Instructables
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.
 
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Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
maple syrup pour.jpg
mixed.jpg
Boric acid powder*
Karo syrup - you may substitute honey or maple syrup or pancake syrup
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 rice flour
enough Karo syrup to make a peanut butter like 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 too 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 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.

*(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).

Step 2: What my kitchen used to look like

Picture of 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

Picture of What my kitchen looks like now
No more roaches!
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FoxysMyGirl12 days ago

I had a problem with roaches last year following a roof leak. It grossed me out. It was the big kind that are supposed to live outdoors. They found a way into my attic and it was terrifying to me since I am a big chicken about roaches, nothing else only roaches. I saw this recipe and didn't want to make anything that would be a bait and attract more but then I thought about how they would take it to their nests that I wouldn't even know how to find in order to spray or treat them. I did it and it has been Miraculous!!! Thank you!! No roaches, not one in an entire year! It took less then 2 weeks and even in the two week period I was seeing fewer and fewer. I didn't have a lot in my house but I would see a couple per week and I knew there was a lot in the attic. Had I not used this recipe I am sure I would have seen more and more and been disgusted every time. I saw a bug on my porch last night so I am making the recipe again today. He may have just been from the flower beds but I don't care, it is not starting again here. Thank you very much for taking the time to post this amazing information!!

Ninzerbean (author)  FoxysMyGirl12 days ago
Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I know it works, that's why I posted it so many years ago. I wish more people would simply do it. I mean just read the ible and follow the instructions.
cdavis3818 hours ago

After getting rid of them 10 years ago,I cried when I saw one the other day.I'm trying this,because I became so sensitive to chemicals the first time that I don't know if I could handle the exterminators again. I will post again after using it for a month to see how it does.Thank You.

therese871 month ago

Hello, I have a cocroach problem and every once in a while see one in broad daylight (maybe once every week) and at night when I get home and turn the lights on there are at least 2 or 3 of em in plain sight. I tried a mixture of borax and sugar (2 parts borax to 1 part sugar) which I placed in 5 different likely places around my house, but I'm not sure if it did anything. It has been about a week and I have found a few dead wasps and large dead ants, as well as a brand new trail of tiny live ants, but no dead roaches. I saw no roaches at all for a few days, and signs of trails in the powder I had laid out, but no dead ones around. Then I saw about 3 or 4 all in one room, and now, a few days later as I got outta bed to use the restroom I saw ::gag:: 3 huge ones. They did not look at all like they were suffering the ill effects of borax. They looked very healthy and happy. I am so squeamish I can't squish them, so I desperately used up a whole bottle of hand soap trying to pour it on them, but two got away, and I only was able to suffocate one of them. I think I need to try this recipe, but I have a few questions:

1. Can I use borax instead of boric acid?

2. Does this recipe work on the giant ones I have here in Louisiana?

2. Will I see dead roaches around if it is working properly?

3. Will this recipe continue attracting ants into my house?

Help! Thanks in advance!

Ninzerbean (author)  therese8728 days ago

Hey therese87, I'm back, how are you doing with the roaches? Did you find some Boric acid?

I did find some Boric acid. I have not had the chance to make the mixture yet, but I am still seeing signs of having an infestation. My house has some pretty old electric wiring, and all the electric outlets are in the floor. Any idea how I would attach paste underneath them to where it won't just drop to the ground? Thank you! Actually, I have been finding a lot of dead spiders near to the borax mixtures I left out...no dead roaches though.

Ninzerbean (author)  therese8715 days ago

Dear therese87,

I know I am going to sound like a grouch but again your questions only would be asked if you have not read the 'bile. Are you sure you are hitting the button that says "view all steps on one page"? You would NOT want to see dead roaches after using this bait. The whole point of it is for them to take it back to where they live so they can spread the news that your place is not a place to go to. They are like bees in how they communicate to each other.

Secondly it should not matter where your outlets are located for you to be able to take the covers off and (against all codes) put the bait inside the receptical.

