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 the roaches stayed gone for 6 years, I baited one more time inbetween. It is important to hit the button that says to 'view all steps on one page' 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 will be answered in the comment section.

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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 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 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.

*(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.

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sjane-15 days ago

OK great information here, including the comments. But I have a few questions still. Just moved into a rental house about month ago. Saw a few dead bugs when we were doing our initial clean, but didn't know they were roaches (Moved from the north to the south and never ever had a roach problem) So long story short, turns out its roaches. I believe they are the German roaches. Didn't see them too often until recently, like maybe 1 every other day in the past week, all in the kitchen. I have yet to see them in bunches always solo, and and I had pulled out the fridge when we first moved in and checked the pull out drawer from the oven and didn't see anything that I would think would be a nest. How should I check under the fridge and where else could the nest be? What is the most effective way of disposing of the nest if I find it? What if I never find it, what do I do then? Recently was up in the attic and saw none, not sure if that is a good sign, but then again I wasn't looking for them. From what I have read here I guess that means there are tons more than I see. Would you advise bringing in an exterminator first, and then applying your bait method? How should I go about baiting the attic? I am totally at a loss of what to do, since I never had this problem before. I have just purchased a new bed and a couch and have brought in some of my other appliances(e.g. Kuerig , Kitchen Aid mixer, toaster oven, etc) and am now crazy paranoid they will become infested. Recently just placed Raid bait traps and Egg Stoppers, in the kitchen where the problem is, but am going to be using your bait method.I have 2 small dogs(one is a doxie, too!) so I need to be careful. I clean with bleach and try to keep everything as dry as possible (though I still leave the dogs water down during the day). Thanks for the great instructable and sorry for all the questions. I am just getting super worried about my problem now.

Ninzerbean (author)  sjane-14 days ago
Slow down. Do not use bleach - it is very very toxic. Stop that crap right now. Use a vacuum to vac every day, move your fridge, vac in hand, get friends to help. Just slooowww down. This does not happen overnight, you need to get rid of the roaches you have, you need to go back and re-read the ible, read a few hundred comments, realize this is a war, but you will win this war. Repeat after me "I will not use bleach any more because it will hurt me and my lungs and my dogs." You are becoming very sleepy, you will wake up and start from scratch, get rid of cardboard, unplug things that stay warm, use expandable foam to seal 'leaks' into your house. Re-read the 'ible a third time. Get to work.

It started about 8 months ago. One roach here... none for a few days. Another roach there gone for a few days. Then there was a nice break didn't see any for a few weeks. Time passes by we're starting to see them every day about 2-4 a day. I just woke up and saw two within a 2 foot radius of each other on their backs. So I sprayed them. We get a lot of packages delivered to our house. We generally see them in our laundry room, family room, kitchen and bathroom all of which are in the same portion of the house. Lately in the bathroom I've seen a few baby roaches tiny little things the size of tictacs. Can you list a few not so common sense style hiding places that I should bait in. Please and thank you. I've read some of the comments I saw behind frames, drawers and cupboards, microwaves, inside outlets and light switches. I'm making a list of everywhere that I've seen them myself.

See step seven for the best places to put the bait. Remember to put it all over, not just where you see roaches.
Hi. I made this recipe up last night and put the bait around my kitchen and bathroom. I strongly believe there is a colony under the refrigerator. Now, did I make these roaches hyper with the syrup, because as of this morning they are running rampant! How long does this take. Also we have the small roaches (Germans) I believe.
Ninzerbean (author)  stacy.white.906 days ago
I know I keep saying this but it does not seem to be understood so I will repeat it here for everyone's benefit - this will not work if your whole house is not baited and all of the preventative steps are taken. Roaches are inside the walls, they are not just inside of the walls of where you see them. The bait does tend to make the German ones very active as they go crazy looking to relocate - to an area of your house where there is no bait, so that what they bring back to eat will not kill their family and friends.

When I say that it takes about 4 hours to do an average sized home I think that if it took you less time then your home is very very tiny or you skipped some outlets, had no space that needed expandable foam, or no drawers to put the bait behind.

