loading

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.

Step 1: What you will need

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.

Step 2: What my kitchen used to look like

For every roach you see there are probably 100 hiding in the walls. If you see a roach in the daytime it means you have such an infestation that they are crowding each other out of their hiding places. Did I say gross?

Step 3: What my kitchen looks like now

No more roaches!

Step 4: Once upon a time....

About 16 years ago I rented a house that was infested with roaches, I called an exterminator who declared it was the worst infestation he had ever seen (in case you don't want to take my word). His company used a bait that had the consistency of peanut butter and he put a little dab of it behind all the drawers (out of reach of pets or children), under the sinks on the pipes coming out from the wall, and he even took off all the outlet and switch plate covers to put the bait inside the walls.

It was a miracle, I never saw a roach again. In that house.

When I moved I used the same service and the same guy (let's call him John because that was his name) did the same thing, but this time is was a new house that I had bought. Once a year John would come back and do the same thing and in 14 years I never saw a you know what. Alive that is. Once in a while there would be a dead one. Back then I had a husband so the dead ones were not so much a problem.

Step 5: Then.....

The husband left, I had to move and buy a new house and guess what? I took John with me, but this time John wasn't using the bait. In fact I was calling John every week for help with the roaches. My new house was new to me but really very old, and it had a lot of roaches. A week would not go by when I did not see one or two or .... more. It was so bad I could not get out of bed at night and turn on a light for fear of what I would see. I implored John to use his magic peanut butter but he just told me "we don't do that anymore". What was a poor girl to do?

The Internet to the rescue!

Step 6: And this is what I found out!

The magic peanut butter that John's company had been using was so successful that clients started canceling their contracts. Oh. Gosh why hadn't I thought of that - who's going to hire a pest control company if they don't have pests. John wasn't using the stuff that WORKED because if he did his company wouldn't have any business.

It has been 10 months since I ended my contract with the pest control company and I baited my house with my home made poison, and (drum roll please) I have found one dead roach in all that time.

Step 7: How and where to use it

Using the popsicle stick, put a dab of the bait where roaches like to go - up high and near water. They also like to live in your home's walls so undo all of your switch plate covers and outlet covers and smear some on the back of the outlet cover itself. The bait is not sticky so I find it easier to put it in areas where it can sit so it won't fall off. After it dries out it becomes hard and stuck to where you stuck it.

Roaches like to bring food back to their colony and when they bring this food back it will kill lots and lots of roaches, roaches who never even scurried over to your house. This is disgusting but even if he's a greedy roach and just eats and does not share with his buds, when he poops back at the colony and his buds eat that poop they will die.

It took me most of a day to go all around my home looking for out-of-the-way places to place the bait, undoing all the switch plate covers took the longest. Pulling out the drawers in the kitchen was really easy because most of the time you can access the back of the drawer from the cabinet underneath. At my former house it used to take a crew of 2 guys, 4 hours to do the whole house.

The most important places are the pipes coming into your home either for your sinks or you washing machine and dishwasher. Attics and crawl spaces are prime roach habitat. Roaches have no bones so they can slip through the smallest sliver of space. It's gross.

Step 8: Why this works

Boric acid powder is a proven roach killer, what I am presenting here is a way to get the roaches attracted to it (sweet smelling Karo syrup) and to eat it (flour and Karo syrup). Making it into a paste enables you to place it in areas where powder alone would not stay.

I read a lot of information online 10 months ago to come up with this solution but aside from the boric acid powder it's not an exact science - I think peanut butter mixed with boric acid powder would work just as well. The thing that really got me really interested is when I read industry information about folks canceling their pest control service because the baiting method was so effective. I made up the recipe based on common sense, what I read, and what I had in the cupboard. The proof is my roach free house. It's a huge relief and I wanted to share.

2015 Update: It's been 6 years since I wrote this and I would like to add an especially helpful comment by NorEaster. There are over 900 comments at this point and they are very helpful, so here is this one, know that NorEaster's comment is about German roaches, which are a whole different bug game:

NorEaster to jules0803
Hope I can help with this. I moved to Hawaii 2 months ago and have already seen more roaches here than I've even seen in all my life (zero). I spend all my days planning and preparing for my escape off this infested island when military orders are up in 3yrs. So far this is my list:

(1) Get many, I mean A FRKN TON of airtight plastic storage bins (ZipLoc weathertight is a brand), it may end up costing, but its the way to go since roaches love to hide & lay eggs in the flaps & weaving of cardboard boxes.

(2) Tiny roaches will live & breed in the motors of appliances so toss them in plastic/garbage bags & store in freezer for a couple days before the move to freeze the life out of them!

(3) wash all your clothes, curtains & bed linens on the hottest setting (without damaging) and IMMEDIATELY move them from dryer into plastic bins so roaches wont have time to attach & hitch a ride.

