Bug bombs useless for killing roaches: study

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/04/bug-bombs-useless-for-killing.html


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Use lizards instead of chemicals!


I remember reading about a guy who kept a tarantula “leashed” under his claw foot bathtub to keep the roaches down.


“Bug bombs useless for killing roaches: study”

Have they tried smashing them with the can?


I keep hearing good things about fine diatomaceous earth but it seems too perfect. The idea that such a resilient creature could be felled by dust.


After 21+ years in Hawai’i I discovered the same truth. Roach motels work, but I could never stand how they stink. Then came the enlightening moment in which I ended up using Diatomaceous Earth. It is completely safe - as long as it is ‘food grade’ - and does in all critters one cares not to share the dwelling with. Minute amounts dusted everywhere the politicians like to hide will also keep at bay silver fishes, spiders, ants and centipedes. If You got those as well. Although, centipedes actually prey on roaches and it might be interesting to have one of those on a leash, like OWYAC mentioned above. In Hawai’i they call them roaches ‘water bugs’. Sounds nicer. Here is one before centipede dinner.


From what I’ve read that stuff is more about controlling the movement of pests. And more so with “softer” critter like slugs and bed bugs. Spread around the exterior of the house they can prevent things for getting in. And specifically with bed bugs, to prevent them from moving into furniture where they can feed, which prevents them from breeding. Which can prevent them from coming back or surviving through other measures.

I dunno that it can kill anything and it doesn’t seem like it can repel something as tenacious as a roach.


The folks locked in Biosphere 2 used ducks to keep their roach population under control.


Diatomaceous earth works best as a barrier to keep them out - spray it into the cracks between the wall and floor, around the pipes, etc, so that they have to wade through it to get into the apartment, and they will stop coming, as will ants and other tiny unwelcome visitors. Once it’s applied, it’s perfectly safe, but while you are applying it, it can enter the air as dust that you don’t want to breathe or have get on your food prep areas or dishes.

I have successfully used a combination of diatomaceous earth and boric acid to get rid of multiple roach infestations back when we lived in an apartment. (eta: @roomwithaview, it was two apartments, and more than one infestation in the first apartment before I got all the ingress routes blocked. The other apartments in both buildings tended to get a lot of college age young men living in them, with all that implies for cleanliness)

Step 1, use diatomaceous earth and/or spray foam to block the cracks and gaps between us and the roach infested downstairs apartment.
Step 2, use meticulous cleaning to reduce the food supply and make the places where food and dishes are stored inhospitable as breeding/sheltering zones.
Step 3, squirt a generous amount of boric acid powder underneath the cabinets, under the stove, under the fridge, etc.
Step 4, continue with meticulous cleaning while monitoring the situation with sticky traps. After a few weeks, we stopped seeing any sign of them.


I had tried the gel, traps, bait stations (liquid and gel), roach hotels, sticky paper, diatomaceous earth and home remedies using various blends of egg yolk, sugar and boric acid. Taking advice from NextDoor (I know…), I finally hit on Syngenta Advion which is probably identical to the Maxforce tubes in Rob’s link.

Per advice or the instructions, I used one tube, kept an eye out and then used the second tube in spots I hadn’t hit with the first one. It’s a four tube pack, but I only needed two. That was in August and I’ve only seen two dead ones since then.

A friend kept geckos uncaged in her home in Tarzana (San Fernando Valley/L.A.). They preferred to be under her fridge where there was moisture, which also gave them a good view of any bugs coming out at night. They were nocturnal. Once in awhile she’d hear them crunching on something.


Yep - the gel baits took care of this problem in my last apartment apartment pronto - followed up with the boric acid as a preventative.


Here is why it kills all invertebrates: When those walk over the dust, they get it onto their legs. Many insects have sensors in the legs. Thus they must keep the legs clean at all times. They ‘lick’ their legs - they ingest the diatoms and those will cut their digestive tract up due to the diatoms being like microscopic broken glass.
It has to be ‘food grade’ though. Then it can be applied and ingested by both humans and our pet animals (proper dosage = less is more!) killing intestinal worms. Of course DA is like calcium, a good organic mineral source.



Atomic bombs useless for killing roaches

Diatomaceous earth is cool stuff!

A few clarifications. It’s silica, in case anyone thought helenasophia meant it was a source of calcium. And a deworming study with cows shows no difference from control group.


Apparently, dough baits mixed with borax are quite efficient at killing roaches. Basically, mix flour and water to make a dough, add borax. Leave some under you kitchen cabinets.

Detailed instructions in your favourite search engine.

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Ah memories. My favorite was waking up one broooklyn morning to find an eviscerated cockroach on the pillow next to my head. Thanks, cat!


A very, very fine dusting of boric acid in all cracks and along the baseboards works. Ahhh, graduate school. You taught me so many useful things without ever meaning to.


I’ve always suspected those chemicals and sprays were more effective at harming people than the bugs they were trying to kill.