If you know you have a colony under the fridge you must dispose of that colony first.

Reading a few hundred of the comments will help as well as everyone's situation is not that unique and similarities will be noticed that you can learn from.
ladyofcesar11 days ago
Hi we just moved out of a highly infested apartment. Where we live now there are no roaches of any kind. But......We brought em with us. I've killed about thirty this past week. Yeah that many. I've set traps and am cleaning every night. Not leaving n e signs of water. How effective is this and how long will it take to see results thank you !
Ninzerbean (author)  ladyofcesar10 days ago
I am going to suggest that you read some of the 800 comments to get an idea of how effective this is and how long it takes to see results. Perhaps there in the comments you will see similarities of some other people in your situation and can therefor gage how long it will take, what it will take (getting rid of the objects you brought with you that are being used as a home for the colony) so that your question can be answered. I wish I could help you more than that but without more information about your situation I can only suggest that if you did not see your questions answered in the 'ible itself then the comment section would be where to look.
Yes. The comments are very helpful. So we Apparently brought em in air conditioners tvs and space heaters. Its starting to get bAd my nine month old cant sleep in his crib n e longer because he has asthma n starts to have cough spells becAuse bAby roaches are all over it. Where do i put the mixture exactly ? This house has no roaches but we unfortunately brought them with us. Thanks for responding too.
Ninzerbean (author)  ladyofcesar8 days ago

See step 7 for where to put the mixture. Maybe you are only seeing the first 2 steps. You have to find those things that you brought the roaches in on and maybe get rid of them or take them apart and then use an air gun compressor type thing to really clean them out. I tried this myself with an air conditioner and I could not take it completely apart, after 2 weeks bagged up in the hot sun with a box of boric acid sprinkled all over it, it still had roaches and I had to throw it out. So I know first hand how hard it is to get them out of appliances. It may be impossible. Some have suggested freezing the appliances. I don't know. But act fast before they get into more places. Vacuum every day. It's really hard when they have built a colony inside your house. It can seem overwhelming but it will get better every day if you just keep vacuuming, and bait too, but you need to knock down the population when it is this bad, before the bait will work. Keep me posted though, I really care.

Karenmommy9 days ago

we lost our house and had no roaches. I had never seen one ever! Then we moved into a rental house and all of a sudden I saw them everywhere. We left that house and moved into another rental house. This 2nd rental had a worse infestation plus what we brought and we stayed there only 5 months. Now we bought a house again and I am over run. I wanted to call pest company but hubby won't let me. I am going to try this, this weekend as I can't take it/them anymore.

Ninzerbean (author)  Karenmommy9 days ago
Karenmommy, if you think you brought some with you, you must find that item that they came in on. Game players, air conditioners, microwave ovens, anything basically that gets plugged in and is a bit warm and dry. If you have German roaches they live inside and are harder but not impossible to get rid of. The bait will keep them away but not until you get rid of the ones living in the house, so you must vacuum almost daily, you must get rid of all cardboard and use plastic to keep pasta or cereal or whatever the cardboard was in, in. Read the zillions of comments because there is a lot of helpful hints that might apply to your situation in particular. Good luck, keep us posted on your progress and best all congrats on having your own house again!
Hello and thank you for your response. They are in our couches and behind our stove and refrig and behind dishwasher. I have 3 messy little boys as well. I had been using chemical sprays that I bought online but they didn't work. I clean daily and just dread going I to my kitchen. I also found one or 2 in my bathroom. I had no idea they liked toothpaste. Yuck!!! I am a mom on a mission and will remove all cardboard (still have boxes from our recent move) and bait my entire house while keeping our cat and my kids safe.
Ninzerbean (author)  Karenmommy8 days ago

Karenmommy, you are going to have to get rid of the roaches you have before the bait will have much effect - this is only because in your case they have set up colonies inside your house and that makes them harder to get rid of. You have to knock down the colony first. In my case when John said it was the worst infestation he had ever seen, well he had to get rid of the infestation first, then bait, that kept them away.

