How to Have Fun in the Kitchen With Poison – Making Roach Cookies

____ make roach cookies

Faded To Do List in Kitchen

This has been an item on my To Do list for weeks and weeks now. I have a confession to make. I’ve been Talking the Talk, but not Walking the Walk. I’ve posted several times on this blog about how Wonderful and Sanity Saving these roach cookies are. Yet here I am, with roaches starting to re-appear in my house. And sometimes in the creepiest places. Just the other day, I turned on the printer to print out some translation materials to work on. My printer started grumbling like it was chewing up paper. Paper Bog. Well, my printer does have issues, and has to be treated quite delicately if you want cooperation. But Paper Bog is not one of those issues. So I was surprised, and turned to pry out a scrunched up sheet of paper. But instead of a wrinkled page, a cockroach came flying out of the paper feed, along with the translation materials. Missing one leg. Which I later found stuck on one of the pages. Gross. Apparently, roaches inside don’t make for smooth-running printers. Who knew?

So today is Saturday afternoon. What better time to play with boric acid and onions, I ask? You can see by that: a) I don’t have a life, and, b) We don’t have kids at home anymore. Our kids would never have put up with us staying home and working all day Saturday. However, c) I think this blogging thing is fun. It doesn’t seem like work to me. More like play. So here goes:

This is what the boric acid powder looks like. Kind of looks and feels like laundry soap. But doesn’t smell like laundry soap. It doesn’t smell at all.

Here’s what I need. An onion. Some milk. A cup of flour. A little salt. My Kitchen Bear. It’s a very short list of ingredients. I’m checking my cookbook for the exact measurements. . .

"Look at all that Tupperware. You should be a Tupperware Lady." "I was." "Oh."

OK, here is where she goes into a short rant. What kind of recipe is this? 1/4 kilo boric acid powder? What in the world? How much is that? And, quote a little milk unquote. Well, that’s helpful. A pinch of salt. Could you be more vague, please? That’s a bit too specific for me. We’re going to IMPROVE this recipe! We’re going to weigh that 1/4 kilo of boric acid powder and then measure it out. All rightie, then, I’m hauling out my kitchen scale. (Hoping that roaches don’t pop out of the scale at me.) It turns out that 1/4 kilo is somewhere between 1 1/3 and 1 1/2 cups of boric acid powder. Hmmm. What shall it be? 1 5/12 cup? Let’s go with 1 1/2 cups. How does that sound? Do you have an opinion? We’re going to measure that milk. We’re going to throw caution to the wind and make a decision about that salt – a pinch is going to equal 1/4 teaspoon. And if the roaches think the cookies are too salty, well, that’s just tough. OK, rant over. It’s safe to keep reading now.

Finely chop the onion.

Stir onion together with the boric acid powder and a little milk to hold it together. (Some recipes call for sugar added, but I am afraid that would draw ants, and we don’t need to encourage those ants. We have all the ants we need already, thank you very much.)

Make into golf ball size balls.

Leave on cookie sheet to dry and harden. This is the hardest step. I’m serious. In the tropics we have so much humidity all the time, sometimes 100% humidity (which being interpreted, means rain), that things really don’t like to dry out. Which is good for women of late-middle-age. I’m not as crinkley as some of my peers from drier climates. But it’s not as good for things like oh, clean wet laundry, for example that you want to air-dry. Or, so it happens, roach cookies.

I noticed Monika put out her roach cookies on little squares of aluminum foil, which is a great idea. Because if you tuck them away in your cupboards or drawers before they are 100% dry, they will want to stick to the surface of wherever they are put. I might be too lazy to cut up all that foil, though. I’ll probably just put these pans around the kitchen, up on top of the fridge out of the way, and hope they dry someday. (I’ve thought of drying them in an oven turned low. But unfortunately, my oven doesn’t turn low. And also, I didn’t know if it would affect the effectiveness of the boric acid powder. You know, change its chemical composition somehow.)

I just happened to have some parchment paper up in a cabinet, so I went ahead and lined the cookie sheet with a sheet of that.

There isn’t a Cockroach Cookie Best Practice Guide, so you can make the balls larger or smaller. It’s really OK.

Here’s the New Improved Cockroach Cookie Recipe Par Excellence. Drum roll, please.

