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Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

Category Cockroaches
Pesticides that kill cockroaches can be harmful to pets as well. Here are some ideas about getting rid of roaches without harming pets.


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December 5, 2012

I saw a solution that uses baking soda, powdered sugar, and boric acid. I have cats and I want to make sure I don't kill my cats while killing the cockroaches.

By d


December 6, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

You don't need sugar just the boric acid power that's it. It gets on their legs they drag it back to their nest & it kills them all by dehydrating them. But I agree with the other people who answered your question it's not good to use this around pets. Call an exterminator or drill holes in the wall and pour it behind the wall - the cats can't get there. And oh yes, they travel through the plumbing pipes.

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December 7, 20120 found this helpful
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I agree completely with the other posters-boric acid is a great way to kill roaches AND make your cats sick as they've ever been!

I lived in the American South for over thirty years (before moving to the UK to marry again) and the roach problem there is terrible! I always had cats, dogs, and children, so I had to find something effective that didn't hurt my fur and non-fur babies.


I had an exterminator for several years and when he retired he gave me the greatest tip-DIY!

He advised me to buy a sprayer tank (last time I checked, you could buy a high-quality sprayer for under $50USD) and a big bottle of a product called Liquid Sevin concentrate (for more economical use, per ounce it does cost less than the pre-mix; buy either concentrate or pre-mix in any garden centre including WalMart).

READ and FOLLOW the directions CAREFULLY, mix according to directions, and apply liberally using the 'stream' setting on the sprayer nozzele to exterior AND interior perimeter walls, along all baseboards include (maybe especially) inside cabinets and under the sinks, and after adjusting to the 'fan' setting on the nozzle, apply a good coating to carpet and upholstered areas-be sure to stick the sprayer wand down into the crevices of sofa and chairs for best results.


I used to put the dogs in their outside pen, and the cats into their 'Prisoner Transport Device' (lol, the cat carrier, hat tip to Cammie's Kittys blog:) on the front porch. Leave everyone safely contained until the sprayed areas are completely dry, and you'll see a huge improvement in your roach population problem within hours.

Repeat monthly ALL YEAR ROUND for best control. And remember, NEVER apply until the furbabies are safely contained.

Used properly in strict accordance to label directions, LS is the safest and most effective pest control there is. It is expensive, and worth every penny. Growing up in the Desert SouthWest on a cattle ranch we used the dust version in our cattle hoops-load the herd into the chute and run them through the hoops to keep them vermin free.

Great stuff, I highly recommend the liquid version for keeping your home pest free-it even keeps the fleas and ticks out, and is licensed for vegetable garden applications, too.

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December 11, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

We had problems with eeky roaches in our rental house! Of course the landlord did notta, so it was up to us. But we had a kitty & was told to put out boric acid, but it can be harmful if ingested by animals. We used Eucalyptis oil mixed with water or alcohol, or peppermint oil mixed with the same. Can use about equal parts of each.


Just spray around to make the roaches run away! Also, our cat got fleas from every animal tracking thru our yard and we washed her in Bath & Body works Eucalyptis Aroma therapy body wash and those things came running up to her little head where I plucked them with tweezers and squished them! Also, they have Cloud Nine flea oil that u add directly to their shampoo. But it can dry out their skin if u use it too often.

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How do I get rid of the humongous, gargantuan roaches that are getting into my house? I have kitties in the house and dogs outdoors and need something that is totally non-toxic to my pets. I have covered everything that I can think of where a roach could get in. They're still here, yuck!

By michele from Texas


May 5, 20090 found this helpful

Fill a jar with a some old coffee grounds and then fill about a third of the way with water. Tilt the jar so it can be easily accessed by the roaches. They will crawl in to get to the sweet coffee grounds but they cannot get out. You may have to refill the jar on a daily basis and emptying it is pretty gross, but it works.


One other thing, look around the area where the roaches are coming in. Do you have a lot of items stacked against your house? If you do, move them away. You know those roaches love to hide in just about anything so move as much stuff as you can.

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May 5, 20090 found this helpful

They call those 'water bugs' here, and usually come into the house if it is wet under my house or porch, as in after several days of rain. They don't actually infest your house like small roaches do, but they are nasty looking!

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May 11, 20092 found this helpful

One good way is to use Sevin Dust. According to its' package, it is safe to use around cats and dogs. This is placed in areas accessed by pets. It's been used for 20-30 years w/o any problems.

