How To Use Borax For Cockroaches [Proven Tips]

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Cockroaches are well-known pests that can invade residential and commercial properties. They are not only annoying, but they can also be dangerous to your health. While many products are available for cockroach control, one lesser-known option is borax for cockroaches. 

Borax is a natural mineral made up of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. It can be used to clean and kill pests, among other things. Borax can be used in the right way to control cockroach populations. This makes it a cheaper and less harmful alternative to traditional pesticides. 

In this article, we’ll talk about how borax kills cockroaches and how to use it safely and effectively.

What Is Borax And How Does It Work To Kill Cockroaches?

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral that is sodium borate. It is often used in cleaning and laundry products. It comprises molecules of boron, sodium, oxygen, and water. Borax can also be used as a pesticide and works well against a wide range of pests, including cockroaches.

According to the Journal of economic entomology, borax kills cockroaches by upsetting their digestive systems. When cockroaches eat borax, it is hard for them to absorb nutrients. This makes them lose water and eventually die. Borax also hurts cockroaches’ outer shells, which makes them lose moisture and die of dehydration.

To kill cockroaches with borax, mix it with sugar or bugs like eating to make bait. Cockroaches will be drawn to the bait and eat it along with the borax.

Boric Acid vs. borax

Boric acid and borax are often used the same way in household tasks, but according to the National Library of Medicine and Scientific Reports, they are two different compounds with different properties and uses.

Boric Acid VS Borax

PropertyBoric AcidBorax
CompositionBoron, hydrogen, and oxygenSodium, boron, oxygen, and water
Acidity AlkalineWeak acidAlkaline
SolubilitySoluble in water and alcoholSoluble in water
EffectivenessMore effective at killing insectsSlightly less effective at killing insects
ApplicationOften used as a dust or liquid solutionOften used as bait or powder
Mode of actionDisrupts digestive and nervous systems of insectsDisrupts digestive and nervous systems of insects
ToxicityMore toxic to insects and petsLess toxic to insects and pets
UsesPesticide, antiseptic, eye wash solutionCleaning agent, pesticide, laundry booster
PriceMore expensive than boraxLess expensive than boric acid

How To Make a Borax And Sugar Solution To Get Rid Of Cockroaches?

A solution of borax and sugar can be a good way to get rid of cockroaches at home. Here are the steps to making the solution:

Things you’ll need:

  • Borax powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Warm water
  • Mixing bowl and Spoon
  • A spray bottle or cotton balls


  • In a bowl, mix equal amounts of borax powder and granulated sugar. For instance, a quarter cup of borax and a quarter cup of sugar.
  • Stir the mixture until the borax and sugar are completely mixed in the warm water. Use just enough water to make something that looks like a paste.
  • Pour the mixture into a spray bottle or use cotton balls to soak the liquid.
  • Place the cotton balls or spray the solution in places where you have seen cockroaches, like the kitchen, bathroom, or other areas where they might be hiding.
  • Apply the solution again every few days or as often as you need.

Ways To Use Borax Against Cockroaches 

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral with various applications, including as a pesticide. Here are 10 ways to get rid of cockroaches with borax:

Borax and SugarMix borax and sugar in equal parts and place the mixture in areas where cockroaches are known to congregate. Roaches will be drawn to the sugar, but the borax will kill them.
Borax and FlourMix borax and flour in equal amounts, and then sprinkle the mixture in cracks, crevices, and other places where cockroaches like to hide.
Borax and Boric AcidMix borax and boric acid in equal amounts, then sprinkle the mixture in places where cockroaches are known to stay out. The boric acid will be a stomach poison, and the borax will be a desiccant.
Borax and CornmealMix equal amounts of borax and cornmeal, then sprinkle the mixture in areas where cockroaches are likely to hide. The cornmeal will be a lure, and the borax will kill the roaches.
Borax and VinegarMake a paste with borax and vinegar, then put it in places of the cockroach infestation. The vinegar will help break up the borax, making it work better.
Borax and Essential OilsMix borax with a few drops of essential oil, like peppermint, eucalyptus, or lavender, and sprinkle the mixture in places where cockroaches like to hide. The oils will make the roaches want to leave, and the borax will kill them.
Borax and WaterMix borax and water to make a solution, then spray the solution in areas frequented by cockroaches. The borax will make the water poisonous, and the water will help spread the poison.
Borax and SoapMix borax and liquid soap to make a solution, and then spray the solution in places where cockroaches like to cover up. The soap will help break down the roaches’ waxy shells, making the borax work better.
Borax and Diatomaceous EarthMix borax and diatomaceous earth and sprinkle the mixture in places where cockroaches are infested. The diatomaceous earth will stop the water from getting in, and the borax will kill the bugs.
Borax and CatnipMix borax and catnip and sprinkle it in places where cockroaches like to hide. Catnip has a natural insecticide called nepetalactone that will kill the roaches and keep them from returning.

Can You Use Borax To Get Rid Of Roaches In Your Car?

Although borax can be effective at killing roaches, using it in your cars is not recommended. Borax is a powdered form of boric acid, which is poisonous to both people and animals if eaten. Using borax in a small space like a car could be dangerous to your health, especially if the powder gets into your lungs.

Instead, you should use roach baits made for use in cars or call a professional pest control company to get rid of the roaches safely and effectively. Keeping your car clean and free of food scraps can also help keep roaches from moving in.

How To Apply Borax For Roach Control In A Home Or Apartment?