Again, Borax is not, nor does it even contain, boric acid. If you have roaches and you have not used this mixture that I detail in this 'bile I am unsure of why you are writing about it not working. I am sorry if I seem at all negative, and believe me I have total sympathy with your problem, but the question about the location of your electrical outlets just makes me wonder what you are reading and what you are not reading. Can't u see from the photos that the whole reason for the paste is to be able to put it on vertical surfaces? Behind drawers, behind picture frames, on pipes, inside electrical boxes (again, against code) are not even vertical no matter where they are placed on your walls.

Ninzerbean (author)  therese871 month ago
I'm out of town and it's hard to try and answer from my phone but most of your questions are addressed in the 'ible and the comments. Borax will not work. I'll write more when I return.
FancyCheese28 days ago

I have a problem with large roaches coming into my home. They're not palmettos but the North American variety. I read that they don't live indoors but outside but an exterminator told me that they will sometimes live inside the walls. I don't even know where I'm going with this but I'm writing this in hopes that someone can give me some insight as to how to get rid of them once and for all. It's really taxing on me emotionally because I hate roaches (deathly afraid) and now.. whenever I think I see anything move from the corner of my eye I freak out. The main thing I'm afraid about is that if I do try this method out...could it possibly attract more roaches to find their way into my house?

Ninzerbean (author)  FancyCheese28 days ago
I really understand how freaked out you are. But this method is not going to attract more roaches to your house. Really. Trust me. I swear. Just read the whole thing through, read the comments, take you time baiting your home completely.

By North American variety I think you mean the big ones - those are indeed called palmetto bugs. The German ones are smaller and they do live inside of homes. They are harder to get rid of.

I'm applying it right now! I really hope this works! It's only the bathroom and my room that they've been getting into..do you think I should still apply it everywhere? Thank you !!

Ninzerbean (author)  FancyCheese28 days ago

Dear FC, if you are asking that question you have not read the whole 'ible. Please go back and read the whole thing. You have to do it right for it to work, like most things actually.

ElvenChild1 month ago

Question, I irrigatem if I were to put this outside, or say in a sink overflow drain,would it wash off after it hardens?

Ninzerbean (author)  ElvenChild1 month ago

Yes, it would wash away. You can still put it outside but in protected areas. It won't last as long but it can't hurt.

aaryak3 months ago

my shoe works better than all these methods.
:P
splaaaatttttttttttttt.
n then its splashhh
:)

I read that if you do this you need to be careful not to leave any trace of the roach guts because that will attract more roaches as they enjoy feeding on the remains of their dead buddies :(

I live in northwest Florida (with the big roaches.)

I have two thoughts to contribute:

1. poisonless kill on sight: a single shot of soapy water in a spray bottle will kill roaches in 10-20 seconds.
dawn handsoap works fine. twist the knob till the stream begins to turn
into spray and mix enough soap that the spray turns into a very runny
foam.

2. if your roach killing blobs are drying out too quickly and
not attracting roaches anymore, try coating them with glycerin, it's a
humectant meaning it absorbs water from the air to keep things moist as
well as stop evaporation from inside the main body. it is also anti bacteria and antifungal because it can't be broken down enzymatically. it's also non-toxic (and a
sugar substitute for diabetics and in dental safe chewing gum) wal-mart carries it in 6oz bottles as a skin emollient which should last you several years if you are making them every 6 months or so.

chennaiman1 month ago

Hi Ninzerbean

I am still struggling with your formula. I like the ease of preparing it and setting it up. But the little german roaches don't seem to fall for this trap. I have tried honey, pancake syrup and peanut butter so far. Maybe I should try corn syrup. Maybe I should also add some oil like olive oil. As for doing it up all over the place, I do that painful work, but the results have been unsuccessful. Any new thoughts welcome. Thanks.

shyatt23 months ago

I made this, after scouring the interwebs for different recipes what i have found is the same. It doesn't warn the roaches not to come back. The point is they eat it and they dry up and die. The roaches in the nests eat those roaches and die also. The syrup and flour/rice powder is the attractant. This is the same technique used in the little pods. Just much cheaper to make a large amount. Depending on your infestation it can take weeks to see results. This is why bombing/spraying to kill visible ones is important. Roaches come in waves as eggs hatch, so you will see them in crease in numbers before they dissipate. This bait will generally outlast the waves of roaches which is why it is much better than the pods. Once you properly bait your house with this stuff and they start dying off your house will be protected as long as it remains appealing to new roaches that come in from outside. Using an oil agent to keep it from getting rock hard can make it last longer. Source: I have successfully destroyed a german roach infestation with this recipe.