For areas pets cannot reach, plain ol' borax works very well. Don't forget to place it on top of your kitchen cabinets. Once I learned that 20 Mule Team Borax was just as effective as Roach Proof (years ago) it's been used ever since.


Recently learned their appearance these past several months was also due to their coming in w/the potatoes! I was told that some can even hide in the potato 'eyes' so they can escape detection; so far I've not seen that but I've no reason not to believe it.

After finding 5 or 6 large ones, mostly the ones that cannot fly, the Ortho's Home Defense was sprayed in the rooms they were seen. Note, the bug spray selections come in the dark green or white 'jugs' and are equally effective here.

Since I like 'over-kill' in the fight against roaches, also added in each room were roach bait covered 'trays' w/holes large enough for all size roaches. One 'tray' was placed right next to the potatoes.

Usually the Sevin Dust and borax does the trick but last couple weeks also added was the Ortho bug spray then the bait 'trays'. So far, w/this many-pronged fight against roaches, none have been seen for a couple days. So far so good :o)

Using a recycled qt-sized yogurt or cottage cheese container 'n lid, poke 5-8 holes close together in the lid; fill w/Sevin. When you squeeze the container's sides, it comes out in a fine, uh, dust. You can use other recycled containers like empty plastic spice or herb bottles.

Recycled Parmesan cheese bottles, with the larger holes work well w/borax, baking soda and other powdered basic cleaning products.

From WalMart several of the squeeze bottles used for condiments have been filled w/ borax and Sevin Dust. Actually you could re-use many of the 'squeeze' bottles to hold various cleaning supplies. Hope this helps.

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May 12, 20092 found this helpful

Hello Texas - I remember the costume contest for roaches in Fort Myers FL. Review your landscaping and consider having a 36" wide no-plant zone with sand or gravel around your whole house. Then you can put diatomaceous earth into the no-plant zone and they'll never get into anything but an open window. God bless you!

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May 13, 20091 found this helpful

LOL! To me, any bug bigger than a gnat is humongous and gargantuan! But having lived in Texas before and also living in the Southeast most of my life. I know what you mean!

And Fatboyslim: these aren't water bugs she's talking about! The ones she means make our water bugs look like gnats! I'm getting the chills just thinking of them!

I do my own exterminating though. I get the Malathion that is designed to be used outdoors only. I look at it this way. If it'll work outdoors then it should work indoors too. But I make it up stronger than the label says and I go through the entire house. Every nook, cranny, around the crown molding and baseboards, around each window and door, under all the drawers and in all the cabinets. Then I tackle the outside and do the same thing. I also spray about 2 feet out from the house.

I do this monthly in the "bug" season, and once every 3 months in cold months. Just remember, in some parts of the country there's just no getting rid of them completely so don't pull your hair out. All you can do is control them and keep them at bay. Good luck!

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August 27, 20180 found this helpful

Malathion will kill your pets

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September 23, 20180 found this helpful

My aunt used peppermint oil and in a old dish and it got rid of hers she put the dish behind the microwave so her animals couldnt get into it.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 5, 2009

I have just seen a couple of roaches in my kitchen and 1 in my bathroom. Actually, my cats pointed them out to me. I have seen the suggestions to use boric acid but also know that it would be toxic to them. Does anyone know of any way to get rid of them that won't be harmful to my pets?

Thanks in advance,
Missy from Memphis, TN


Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

BORIC ACID: This is old fashioned but can work like a charm in any household environment. It is cheap, relatively non-toxic, and easy to use. With any luck in about six weeks the roach/flea/aphid (aphids on window boxed plants or tomatoes) population will drop to zero. It does have to be renewed about once a year if new insects are coming inside.

From the Pest Management Toxic Services Directory:

Beyond Pesticides Rating: Least Toxic

Boric acid (borax and boron-containing salts) is a low-toxicity mineral with insecticidal, fungicidal, and herbicidal properties. It does not evaporate or volatilize into the air or pose the considerable health concerns associated with synthetic pesticides; however it can still pose health hazards and should be used with care. As with any pesticide, keep boric acid pesticide products out of reach of children and only use it in locations where it will not come in contact with people or animals, such as in cracks and crevices, behind counters, and in baseboards. (05/03/2006)

By Heidi

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

There is a gel solution you can put under counters and in cracks, it comes in a caulking type canister and it is excellent, but for the life of me I can't remember the name. I know the tube is see through and the gel is brown, and turns clear as they feed. Hope you can find it. (05/04/2006)