Toothbrushes must go in plastic bags, they love toothpaste. Really gross. I am afraid you might have to get rid of the couches, also the fridge and washer are going to have to pulled away from the wall and vacuumed to death. It's a war. Enlist some soldiers. Don't let your boys eat outside of the kitchen table. Read the comments.

ScottP69 days ago

Just an can get bulk boric acid powder on Amazon for really cheap and avoid paying the high prices of products that tout roach/ant control. You can get a pound for less than $7 (look under industrial/scientific not pest control when you search)

Ninzerbean (author)  ScottP69 days ago
Thank you ScottP6, I will put that in the introduction. A pound will give you enough to give to your friends and neighbors too!

I also want to say how wonderful it is that you take the time to keep answering questions here. So many people write something up never to revisit it again. You set the standard for how "how-tos" like this should be done! You are doing a really great thing and helping lots of people!! Thank you (I believe you can never hear someone say thanks too many times)

Ninzerbean (author)  ScottP68 days ago

Thank you for the thank you, but I can't take credit, Instructables sends me an email when there is a comment on an 'ible. Except for awhile it stopped working, then there are settings that maybe an author does not have set up to receive emails re comments. I think most authors respond to comments, or I would like to think that.

Here is the link...

ScottP69 days ago

I've always used the powder...but the other evening I saw one crawling along the top of the wall...<shudder> I am going all in on your bait method. I might make a video of how I do it following the authors instructions with loads of links and gratitude to this site (if the author is ok with that). I'm going to use unbleached flour (cause thats what I have)...I'm hoping for a 2-fer with ants as well!

Ninzerbean (author)  ScottP68 days ago

Sure, make a video, be my guest. Some day I'm going to write a book with all the comments in it except I will block out the names. I won't watch your video because of how much I don't want to look at roaches. Sorry.

And yes, this works for ants as well, just put some on their path.

taral73 10 days ago
One question: Is boric acid harmful to my dog if he accidentally is exposed to it? He's a 13lb mini dachshund.
Ninzerbean (author)  taral73 9 days ago
I have 2 wiener dogs! I wouldn't want any dogs or animals to eat the bait but you are putting it in areas where there is no way for them to reach it unless they can open your bathroom cupboards and use tools to open switchplate covers. But the whole point of using this bait is to put it in places that roaches go, not where dogs or babies or cats or even people go. It sticks to horizontal places like the backs of kitchen drawers, places we don't even see much less go.
My concern is if I put it above door frames and it fell off he would find it and eat it because yes he eats ANYTHING! But, since you said it sticks well I won't worry about it too much. Also, I got a different boric acid than yours pictured, mine is actually 99%. Is that ok? And yay for weiner dogs, they rock!
We had none for 9 years now we have nasty neighbors and they are comming in. I am going to mix this up this weekend and apply it everywhere. I will not live like this. I just killed 4 of them in the kitchen that I just cleaned 2 hrs ago. I am putting my trust in you and doing what you say. I hope this works. Being a single mother I do not have the money to have someone come in and spray every couple months. I have ocd so my house is cleaned every day and night. Again I am putting my trust in your words.
Ninzerbean (author)  shannon.foraker9 days ago
Shannon, it's going to work. Even if your neighbors are nasty I urge you to go to them and not insinuate that they might be the cause but urge them to do the same treatment, offer to share by mixing up a batch and bringing them half (but ask them about it first because it will get hard and unworkable in a day if left outside). Even if you can't get your neighbors onboard it will still work.

But you could go over and ask if they have a flat head screwdriver for your switchplate screws and tell them why you need it, like it is just you with the problem and you are just telling them what you are doing to solve it.
Burgunday11 days ago
Omg thank you for this.
yatzi1412 days ago
In need of that treatment asap!!!!!!! Tired of all these roaches crawling around everywhere! So emberrassing when guests come question is, is it safe to use it when you have a 1yr old and a 3 year old? How long will it take for the treatment to harden? Thank you!
Ninzerbean (author)  yatzi1412 days ago
Unless your kids can open electrical outlets or pull open drawers to get behind them or above doors I think they will be safe. Sometimes it never gets hard, depends on the humidity. Good luck to you.
Very helpful. Thanks!!! (:
KyrieY20 days ago

If I apply this solution, how long do you think it will take to start seeing results?