(4) Those efficient little devils can feed off of the GLUE in your book bindings so throw all your office supplies, magazines, tampons, diapers, etc into the sealed bins with a roach bait station in every bin to feed & kill them & DONT open the bins for a few weeks, so that any placed eggs can hatch, feed & die also.

(5) Do a thorough cleaning of the new place before your stuff arrives, behind fridge & oven, etc then bring your stuff over & shake everything off outside! I know you'll worry what the neighbors think but at least they will see that you obviously are not comfortable living in filth & are taking measures to avoid another such situation. Wipe down & inspect everything before stocking shelves & cabinets & rewash all the linens again for good measure. I wish you luck & cant wait to do this myself in the roach-deterring snowy weather of NewEngland!

<p>Ninzerbean, </p><p>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--</p><p>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 &amp; 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 &amp; called a professional exterminator. He came and sprayed outside and the baseboards. </p><p>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 &amp; a hole leading right outside. I took the entire cabinets to the dump &amp; fixed the hole. ( I installed all new cabinets)</p><p>I WOULD STILL SEE ONE IN THE RESTROOM EVERY NIGHT!!!!!!!</p><p>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. </p><p>I HAVE NO MORE ROACHES!!! </p><p>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.</p><p>I'm just in denial.. Is this real? Are they really gone?! </p><p>What you posted here works! ....Don't take &quot;shortcuts&quot;, &amp; these steps do pay off.</p><p>THANK YOU!</p>
Dear Dseg1512,<br>Thank you for taking the time to write. Comments like yours make me so happy.
Hi Ninzerbean, it's been a year since I tried your magic &quot;peanut butter&quot; &amp; had been roach free living in bliss. Until now.<br><br>Sadly, they've come back with a vengeance &amp; I've been finding a dead one every morning for the past week. Tonight I'm awake because I found a live one and cannot sleep. Should I reapply the mixture?<br><br>I have no idea what could've brought them back? We haven't brought anything into the house &amp; the foam remains in place. <br><br>Any advice is greatly appreciated
I thought they were gone four times and they kept coming back. The first two times they were still the big ones but the third time they were medium sized and then tiny. The tiny ones are the last ones I seen inside. I found out later thats kinda normal when you bait. I still see those things outside and thats why Im here. The shopvac is your friend ?. Im going to try this mix outside. I have no love for these things.
<p>Dseg1512, Something brought them in, not back, just in, you must have bought something that had them attached or inside, it could be as simple as a used game player, a box of contaminated food, a bag of potatoes. Just get on top of this right now and they will be gone. The bait does not wear out in a year, it just has to be something that came into your house that had them living in it. Anyway just re-bait so there is fresh lovely stuff around and it will be OK very soon. I may be about to have the same problem myself because I had to bring back a ton of stuff from a relative's home that was infested with roaches. I've already seen one dead one and I know there could be more.</p>
<p>Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am a neat freak, and I was struggling with bugs even though the house was spotless. It was incredibly stressful. I enlisted my husband's help, and we followed your instructions. I bought the boric acid, flour, and syrup at a Family Dollar store for under $10. We went through several cans of spray foam and tubes of caulk, and it took a couple of days to make sure we got every crack. We took off every light switch plate and outlet cover and put the goop inside. We did cabinets, door frames, everywhere. It has been a little over two months, and we haven't seen a bug since. I seriously can't believe it. We were so skeptical for the first few weeks, and we kept waiting for them to come back, but this stuff is MAGIC! I just cancelled my pest control service. If anyone out there is thinking about doing this, DO IT!!! I cannot thank you enough for this! It is life changing!</p>
Hi Tiderem, what a great comment. I'm going to feature it. Thank you for taking the time to write about your success. Once you no longer have bugs you forget how much angst they used to cause.
<p>I didn't even realize how many things in my life were revolving around those creatures! I can now have visitors without worrying that one will scurry across the floor. I can get a drink in the middle of the night without having to dry the sink afterward, and I can even leave a glass of water on my bedside table. The floor was spotless, and I would never have walked around without shoes on until now. I was living in constant fear, and now I can just relax and enjoy my home. What a difference! </p><p>Also, for those of you who are planning to try this, I used a Tupperware kind of container that was airtight, and the paste is still workable over 2 months later. No need to refrigerate! I have been putting a little bit on my porch around my potted plants after every rain to keep the ants out of my plants. </p>
<p>HA! I just posted a comment wondering if this would work against ants. So there you are! How well does it work on those nasty beasties, Tiderem?</p>
Yes this stuff even kills ANTS i used it with peanut buttter. I even sprinkle a band around our house when rain is not in tbe forecast.