By Mary

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

I know it's expensive, but if you have roaches, you really need to call an exterminator. That is the only way to be sure that you are rid of them. (05/04/2006)

By Robin

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

I am definitely not one to go the chemical route but God forbid I ever had roaches, I would call an exterminator immediately. They actually live and hatch within walls and multiply very fast. I would not chance my entire home being infested. You can do the other recommendations suggested here, but in the meantime but I would consider getting a professional before you have a problem that will be even harder to get rid of down the road.
Good luck! (05/04/2006)

By Tone

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

Roaches are known to detest screw-pine leaves (you know the fragrant leaves sometimes also known as "pandan leaves"). Fold about 3 such leaves into knots and make several of these and spread them in spaces where roaches love to hide. Good luck ! (05/05/2006)

By Chen Jean Nee

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

If you should ever be able to find one, the Mt St Helen's issue of National Geographic has a whole write up on Cockroaches. Their natural enemy is a mouse, so if you have them, look for mice to be in your home too. Their other natural enemy is one celled "animals". Such as boric acid or borax. They don't ingest this, but they will walk through it and the boric acid will cut their shells and they will then dehydrate. Roaches do not "nest". They walk almost constantly. They do not have sex as we would recognize it. The males leave their sperm laying around and it looks like black velvet. The females then walk through it and thereby impregnate themselves.

Borax or Boric Acid is toxic to your animals. You can however, place the boric acid where your animals will not be able to access it. Cracks, crevices, etc. I used to live in an apartment complex that had them. I washed everything with borax, floors, walls, etc. I would then take a soap bottle and clean it out and let it dry completely. I put the boric acid in it and squeeze it to put a very fine layer on my water pipes, and in the crevices, etc. I just avoided the places I knew my cat would go. He was good at catching and killing them too. We used to call them Teddy snacks. He would lay by the door to the hallway and wait for them to come under the door.

Good luck, these are very hard to get rid of. I would suggest removing the cat for a few days and then going crazy with the boric acid. Let it lay for a day or two, and then clean, clean, clean. Just remember that a roach has babies in a sac. As the roach is dying it will expel the egg sac and you will have roaches again. Clean all the "velvet" you find so the females cannot impregnate again. Step on every egg sac you find and then clean it up. If you could remove the cat for a month, then you can concentrate on cleaning the house. Remove everything that a roach will eat, and keep up doing that. A roaches favorite food, believe it or not is not garbage. It is glue, as in the glue on boxes, paper bags, etc. I would remove everything in a box that comes from the store and put it in plastic bags. Remove any boxes you are using for storage and put everything into plastic. To this day, when I buy something from the grocery in a box, I remove it from the box while it is still outside the house and put it in plastic bags. Works great, no roaches.

Be careful of anything you may buy second hand. Leave it outside a few days if you can before bringing it in. I would also dose it very well with boric acid and clean it before bringing it in the house. Roaches can get through an opening the size of the width of a piece of paper and can be everywhere in used furniture and you will not see them until you have it inside the house. Usually, if you see one, there are hundreds. (05/05/2006)

By Jackie Martin

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

Thank you for the great post Jaxi! I remember when moving from a place that had roaches in Albuquerque to another place with no roaches watching the roaches come out of our radio for a month or two. They love electronics. They seemed to congregate under the sink, behind the wall where the pipes went through and especially under the refrigerator.
Susan from ThriftyFun (05/05/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

Living in Florida, I would not try to exist without a professional exterminator for roaches--and I live on a very small disability income. I found a small exterminating company who does my whole 1600 sq. ft house with a treatment every third month for $45 which I save at $15 a month. As soon as I get that monthly check, I write the $15 in as though it were a check and post it at the top margin of my checkbook under the heading BUGS. The peace of mind is worth everything. (05/05/2006)

By Jeanne

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

Best remedy I have found in Missouri is a mixture of powdered sugar and baking soda. Put it in bottle caps in the corners of your cupboards or on the counter. The sweetness attracts them, and the baking soda makes them 'blow up' after they eat it. (05/07/2007)

By Candy

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

Roaches love dampness & heat - so it's good to put boric acid behind stoves and under the sink. In more exposed places you can use baits and/or glue traps. (05/10/2007)