Personally, my cockroach problem has been kind of up an down. A year ago, there would occasionally be a cockroach at night every week or so in the garage/kitchen/living room/bathroom. Last winter, the problem kind of died down, and I didn't see any cockroaches for months. However, the problem is just now coming back. In the last 3 days, I've seen 2 cockroaches in the bathroom (1 in the early morning and 1 at night).

If it makes a difference, my house the gigantic cockroaches, not the little german ones.

Also, is there a need to apply the solution in the attic? I haven't been there for months -.-

Ninzerbean (author)  KyrieY20 days ago
Your roach problem does not seem too terrible so I would think that if you did a really good thorough job on baiting and did all of the steps and of course the attic, you would see results by the following day.

It does not matter if you have been to the attic or not, roaches live where you don't. Those are the places you need to bait. If there is stuff up in the attic for them to eat such as the glue on cardboard - they will be there. They actually don't care if you don't write or call, they have no shame in stalking you anyway.

Yes, get up there to that attic and bait away along with all the other places listed in step 7.

And good for you to take control of the situation before it gets worse. The warm weather and rain drives them inside and/or makes them more active. Go figure. Maybe they get bored like humans do.

Alright. Thanks for the advice!

One more thing. What is the purpose of the expandable foam insulation on the pipe? How necessary is it?

Ninzerbean (author)  KyrieY19 days ago

If you have gaps between your walls and the inside of things - most houses do - then use the foam to seal the gaps.

Once again thanks.

I've started the process of applying the bait, and I've run into a few more things now.

Yesterday, I started to put the bait in the places you mentioned, but I didn't finish because there were still places that weren't baited yet. As a result, I put the bait in the refrigerator over night, and I plan to finish the job today.

1. Will the bait still work if I apply it today? If it matters, it is still kind of sticky and seems like it can still be applied.

2. For my situation, is it necessary to put bait behind every single outlet cover and switch cover?

Ninzerbean (author)  KyrieY19 days ago

It's good that you put it in the fridge, it will be fine once it comes to room temp. It does get un useable after a few days 'cause it gets too hard. About doing your whole house and every outlet cover, you know what I am going to say don't you? There are only two ways to do things - the right way and the other way. So yes, you do have to do every one because you just don't know where they are living inside of your walls and where they can freely rome, so you have to do all of them to do the job right. The crew that did my house, it took 2 guys 4 hours, that is basically all they were doing was the outlets. Mind you that it is against all sorts of codes and be sure you are using a wooden popsicle stick and the power is turned off etc.

I've applied more bait around the house, and it seems like the situation is getting better, as I haven't seen any cockroaches in the bathroom for days. However, a little cockroach came out today at 9am in the living room today when the sun was already up. Should I be concerned?

Ninzerbean (author)  KyrieY14 days ago

I don't know, only you know if you put it everywhere you should in your house. You were debating the need to put it everywhere so I don't know if you really thought there was a need. Personally I just would not take chances. If you did a thorough job then I don't think you need to be concerned, but if not then yes, you should have some concerns. Did the roach seem healthy? Or near death? A 'little' one could mean a baby or a different breed. Vacuum daily for egg cases, get rid of cardboard, read the comments. It's a war you know, you don't want to let down your guard until they are all gone.

jules08031 month ago
We are having to move from the apartment we have been living in for three years because it is INFESTED with german roaches. I know they are inside our electronics and one of our couches. My question is, can we take these items and use the bait to get rid of them? It sucks that our furniture has to be left behind because these nasty apartments are infested. I know for a fact it isn't just our apartment that has this problem. We have had the landlord gel the apartment and it didn't work. We have used baits, the ortho home defense from Home Depot and it is STILL infested. We move next weekend and we are worried we will somehow take them along to our new place. Any suggestions?
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 miliatry 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 myslf in the roach-deterring snowy weather of NewEngland!
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