Have not had ANY bugs in months! Haven't even seen one roach or ant dead or alive, so it seems to work for ants as well.
Boric acid can be bought at any hardware store in the poison section . Even in drug stores in eye wash read lables . 98% Boric acid is all you need it will kill all your bugs nothing else is needed . Pest control companies have been using it for years .
<p>I have bought the plain Boric Acid. I like those cheap chicken pot pies and will cook one and eat it saving the bowl thing it is in. I put a little Boric Acid in it along with a small piece of bacon from breakfast in the center. I place them under cabinets in kitchen and bathroom so our pets not get into it. It does take some time unlike a kill one now spray. But, they will be gone!</p>
<p>Dear Ninzerbean, I must write to thank you for this. My hubs made the dreadful mistake of taking a game system home that he found on the side of the road. Turns out it had an epic nest inside of you know what. We did some research and cleaned up target areas very well and sealed up all food, plus bought some gel bait which had actually worked quite well for me at an apartment about 15-20 years ago. Over the course of the next 2 months though we started finding more and bigger live ones. When I saw one crawling along a door board as I got coffee one morning, I reached my tolerance level (which was already next to nothing due to childhood and adulthood past trauma with the things). I began to research more to see what I should expect or what I was doing wrong, when I found this page. It took awhile to do our house because it's pretty large and tell you the truth, every single step could not be followed to the letter because we rent and we don't want to make the washer and dryer water hookups so difficult to access, for example. We didn't even foam up under the kitchen sink.<br>The day we began the process of applying the bait, before we had applied any, one adult came out in broad daylight. I was freaked because I already knew from what I read that it's a very bad sign when they come out in daylight, although he may have been disturbed by our cleaning and clearing activities. Anyway, after just getting a basic start with the kitchen stuff, we stopped seeing them daily. A couple days later, we discovered some super tiny (live) babies near the stove- a spot we frequently saw them around a particular cupboard- I realized not only did that cupboard have a sliding door that slid into the wall which was probably a prime breeding ground, but also we hadn't done a lot of bait there, so I baited up that door. The next weekend, I turned on the stove and a small one came out of the stove.... you better believe this was not a happy thing for me to discover. I spent that entire day getting into the cracks we had previously missed on the stove because I actually had to take part of the stove apart to get into those cracks that were full of caked in crumbs from a few years at least that we've lived there because we didn't know how to get to it before. After spending basically a whole day getting everything I could out of there and baiting some strategic spots around there that wouldn't affect our cooking.... well, we haven't seen a single one since that day and it has now been 3-4 weeks. I am SO impressed! And happy to have my wonderful house back!</p>
<p>Oh and I did also go around and do all the outlets etc. that I could around the whole house over the course of a few weekends, I read that you should here, even if you've only seen them in one place like the kitchen, like us. The game system had started out 3 rooms away though in the garage, so keep that in mind, and we never saw any in the garage after the first few weeks.</p>
<p>Roommate found a live roach tonight, a big one apparently. Will be revisiting the foaming step!!!! Looking for other commenters on seeing a big live one months later too, I know there was some with this experience..</p>
<p>CarrieW7, A big rain can bring in a roach or two - any chance you live where we have had all of this rain and flooding on the East Coast?</p>
<p>Hi Ninzerbean,</p><p>I was somewhat relieved to see your comment. I am actually on the West Coast and we did just have a good rain which we desperately need being in stage four drought at this point. I'm also still a bit concerned, it was a big one according to the eyewitnesses and not slow either. And in the most common spot we've ever seen them, that cupboard door. We had no outdoor or any nests before my husband introduced them to our home unintentionally and it has been so peacefully roach-free for several months I think now. Although on second thought, maybe a few of the suspicious mothy-looking things I wondered about before were actually just what I feared. Anyway, they didn't ever used to be here and I hate to think they're still nesting somewhere. They are the German kind, so they don't live outside from what I understand. Which is even worse, and I have no idea how when I put seemingly so much bait in their paths. We've also been struggling with a huge ant infestation pretty much since the end of the roaches. Apparently a big thing all around our area.... we never had them before either.</p>
<p>CarrieW7, This bait will work for ants as well, if you smear it along their paths, you will need hot water to clean up later but I did this at my mom's house and it worked with in hours. But on my next visit they were back so I did it again, I don't know if they are still gone but I think I was not diligent enough to trace them to where they were coming in.</p>
Ok I might be blogging incompetent. I've tried 3 times to comment and it never shows up. We had the magic peanut butter put in by the exterminator a month and a half ago. My husband just saw one in the kitchen this morning and killed it. Should I be concerned? Is this normal only a month or so in?? Should I call the landlord again?
