Boric Acid and Peanut Butter – The Perfect Bait Box for Roaches


In this article I’ll show you 5 examples of boric acid and peanut butter bait traps you can use to deter and kill specifically cockroaches. All the examples include will have detailed explanations and steps to setup these bait boxes.

Not only that, I’ll give you a totally free downloadable info graphic at the end that will highlight the information in the article in graphical form so you can use it as a quick reference when needed.

For each roach bait box, you’ll learn:

  • Why this product is effective on roaches
  • How to set it up
  • The best locations to place them
  • And how long they’ll last

But for those in a rush, I’ve surmised the main points for each of the 5 products in the table below.

Bottle Topsplace mixture of boric acid & peanut butter in bottle caps and distribute around homeOnly suitable where children and pets aren’t present.
Dust Trapsusing paper plates, apply peanut butter in the center which dusting of boric acid around perimeter.Can be messy
Bait Stationsplace boric acid and peanut butt in an enclosed container with an small entranceMore work to setup, but very effective
Duck tape stationsapply small amounts of boric acid and peanut butter to the sticky side of tape and then apply to desired area.Most simple to setup
Duckball stationsSimilar to tape, only in a ball shapeCan also be messy

That being said, I recommend reading the entire article as I’ll show you exactly how to setup the traps in more detail (no one else does this) and what pitfalls and gotchas to avoid.

As well as exploring a few alternative to both boric acid and peanut butter if you don’t have them to hand.

Bait Box Designs for Making Effective Use of Boric Acid and Peanut Butter

Bait box designs involving boric acid, peanut butter and (perhaps) baking powder do not need to be complicated or expensive. A few simple designs are listed below.

In each case, the first step is to mix in boric acid and peanut butter into a paste using a little bit of water (to thin out the peanut butter) and start placing dabs or balls inside the trap.

Bottle Top Roach Traps

This could involve placing dabs of the paste inside bottle caps and leaving them at spots where roaches are known to frequent.

One problem is that the paste is also accessible to children and more importantly, pets.


Ok, this one’s pretty simple. First we need to mix up the peanut butter and boric acid. Most sites will give you exact measurements but in all honest as long as you get the ratio of 1 part boric acid to 4 parts peanut butter you’ll be fine.

Once you’ve done that we simply apply a generous portion into you bottle cap and repeat this process for as many traps as you want to set up.

If you want to wear gloves that’s perfectly ok, or alternatively was your hands after setting up the traps.


The great thing about the bottle cap approach is that you can place them in small cracks and hard to reach places. I recommend placing them near or under your refrigerator if you have clearance or around your oven/cooker.

Ideally where you are not likely to accidentally touch them with our feet. As you’ll probably find that annoying after a while.

How long will it last?

Quite simply as long as the bait lasts. If they are out of the way then you can just leave them for as long as you want.

Insecticidal Dust Trap

Place peanut butter (with boric acid) in the center of a paper plate and sprinkle the surface with borax. Roaches will traverse the plate to reach the bait.

On their way back and forth, they will pick up further amounts of the insecticide, which they will ingest later when they groom themselves.


This isn’t that much more tricky to setup than the bottlecaps. You can even get a little creative!

Basically we need a paper plate and to apply the boric acid and peanut butter mix (1 part boric to 4 parts butter) in small blogs around the center of the plate.

Then scatter boric acid powder in and around the peanut butter. Be sure to not over apply the powder as it might dissuade the roaches from the bait.


Due to its larger size, your options are more limited. I would say you’re better off placing a trap like this in a basement or garage. Settings like that are probably more appropriate and the larger size makes it easier to manage than several smaller bottle caps.

How long will it last?

The thing with dust traps is that if the dust blows away then youre left with the bait, which isn’t exactly what you’d want!

So be sure to check from time to time that the dust (boric acid) hasn’t blow away for whatever reason.

Combat Roach Killing Bait Station

If you are concerned about children and pests being harmed, invest in a Combat Roach Killing Bait Station and place the mix of boric acid and peanut butter inside.

The roach can crawl inside, but children and pets certainly can’t. The roach dies quietly in its living place, later.