  • 1 1/2 cups boric acid powder  (or 1/4 kilo) (not the boric acid for eyes)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. milk

Mix together the boric acid, onion, flour and salt. Add enough milk to make into balls (pie crust consistency). Shape into the size of golf balls. Let set until hard. Place in corners of cupboards and drawers. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

I’ll mention that though boric acid is lethal for roaches, and apparently, friends say, for ants too, it is only very mildly toxic for humans – comparable to laundry soap. In fact, it is related to borax, that laundry cleaning ingredient. Link to University of Kentucky College of Agriculture article here. Here’s a quote from that article:

Boric acid is a wonderful tool for controlling cockroaches in homes, restaurants and other buildings. It is effective in extremely small amounts and retains its potency almost indefinitely provided the deposit remains dry. Unlike many insecticides, boric acid has no repellency to insects and, consequently, roaches return to treated areas repeatedly until they die. Boric acid is deadly to cockroaches, but is low in toxicity to people, pets and other nontarget animals. It is also odorless and contains no volatile solvents.

Boric acid is a white, inorganic powder chemically derived from boron and water. Boron is mined from vast mineral deposits in the ground and is used in countless consumer products, including laundry additives, toothpaste and mouthwash.

Thank you, University of Kentucky. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Though goodness knows I’ve tried.

If you’d like to read some other lovely places missionaries have found roaches, see this article, but you’ll have to excuse the Old Unimproved Cockroach Cookie Recipe Sans Excellence found there. Since I posted that, Pip found many in her blender motor, and another person found them in an insulated thermos. They are tricksy, those roaches. That article also tells where to find boric acid powder in Manila, Philippines.

Have you found roaches in unexpected places? Do tell, so we know we are not alone. We can’t ALL be horrible housekeepers, can we?

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13 thoughts on “How to Have Fun in the Kitchen With Poison – Making Roach Cookies”

  1. We found a whole nest on the top book shelf in our office, nesting between a binder (old Tagalog notes) and the wall! They were big giant ones! I think we killed about 10 from there. And actually it was bad house keeping, why do we need to clean that top shelf anyway??? Now I know why!

    1. Nests of roaches are the nastiest thing. The babies, the eggs, the ick. But that’s a perfect spot to hide a roach cookie. Your little ones probably aren’t getting into your old Tagalog notes very often. Thanks for sharing, Shannon! Nice to hear from you.

  2. Donna, thank you so much for posting this receipe! I used to make these when I lived in the Philippines, but I lost the receipe. I’ve tried a few times the last few years to find a receipe, but never did. I even tried to make them from memory, but it was too long ago that I made them. I don’t have a big problem with them, I just would rather use these “cookies” instead of roach spray! Candy

    1. Candy! I’m so sorry. I just found this comment. Glad to help you bring back all those great and not-so-great memories of your time in the Philippines. (I just learned that my email settings were incorrect and I haven’t been getting notifications of comments. This blogging thing is fun, but there is a LOT to learn, and I’m still learning and learning.) It was good for me to research boric acid powder and find out how mild of a poison is really is. I used to be pretty scared of it while mixing up the roach cookies in my kitchen. Hope you have a great New Year!!

  3. Hi! I used your recipe for Jungle Playdough this week, thanks for that! We’re missionaries and teachers in Fiji, also a tropical place with lots of cockroaches, and I also have an oven that doesn’t turn on “low.” I also have had roaches in my blender motor, which were subsequently ground to bits all over my counter. Also, have had them inside my infrequently used hairdryer. So yucky! We use the roach baits sometimes, but happy for a safer alternative with five small children in the house. Thanks a bunch for the recipe (and humor too). Bookmarking your blog… will have to try your moong bean stew sometime. :) Lindy

    1. Hi Lindy! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the kind words. I’m so happy to know the Jungle Playdough is being used in Fiji. What fun! Yes, those roaches. Tricksie things, aren’t they? There seems to be no end to what they can get into. And hairdryer – in the heat and humidity in our tribal station, not to mention power issues – mine didn’t get used too much either. I’d drag it out if we were going to take some family pictures, vain me.

  4. im going to try this.. i just made up a recipe i hope it works.. i used some cereal some sugar flour water and of course boric acid. i mixed it all together and placed it all the areas and corners where i see roaches. I hope they enjoy and die a quickly. thanks for your recipe i will try that next..

    1. See my other post about Roach Cookies for more information – Alyson’s Chemicals in Quezon City stocks it. They are at 1425 G. Araneta Avenue near Del Monte Avenue. Phone number: 712-2266.

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