<p>I think the politically correct phrase is blogging impaired. Or would it be blogging challenged?</p>
<p>They probably came up with a less effective peanut butter solution to keep their business. I'd do it myself, if i were you.</p>
Thanks ?
<p>I'll second the effectiveness of a borax-sweet stuff mix against ants.</p><p>Had a bit of a problem in the kitchen. Did all the usual clean up, clean and clean again routine and they were still around. Mixed up the dregs of a jar of strawberry jam with some borax, smeared a little bit on a couple of pieces of cardboard and put them where I'd seen the ants. </p><p>Next morning the bits of cardboard were swarming with ants so I disposed of them and replaced them with fresh bait. Next morning, same thing but not as many ants. By the fourth day there were maybe half a dozen ants to be seen and a week later, none.</p>
Big roach called a waterbug can find its way after a rain they are huge but not to worry they breed outside they dont infest like the german roaches
<p>I had some roaches(?) in my kitchen suddenly appear a few weeks ago. I went on a killing spree, foaming, spraying and boric acid everywhere. So then they disappeared. But a few days ago I was taking out the trash (in the evening) and a gigantic roach (Palmetto Bug?) went scurrying across the floor. I still do not know how it got in, it was just suddenly there, in the middle of the floor! I wish I knew where it's point of entry was, but I could not determine. The only thing I could guess at is our air system. Despite what anyone says I got some Bengal and sprayed it in each vent. If they are coming in that way it probably is from the side of the vent, not the vent itself, but I don't know for sure yet.</p><p>But what I did find, yesterday - was a dead roach (another huge one) in out attic. Our attic contains the hot water heater and the air system (a monstrous beast). I saw it laying legs up next to the folding stairs leading to the area (was it on it's way to crawling out from there??? Ewwww! That is upstairs and my wife would go crazy!) I didn't get rid of the body yet because my wife was right there and she would have went nuts if she knew there were these monsters in our attic (right above our bedroom...).</p><p>So this story isn't over - I'm guessing they found their way in the attic from the roof. I don't know what made one of them explore outside of the attic, but I'm guessing it was too hot and dry up there. I can't get to the hot water heater, due to how it's positioned, and the attic is full of insulated cotton looking stuff, so if there is a million of them I have no way of telling. I just want them to get out, die off and never come back. To be continued.</p>
Well try the bait and get back to us. The roaches are living in your walls, Believe me.
<p>I'll do that. I believe you already because I recently saw one (a smaller roach) climbing up the wall, directly below his path is a control panel for our hvac system. I sealed the edges with caulk - looks like that is going to be the first few inches of many hours of caulking. Now - the question is - if they are living in the walls, how to eradicate them? I am renting, so I know my options are limited here. If I was an owner I could tent the house or pop walls open to find them...</p>
<p>That's why you put it in the switchplate covers - see step 7.</p>
<p>Thanks for these instructions.</p><p>Made bait mix as per instructions this evening. Did not seal interior of house with caulk and foam insulation as I suspect I am not capable of finding every entry point and the fridge looks quite heavy. Will not seal exterior entry, they is the weep holes as do not want to deal with any mold or other issues.</p><p>I see large roaches in backyard, possibly due to garbage storage or possibly the lawn is a natural habitat (Houston, Texas). I assume inside and outside are the same community. I see numerous lizards during the day, which eat roaches but alas the roaches seem active at night and the lizards during the day.</p><p>If I had to redo, would possibly use less boric acid as other recipes use less and would like roaches to share food rather than die before they get chance and one other instructions suggested commercial baits use 2% boric acid (could be wrong). And suggested more than 5% and insects might avoid. (Other recipe was 1:1).</p><p>Curios what the baits will look after a month, I assume bacteria will start to digest them.</p><p>May try peanut butter/boric acid mix next time.</p><p>Perhaps I imagine roaches with less of an appetite, but instead of 1 cup flour I could have halved or quartered the amounts and still placed baits throughout kitchen/sinks/bathrooms and behind outlets.</p><p>Once again thanks.</p>
You are most welcome. The ratio was a good guess years ago but it seems spot on all these many years later. I'd stick with what works. Can you get some geckos to take up residence in your back yard, they go out at night and they love to gobble up roaches. Can you clean up the garbage area really well? Put some bait there at least.
Hi thankyou for posting this.. I have a question, how long do i leave this bait around in my kitchen? Do i need to wash it off within a week or? Is it really sticky or will it just stay in place? Also, before this ive been using only boric acid... i feel like they r comming out even more and thy r multipl...........

About This Instructable

1,547,098views

1,024favorites

License:

Bio: I love to stay home as much as as I love to travel, I've been to 49 states (missing Alaska) and 31 countries. I ... More »
More by Ninzerbean:Mushroom Spore Prints How to Lobster Sprout Jars 
Add instructable to: