How To Kill Roaches with Borax

Roaches are an absolute nightmare to deal with, whether they are in your home or your office. Roaches can spread bacteria and cause disease, making it imperative that you get rid of them as soon as possible!

There are several products available that will help kill these pesky insects, but none quite like borax. Borax is completely safe and non-toxic to humans and pets alike, but it’s one of the most effective roach killers on the market!

If you have an infestation at home or in your office, follow this guide to learn how to kill roaches with borax!

How To Kill Roaches with Borax

Dead cockroach

What is Borax?

Whether you are interested in using borax to kill roaches or control fleas, it’s a good idea to know exactly what you’re dealing with. A naturally occurring mineral found primarily in California and Turkey, borax, is often used as a preservative or whitener in laundry detergents and other household cleaning products.

One of its most common uses, however, is for pest control. According to pest-control experts, borax has been shown to be effective against ants, roaches, silverfish and crickets among other pests. It’s also effective at killing bed bugs. Today we’re going to focus on how borax works for cockroach control.

Borax types

There are a few different types of borax products you can use to kill cockroaches; powder, crystals, and tablets. Each one has its own unique application method but what they all have in common is that they work quickly and efficiently. Here’s how each type works.

A powder form is applied to roach pathways (like under sinks or along baseboards) using a duster. When roaches walk through it, it coats their bodies and eventually kills them by causing dehydration.

A granular form requires less effort since it doesn’t need to be applied directly onto roaches—it can be sprinkled on surfaces like floors or cabinets where they typically hide or enter your home from outdoors.

You can also sprinkle some into cracks around windows or doors as well as underneath sinks and other appliances where you don’t want them to go. Tablets are similar except they come pre-packaged in bait stations that attract cockroaches into eating them.

How do you use borax?

You can use borax in a number of ways to kill roaches. You can make it a homemade poison by putting 1/2 tsp of borax powder into 1 cup (240 ml) of water and add a little sugar. Stir until dissolved, or heat it on low in a saucepan until dissolved.

Let cool and give to roaches as an attractive drink mix that will kill them in about 24 hours. For more persistent infestations, you can spread borax powder around areas where roaches are likely to pass through.

They’ll absorb it through their feet over time, leading to eventual dehydration and death within two weeks. Apply lightly enough so that humans and pets don’t accidentally ingest it as well!

Read: how long does it take for borax to kill roaches?


Advantages of using borax over other methods

You should use borax to kill roaches because it’s relatively cheap. It’s less expensive than any other form of roach control and works just as well, if not better. Plus, unlike some popular commercial products like Raid, you can use borax for longer periods of time without risk of damage to your home or family.

There are no lingering harmful fumes and it’s also safe for children and pets so you can use it around your house with no worries. Simply sprinkle a bit in corners or cracks where cockroaches may be hiding or nesting (more at night when they tend to be most active) and let nature take its course.

Bugs Don’t Like It, Fairly tolerant to Humans and Pets (The Genuine one)

Boric acid is a natural poison with a long history of use as an insecticide and roach control. According to The Washington Post, boric acid can be used to kill cockroaches, ants, bedbugs, fleas and ticks in addition to killing other insects like termites.

Boric acid works by breaking down the exoskeleton of insects that consume it and then causing them to dehydrate and die. Not all uses of boric acid are safe for humans — you shouldn’t ingest it or apply it directly to your skin —

but if you know how to use borax safely (for roach control), you can use it as part of your DIY pest-control plan without harming yourself or your family members!

Read: German cockroaches behind fridge

Make Borax at home or buy one

Most people don’t keep borax in their pantry, but you can pick some up at your local grocery store. If you can’t find borax, look for laundry detergent or another powder that contains boric acid. It will be listed on the label as one of its ingredients.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends against using home-made cockroach powders since they aren’t regulated and may contain harmful chemicals and other products that harm humans and pets.

The Biggest Advantage of All – Safe for Pets! (Not to be ingested)

For very little money and in a short amount of time, you can make your own roach spray. Simply mix one part borax with two parts warm water and fill a spray bottle.

Spray all around kitchen counters, cabinets, along baseboards, inside and outside of cupboards, under appliances and behind them (if possible), in cracks or crevices and wherever else you may find cockroaches in your home.

