Updated: March 30, 2023

Cockroaches are one of the most irritating household pests that can infest any home. They are not only unsightly but also carry harmful bacteria and can trigger allergies. There are various methods of getting rid of cockroaches, including hiring an exterminator, using traps or baits, and using insecticides. One of the most effective ways to eliminate cockroaches is by using boric acid.

What is Boric Acid?

Boric acid is a white, crystalline powder derived from borax. It is a natural insecticide that has been used for many years to control pests such as ants, fleas, and cockroaches. Boric acid works by disrupting the digestive system of insects and dehydrating their exoskeletons. It is a slow-acting poison that takes time to kill the pests, but it is highly effective when used correctly.

How Does Boric Acid Kill Cockroaches?

When cockroaches come into contact with boric acid, they ingest it while grooming themselves. The boric acid powder adheres to their legs and antennae, which they then ingest when they groom themselves. Once ingested, boric acid acts as a stomach poison that disrupts the digestive system of the cockroach, leading to dehydration and eventual death.

Apart from acting as a stomach poison, boric acid also dehydrates the exoskeleton of the cockroach. The acid removes the waxy coating on the insect’s body that helps retain moisture, causing water loss and dehydration. With time, the cockroach becomes sluggish and unable to move before eventually dying.

How to Use Boric Acid to Kill Cockroaches

The effectiveness of boric acid in killing cockroaches depends on how you use it. Here are some tips on how to use boric acid effectively:

  1. Identify the areas where cockroaches are most active. These could be the kitchen, bathroom, or any other area of your home where there is food and moisture.
  2. Clean the areas thoroughly to remove any food crumbs, spills, or grease that can attract cockroaches.
  3. Apply boric acid powder to the areas where you have noticed cockroach activity. Use a bulb duster or a small paintbrush to apply the powder in crevices, cracks, and other hiding places.
  4. Reapply the powder regularly, especially after cleaning or if you notice new cockroach activity.

Advantages of Using Boric Acid

Boric acid has several advantages over other methods of cockroach control. These include:

  • Cost-effective: Boric acid is one of the cheapest methods of pest control. A small amount of powder can be used to treat a large area.
  • Safe: Boric acid is relatively safe for humans and pets when used correctly. It is less toxic than most insecticides and does not emit harmful fumes.
  • Long-lasting: Once applied, boric acid can remain effective for several weeks or even months, making it an ideal long-term solution for cockroach control.


Is boric acid safe for pets?

Boric acid is generally considered safe for pets when used correctly. However, it can be harmful if ingested in large amounts. It is recommended to keep pets away from treated areas and to use caution when applying the powder.

Can boric acid kill all types of cockroaches?

Boric acid is effective against many species of cockroaches, including German, American, and Oriental cockroaches. However, some species may be more resistant to boric acid than others.

Can boric acid be used outdoors?

Boric acid can be used outdoors but may not be as effective as indoor use. Outdoor use may also harm beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies, so caution should be exercised.

How long does boric acid take to kill cockroaches?

Boric acid is a slow-acting poison that can take several days or even weeks to kill cockroaches. However, the effects can be seen within a few days as the insects become sluggish and die.


Boric acid is an effective and affordable solution for getting rid of cockroaches. It works by disrupting the digestive system of the pests and dehydrating their exoskeletons. When used correctly, boric acid is safe and long-lasting, making it an ideal choice for long-term pest control. With these tips, you can effectively use boric acid to keep your home free from cockroaches.