Archived Q&A and Reviews

Non-toxic solution to roach problem?

Feb 2000

We have a big roach problem in our rented house but also have an 8-month-old. I'm concerned about using insecticides around him - is there a more non-toxic way to get rid of the roaches?

Try boric acid. It is a white powder and fairly safe (I know that doesn't sound reassuring but nothing is completely safe with children around). I use this powder in my vacuum cleaner bag to kill flea eggs. The best way to apply it is to put it into a plastic container like a squeeze mustard container with a point. Squeeze it into cracks and holes you might find in the wall boards and then try to cover up the crack or opening. If there aren't any openings, you might consider drilling some in very inconspicuous places like in the kickboards under your cabinets. After applying, fill in the hole with a little spackle or wood filler and the landlord will never know. Reapply every couple of months, if needed. I hope it helps.

If you can find places your kids will not touch, boric acid used to work for me in Chicago and the South (roaches AND humungous waterbugs).