Ninzerbean (author)  shyatt23 months ago
No, the bait doesn't warn the roaches not to go to your house. Roaches live in a colony like bees, they communicated to each other about where to go get the best food. The German ones live inside, I wrote this 'ible for the regular ones I had to deal with in Florida. When I wrote this back in '08 I think it was, there was no information online about baits, just digging and digging led to me discover that the pest control companies were stopping the use of this type of bait because people were canceling their contracts. Your information is very helpful, thank you for sharing.

best bait I 've heard of.. what also works is, if you see them in a path or a route, sprinkle baby powder down. when they walk through the powder they will suffacate because they breath through the underside. LOVE the borax recipe for places you can t sprinkle powder or for the buggers you don t see. I have wood roaches, because I live in an old house in the woods, and it works on them too! I have seen Florida roaches and they are really, really big and scarey so if it takes care of them, it will take care of every day roaches. thanx for the recipe.

Ninzerbean (author)  reikimaster55552 months ago

Thank you! And thank you for your tip about the baby powder.

shyatt2 shyatt23 months ago

Protip, german roaches use your electrical lines to get around the house. Make sure to bait inside your outlets, take off the coverings and bait inside.

gracefam722 months ago

Hi Ninzerbean! We just moved into an older house about two months ago and we started seeing dead american roaches in our dining room (not really sure why they were dead but i was totally okay with it). So we hired an exterminator about two weeks ago and now our problem seems worse! They are now in our living room! We have two young children and the thought of roaches all around their toys...ewww. So my husband and I are going to try to take care of the problem ourselves but I wanted to ask you some things first: Since these are American Roaches should we still apply it in the walls if they live outside? Also, we have only seen them in our kitchen and now in our living room, should we put the bait everywhere or would that just attract them to the rooms we havent seen them in? I feel so helpless after hiring a "professional" and it getting worse.

Ninzerbean (author)  gracefam722 months ago
The thing is that the buggers are like bees, they talk to each other. Using my baiting system lets them take the bait back to the colony (and you really don't want to ever see one, I have and I wish I had not) and then they communicate to the others not to go to your house any more. There seems to have been numerous complaints with electronics, and especially PS3 players. Did you bring one with you by any chance, or recently buy a used one? It seems that they like to live in electronics and window/wall unit air conditioners. My guess is that is is warm, safe and well I don't know what else seems to attract them. Also dishwashers. Yuk. I would suggest that you cancel the exterminator for various reasons that I have written about in the 'ible. They really only stay in business if you see roaches. Success makes you fire them, it's so obvious when you think about it. Be really thorough when you do the baiting, it's the only way. It takes a long time, but you won't have to do it again for years and years.
acline23 months ago
I'm going to do this today but I have a few questions:
Does the electricity to outlets need to be cut off before removing the faceplates?
Will this roach bait attract mice or rats with the sweet smell? I just saw a giant rat scurry across my neighbor's patio and I don't want to bait my house with stuff to kill roaches that will attract the mice and rats to move in. I hate this. I can't handle roaches and critters. It has me thoroughly freaked-I can't handle going into my kitchen at night for fear of seeing a roach. My anxiety is too high over this and I'm in the middle of college finals, but I have to take a day to deal with this.
Also, thank you so much for making this intructable. I'm a broke college student and can't afford an exterminator-although now that I've read your story, I understand it wouldn't have helped for the long term anyhow.
Ninzerbean (author)  acline23 months ago

Acline2, sorry for the late reply, I had a zillion things going on, Ok first off it's totally against codes to put this stuff in the faceplates, that said, there are few other ways to get it inside your walls. Obviously don't use anything metal to put it in, but no, you don't have to turn off the juice. Rats and mice will not be affected by this mixture - it only is poison to things that wear their skeletons on the outside of their bodies. But I also don't think they will be attracted to it, well actually I don't know, but in all the years I have been using it I have never heard or anyone having that as a resulting issue. Good luck on your finals, I totally understand where you are coming from, it's going to be OK.

