January 28, 2006

Give Cockroaches a Natural Death

The University of Nevada has a great .pdf file that provides lots of ways to win the war against cockroaches using natural methods. Safer and cheaper than calling the Man with a Truck ....

Written by Dr. Robert H. Stauffer, Area Extension Specialist, the tips include:

1. Sprays - such as 2 oz of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap per gallon of water, or 3 ounces of rosemary oil per gallon of water. (Dr.Bronner sells his peppermint soap for $1/oz at his site. You can make your own rosemary oil, an online recipe appears at RecipeSource.)

2. Repellants - roaches apparently hate okra, so putting raw or stewed okra around will repel them, as will stewed cucumber peel or crushed bay leaves.

3. Dusts -- boric acid kills those suckers though it may take 10 days for them to die. Good news - if the boric acid powder stays dry, it remains effective for years. Don't pile it, layer it. The Doc recommends mixing it with food the roaches like: he reports that "they are especially fond of beer" and are quite fond of sweets, grease, and the like. (He provides a long list here.)

Boric acid takes no prisoners: it also kills termites, carpenter ants, palmetto bugs, waterbugs, ants, fleas, and silverfish. For more info on boric acid, Al's Home Improvement Center has lots of detail. There, 2 gallons of boric acid are sold for $16.50.

(I've been told that Boric Acid is essentially what the expensive Sears treatment involves, where they take off all the light switch covers, etc., and spray a white powder behind the walls -- but I don't have confirmation of that.)

4. Baits -- recipes provided include a bowl of epsom salts: once consumed, the roach's digestive system is impacted and it dies. Other baits are provided, they include boric acid and a cute one where you get the roaches drunk on beer and then stomp them to death.

5. Traps -- good one with a greased Gatorade jar filled with temptation for the roaches, others with shaving cream or electrical tape.
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