Boric Acid and Cockroaches

Picture of Wood Cockroach

Pitfalls of Using Boric Acid to Control Roaches

Extermination treatments are often required to manage home cockroach infestations. The most popular and effective way to exterminate cockroach infestations is contacting a local pest control company to administer an integrated pest management plan using chemical treatments.

Chemical treatments generally provide residual control (long-term), but may require evacuation of homes for up to a day. To avoid costs, some homeowners turn to home remedies. One of the most common DIY treatments used for cockroach control is boric acid.

What is Boric Acid?

Boric acid is easy to use. It exists as a powder that is non-toxic to humans in limited contact. Most modern hardware or home improvement stores sell boric acid for the specific purpose of exterminating cockroaches. Package sizes range from small, one-time, individual-use tubes to larger, by-the-pound buckets.

The substance is white in color and manufactured in laboratories using the base ion Boron and water. Application of boric acid requires small amounts of the substance spread about infested areas.

Problems with Using Boric Acid to Control Cockroach Infestations

People generally use boric acid because of its low cost compared to pest control experts and professional means of extermination. Boric acid often becomes ineffective, however, when homeowners incorrectly apply the chemical. Boric acid has a tendency to clump inside of packaging, especially when stored without use for long periods of time.

The substance is only effective when applied to infested areas as a thin layer of dust. Using too much boric acid may deter cockroaches from wandering through the chemical. Cockroaches must travel through treated area in order for the treatment to work.

Boric acid clings to the bodies of cockroaches and seeps through pores in the body. Cockroaches are also exposed to boric acid through ingestion during feeding. Cockroaches will avoid the powder if its presence is obvious or if clumps are visible.

Cockroaches may relocate over time after detecting boric acid. Many homeowners give up after the initial application and fail to check on the infestation, presuming their treatment resolved the matter. Professional extermination services typically control cockroach infestations with a single application.