Thanks and this worked like a charm! It only took about 24-48 hours before the adults were gone. Every once and while I'd see babies, but I was unable to find the egg sacks <gag>. Also, I had previously read that the babies can only eat soft stuff and that's why they eat adult roach feces <gag>, however I wasn't seeing any adults anymore, so I'd put out a dollop (about the size of a dime) of this mixture on several post-it notes and laid them out around the kitchen at night (I couldn't leave them out because I have a dog, plus it would have hardened). Consequently, it only took about 2 more weeks and there were no more babies to be found! They loved this stuff! At the risk of sounding gross, I'd flip on the kitchen light at night and the teeny baby roaches were chowing down on this paste. Thanks again for making this! It is inexpensive, easy to use, effective and convenient!
Ninzerbean (author)  acline22 months ago

Great news and a great tip - thank you!

acline23 months ago
I did this yesterday and added a few tablespoons of olive oil so it will stay moist. Also, I found 100% pure boric acid for $2 at Dollar General. So, you don't have to go to a hardware store for 98% boric acid if you have Dollar General stores near you. They also sell light corn syrup (the same thing as Karo syrup) for $1.25.
boneyabba3 months ago

Hi Ninzerbean! Great article. Questions- I read that the paste still works after it hardens... if that is the case does it matter if you use something with oil or not? Before I found your article I made two rounds with just water, flour, sugar, borax. The first round I spread on a cookie sheet and let dry then spread the clods around- many dead roaches for days after. Still saw some roaches though so I made another batch- this batch I spread around in batter form... couple deaders- several live. I went to make a third batch, but noticed I've still got clods and dried batter paste from both batches around- which makes me think I should still be finding dead ones... Thoughts?

chennaiman5 months ago

I am in India and have the German roaches troubling us.Its heartening to know you have done so much work to eliminate the roaches. I want to try your method. Since Karo syrup is not available can I use honey instead? Or, should I try peanut butter for results? I will keep you posted on the results.

Ninzerbean (author)  chennaiman5 months ago
I think peanut butter. Because of the oil that will keep the bait softer longer. But now that it will smell good be sure to put it in places that little kids or dogs won't get to. It would be harmless in such a small dose of course, but why take chances.

And of course honey will work just fine, why not add a little edible oil to the honey because the honey is so thick. If you add water to thin the honey it sets up too fast.

Thanks for writing and keep me posted, we may all learn from what you share. I just can't believe that when I die that this will be my legacy.

Hi.. Thanks for your response. Day 1 has passed but no results so far. I used honey instead of Karo, Maple syrup or Peanut butter as these are very expensive here. I am hoping to see results soon.

Ninzerbean (author)  chennaiman4 months ago

It's been 21 days - how is it going?

Hi....For some reason, honey with boric acid powder and rice flour seems to have minimal effect on roaches. There seems to be a population explosion suddenly. Am wondering if you can give me any ideas. It is frustrating but I am patient. The roaches are slowly spreading out.

Ninzerbean (author)  chennaiman4 months ago

I wish I was there to see what you are doing, it's sort of confusing to me about how you have baited so many times with a variety of baits - this should only be a once every few years thing to do. When you write that you have "set up" the bait again it makes me wonder how and why you have to do this. Once the bait is in all the places - under the sink, on top of doors, near water pipes, behind drawers etc., that is it. It does take quite a long to time to do a place properly - about 4 hours for an average size home. Unscrewing all the switchplates and putting them back on is the reason. But when you say the bait was flakey... well it won't stick to anything if it is flaky, so how can you use it? The ratio of powder to liquid is to get a peanut butter consistency, so you add more or less liquid to get that consistency.