Borax can be used to eliminate roaches in a house or apartment effectively and cheaply. Here’s how to use borax to get rid of cockroaches:

  • You can get borax powder from a hardware store, grocery store, or online.
  • Clean your home thoroughly.
  • Mix the same amount of borax powder and flour or sugar. The roaches will be drawn to the mixture by sugar or flour, and the borax will kill them.
  • Spread the mixture in places like behind appliances, under sinks, and corners of cabinets and closets.
  • Leave the mixture in place for a few days and check on it occasionally to see if it needs to be refilled.
  • Once the roaches no longer eat the mixture, you can remove it by vacuuming or sweeping it up.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Borax Instead Of Chemical Pesticides?

There are several benefits to using borax instead of chemical pesticides to get rid of pests:

  • Borax is a relatively inexpensive product and is available in most hardware stores, grocery stores, or online.
  • Borax is a natural mineral, and when used in small amounts, it is usually safe for both people and pets.
  • When used correctly, Borax is an excellent way to kill roaches, ants, and other pests.
  • Long-lasting, borax remains effective for several days or even weeks, meaning it does not need to be reapplied as frequently as chemical pesticides.
  • Borax is an all-natural substance that neither harms the environment nor leaves harmful residues.
  • Unlike chemical pesticides, borax does not have a strong smell that can be unpleasant or even dangerous to breathe.

Are There Any Risks Or Side Effects Of Using Borax To Control Roaches?

When used in small amounts, borax is generally safe for humans and pets, but there are some risks and side effects to be aware of when using it to get rid of roaches:

IngestionBorax is toxic if ingested in large quantities, particularly by young children and pets. Keep the borax mixture away from children and pets, so they don’t eat it by accident.
IrritationBorax can cause skin and eye irritation if it comes into contact with the skin or the eyes. Wear gloves when you work with borax and try not to get it in your eyes.
ResiduesBorax can leave a powdery residue on surfaces after application, which can be unsightly or difficult to clean.
IneffectivenessBorax may not be as effective in controlling severe or extensive cockroach infestations. In this case, you might need help from a professional pest control service.

How Much Borax Should I Use To Get Rid Of Roaches?

How much borax you need to get rid of roaches depends on how big your home is and how severe the infestation is. As a general rule of thumb, to make bait, you should mix the same amounts of borax powder and sugar or flour. For example, you could use 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of sugar or flour.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, borax can be an effective way to get rid of roaches in the home. Borax kills insects by drying them out and messing up their digestive systems, which leads to their death.

However, caution must be exercised when using borax, as ingestion can be harmful to humans and animals. When using borax, it’s important to take safety precautions and keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Borax should be used with other ways to get rid of roaches, like keeping your home clean and sealing up cracks and holes where they can get in.


The time borax takes to kill roaches depends on several variables, including the size of the infestation and the quantity of borax used. Most of the time, it can take a few days to a week or more for borax to kill roaches.
When a roach eats borax, it can take hours or even days for the borax to kill the cockroach. Other roaches may eat the dead one and get sick from the borax. This could lead to a chain reaction of deaths.

Borax can indeed be used to prevent roach infestations. You can make it less likely that roaches will come into your home in the first place by putting a mixture of borax, sugar, or flour in places where they like to hide.
When roaches eat the borax mixture, it can kill or make them sick, keeping other roaches from entering the area. Borax can also act as a desiccant, drying out the roaches’ outer shells and making it hard for them to stay alive.

Borax and vinegar can be used together for some cleaning purposes, but their effectiveness depends on the specific task.
Borax and vinegar are not very effective at killing roaches. Borax can kill insects naturally, but it works better on ants and other crawling insects than on cockroaches. On the other hand, vinegar does not kill roaches and is not a good insecticide.

Borax can be dangerous to health if not used properly or ingested in large quantities. Borax is usually safe for use around the house when it is used in small amounts. Inhaling borax dust or ingesting large amounts of borax, on the other hand, can be hazardous to one’s health.
Borax can cause skin irritation, breathing problems, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and seizures. Long-term exposure to borax can harm the kidneys and cause other health problems.

Borax can harm pets and children if ingested in large quantities, causing digestive issues, toxicity, and other health problems. When using borax around pets and children, it is important to take precautions, such as storing it out of reach, using it only in inaccessible areas, and wearing protective gear.
If you think your pet or child has eaten borax, you should take them to the doctor immediately to avoid serious health problems.

Yes, borax can be effective at killing cockroach eggs. Borax is a desiccant, which draws water out of a cockroach’s body, making it dry out and die. This same process can also work on the eggs, drying them out and preventing them from hatching.

Yes, you can sprinkle borax around your house to help get rid of pests like ants and cockroaches in the bathroom and other places. Borax kills insects by messing with their digestive systems, which makes them lose moisture and die.
To use borax as a pesticide, sprinkle a thin layer in places where you have seen pests, such as along baseboards, in cracks and crevices, and around doors and windows.


M. J. O’Rourke and J. M. Hill, “Generalized local-density-of-states formalism for dynamic near-field scanning optical microscopy,” J. Appl. Phys. 128, 093101 (2020). 

Sierras A, Wada-Katsumata A, Schal C. Effectiveness of Boric Acid by Ingestion, But Not by Contact, Against the Common Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). J Econ Entomol. 2018 Dec 14;111(6):2772-2781. doi: 10.1093/jee/toy260. PMID: 30192952; PMCID: PMC7189974.