20120511 - diatomaceous earth - 2 - IMG_4160
Line drawn around couch. If the roaches leave for other parts of the house, they will walk through this and die. It feels like an exorcism. I should draw a pentagram out of this stuff
May 11, 2012.
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BACKSTORY: After 12 years of living in our house, suddenly last year (201111) we became infested with cockroaches. They started out in our upstairs main room, so we're thinking they came in via internet-ordered cardboard packaging. Then they moved to our kitchen. They were living inside the walls of our dishwasher for awhile, which was apparent when we got it repaired. We got some boric acid and it did nothing.
TwoBeans recommended diatomaceous earth -- a non-toxic, mechanical way to thwart roaches -- and now the problem is more under control. We ousted them from the kitchen in ONE application, going from multiple daily sightings for 3+ months, to seeing 1 a month in there after that. Of course, once ousted from the kitchen, they set off for other regions of our house. They chose our coffee table. Bad move. You set up camp within arm's reach. So when I stay up late, I get to kill you. Bad move.
So then more diatomaceous earth was applied. The table they were inhabiting was covered, lines were drawn cordoning off this section of the room, lines were drawn at the doors of our bathrooms (we saw one in a bathroom once). We almost always see babies now. This is our second wave of victory -- we thought we had won before, but then the next generation hatched. Most of what we read say this is how it goes: You win a battle, then new ones hatch. But if you keep fighting, there are fewer and fewer. Sightings are down to an all-time low -- about 7X less frequent than when the problem first started. And they are almost always babies: It takes 50 days to reach adulthood and none of our roaches are apparently surviving that long. We did get a couple dozen bait traps from Home Depot as well. But other than that, we did it without using more than $10 of poison. Most of the roach control was mechanical, via diatomaceous earth. I bought 50 pounds of the stuff for about $60. I gave some to other friends with roaches. I got free tins at yardsales for 2 weeks until I had enough to store it all. It is the sofest substance I ever touched, but it kinda sucks to breathe it in. I've been pouring it on anthills outside, and had to douse the trunk of my ant-infested Chrysler with it. It's good stuff, but it doesn't kill ants as well as raoches. It can also be swept back up and re-applied. It's good until it gets wet. Then it basically becomes mud.