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Rid Your Home of Insect Pests

Updated on January 15, 2013

How to Get Rid of Home Insect Pests Without Spending a Lot of Money or Inhaling Insecticides

Mobile, Alabama, is the epitome of Southern charm and beauty. I loved living there! Its beautiful old antebellum homes on oak-lined streets and the slow-paced lifestyle, typical of many mid-size Southern cities, captured my heart. But the semi-tropical climate had its ugly side: bugs! I grew to hate them----ants, roaches, and countless other creepy-crawly creatures that invaded my home ad infinitum. In fact the large roaches, called palmetto bugs by native Mobile residents, actually hung from the oak trees at night, sometimes falling from their perch onto unsuspecting passersby.

The city’s natives seemed to take the creatures in stride as a natural part of life in Mobile. I suspect they sprayed tons of insecticide. I disliked chemicals for health reasons as well as the smell. I continued to search for more acceptable solutions. Finally, a local builder shared his secret for keeping these pesky creatures from taking over. He used this method for new construction but assured me that this method could be adapted for established homes.

Steps for Ridding a Home of Insect Pests

Step 1Boric acid. Purchase in powder form. Boric acid is a white crystalline solid, which, like many products, is safe for this purpose if used according to directions. Boric acid may be purchased at a pharmacy. I bought mine at a dollar store. It came in a plastic bottle with a spout for easy distribution. The product I purchased was sold for the purpose of killing insects, but regular boric acid powder works fine, too.

Step 2---Caution. Boric acid is safe if used as directed. Do not apply boric acid in areas where animals or people could ingest or inhale this product. Keep it away from human or pet food. Otherwise boric acid is safe to use and is effective in killing insects for years if it remains dry.

Step 3New construction. During the construction process, when the roof and subfloor are complete---but the walls have not yet gone---up---sprinkle the boric acid powder liberally on the subfloor and between the walls where the inner walls will go up. Take special care to sprinkle an ample amount around the outer walls.

Step 4---Established construction. Wherever you already live, you can use boric acid in your home to kill insects. Sprinkle the powder liberally behind large pieces of furniture or anywhere bugs could hide, taking care not to inhale the product or put the product where pets (especially young animals) might try to lick it. Keep it away from food products or pet food. Sprinkle it in places where it can remain dry.

Step 5---Sweep up the dead bugs. You will see dead insects often, depending on the season, your weather, and your location.

The only other measure I’ve needed to take in maintaining a bug-free home is to spray a regular insecticide during summer months around the front and back door to prevent bugs from entering doors we open frequently. Otherwise, my home is essentially free of bugs.

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    • simondixie profile image

      Nancy McLendon Scott 4 years ago from Georgia


      Thank you for reading and commenting....yes, if you live in Central Texas, you probably have more than your share. Good luck. Let me know how the boric acid works.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Good one Simondixie -- especially for me, personally. I've just been going through roaches moving to my house from the house in back of me -- ugh! I've done the chemical thing but will absolutely now use the boric acid to maintain a bug free home. Thanks so much! Best/Sis