One of the reasons that it is so difficult to eradicate a cockroach infestation is that cockroaches can hide and nest in the tiniest of spaces. They also tend to stay hidden during the day. This leaves homeowners with full-time jobs and little time on their hands at an impasse. It also means that resident cockroaches have ample time to relocate, should their unwilling hosts attempt to drive them out. It's bad enough finding cockroaches running around in your cupboards, but when they start infesting your electrical outlets—it might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
However, even if you have little time on your hands, there are two very simple but effective powder solutions that you can use to get rid of your annoying squatters—boric acid and diatomaceous earth. Both of these pest repellents can be placed and left to work their magic, removing the need for you to chase roaches with a can of Raid in hand. But what's the difference between the two?
Boric Acid is Toxic
Diatomaceous earth and boric acid are often wrongly thought of as the same thing. However, they are distinctly different in the way that they kill cockroaches and other pests. Although, like diatomaceous earth, boric acid comes in powder form and looks much the same, its main weapon is its toxicity. Boric acid is finely ground borax, and when ingested or breathed in by cockroaches, it takes a few days to kill them. If a cockroach walks through a fine dusting of this powder, it will later clean its body and succumb to the poison. Boric acid can also be mixed with icing sugar and placed near known roach nesting spots.
To use boric acid in electrical outlets, simply remove the outer cover, once you have turned off the electric. Then sprinkle the powder inside the socket. Don't pile the powder. Ensure that there is a fine layer coating every surface, and then replace the cover. Cockroaches will avoid piles of boric, acid but they will walk through a fine dusting of it, so remember that when putting down boric acid.
Diatomaceous Earth Is Abrasive
This powder works by first sticking to a cockroach's exoskeleton. The tiny but sharp silica crystals then begin to abrade the cockroach's exoskeleton as it moves. The more it moves, the more damage is done. This abrasion of the cockroach's outer shell then causes the cockroach to rapidly lose water. As well as being abrasive, diatomaceous earth is also absorbent, which means it absorbs the fats and water of insects it comes into contact with. Essentially, the cockroach dries out and becomes dehydrated. Even if it finds water, the damage is already done, and it is only a matter of time before it succumbs to dehydration and dies.
Sprinkle this powder in the same way that you would boric acid. Put a light dusting inside infested electrical sockets, and then replace the cover. Like boric acid, once cockroaches come into contact with this powder, they will attempt to clean it off; however, doing so means that they will ingest the sharp crystals and die.
Use these two powders around your home, in moderation, as boric acid can cause eye problems, and diatomaceous earth is abrasive to the airways of humans and animals when breathed in. If your infestation is getting out of hand and you simply don't have the time to wage a war on roaches on your own, call in a pest control expert. They have the tools to remove the cockroaches from your home so you can come home from work and relax without worrying whether cockroaches will scatter every time you switch on a light.