A Non-toxic Approach to Taking Care of a Cockroach Problem

Here is a very effective non-toxic approach to dealing with a cockroach infestation.

I’m sorry to hear you have cockroaches, they are a real pain to deal with. I once had cockroaches myself. I came home one day to discover that my landlord was going to spray every apartment in the building, in less than 24 hour notice!. I panicked, mainly because of the poison. I was able to avoid having my place sprayed, but bait was laid down. After the rest of the building was sprayed, cockroaches started appearing in my kitchen in the morning. Now I knew I was stupid for being the only guy who didn’t get sprayed, all of the roaches were finding welcoming land in my filthy place. I knew I had to do something, so I did a bunch of panicked research on the subject. In this state i developed a method that would work good for killing them and keeping them away. Poison kills a few on contact, but mainly makes them stress and change location, its more of a repellent in actual effect. The poison is very toxic, definitely not something you want in your kitchen, especially if you have kids or pets. But we don’t want roaches either. So i decided for this job i would need a combination of two relatively non-toxic chemicals…

1. For killing i found that “roach powder” is boric acid, and relatively non-toxic to anything that is not a bug. This was acceptable for my living space. The way you use it is you find the areas where you believe roaches like to travel, usually around the borders of the room, under cabinets, under the stove. You lay a fine dusting of the boric acid, a very thin layer. You don’t want clumps and piles, the roaches will just walk around it. It works by sticking to the roaches legs, later on the roaches clean themselves where they are more comfortable, they lick it off their legs and die in the walls. This is one of the best ways to actually KILL the roaches. Spraying poison has more of the effect of keeping them away and disturbing their environment and psychology. 

2. A non-toxic chemical that has a similar repellent effect to spraying poison is eucalyptol. Roaches, and many other bugs, HATE eucalyptol. They just cant stand the smell of it, they won’t walk over it. For some reason they are sickened by it, it is basically a repellent, and is often used as a non-toxic insect repellent. Sources for eucalyptol include eucalyptus leaves, and bay leaves. Eucalyptus leaves can often be had at healthfood stores, while bay leaf is widely available. 

The way i used it was i took bay leaf and soaked it in some alcohol, eucalyptol is insoluble in water. You can use rubbing alcohol, vodka, or anything similar that isn’t terribly toxic like acetone. Cover an ounce or so of crushed leaf with alcohol overnight. Separate off the leaves and then mix the now-green alcohol with mop water, or just lay it down with a squeegee or something. Too much may leave a green residue, which may be sticky. The mop water method is good, cause you should be mopping if you have roaches anyways. You can lay down lines of this stuff to create barriers for them even.  Wipe down counters with it. One thing is for sure, this stuff is relatively non-toxic, smells nice, and roaches HATE it. 

This combination plus lots of cleaning and bait will do a number on roaches for sure. In my case, after using boric acid and eucalyptol as described I stopped seeing live ones, found only a few dead ones, and later heard that they had moved upstairs to a woman’s apartment that was MUCH cleaner and had been sprayed with horrible poison! These are powerful methods!

If you are serious, you should also not overlook the fact that you must cut off the food and especially water sources. This is an important part of combating a roach problem. You will win if you use a strong combination of all these methods

Good luck! I hope my advice was of help. 

i figured it would be good to include these for reference:

MSDS on eucalyptol

MSDS on boric acid

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Published in: Homemaking


RSSComments: 2  |  Post a Comment
  1. nice and informative….i really hate roaches!! i will do your advise

  2. I’m glad you like it! they are really disgusting. I recently saw a natural insect repellent at CVS that was mostly eucalyptol…. that may be another good thing to consider. the bay leaf worked great for me though!

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