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Old 11-13-2012, 08:15 AM   #1
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Cockroach help!


Hello all!

I recently noticed that I have a problem with cockroaches in my apartment. I have seen two or three of them around the place and yesterday I found what I believe is an egg shell from one.
I live in an old building, and while my apartment is clean, I obviously can't speak for the other flats. I'm sure that they are coming in from other apartments. I've heard that they are attracted to even the tiniest bit of standing water (and/or food) and throw in the fact that it has been raining for close to a week here, and I think they've started to enter into the building.
I have read up on using boric acid, and how it's supposedly the best way to kill roaches, and I have tried finding boric acid powder, however, it's simply not sold here. People look at me strangely when it's even asked for. It's liquid boric or nothing.
Would using LIQUID boric acid work just as well as powder? If so, is there a special way of placing it? Do any of you have any other ideas of how to stop these roaches?

Thanks for all your help!

Paul (PBEnglish)

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Old 11-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #2
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Cockroach help!


Adding your location to your profile may help to find someone local that could give you some help on product name and locations where you can find it.
In the states we have a product called Roach Away. Any Lowes Home Depot, Wal-Mart local hardware stores carry it.
It's 95% boric acid.

If they are coming is from other flats sealing up any holes will go a long way to keep them out.
All the holes through the walls where plumbing is run need to be sealed up with expanding foam, inside outlets and switch boxes.
Caulking any gaps in the trim.

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Old 11-13-2012, 08:52 AM   #3
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You're absolutely right. My apologies. I actually live in Trieste, Italy. I doubt there are too many others out here who are also on this forum, but one never knows.
I've seen the roach traps/baits in stores, but I'm not entirely sure how effective they are.

Cheers!

Paul (PBEnglish)

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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Adding your location to your profile may help to find someone local that could give you some help on product name and locations where you can find it.
In the states we have a product called Roach Away. Any Lowes Home Depot, Wal-Mart local hardware stores carry it.
It's 95% boric acid.

If they are coming is from other flats sealing up any holes will go a long way to keep them out.
All the holes through the walls where plumbing is run need to be sealed up with expanding foam, inside outlets and switch boxes.
Caulking any gaps in the trim.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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Cockroach help!


We always had good luck with ROACH PRUF but I don't know if it's still available. Unfortunately, if your apt complex is infested like it sounds like it is, you need the landlord to call in a professional company to rid the WHOLE complex of roaches. This usually means everyone stays in a hotel for several days while the company tarps up the building and infuses the whole place with a roach killing treatment.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:07 AM   #5
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Cockroach help!


Boron based roach powders here often come in large, ugly yellow bottles. Perhaps you were looking for something more elegant and glamorous? Diatamaceous Earth works in similar fashion. It is the main ingredient in swimming pool filter material for many systems.



Most buildings I have lived in are usually very good about calling an exterminator and keeping things on a regular schedule. An exterminator will have all kinds of contact sprays, baits and traps to apply to the severity of the situation. I don't know brand names where you are but Combat roach discs work fairly well as consumer products go. Even if you have to pay your own, an exterminator has usually worked out to be cheaper for me than buying marginally effective consumer insectisides. Exterminators who come here (although I have never seen but a fruit fly since moving in) use a gel in cabinets, on hinges and so forth.




You are correct. Cockroaches are attracted to the smallest amounts of food or anything edible and in their beedy little eyes most anything is edible. In addition to people food, make sure you do not leave pet food out. Make sure you pull your frig and stove out if you can to vacuum behind it. Many species do like moist environments under sinks and things.

Unfortunately there is not much you can do as far as the housekeeping skills and habits of your neighbors. If they are attracting the roaches, you are bound to see a few now and then in spite of your best efforts. They will not stick around your place if you provide nothing for them to eat.

Last edited by user1007; 11-15-2012 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:27 PM   #6
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Hey!
I know that Boric Acid definitely works for ants and you can use it for roaches too. You can combine with flour or cocoa powder to lure the cockroach in and spread it in places you think cockroaches are

I know you're in Italy, so here are some sprays you can make at home to kill cockroaches used more common materials:

- Mix 1 tsp neem oil and 1/4 tsp liquid dish soap. The liquid dish soap acts as an "emulsifier" or "sticker-spreader". Shake well. Spray on cockroaches.

- You can also combine water and dishwashing soap and spray it on cockroaches

- Mix baking soda and sugar in a container- it will lure the cockroaches and make them die

Does this help?
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:33 PM   #7
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If boric acid is difficult to find in a retail setting you might try a pharmacy.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:46 AM   #8
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Hi all!

