroach to starve to death after a while. Boric acid is also thought to have neurotoxic effects which contribute to the death of the cockroach.

Like borax, boric acid must be used regularly and consistently to effectively clear your roach population. Change your bait at least once a week to make sure it is kept fresh and dry and continue the process for at least a couple of months.

Are borax and boric acid safe to use?

Both borax and boric acid are considered safe to handle and use at home. There is no danger in getting them on your skin, though you should wash your hands thoroughly to avoid irritation.

However, both of these products can be highly toxic if ingested. Inhaling borax dust can cause respiratory problems and swallowing these chemicals can result in severe poisoning.

These products should, therefore, be used with utmost caution in households with children or pets.