Ok this is a little more elaborate than the previous two. But that being said, it isn’t rocket science. Not only that, this trap is more professional in my opinion and safer to use around kids and pets.

My recommendation would be to take a disposable tuper wear container with a plastic lid.

Then cut out two holes, one on either side of the container. These are where the roach will enter and leave the trap.

Then place the boric acid peanut butter mixture in the center of the trap and you’re done!

The great thing about these are that you can replace the poison whenever you run out simply by lifting the lid. Also its safely contained within the container.


These are fairly versatile trap. You can put them in a number of places. I would say any of the ones mentioned in the previous two examples would be suitable. Such as kitchens, garages, basements and maybe even outdoors.

How long will it last?

Just like with the other two examples, it will last as long as the contents of the trap are there. However it’s pretty easy to replenish the peanut butter if it starts to run low.

Duct Tape and Ball Stations

This is a combination sticky trap and bait trap. The sticky side of the duct tape is left exposed with the peanut butter and boric acid in the middle.

Most of the time, the roaches will get trapped in the duct tape glue but if not, the boric acid will get them.

There are a large number of sticky bait boxes, mechanical traps, other insecticides and gizmos that are available. Roach sprays and other commercial means of extermination are also available. But for simple, homemade remedies, you cannot beat a dab of peanut butter and boric acid in a simple device.

Its cheap, effective and doesn’t involve disposing or dead roaches. The only problem is that it can keep roaches down but is not suitable for large infestations.


Probably the most simple of all the traps!

Simply take some duck tape and apply the boric acid peanut butter mixture to the sticky side of the tape. And that’s it!


this is best placed where you won’t be walking on it accidentally. With it being sticky, you could place it in difficult or even vertical positions.

How long will it last?

This is only going to last as long as the duck tape is sticky. Afterwards you’ll have to replace it.

How Long will Each Trap Last For?

Each trap will last as long as the bait lasts, which depends on how much food is getting eaten up. While the bait in the trap should last for about a month, you would certainly like the bait to dwindle down to nothing within a week or two. If this is accompanied by a marked decrease in sightings of adult roaches, that is a surefire sign that the bait is being consumed by its targets.

The mechanical box typically lasts for a number of months (6-8 months), especially if you buy something from a store. If you design and build the bait box yourself, the time it lasts will be based on what type of trap it is and how well you constructed it.

For example, bottle caps or paper plates can be easily washed out and reused or replaced. A Roach Killing Bait Station has a shelf life, at least a few months – they can last up to a year.

How Many of These Bait Boxes Should I Put Around my Home?

The number of traps depends on the degree of infestation and the points of infestation. Traps should be placed behind appliances (refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, toaster ovens, coffee makers, grinders, blenders etc.), hoods, kitchen counters, cabinets, pantries, under kitchen and bathroom sinks, toilets, along or under floorboards and counters.

When you have vertical surfaces where traps can be placed along, you should choose ways to leave both openings clear so roaches can enter or access the bait from above or below.

Areas which are damp can breed roaches as well, and in certain cases, though less so, roaches can show up in bedrooms, closets and laundry rooms – but only if there is food lying around.

There is no hard and fast rule as to the number (or limit) of the number of bait boxes or traps you can use – it all depends on safety (for example, with small children and pets, leaving dozens of traps around may not be a great idea) and the degree and points of the infestation.

How much boric acid to mix with peanut butter

Why Use Boric Acid as the Poison?

Boric acid mixed in with peanut butter and a little baking powder is known as a potent remedy for keeping cockroaches under control.

While roaches constantly mutate and certain well-known remedies such as boric acid mixed in with sugar (glucose) may not work as well as they did previously, peanut butter has remained an option for creating an effective combo for snaring roaches.

While boric acid does not work super-fast and is not the way to control a major roach infestation, it certainly does work – as does peanut butter as a lure. Let’s see why the two work so well together.

Boric acid, which has the chemical formula H3BO3 (sometimes written as B(OH)3) is typically found in the form of colorless crystals or a white powder that dissolves in water.