By pam munro

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

I'm going to take stock in a Boric Acid manufacturer. It does work and it's cheap. If you put it down heavy enough to see it, you've used too much. Roaches are so good at avoiding pesticides and the like. That's how they've made it 350,000,000 years. Baits now a days are cheap too and can be placed selectively so that your pets are not exposed. Most all insecticides work by body weight. A kitty would need so much more than a tiny bug. Roaches do nest but they are not bound to it like say a birds nest. Also they do rest almost all day coming out in the evening or quiet hours only unless disturbed. Try to place your bait or thin layer of powder where they will spend this time. Look for fecal matter. It looks like pencil dots on the side of a wall. The nesting spot won't be far.
That said, a pro can do all of this for you in a responsible manner. (09/11/2007)

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

Whew, talk about nightmares that never end. Roaches are evil little buggers (excuse the pun) and are very difficult to get rid of. I recently had to move into a housing complex and the building was loaded with them. Still is, that would be why I am moving. I took several steps to keep these brats to a minimum (at best).

1. Foam filler: I filled every crack and crevice you could think of. Around pipes, kitchen cabinets, heater holes, everything got filled. Behind lighting fixtures, electrical outlets, light switches. Places I could not get behind were boarded up and caulked around.

2. Hot shot boric acid works really great, on top of the foam filler I doused the area with the stuff just in case a baby found its way through. Under the beds, along the walls, along the heater vents that run along my walls.

3. Unfortunately, it is what it is, I had to take old cotton shirts and shove them into the parts of the window frames that run into the walls.

4. Sticky traps

5. A cat that is worth her weight in gold (the little devils actually saved me some money in the long run as I was able to stop buying snacks for the kitty, she prefers the bugs).

6. Weather stripping along the bottom of all outside entrances, and weather molding that runs along the inside of the door jams.

7. Bombs, bombs, bombs. I cannot say enough about these weapons of mass destruction.

8. Last but not least, keep the house clean. Dishes are done every night, trash is disposed of every night, floors are either swept or vacuumed every night. The floor is kept free of clutter. Regular inspections of your belongings will keep you up to date on all activity.

It seems like a lot of work, but until I get out I will continue to battle these things, and, I refuse to give up.

By Rhonda

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

As I said in an earlier post - put boric acid behind the fridge, stove, etc, where the roaches hide and cats can't fit. For more exposed areas, use glue traps. There are also newer gel anti-roach pesticides. I was surprised how well that application worked (in the cracks of walls and cabinets). Our fumigation was mandated by our local housing department (roaches infestation is a violation of building code) so it was paid for my our Landlord. Check out what the rules and regulations are where you live. Now with the internet, it's so much easier to find info. (10/18/2007)

By pam munro

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

I have the best solution and it really works. My mom lives in an apartment and she's had a major and I mean MAJOR roach infestation. Someone suggested she boil some eggs, using the yellow core, mix it together with boric acid and place it in an aluminum sheet folded like a tiny bowl or place it in the egg shell around the house, especially the kitchen. Make a lot of them, not just one. Anyway, she has no roaches and for a long time now, unbelievable but true. Do this every 3-4 months. (01/10/2008)

By Vivi

Getting Rid of Roaches Without Harming Pets

I did not read all of the posts, but I see that a lot of them talk about boric acid or pesticide companies. I'm not too sure how harmful boric acid is to people and animals, but pesticides are very harmful even in small amounts, and cats are especially sensitive to them. I know that most likely pest control companies are safe with their chemicals, but I choose not to use any unnatural pesticides considering that you are basically spraying poison around your house. This poison not only kills bugs, but if used incorrectly can kill humans and pets. It is also very bad for the environment.
If I were you, I would try these 2 things before using any poisonous pesticides:

1) Mix together equal parts of baking soda and sugar, put portions of this in small containers and put them around the house- this was already in another post, but it totally works, so try it, and hopefully it will do the trick.

2) I haven't actually tried this, but I've heard that Diatomaceous Earth is harmless towards pets and people, but will kill roaches a few hours after they make any contact with it or eat it. Apparently it makes tiny holes in the roaches exoskeleton and dehydrates it pretty quickly. I'm not sure how much this costs, but I've heard it's pretty cheap.

Hopefully this helps! Otherwise, it seems like the exterminator would be the best route to follow, maybe just keep your cat at a friends for a few days after to be safe.

P.S. Make sure that if you do use boric acid, pesticides, or an exterminator, that you do not let your cat eat any of the roaches, dead or alive, in your house because they will most likely be poisoned. (08/05/2008)

By Rosy

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