Does Boric Acid Kill Roaches: Meta Analysis of Scientific Studies

Boric acid for roaches

A study published in the Journal of economic entomology way back in 2004 found a huge reduction of cockroach population ( About 70% reduction)  after using just 1-2% of boric acid ( as active ingredient) and 98% sucrose.

Boric acid does kill roaches but the idea of using JUST boric acid is pretty bad. It works really well if used as active ingredient in insecticides. Using just boric acid can give you small control (i.e killing few roaches here and there) but you can’t expect a huge reduction in roach population.

I visited my friend last week and she asked me about roach infestation in her apartment. She talked to me about how she was buying these over the counter boric acid bottles just because someone recommended that it works for cockroaches.  

I sat down with her and explained, boric acid is really good for cockroaches but you should not use hundred percent of its substance. You have to either buy a product which has boric acid as an active ingredient or mix it up yourself with some stuff that Cockroach like to eat. It won’t  give you a substantial control if you have medium to large size infestation.

Why? 

Cockroaches like to hide in crack and crevice, sewerage pipes, behind walls, beneath kitchen sink,  cabinet and places you might didn’t think off!  

Now you can only apply boric acid to areas which you can reach by hand unless you are pest control professional.  It is almost impossible to reach these places. (Without sophisticated equipments) . So if you have a large infestation, good luck with boric acid 🙂

Because you won’t be able to kill hundreds of roaches as it might take weeks to do that.

On top of that, cockroach population grow so fast, females roaches are laying eggs each and every day. So it is going to be a tough job to just control such a large population with entirely boric acid. 

I’d recommend using Cockroach Bait. Believe it or not, most roach baits use boric acid as active ingredient with some other ingredients to attract roaches  (Sugar type of food) it works like a poison and are designed to spread the poison across the nest which kills almost 90 percent of roaches over the course of a few weeks which is very handy.

“Cockroach won’t eat boric acid all day long! You have to mix it with something they like to eat”

This is not a myth, it has been proven by different studies over and over again. 

Boric acid results totally depend on  how you actually use it and what type of infestation you have and how you use it. Sprinkling boric acid in your house and waiting for dead roaches won’t work.

Alot of folks think that these easy solution would always work but that isn’t the case when you see pest control from a realistic perspective. Things aren’t that easy as it sounds. 

Spraying around your house or using any home made remedies can give you short term control, but you can’t get any pest problem long term just by doing small amounts of work. You have to study the biology of insect you are dealing with and different chemical that can applied to control.  

Most DOI pest control companies already did the hard work for you, so you don’t have to spend hours but as a consumer, you should be at least aware of what works and what doesn’t. So these sleazy marketer can’t sell you crappy products that you buy on $3.00 and it doesn’t work. 

If just boric acid works so well for cockroaches, pest control companies won’t spend billions of dollars on advertisements, testing and tweaking their products to make sure it works !  Don’t get me wrong, it does works but only in specific situations as i said above.

I killed a few roaches in kitchen with boric acid, Am I done?

Heck no! Sometimes it is too good to be true. Majority of people use boric acid If they find few roaches outside kitchen cabinets and in your room or other places, they throw boric and think that they are done with this year of roach control. 

Well that’s not the reality. As I said above, cockroaches likes to hide in these crazy places, so if you are seeing little population outside in open area, that means you have hundreds if not thousands of roaches inside these places crawling and feeding on source of food and water you are providing. Open your kitchen cabinets, under the sink, check sewage pipes. You will be surprised.

“Side Note: This might not always be the case but the majority of time it does happen so it is worth checking out.

Alot of  “Spray and Pray” type of pest control companies gets a call back 90% of them if they used a spray to kill roaches! I witnessed it myself. So it is a clear no from both household and pest management point of view.

How Boric Acid Works Against Roaches?

Let me explain how exactly Boric Acid kills cockroaches: The old idea about boric acid is that you sprinkle it where you see roach population.  

When roach travel on the surface of boric acid it gets attached to its feet. The cockroach is a type of insect which rubs itself pretty frequently so when they do that, they distribute boric acid across their body without knowing that it can be lethal for them 🙂 

Once their exoskeleton gets contaminated with boric acid, their body loses control. The roach can’t waterproof their body which eventually leads them to death. 

Some roaches also might consume boric acid as a food source and get killed right on the spot. But this is very rare. The best use of boric acid is to use it as an active ingredient and mix it up with food which cockroach like to eat.   

So this my analysis of Boric acid for roaches. You can disagree. Do you have any counter-argument or point? Leave a comment and let’s start a debate!

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