If you live in a big city, the chance of you having at least one unpleasant encounter in your home with the most common household pest, the cockroach. More specifically, it is most probably the German cockroach, the most common subspecies of cockroach found worldwide and if your home is lacking in the cleanliness department, they are ready to launch a veritable Blitzkrieg of disease and filth upon your abode. Feeding on your food remains, these cockroaches have an extremely high reproductive rate, meaning that once they’ve gained a foothold in your home, complete elimination of the problem can be very difficult unless you really get them all. While scientists have determined that cockroaches will most likely outlast the human race once we all perish in a nuclear winter, there is no reason to let them keep hanging out in your home; in this article we will show you one extremely effective way of killing roaches (summarized from this guide to getting rid of cockroaches) as well as some preventive measures you can take to prevent an infestation recurrence.
Perhaps you have been fighting this household pest menace with some of the usual tools, bug spray, a rolled up newspaper, the bottom of your shoe, and roach bait. While all of these will kill roaches, they are not the most efficient method, and today we will introduce you to our number one recommended method of ridding yourselves of this pest: boric acid and caulk. Caulk is a waterproof filler and sealant, typically used in building work and repairs while boric acid, also called hydrogen borate is a type of acid that exists in the form of colorless crystals or a water soluble white powder. Boric powder is also highly effective as a form of insecticide; it is a stomach poison that affects the metabolism of insects while also being highly abrasive to their exoskeletons.
CAUTION! While boric acid poisoning is unlikely to be fatal (the median lethal dose of boric acid in mammals is 2.6g/kg, meaning the average adult weighing 165lbs would have to ingest almost 200g of acid for it to be fatal), all precautions should still be taken and boric acid should NEVER be applied to any surface where there is potential food exposure. Fortunately, since boric acid is water soluble, any accidental spillage can easily be removed by simply using a damp cloth.
The first step is eliminating the roaches and other pests. Buy some powdered boric acid plus a good dustblower. Most hardware stores share preloaded plastic dusters specifically for roach removal, known as ‘roach-dusters’. Fill up the duster with the powdered boric acid and use it to gently coat the surfaces of your normal roach entry points. This includes points that are not easily accessible to you, but are for them, such as the backs and floors of cabinets. If your problem is serious, we even recommend drilling tiny holes in these places and apply the boric acid (they like to hide under the void spaces in cabinets). Remember that the boric acid must be dry to be effective as it is water soluble; roaches and other pests pick up the acid on their feet or on the food they bring back to their nest. You should not get complacent after applying the boric acid once as it needs to be frequently reapplied as it is inevitable that it will start to absorb moisture from the air and gradually lose its effectiveness over time. Before reapplying, remove the old layer with a damp cloth.
Now that you’ve laid the traps, it’s time to shut the doors. Get an air-powered gun and an air compressor (we recommend renting this one; it might be a bit costly but worth it for pest-free peace of mind). Now load up your gun with inorganic caulk (so roaches can’t eat it; for instance avoid caulk that uses anything based on natural gum); you can even find some varieties that contain boric acid, this is strongly recommended.
Now it’s time to fill those cracks. Fill every crack you can find; in the walls, between the walls, in the ceiling, in the corners, you get the picture. Wiring and plumbing holes should also be filled up and if you are really serious, you can even remove wiring entrances of electrical outlets, light fixtures and switches, and cable outlets and caulk them. You can purchase steel wool and use it to plug holes that are too big to caulk. Your home is now sealed up tighter than Fort Knox, if Fort Knox also had poisonous traps, that is.
If you have performed all these steps correctly, your pest problem should be a thing of the past, and you no longer have to worry about cockroaches scurrying across your hand while you sleep. Enjoy your newfound and well-earned peace of mind.