Borax is a mineral that is available naturally – it is a different formulation involving Boron, Hydrogen and Oxygen. Either boric acid or borax powder can be used as an insecticide.

Borax powder can either be used directly or boric acid can be extracted from it and used as a more powerful insecticide. Boric acid is available in tablet, liquid or powder form, as well as a key ingredient in various types of traps. It is considered to be a premier method for controlling roaches. It works on roaches through ingestion, as well as when the insects walk through powder spread around the trap.

One advantage of boric acid is that it poses no harm to humans or pets through touch, though significant oral ingestion (5-10 grams or more) can cause severe distress to children and pets. It can cause irritation to mucus tissue and soft skin, vomiting, diarrhea and cause painful rashes and abrasions – so it should be kept away from places which children or pets could reach.

Boric acid works on insects by entering and poisoning their stomachs, affecting their metabolism and abrading their exoskeleton. Spreading boric powder around the trap is also an effective way to kill roaches, since they (a) pick it up on their feet and (b) ingest it later when they clean themselves. Overall, boric acid takes roughly 72 hours to work.

While it’s not an instant cure for a significant roach infestation, boric acid is known to be a reliable poison that will keep roaches under control and is possibly the most commonly used.

Why Use Peanut Butter as a Bait?

Simple glucose is the most commonly used food used to cover poison used to lure roaches. However, recent research has found close to 20 species of mutant roaches that are no longer attracted to sugar – since their taste buds have developed a bitter receptor which triggers when they ingest glucose.

In general, the theory is that roaches are not just looking for a hit on their taste buds or a jolt of energy, they prefer actual food that also tastes good to them. The reason peanut butter works is that it’s not just simple glucose – it has actual food value that will continue to attract the roaches.

Why do Boric Acid and Peanut Butter Work So Well Together?

The ideal mix of bait is something that attracts the roaches who are searching for food, and a poison that lies under the coating that kills the roach.

In this regard, peanut butter has solid food value (it’s not just sugary like glucose, which some roaches have gotten used to) and boric acid is an effective poison which has the added benefit of not being toxic to humans and pests. A mix of boric acid, peanut butter and baking soda is often considered an ideal mix for a roach trap bait.

Are there Alternatives to Boric Acid?

There have been a number of recent reports that mutant species of roaches may become impervious to the use of boric acid.

If needed, there are a number of alternatives to boric acid, depending on the circumstances, how big an infestation you are suffering from and how permanent you want the solution to be. They include:

  • Soap Water
  • Baking powder
  • Diatomaceous earth, a fine rock powder with abrasive and absorbent properties
  • Insect Growth Regulators such as Gentrol
  • Cypermethrin, a man-made pesticide manufactured to mimic the naturally occurring pyrethroid found in the chrysanthemum flower. Cypher WP is a cypermethrin

There is always the possibility of calling in exterminators in an extreme case. But boric acid is usually a preferred solution.

Can I Use a Substitute for Peanut Butter?

Alternatives to peanut butter includes normal sugar, but as explained above, certain roach species are not going to be lured by the taste of simple glucose. Other alternatives include simple fructose or tuna fish.

The problem with tuna, which is extremely effective as roach bait, is the smell that will permeate your house.

Is the Peanut Butter and Boric Acid Combo More Effective than Other Modes of Pest Control?

All in all, the peanut butter and boric acid combo, perhaps with some enhancements such as spreading borax around the bait box and/or mixing in baking soda into the bait mix, is one of the most effectives combos that work to control pests.

Boric acid is a powerful poison and peanut butter is a food that roaches will be attracted to, without realizing that the food they are eating is poisoned.

If you found this article useful, then it might be worth checking out our other article titled I Saw One Cockroach Should I Be Worried? As that is directly relevant to what we’ve just covered.


As promised, here’s the link to the free peanut butter and boric acid diy trap guide – click here.

The Verdict

Boric acid and peanut butter is a simple, deadly combo that will work to lure roaches and kill them. They are also one of the most natural, and least invasive in terms of your own health and environment, ways to accomplish the feat.

If you want to learn more about various insects, then checkout our site categories, we have a bunch of articles there that are totally worth reading:






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All the best


Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page

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