The mixture is safe for use around pets but use care if you have small children who like to eat things they shouldn’t. Follow all label directions carefully! Reapply every 3-4 weeks until cockroach infestation has been controlled.


Will it kill fleas?

Borax is toxic to cockroaches, but it will not wipe fleas entirely. There are plenty of other products on the market that are designed to kill both roaches and fleas. Before you try borax to kill roaches, make sure that you’re treating for both bugs if your home is infested with them.

Also, keep in mind that using borax for cockroach control can leave a white powdery residue behind which will not only make an unsightly mess, but could also be unsafe for humans or pets who come into contact with it.

It’s generally considered safer and easier to use over-the-counter products designed specifically for killing both types of bugs. However, if you choose to go ahead and use borax for cockroach control anyway, remember that a little goes a long way!

And always follow label instructions carefully: When using borax to kill roaches, add 1/2 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax Powder (which contains 12% sodium tetraborate) per gallon of water in your spray bottle.

Spray around door frames, windowsills and along baseboards where these pests tend to hide out. If you want even more protection against roaches and other household pests (and are okay with possibly dealing with some white residue), mix up one part water with two parts apple cider vinegar and add 1⁄4 cup of borax powder per gallon before applying as above.

Article: Sulfur bombs for roaches

And bugs in your garden too!

You can use borax to kill both roaches and bugs in your garden. It’s a safer, less toxic alternative to common insecticides. You just have to be strategic about how you use it. Follow these instructions and you should have no problem getting rid of all those bugs!

1) Get some borax powder (you can find it at most grocery stores). Don’t buy anything with 20 Mule Team on it—it’s too expensive. A good price is around $3 for 3 pounds (which will last you quite a while).

2) Spread out an old newspaper or something similar in an area where you want to keep roaches away from. Sprinkle small amounts of borax on top of that newspaper.

3) Keep sprinkling more borax until there is about 1/4 inch between each pile of powder.

4) Put a few piles in areas where you see cockroaches, but don’t put them too close together because they’ll avoid walking through large areas of borax.

5) Leave them alone for a few days and then check back to see if they’ve been taking advantage of your free pest control service. If so, repeat as necessary.

6) For plants, mix one part water with one part borax in a spray bottle and spray directly onto leaves. This will help repel aphids and other pests without harming beneficial insects like bees or ladybugs.

DIY Recipe for Homemade Cockroach Spray

No one likes cockroaches. But if you live in a big city, it’s almost impossible to avoid them completely—whether they show up in your home or while you’re out and about.

Cockroaches have been around for millions of years, so fighting them is kind of like an evolutionary arms race: In order to survive, we need to invent clever ways to get rid of them (and come up with clever new ways for them to get back at us).

Cockroach spray is a simple DIY concoction that uses borax as bait—the hope being that roaches will eat it and die from dehydration. The key is finding just the right amount of borax; too little and they won’t be attracted to it, but too much and they won’t be able to eat it.

The recipe below calls for two tablespoons per gallon of water; adjust according to how many bugs you want to kill. You can also mix in other ingredients such as sugar, cinnamon or peppermint oil—just make sure not to use anything toxic!

Mix everything together until well combined and pour into spray bottles. Spray along baseboards, behind furniture and under appliances where roaches are likely hiding. Leave out overnight for best results!


You can purchase borax from a lot of different sources, but it’s always recommended that you purchase from a chemical supply store. The reason for purchasing from one of these stores is that you know that your borax has been tested to be sure it’s food grade, meaning there are no chemicals in it that are dangerous to you or your family.

Article: Bugs in Nespresso machine

It’s also important to make sure what type of borax you buy. There are multiple types available for sale and most people who are using borax want to use sodium tetraborate decahydrate. This type is more commonly known as 20 mule team borax and we have referenced it throughout our post today.

Collin Miller

Since 2002, Collin has specialized in the pest control industry. He has a Pest Control and Termite Control Commercial Applicator License. He serves on the Missouri Pest Management Association board of directors as a director at large, and he attempts to provide a personal touch in pest eradication to customers in the Ozarks. When the weather is great, Collin enjoys working in his yard, cooking, and hanging out with family and friends, as well as watching football.

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