Kitchen tips — By Ben on 26 January 2008

Cockroaches are every cook’s nightmare. They are amazing little creatures that survive in the most inhospitable circumstances. Once they become established in a house, they are capable of producing several thousand offspring in a single year. Unlike other pest, cockroaches live and reproduce all year long making their numbers grow even faster.

Like any other insect, they are fascinating creatures, but however awesome they biologically are, you don’t want them crawling in your cabinets contaminating your food. They are one of the few animals that I can’t stand. I am not afraid of them, but just to think that they are crawling all over my food and clean kitchen makes me sick. I almost fainted the other day when I saw one crawling on my kitchen floor. That I will not stand. That means war!

How do cockroaches get into your house, anyway? They are sneaky little creatures. They travel in grocery bags, carton boxes, laundry, open drains or simply wander into your house from outdoors. So the first thing to win the battle against them is prevention.

You can’t seal yourself in from the outside world. But you can be careful with what comes into your house. Don’t accumulate grocery bags, carton boxes or empty soft drink bottles. Recycle them as soon as you can. Seal food in containers (Tupperware anyone?) and clean crumbs and spillage as soon as you can. Routinely clean under and behind your kitchen appliances and keep your oven clean. Clean your toaster at least once a week (if you use it often) and keep your pets food fresh. Seal door frames, windows, basement windows, and any other crack or opening that bugs could use to get inside your house.

But what if one roach makes it to the inside of your warm, moist and full of food kitchen? They do all the time. I told you they were sneaky. In a few months you could have a large pest problem. You could spend hundreds of dollars hiring an exterminator or you could use one of the most effective and inexpensive methods.

Boric acid has been used for a long time in the war against roaches. Unlike insecticides, boric acid is odorless and very little toxic to people and house pets. As long as it reminds dry it retains its potency and it is very effective in small quantities. But it gets even better. You can use boric acid with a roach bait to increase its effectiveness. And that is today’s recipe.

Die roach die powder

You will need:

  • 40% Boric acid
  • 30% All-purpose flour
  • 20% Dry milk
  • 10% Confectioner’s sugar

If you want to make one kilogram of the powder use 400gr of boric acid, 300gr of all-purpose flour, 200gr of dry milk and 100gr of confectioner’s sugar.

Sift all the ingredients together at least 5 times. You want to mix them very well and get rid of any cluster.

Boric acid hasn’t work for some people because they haven’t applied it correctly. You don’t need great quantities of it to get results. The powder should be applied in a very thin layer that is almost invisible to the naked eye. To get good results use a container with a tip, see picture. Fill only ¾ of the container, this will create airspace in the container that will allow the powder to be puffed out more easily, and squeeze at about 3 inches from the area you wish to treat. Store the remaining powder in a dry and warm place to avoid caking. A few pennies or pebbles will do the trick, too.

Roaches live in warm, moist places away from the light. So you should apply the powder in areas where they most likely live or walk by. These areas include under and behind the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, into the opening where plumbing pipes enter walls (such as under sinks and behind the commode, shower and washing machine), cracks along edges and corners inside cabinets and pantries, under kitchen and bathroom cabinets, behind switch and plug plates (be very careful if you decide to treat this areas, remove the plate and spray the power from a safe distant) and any other crack that is warm and moist and close to food.

Do not apply the powder in common areas or on surfaces where food is prepared. Clean any surface where any member of your household (including pets) can come in contact with the powder. This powder won’t poison you but it is not recommended to ingest it either. Boric acid is not poisonous so when the cockroaches come in contact with it they don’t immediately die. The following was taken from Wikipedia:

[Boric acid] acts as a stomach poison affecting the insects’ metabolism, and the dry powder is abrasive to the insects’ exoskeleton.
Boric acid may be used either in an insect bait formulation containing a feed attractant or as a dry powder. The powder may be injected into cracks and crevices, where it forms a fine layer of dust. Insects travel through the boric acid dust, which adheres to their legs. When the insects groom themselves, they then ingest the poison, which causes death three to ten days later of starvation and dehydration.

So you might see a relative increase of roaches roaming your house after application. Don’t worry, it just means that the powder is working and they are slowly dying. It sounds kind of cruel, but it is either they or your family. This is a cruel world with cruel wars…

Disclaimer: This post is only the author’s recommendation on how to treat a pest problem. The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local authorities before using any pesticide and ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE!

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(2) Readers Comments

  1. Blimey Ben…that’s a cruel post from you!! LOL…& I thought I was the only heartless soul around here. You should see me chasing & killing ‘em roaches should one cross my path. That said, even the odd lizard has to face cruel ole me!! Why do we see less of the kitchen adventurer these days Arimou? You busy with work??? Anyway, just wanted to say again that the last month’s DB challenge was the best one ever…& am glad you were partly behind it!! take care & keep smiling!! Cheers

  2. Thank you for the informative information vital to exterminating the problems associated with uninvited pests. With the knowledge of chemical warfair on the Roach Infestation taking place at my house, your absolutely right, Kill those suckers, its as bad as a black cat crossing your path{of course a kitty kat you can pet and love}. Gone for the Day Bed.

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