Chennaiman, are you reading all the steps to the 'ible? Sometimes people think there is one one or two steps because they have not selected the button to "see all steps on one page". Could that be the problem?

German roaches are very difficult to get rid of, there is something wrong with the comments on the 'ibles right now so you can't read the 400+ comments that used to be here, there was so much info and it's sad it is gone, but you have to get rid of all the roaches you see to start with if you have German ones, they are different in that they live inside vs outside like the regular ones we have in the US, the giant ones. You have to be more vigilant with the vacuum everyday, maybe set off a gas canister, get rid of all the cardboard, find out where they are living in your house (they love video game players) and attack that area. I think with an infestation such as yours (German ones) you may need more help than I can give you with my bait. That is why I wish the comments would come back, they are working on it but it's a low priority. People had shared great ideas there. I don't know what else to do.

​The bait worked in the kitchen but to a limited extent only. I had used boric acid powder, rice flour and honey. There are a few ones still moving around after 3 weeks. I cleaned up the mess regularly. Last evening, I have set up the bait again but used peanut butter instead of honey. But I have not got the jelly type consistency with it. Its kind of dry and flaky. Will wait and share developments.
Sjc08584 months ago
We just moved into this home Jan and I started noticing signs of roaches pretty soon after. Roach feces all in cabinets ( which I thought was just dirt at first as I have never had issues with roaches to this extent until now), a dead roach a day in the kitchen along with 2 live ones on different occasions, also found some old egg cases in the cabinets about a week ago. I am not sure if they were here with the last tenants or if they invaded in between while the house was dark and vacant. The house was clean ( or so we thought) when we arrived but after I decided to pull out the appliances I realized it wasn't so clean. The housing office has been working with me. I found some huge gaps that lead to inaccessible open dark spaces in our bottom kitchen cabinets. I believe that is where some were hanging out so they came out and sealed off those large gaps.. I have also been using the foam anywhere I can. I have become obsessed and have realized I have a fear of these things! I do not have the German ones but the American ones and I had read where they prefer feasting on organic matter. I found some feces in my daughters clothing drawers. It is a very old piece so I am sure they are loving it. Your concoction: I came across this a few weeks ago and decided to give this a try a few days ago. I did not have the roach prufe but I had hot shot powder which contains 99% boric acid so that is what I used. I put the stuff everywhere! I cleaned out all my cabinets from roach poo, keep my house spotless, used the foam and thought I had sealed up all the gaps. I was hoping that would solve it but this morning I found fresh poo in my cabinets.. I am hoping that the hot shot stuff will work, if it doesn't I may go get the roach prufe and do it all over again. I am thinking it may take time for this to work, depending on how many are lurking around here. How long did it take for you to be rid if them? I'm sorry if this was answered in a previous comment, I am going to start searching through them now, just needed to get this out! I told my husband he may have to commit me! Lol!
Ninzerbean (author)  Sjc08584 months ago
There is a problem with the comment section of 'ibles and so you will only be able to go back 4 months which is a shame because there were over 400 comments. But anyway we will figure this out. OK, I just have to ask these questions - did you put the bait in all the places I suggest? Are you looking at all the steps of the 'ible? The stuff you used sounds like it should be just fine - you did mix it up with the flour and syrup right? You need to do a really big cleaning and get rid of the egg cases that could be anywhere. Vacuum every day for a while. This should work in about 24 hours. There should not be any live ones running around the way you are having them. There must be another egress into your place.

Many people have reported to me that the roaches are living in their playstation things. Check that our if you have one. They like warm places.

There just has to be something you are missing, this should not be happening. Do you have carpets? Could they be under the carpets? Put bait there. I really don't think you have to use Roach Pruf .

I know how you feel, I really do, I wish there was something else I could suggest. But this will get better. Keep in touch.
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