Picture of No More Roaches

I have wanted to write this Instructable for a long time but could not bear the thought of a photo of a roach. I found a plastic one; problem solved. I think you get the idea from that sentence that I am just a little bit, somewhat, sort of, come to think of it, mildly, TERRIFIED of roaches. This is the story of how I got rid of the roaches in my home and they have stayed gone for 10 months now after just the initial treatment.

Update: By the time I moved from this home described here, the roaches stayed gone for 6 years, I baited one more time inbetween. It is important to click the button right under the title that says '8 Steps' or you will think that this 'ible is only one step long - it is 8 steps long. Be sure to read all of the steps before asking questions. Other questions you might have, might be answered in the comment section. Which is not to say not to ask questions, please by all means do so if you need to.

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Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
maple syrup pour.jpg

Boric acid powder*
Karo syrup - you may substitute honey, maple syrup, pancake syrup or make a simple syrup of sugar and water.
Rice flour - you may substitute any flour you have on hand.
1 Popsicle stick
1 Mixing bowl

Amounts as follows:
2 parts Boric acid
1 part flour - any kind of flour is fine: white, whole wheat, rice, etc.
Enough Karo syrup, or what ever sweetener you choose, to make a peanut butter-ish consistency mixture

Important note: Boric acid powder is not something you want to inhale, get into your eyes or swallow so mix this up outside. Wear a dust mask until it is mixed up. It has no odor.

For a 2800 square foot home with 4 bathrooms, I mixed 2 cups of boric acid with 1 cup rice powder (any flour will do) and about 3/4 cup of Karo syrup. I used a plastic bowl to mix in and stuck the bowl and left over bait up into the attic/crawl space when I was done baiting. If you don't get finished baiting in one day put the bowl into the fridge, covered, and it will stay workable for another day or two.

*(Sometimes available in hardware stores in the US as "Roach Prufe" (this was the only way I was able to buy it, the canister is 98% boric acid and 2% blue coloring). Also, commenter ScottP6 says he was able to buy boric acid on Amazon for $7 for a pound. That is enough to share with neighbors and friends for years. Any boric acid that you find will be fine though, just make sure it is mostly boric acid.

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I had to restart my comment.

Well I've made an account to share my excitement! The day I received my keys to my apartments I noticed there was roaches. I was so mad that I complained to the apartments, all they told me was they had pest control do a full cleaning so roaches might be coming out more & not to worry. So I waited two weeks to move my stuff into my apartment. I prayed that the pest control fixed the problem. Guess what! It DIDNT! no surprise huh. So I tried everything I bombed my place I set up traps I even bought boric acid and put it everywhere. Still didn't work. I had finally given up and it was time to move my stuff into the apartment.

So the night before the move I researched one more time to see if I could find the answer. I came across this post. Since I already had boric acid I thought well it's worth a try. I read the comments and made sure I did everything right I was determined to get rid of these nasty bugs! So I stayed up for four hours opening outlets and baiting everywhere and everything.

After I had moved in I realized there was still roaches I thought to my self well I gave it all I had. But a couple days had passed and I saw maybe 3 roaches in my entire place. Then I didn't see any! (well none alive they were dead). I tried not to get too excited as I thought this is too good to be true. But as the days passed i didn't see not one roach. I think I cried for joy for a week. This had actually worked! If you are reading this and you're at your breaking point I'm telling you THIS DOES WORK! But only if YOU DO IT RIGHT! I'm happy to say my place has been roach free for three months THANK YOU NINZERBEAN! for this post. Sorry for the long comment! Thank you again!
Ninzerbean (author)  Tasha_calderon22 days ago
Oh Tasha-calderon I am so happy you took the time to write - thank you so much for your wonderful words. I have had the worst day and this has made me so happy. I am sending you a virtual hug!
I cannot thank you enough. Me & my children live in a clean roach free home. You have made our place into a home. I am forever grateful! Thank you again!
Ninzerbean (author)  Tasha_calderon21 days ago

Dear Tasha, I know, I understand, I've been there - house into a home sort of thing. It's why, you are why, I wrote this Instructable. To turn houses into homes. I will be forever grateful for your comment.

Dseg15121 month ago


First off let me start by saying thank you so so so much for sharing this! I finally have my sanity back after endless nights of sleep deprivation, and hugging a can of raid every night! (not literally, but yes always ready on my night stand). -- I apologize for the length of this--

My family and I moved into a home that my father owns and was previously rented out to filthy tenant. Of course, it was infested with huge flying American cockroaches. I cleaned every inch of the house literally on my hands and knees & repainted. I too am TERRIFIED of roaches, and can't count how many times I cried, squealed, jumped, and yelled for my husband every time I saw one. At times I would be brave enough to spray them myself, but they would charge towards me!! AHH, My husband finally got tired of all the crying and complaining & called a professional exterminator. He came and sprayed outside and the baseboards.

I would see some dead, but I would still see a lot alive, if not more than ever. I studied them one night sitting at the kitchen table around midnight and I noticed that one by one by one they came out from behind the kitchen cabinet where the sink goes. Long story shorter- there was a nest back there & a hole leading right outside. I took the entire cabinets to the dump & fixed the hole. ( I installed all new cabinets)


SO, this is where you come in! I did EVERYTHING you listed in the steps. I have gone through 4 cans of foam, and atleast 8 of silicone caulking. This house had so many gaps, and crevices! I spent countless days just sealing every room! In addition to this, I also bought new weatherstripping.... I strategically placed the boric acid paste in every room, every outlet, every door way. I didn't skip a single one.


After 2 or 3 days of putting the paste, I saw ONE live one... It's now been two weeks and I haven't seen one. Not even a dead one.

I'm just in denial.. Is this real? Are they really gone?!

What you posted here works! ....Don't take "shortcuts", & these steps do pay off.


Ninzerbean (author)  Dseg15121 month ago
Dear Dseg1512,
Thank you for taking the time to write. Comments like yours make me so happy.
mnkyd296 days ago

Thank you for this instructable. I have done everything here except the foam. I see that the landlord has done this except I see one hole under the sink. oddly enough, I never see roaches under the sink yet everywhere else. kitchen, bathroom, baseboards etc. how many days does it take to stop these suckers? Its been 5 days and I feel like I've been seeing more out than normal and not sure its working. I want to make another batch and try again...

Ninzerbean (author)  mnkyd29yesterday

Mnkyd29, I missed your comment so I apologize for the late reply. Seeing more roaches after baiting seems to be one an occasional occurrence from what I have read - they sort of get into a frenzy looking for a safe food source. This did not happen to me but I have read about it now a few times in the comment section.

After baiting, it takes only a day or two to see results - but in your case maybe there is a colony living inside that you must find and get rid of. There may be something you did not do in all the steps or did not do the whole house etc. Other than those suggestions I can only say that if you did a good job on the baiting you should not be having to do this again for years.

I think you might want to plug up that hole just to be safe.

nordsteph7 days ago
I think I have cockroaches but have only seen one in my apartment. About 2-3 weeks ago my step niece was taken from her mom and her mom asked me to come get her monster high doll house...I knew they had cockroaches bad so I told her she had to make sure it had no bugs. I took it home but didn't bring it inside. Instead I left it outside under the stairs of the upstairs apartment, about 10 feet away from my front door. One day I was coming back from taking the garbage out and when I was walking back into my place I saw a cockroach trying to get in..he was on the tile right on the entrance to door..I squished it, inspected the area to make sure there were no more and then automatically went back outside to check the doll house. It was crawling with baby cockroaches all over it!! So I picked it up by the very top, ran to the dumpster and threw it in. The dumpster is for all the apartments..We have two. I haven't seen any cockroaches since until today. My grandson came and told me there is a cockroach on his power ranger you gun! I went in his room and sure enough there it was! It wasn't a baby but wasn't huge and it moved slower then a cockroach normally moves but it was cockroach. I flushed it down the toilet twice and inspected his room and my kitchen..which is very very clean.. does this mean there are more than the one today? Should I tell the apartment manager? We had cockroaches one time about 4 years ago since I've been here but they treated all apartments and they never returned but now I'm worried..what should I do?
Ninzerbean (author)  nordstephyesterday

Hi nordsteph, sorry for the late reply, I missed your comment somehow. So anyway, I think you should be on the look out - finding a roach in the power ranger gun is very strange, and it makes me think that there are more because why in the world would one be in there? Roaches have no bones so they have no problem fitting through and under the most impossibly small openings. I think it would be a good idea to bait your house ASAP before you end up with a real problem. I would also tell the manager, maybe they are coming from another apartment.... You can be super clean and still have roaches. They can live on anything, food wise I mean. I think there was an experiment in the 60's where a group stayed alive for 1 year on toenail clippings.

Ksco94255 days ago
My house is super old. My main problem is that my hot water heater is in my kitchen! It's in the corner right between the kitchen bars so I can't get in between it and I'm pretty sure that's where the roaches are coming from. I have an inside dog and I have to keep his dog food in his bowl covered up with Saran Wrap most of the time or it will become infested. I just discovered them in my pantry so I have to throw all my food out too. I'm just so disgusted with seeing roaches in my home. What do I do since I can't get to the place I'm pretty sure is the source of the roaches?
Ninzerbean (author)  Ksco94255 days ago
Your vacuum will become your best friend. I still think you should bait your whole house, not just the kitchen area. It may take a few days longer to work but it will.
Thanks for the advice!
Ninzerbean (author)  Ksco9425yesterday

How's it going Ksco9425? It's been 4 days so you should be having good results by now.

Junietunes4 days ago

I was cleaning my house the other day, and found what I thought was a beatle. I thought nothing of it until today I went to use the flour, which was full of cockroaches. I got rid of the flour. But then I started searching the rest of my kitchen, under the stove, in drawers, behind the fridge, and just everywhere. There wasn't as many in those spots, as in the flour. I made the mixture above. How long do I have to wait for it to work? do I let my landlord know I have them? What else should I do? I got rid of all open bags of food of any kind. I just want them gone!

I was also wondering if you think that the flour was the nest area?

Ninzerbean (author)  Junietunesyesterday

Hi Junietunes, I like your name. I don't think the flour was the nest area. The nest area is huge, it has to contain thousands of roaches. But I also think you have German roaches, usually they are small enough to fit into a bag of flour with their friends. They are much harder to get rid of. You might want to read a few hundred comments to get a better idea of what others have done about German roaches. Of check out online to see if you have regular American ones or Germans. One is much easier to deal with. As far as your question about the bait, it works right away. You should see results in a day or two. This will be evidenced by dead roaches lying about and not seeing any live ones that aren't quite sick. But you need to follow all of the steps - plug up holes, undo your light switch covers, it takes a long time to do a house throughly. Letting your landlord know seems like a good idea, but not if he or she is going to send in a big name commercial company that only gets rid of roaches for 90 days. They use bait and sprays that stop working after 90 days so you will have roaches returning, it makes you hire them again, and again.

Sara_042 days ago

I am moving into an older trailer. When I moved in the landlord said she saw a bug on the floor and her husband killed it. She couldn't tell me what kind of bug. She did fill all of the cabinets with boric acid. I've never had a roach problem and had no idea what boric acid was. So move in day and I found a dead roach in a bedroom. A weird place I thought. They called Orkin for me who said they would fog. He said he didn't see any roaches, but didn't think it was bad at all. He said the house was very clean. So I wait a day and come back to air out the trailer and I find about 9 dead roaches and a dead spider. gross! He pulled all of the drawers out and opened the cabinets. They are pretty gross in there. This is an old old trailer so there are many cracks and crevices. Some friends and I are going to come in on Friday and clean the place but I'd like to know there are no bugs before I move my things in. I found a similar recipe from a girl living in NYC. I am going to try your recipe and hopefully it will kill the roaches and we can clean and move in with no problem. The only thing I worry about is all the places they can get in. I might have to ask the landlord about the expandable foam insulation.

Ninzerbean (author)  Sara_04yesterday
Sara_04, the cracks and crevices are the biggest problem as you have figured out your self. Your landlord seems to be willing to help but it also sounds like she knew what she killed or she would not have put boric acid in the cabinets. That will not really be effective because a roach has to run across it for it to work and you don't want roaches inside of your cabinets in the first place. So get those cracks filled in first thing, then bait. It sounds like it is going to be fine.
mrkr21 days ago

Will this method work on Water Roaches? We get these ugly nasty creatures in the summertime. I have seen then come up through the hole in the manhole cover in the street at night!!! EEEWWWWWWW!!!

SusanT3 mrkr15 days ago
We live in Houston and the storm drain /manhole cover by the curb would be crawling with them at night... Exterminator treated it with diatomaceous earth and a secondary perimeter insecticide. They came flooding out within 30min., the diatomaceous earth dessicates their chitin apparently... Ones we saw were dead within 20min...none at night there still 3 days later. We'll see how long that lasts. Pretty sure that was a source of roaches at the house.
lam0nt SusanT33 days ago
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is truly a great additional step for anyone that is trying to keep them away for extended periods. About once a year we remove our outlet covers and dust inside the walls. We also throw some into the attic spaces (think crop dusting). It's great for places you rarely would go. DE is like talcum powder so it is a bit messy but think of how persistent that makes it too. I never see any live roaches but occasionally see a dead one that is clearly a victim of DE :-D
Ninzerbean (author)  mrkr20 days ago
I can not even fathom how disgusting this is, I'm sorry I can't even answer you comment for fear of being totally grossed out. I would never go out at night if that was going to happen. I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight thinking about this. Maybe you could make a small movie, put some small toy animals and people around the manhole cover and..... EWWWWWWWWW!

mrkr, I obviously don't know, I obviously don't want to investigate - but you can, and please report back.
Ksco94255 days ago
I've also bombed my house and it killed a lot of bugs but they didn't completely go away and now they're coming back with even more.
Ksco94255 days ago
I've also bombed my house and it killed a lot of bugs but they didn't completely go away and now they're coming back with even more.
attraktiv7 days ago

just two hints:

1. you can buy boric acid in dollar general store (this green stores), this is 100% boric acid. Be careful in other stores, where you can see 60% of acid and 40% of "something" (probably chalk or any other inactive thing)

2. when picking up the syrup, take the transparent non-colored one. This way the whole thing will be black and less noticeable on white elements.

descutia058 days ago
Ok sowefinitely be trying this. I live in apartment. I see them everywhere. The manager has tried getting treatments done and they do not help because they can not use the strong stuff since i have two crawling babies. Hopefully this works because i have run out of options. I am tired of seeing them crawl across my tv and turning on the lights to see them scatter in dozens.

I did find this at Dollar Tree. 100% boric acid.

Ninzerbean (author)  descutia058 days ago
Yep, I've read that a few times now, that boric acid can be found at dollar stores. This WILL work, IF you follow all of the directions and then read a few hundred comments from the comment section - it sounds as if you have the German kind, they are harder to eradicate for sure. But there are a lot of things to do even before you bait, and I mean it, you will get rid of most of your roaches if you can find out where they are hanging out in your place - and I say this ONLY because they sound like Germans which like to live inside vs outside like the ones I wrote the Instructable for. Keep us posted, you will be fine very soon.

hi. I have been battling the bugs for years. I bomb my house every few months and use bait stations. That usually helps. But this week I discovered so many roaches outside!!!! I lifted empty pots and almost died when I saw all the bugs. I threw everything out and clean out the yard and sprayed. I thought I was good, but just a while ago I found a few in our pool! GROSSS! Can I use this mixture outside? I don't see anyone commenting about outside use. HELP!!!

I forgot to husband is an avid gardener. We live in south florida and we have lots of plants. I make him water in the morning so that by nightfall the grounds are dry.

Ninzerbean (author)  appreciatingadriana11 days ago
​Hi appreciatingadriana, I am afraid I wrote a very long comment and it just evaporated and I don't want to try to be creative again. Bottom line is that if you can find places to put the bait where it won't be washed away then try, I could never find that many places outside my house that were not affected by rain. I did have my empty pots in a shed and I baited the shed for that very reason, no more roaches in the shed. That is as much help as I can offer.
Sdhanson712 days ago
Where can I apply this paste when they're crawling into the door of my dishwasher?
We just moved into our new home. Built in 1886!! Yeah. It's a good one, but the previous tenants, (was previously a four-plex) were NASTY I mean Ga-Ross humans!! I have cleaned and cleaned and 45 bug bombs. It's a 3000+ sq home. Old pocket doors, lots of cracks I'm sure. Biggest area of concern is the kitchen. Gaps behind counters, range/oven, dishwasher, built in microwave, fridge, double sink, disposal... I will "bait" per your instructions and the expandable foam is on my list as well.
I have a 6/4 year old son... I have a food obsessed scavenging black lab AND an equally food obsessed beagle... How can I safely and effectively place the bait in lower areas (floor level) that the pups and minions won't go getting?
I'm in Northern Illinois and I'm pretty sure these are the infamous Nazi Roaches. I'm thinking a nuclear explosion wouldn't even scare these a-holes off. I don't like them, but I'm more concerned about food storage, contamination, etc. my children are like walking vending machines. :(
Up at 3am my first night in my new home, itching and googling ways to kill roaches...
Ninzerbean (author)  Sdhanson712 days ago
Well your new house sounds pretty great, yes well, you do have a problem, but it's solvable so don't worry. Don't put any bait around the floor area. Just don't. It would be visible and your dogs might lick at it, it wouldn't do any real harm to them but then there is no bait. It sounds to me like you need some help removing the appliances in the kitchen to be able to find the nest(s) cause if you are dealing with the Germans (I like your term but I hate to disparage German people, when it's bad enough they have roaches named after them) you are going to have more work before the bait can work.

Old houses are a problem that way and your whole family is going to have to pitch in - the human vending machines will have to be unplugged from their source of power - no eating any food anywhere but (fill in the blank). Period.

There area zillions of places to place the bait that the roaches will find that are out of site - especially behind the drawers in your kitchen but none of this will seem to make a dent until you can find out what appliance they are living in and have a vacuum, and some help, ready to suck those suckers out of your house.

Pocket doors lead right into the guts of a home, there is NOTHING between them and the inside of the walls so that is a great place for you to get as far inside of the walls as possible by placing the bait on top of the pocket doors. See my photos above, I had pocket doors too in my old house.

Knowing that you set off 45 foggers which did not work is very helpful to others reading these comments. That is a lot of foggers. I always think that is a good start when you have a big problem but obviously not.

Food storage can be solved by storing as much as possible in your freezer and ziplocks bags. Like flour and cereals can be stored in the freezer. You want to get rid of all the food sources in the house so the roaches will have to eat the bait, not that they won't want to anyway but it's just better if it is the only food. Oh, yes, get rid of all the cardboard boxes that food comes in and if you just moved in and have not unpacked all of your cardboard boxes from moving do so and get rid of them.

Because of all you have tried so far and there is still such a problem it may be beneficial to find a small (not a big name) professional outfit that will work with you to find the colony(s) and does not require you to sign any stupid contract. And then use my bait to keep them away or to kill any that may still be there after the professional has dealt with them.

Keep in touch to let us know how you are doing. Can you teach the human vending machines to vacuum in exchange for a roach free house? Vacuuming every day is going to be mandatory for a few weeks.
rayne667614 days ago

Hi Ninzerbean,

Not to jump on the bandwagon but I have to say I literally made this account just to thank you. I am TERRIFIED of Roaches, and for the past 4 years my family has had a big problem, however they only came out during the summer. This summer they are getting particularly restless, with me seeing about 10 small ones a day, and only one large one (today I saw two!), so I shudder at the thought of what lies in the walls. I am at wits end, so I decided to sit down and try to figure out what to do, (I sat down on my coffee table, because I can barely trust the couch to not be hiding one!) and found this on my computer. From what I've read in the comments this works miracles, so I wanted to thank you in advance! I eagerly await being able to go out to the store to get supplies for this, however, I would like to know what you think of just plain commercial roach bait.

Ninzerbean (author)  rayne667613 days ago
Hi rayne6676, This site - Instructables is so great so you will be happy you signed up just to find other things to make or share what you make.

So commercial roach bait, like a roach hotel, I like a lot! I would use them for sure (if I needed them). Sprays are good to keep around to squirt on a roach until you don't have any reason to use it. I have a can in the cupboard under the sink my self. But I only ever see a dead roach and usually like you say, only in the summer. So they must have been alive before they were dead. I've seen two dead ones this week and I think it's been a year since I've seen any.

I am all for commercial roach bait, but it won't last like my bait will, what I don't like are commercial pest control companies. There are some good ones out there for sure but not the big names in my experience. Unless you only want your bugs gone for a month.

My bait works, but you have to bait your WHOLE house, you can add a few hotels and keep a can of spray around of course. You might want to set off a fogger if you can't sit on the couch so you can knock them down to give yourself a good start. The comment section has a lot of good advice from other people.

Write again when you are roach-free.

Hi I made this a week ago and it still ok for me to apply. Will it still work. I place it in the fridge. I had applied some intially

Ninzerbean (author)  Nekhebt MutI19 days ago
If you can still spread it and it sticks to things you can still use it.

thank you

maria24020 days ago
Hi, thanks so much for this informative article!

I recently moved to New Orleans where there are so many roaches on the sidewalk at night!

I live in a garden apartment where the windows and doors are wood and old, and they don't close perfectly.

I lined the outsides with boric acid powder (99%) but I seem to get the occasional roach in my apartment.

I went ahead and made the paste to stick around the place.

I was just wondering if you think it's counterproductive to place it around my apartment if I do not actually have an infestation; do you think I will actually be inviting them in now?

I would really appreciate your advice!

Thanks again!

Ninzerbean (author)  maria24020 days ago
On the sidewalk at night? Gross! But anyway, no, I don't think it is counterproductive to do the bait even when you don't have roaches. Just in case one comes in he or she will bring the bait back to the colony living out on the sidewalk (ha ha) and then they won't go back to your place. It would be a good idea to get some window sealer for your windows, it comes in white and brown and you can always peel it off if it looks terrible, but I don't think it will.
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