Does BORAX Kill Roaches?

Getting rid of cockroaches for good is a serious and complicated task that you’ll gladly welcome any effective remedy that you can get your hands on. And this includes borax.

In this article, you can expect to learn:

  • What borax is
  • The use of borax against cockroaches
  • Difference between American and German cockroaches
  • Alternate ways to use borax against roaches

Cockroaches notoriously spread diseases and they are as stubborn as hell.

In fact, you may have already read or at least heard dozens of stories claiming the efficiency of borax in the fight against roaches.

But is borax really effective in terminating these stubborn scavengers? Let’s examine whether or not borax is an effective enough roach repellant to avoid employing a pest control service in your quest to kill roaches.

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

Table of Contents

    What is Borax?

    Borax is a chemical compound of the mineral boron. Its complete chemical name according to IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) is sodium tetraborate decahydrate.

    Other names commonly used to refer to the said natural mineral is sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, and disodium tetraborate.

    Pure borax is in crystal form that can be converted into colorless powdered element. This chemical compound, when processed, yields boric acid which is also known as hydrogen borate. Although both borax and boric acid are used as effective insecticides, the two are entirely different chemicals.

    Read More: Click here to learn more about boric acid

    Borax as a naturally occurring element has a number of uses. It is used as a:

    • Laundry booster
    • Tooth bleaching
    • Food additive
    • Fire retardant

    … among many others.

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    Does Borax Work Against Cockroaches?

    Roaches dread borax powder because it contains the mineral boron. When dusting in crevices, near baseboards, and mixed with roach bait, this effective roach killer will result in a lot of dead roaches.

    Borax has been long used by homeowners as a potent insecticide against cockroaches. This can be done by using borax as a bait (along with a food attractant) or on its own.

    As a bait, borax is mixed with a food attractant such as sugar and placed on places frequented by the said insects while scavenging. Cockroaches are later on drawn to the trap and eats the bait along with the insecticide (borax).

    On its own, chemical granules are sprinkled in thin traces and gets picked up by the pest’s legs which will be later on consumed by means of preening.

    When ingested, borax damages the gut lining of the cockroach, eventually killing it out of starvation. Dehydration also kicks in as the abrasive powder damages the exoskeleton of the insect.

    Roaches dread borax powder because it contains the mineral boron.

    Borax has been long used by homeowners as a potent insecticide against cockroaches. This can be done by using borax as a bait (along with a food attractant) or on its own.

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    American or German Cockroach?

    German and American cockroaches are two of the most common species of roaches that infest homes and other types of human establishments.

    German cockroaches are significantly smaller, growing to about 1.1 to 1.6 cm in length. They are mostly light brown in color. Throughout its entire lifetime, the German cockroach can lay up to 320 eggs.

    The American cockroach on the other hand is quite larger reaching to somewhere around 4 cm in total body length. They are reddish brown in color. These cockroaches sometimes fly and can produce up to 224 eggs throughout its lifetime.

    Despite their differences in their physical and breeding characteristics, their diet, habitat, and scavenging behavior are pretty much the same. Both German and American cockroaches can easily fall victim to borax insecticide.

    What’s good about this natural insecticide is that it doesn’t kill the insect on the spot. Roaches that are exposed to this potent insecticide return to their nesting grounds, taking the poison along with them, which delivers a mortal blow to baby roaches.

    To know more about cockroaches and how to get rid of them, here’s our comprehensive Pest Killing Guide.

    Other Effective Cockroach Killing Methods Using Borax

    Mixing borax with sugar and using it on its own that acts like a dust insecticide are two of the most commonly practiced methods of controlling cockroach infestation that utilizes the said compound.

    However, the following video suggests that cockroaches may be outsmarting sugar bait.

    But if you think your unwanted guests are witty enough to avoid the aforementioned methods, perhaps it’s time to try a different approach.

    Instead of just using sugar as the sole food attractant, you will have to add liquid milk into the mix. Milk is one type of food that homeowners usually have in their fridge which cockroaches are highly attracted to.

    Adding this super cockroach magnet into the formula yields a more enticing bait. Besides, it produces a bait in paste form that can stick effectively on the insect’s legs.

    Read more: Use the best cockroach repellent to keep roaches away

    Is Borax Safe to Use?

    When controlling cockroach infestation with borax, one should be very careful in handling the compound especially if there are pets and children inside the house, as this white powder is often indistinguishable from something edible.

    Although it has been classified as one of the safest and most effective chemical compounds to use against cockroaches, borax can still cause health problems.

    When inhaled, it can cause respiratory irritation. If ingested, it can cause minor complications in the digestive tract.

    If this happens, it is strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical attention.

    Final Thoughts on Using Borax

    Efficiency of borax in eradicating cockroach infestation depends on the manner of handling your preferred approach. Identifying places frequented by the insects and monitoring progress on a daily basis is key to an overall success in your fight against these filthy pests.

    For worse cockroach problems, you can use our Trusted Exterminator Search Tool to secure  the help of a professional pest control company.

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