Thanks for all the help. I sincerely do appreciate it.

The problem I am coming up with is that I have only been able to find LIQUID boric acid, and everything I'm reading is saying that I need POWDERED boric acid (please note, I'm not yelling when I type in capitals, I'm just trying to emphasize :-) )
Would liquid boric acid work as well as powdered boric acid? I don't want to put down all this acid and not have it work.

As for the idea of spraying them as I see them. Well, the thing is, I've only seen two in the last two months (and one of those, I'm not entirely sure was a cockroach) and I think I saw an egg casing. So spraying them as I see them isn't quite an option, as I'm not really seeing them. All of this is just a precaution because I know they are in the building and I want to be careful.

Lastly, as for the traps, that is my next step of action, especially if I'm unable to use the liquid boric acid. I'd like to find out if it's possible to use this bottle of acid first before I go back out to buy something else.

As an aside...if I am able to use the boric acid I do have, and it starts to kill the roaches, where would I look to remove the dead cockroaches? It might sound silly, but I don't know what to look for in regards to a nest. I wouldn't want to leave (potentially) hundreds of dead roaches behind a wall or baseboard (for obvious reasons).

Thanks for any and all help. It is sincerely appreciated!

Paul (PBEnglish)
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:22 AM   #9
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Cockroach help!


I recognize that several members like boric acid. As a professional exterminator for a couple decades, I never met one pro that would use boric acid to get rid of a roach problem. The problem with powdered boric acid is not being able to place it in the hottest roach spots.

A container of boric acid as pictured above is enough for two generations of people, if it is used properly and often. A tablespoon is enough to kill a toddler. Boric acid on the floor will be picked up by pets and licked off their paws, not good. It does not stick to upside down surfaces, like under the cabinets, under the sink, under shelves, and under the lip of the counter overlapping the cabinets. Boric acid is a herbicide, so it will kill house plants, and landscaping (if applied there).

Boric acid is not water soluble. Liquid formulations are possible, but I never used one, except for termite treatment on untreated wood.

I used 3 chemicals. A pyrethroid to repel them from some surfaces; a growth regulator (Gentrol) to prevent babies from having babies, and a good bait.

The bait shown would be fine. One tube would be enough for about 4 apts. There are other baits. None I used for roaches had boric acid as the active ingredient.

Water is of critical importance to the roach. It will live as close as possible to it's water supply. Combat that by putting damp rags and sponges in a jar or ziplock, cleaning and drying the dishes. Put a drain plug in the sinks. Close the hole in the wall where the water pipes go. Your neighbors roaches will then have a more difficult time getting to you.

Last edited by gobug; 11-17-2012 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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Cockroach help!


Aerosol insulating foam works great in sealing holes especially around pipes. When I was a kid growing up in a NYC project we did not have such a product so we used steel wool. We were never able to bring the roach problem under control. I put uninsulated wires run parallel across the floor under the bedroom door and plugged them into an AC outlet ...that's how desperate I was to keep them off me in my sleep. Of couse I warned my family about the danger I created. Not suggesting this as a cureall. I was only 11 when I did this. Just saying I know how disgusting roaches can be.

Last edited by retired guy 60; 12-03-2012 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #11
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The consensus here, I am generally in agreement. Diatamaceous earth is FAR better than any boric acid. Use it with a bulb duster LIGHTLY. It works by abrading the exoskeleton of insects causing dehydration...a dessicant that will be transferred to others in the colony. Boric acid is toxic to humans, animals and fish so it is generally not recommended for use around children or pets. DE is inert.

Refrain from using spray products if at all possible. Most DIYers will use way too much. Plus making baits MUCH less effictive.

If you can find MAXFORCE GEL (actually a paste in a "syringe" applicator), or another gel that contains FIPRONIL and follow the directions for crack and crevice application. Many small beads are better than fewer large "goops". The delayed mortality allows the product to remain effective to roaches that haven't eaten it. Roaches eat roach feces and are cannalbalistic.

Gentrol is a restricted product in the US but if you can get it where you are, use it in conjunction with the others. IT WORKS!

I would suggest finding a reputable exterminating service that supports Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Most sell their products to the public is diluted form, and are free with their advice.

Good Luck!
~Z
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebugman View Post
The consensus here, I am generally in agreement. Diatamaceous earth is FAR better than any boric acid. Use it with a bulb duster LIGHTLY. It works by abrading the exoskeleton of insects causing dehydration...a dessicant that will be transferred to others in the colony. Boric acid is toxic to humans, animals and fish so it is generally not recommended for use around children or pets. DE is inert.

Good Luck!
~Z
Again, see my previous post on this........watch out.

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