Erin, a reader from North Carolina, asked a pest control related question this week regarding an article about dementia and diabetes being linked to pesticides. She writes:
I wanted to ask you for ideas about pest control. We live in an apartment in NC and are having a roach problem (we’ve been killing 20, mostly babies per day—they are going wild in our kitchen and dining room at night). I don’t want to have our apartment sprayed with toxic pesticides especially because I have a 1 yr old and 3 yr old. I guess I need a pep talk from another natural mama about why I should not spray and some ideas of alternatives. I spray down the kitchen and dining area with an orange oil spray every morning and night to keep things clean and the orange oil is supposed to be a natural repellent. I also put boric acid in the sink before going to bed. I’m sure you know from living in the South how bad roaches can be! Any other tips? I am feeling a lot of pressure from friends and family to spray. One friend almost pleaded with me “for the sake of my family” to get the place sprayed by a professional! Maybe you could write a post about home pest control sometime if you have not written on that already.
Erin, I have written a related post called Green Herbicides and Pesticides for Your Yard, but I have not written one on non-toxic pest control for your home. Thanks for the great idea! Here’s how I keep pests at bay in my home in very buggy Florida!
Non-Toxic Pest Control (Homemade Roach and Ant Cookies)
Makes about 20 cookies
There is simply no need to use a pest control service for spraying toxic pesticides in and around your home to control roaches and ants. A super simple solution is to make homemade roach and ant cookies that last for years. Just be sure to hide them well and keep them away from the kids as they look like real cookies and you wouldn’t want one of your children taking a bite by accident!
We once had a bad roach problem in our old home when we remodeled the kitchen but these cookies took care of the problem within a few days. The roaches begin to decline in number and eventually disappear completely never to be seen again!
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup borax or boric acid (where to find)
Mix all ingredients together to form a moist batter. Add a bit of water if more moisture is needed to make a paste. Form small cookies about 1 inch in diameter and place on parchment paper on cookie sheets.
Bake at 350F for about 8-10 minutes. Let cool. Hide cookies in the back of cabinets, in corners on the floor and anywhere else you have roach or ant problems. They work great in garages too!
Store leftover cookies in a plastic ziplock back in an upper cabinet away from children and pets. These cookies last for years and so make enough so that you only have to make this recipe one time!
Other Non-toxic Pest Control Ideas
While these roach and ant cookies work beautifully well for keeping pests out of your home, occasionally I will have some ants trailing under a patio door or around the front porch foraging for food. For these situations, I place a bay leaf right at the same spot the ants are trailing in to repel them away in another direction.
Ants do not like bay leaves – at least the ants in Florida! This simple idea quickly and easily turns the ants around and sends them off foraging away from your house! As for fire ants, they are a different kettle of fish. This article plus video shows how I control them very easily with no pesticides.
That’s it! That’s all I do to keep pests away from my house. Two simple ideas that work. If worse comes to worst and your house is infested with more pests than just roaches or ants, be sure to call a green pest control company to fix the problem. There are two in my local area and they cost anywhere from $300-$500/year depending on the size of your house. Earth’s Best Natural Pest Control Management is one of the biggest in my state of Florida from what I understand, but I’m sure there are many others around the country.
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You could also use a natural, non toxic food coloring (blue maybe?) as an identifier for the humans. Teaching the little ones that blue cookies are not for earing. Or maybe make them black to look unappetizing. It wouldn’t deter pets but at least family & friends would know what they are.
This recipe was a lifesaver for our family. An acquaintance who had a German cockroach infestation (without us knowing about it) gave us some fruit once and we brought them home with the paper bags she put them in. That was the start of a week from H—-. This recipe came up on my search. I baked the cookies and in less than a week the ugly critters were completely gone!!
Thank you, Ms. Pope, for your wonderful information!!
I love this, will definitely make some roach cookies, also ants& spiders do not like lemon odor.
*Filtered water in bowl
*Homemade tiny beeswax candles,
Lay lemon slices on top of water, place candles on top of lemon slices light candles, ants run away from apples (or wherever they are)
Rub lemon on legs/base of furniture, around door/window frames in corners of ceiling, etc spiders run away and won’t even cross that areas ?
Hey there, thank you for this recipe – I made these cookies and put them out tonight. However, I’ve since noticed most boric acid bait recipes instruct using boric acid without heating. Wikipedia and other sources seem to indicate that when heated boric acid changes composition. When heated above 330°, it turns into boron trioxide. Is boron trioxide definitely still toxic to roaches? I just don’t want to cause more harm by putting these treats out for the roaches if they don’t definitely kill them.
These roach cookies definitely kill roaches! I’ve used these cookies for almost 30 years here in FL .. no indoor pest control and toxic chemical sprays ever needed!
It’s the middle of the night and I was greeted by a cockroach big enough to put a saddle on ! Interested in using your cookie recipe and wonder if it’s a potential danger for my cats? They’re not generally drawn to sweets…
Thanks very much for this????
We have some clients who prefer non toxic, all natural pest control options as well. These are solid suggestions – we also tell our customers how to make a pest cookie that will kill the pests but won’t harm humans or pests. Great, helpful post..