Difficulty: Harder than getting rid of your mother-in-law

Dear Home-Ec 101,

What is the most effective, economical and safe way to get rid of roaches??


Mrs. Wasp*

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

In the many houses I have lived in, I have only had trouble with roaches twice, luckily. In one house, the roaches moved in my apartment when my neighbor moved out, and when I got a new neighbor, they moved back in with her and I never saw any more. That wasn’t so bad.

One house I lived in had the worst roach problem and it took a long time to get the problem sorted out. I started out with the usual stuff- making sure my kitchen and bathrooms were spotlessly clean at all times, especially at night. I checked for leaks anywhere- if roaches don’t have a water source, they aren’t so interested in living at your house.

But these roaches were wily and didn’t fall for any of that. So I vacuumed the absolute crap out of my entire house. Behind furniture, along walls, etc. I made sure any paper clutter was gone, too.

Finally, my dad suggested I put down boric acid (can be bought at Lowe’s or Home Depot) along the walls and anyplace I had seen them hanging out. And that worked, within about a week I didn’t see any more roaches.

So make sure you do all your cleaning, apparently paper and book glue is yet another thing roaches feast on, so be sure you get the paper clutter out of the house, and then put down the boric acid. It should get rid of those roaches pretty quickly for you. Good luck!

*Wasps are the natural enemy of cockroaches. Home-Ec 101 does not suggest  releasing wasps in your house to get rid of cockroaches


  1. Bramble on November 8, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    I think I’d rather have the roaches than the inlaws…
    (And we get the dang fruit flies too, in fact I thought I was having a stroke one day to realize that the little black spots before my eyes were just fruit flies…)

  2. Margolis on November 8, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Great advice, Ivy. Cleaning plus boric acid worked well for us – and boric acid is sooooo cheap.
    Amber, I too can never *really* get rid of fruit flies. I refuse to put all my produce in the fridge. When it gets really bad, I make a trap by putting a paper cone in a jar with some cider vinegar at bottom (you could also punch tiny holes in the lid instead of the paper cone). This works OK. My suspicion is that, like those Japanese beetle bags, it actually draws the pests.

  3. Amber on November 8, 2007 at 1:48 am

    I want to know how to get rid of fruit flies… do you know all? If you can give me an idea that works (I’ve tried most everything) then I’ll be indebted to you forever.

  4. Denise on November 8, 2007 at 12:25 am

    Great information. Thanks.

    Now – what can we do to get rid of those pesty fire ants????

  5. JRae on November 7, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    My building has a guy who comes once a month or so and applies this poison gel to any crevices we’ve seen the roaches frequenting (around the kitchen sink and bathroom, usually). They eat the gel, take it back to nests, and die. It seems to work pretty well because it greatly reduced the number of “sightings” we were having- now we only see them once in a blue moon. 🙂

  6. Teresa on November 7, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    I swear my roaches use boric acid as a recreational substance. I recommend Bayer Advance Home Pest Control.

    The big blue bottle was about 20.00 at Lowe’s. The effects last up to 9 months according to the label, but I spray every 6 just to be sure. I like it because I can spray anywhere inside and out and once it dries it’s non-toxic. Gets roaches, crickets, termites, etc.

    Depending on where you live, you might need to pull the mulch away from your foundation and spray outside as well.