Getting Rid of Cockroach Infestations in the House

Use homemade cockroach poison to get rid of cockroach infestations in your home.

| January/February 1977

Although cockroach, infestation is usually thought of as mainly an urban problem, many a rural dweller knows from hard experience that "la cucaracha" can survive — and survive well — most any place humans live. Whether you live in the city or the country, however, there are ways to deal with these bothersome pests.

The first — and most direct — approach to killing the critters is simply to step on them (or swat 'em with a rolled-up newspaper). This method is quick, effective, and (assuming you care about such things) probably the most humane way to put the beasties to sleep. Unfortunately, though, the technique doesn't do anything to eliminate hidden multitudes of the pests. (And — as a rule — these bugs do tend to come in large, hidden masses.)

If you're plagued by large swarms of cockroaches, your first thought may be to call an exterminator ... but think again. Not only is pest control service expensive, but — if you live in an apartment and the exterminator doesn't fumigate every unit in your building — the roaches will simply move next door until the fumes die down, then come back (along with their new friends) to your place.

Then too, nine times out of ten you have no way of knowing what kind of poison the exterminator is using. (Sometimes even he doesn't know.) Bear in mind that anything which will kill insects will kill humans ... it just fakes a larger dose.  

Of course, there are poisons and there are poisons. Some naturally occurring bug killers — such as rotenone and pyrethrum (which are derived from derris and chrysanthemum, respectively) — are biodegradable and fairly nontoxic to humans. (They can kill you ... but it'd take a massive dose of either one to do so.) Ask your garden supply store about rotenone and pyrethrum.

Then again, if you don't much like the idea of dusting or spraying your apartment or house with toxic chemicals, you may want to put out a small amount of poison bait for the roaches to nibble on. Frequently, sodium fluoride is recommended for this purpose, since roaches will walk on it, lick it off their feet (yes, these insects clean themselves just as cats do), and — shortly thereafter — die. In all honesty, though, I haven't had much success with this method ... and (because sodium fluoride is highly poisonous) it definitely should NOT be used by anyone with pets or small children.

9/28/2017 2:12:21 AM

I mix up a solution of 2-3 teaspoons of baking soda, 1/2 cup of vinegar and let it sit until it stops foaming and then I add 3 large squirts of dish detergent (any will do), several drops of lemon oil, 3 caps of eucalyptus oil, 16 or more drops of peppermint oil, and several drops of oil of cloves. Mix it all up thoroughly and fill a 1 litre spray bottle with the mixture and then top it all up to the 1 litre mark with tap water, and then screw the sprayer part down and let it sit for 24 hours until the foaming action of vinegar and baking soda ceases entirely. Shake the contents well before spraying each time and set the sprayer on a hard jet spray (not a fine mist). Corner a cockroach and shoot it with the homemade spray which has all the ingredients which kill it. The cockroach will flip onto its back if you spray repeatedly. If so then adjust the spray nozzle to a finer spray and directly spray its abdomen a couple of times and it will start kicking. Seconds later the kicking stops and they die. Pop the cockroach in the dustbin. By the way this mixture started out as a basic mixture to green clean my home without chemicals. When I discovered insects, including cockroaches hate my homemade cleaner I modified it with the oil of cloves, and peppermint oil. Oil of cloves and peppermint oil is deadly to all insects and cockroaches. You can kill insects and clean your kitchen at the same time.

9/27/2017 12:05:54 PM

When I had the problem some years ago I used boric acid placed in locations the cats and dog couldn't accidently get into it. I don't know why soapy water wouldn't work on roaches if you can soak them with the spray. I have a friend that uses a soap solution (made with blue dawn dish detergent) to kill wasps. He uses a 2 gallon pressure sprayer and when he hits the wasp it knocks them down and in a few minutes they are dead. Of course that is a contact solution it does nothing to kill the additional hundreds living in the walls.

9/27/2017 10:54:12 AM I use Boric acid and am having good success. The above site will tell you all about it. Safe with humans, pets and livestock/chickens. I keep a thin line behind my stove, in my cabinets under the sinks. I also use it in the chicken coop. It is a shield on the basement area also.

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