Laboratory evaluation of boric acid-sugar solutions as baits for management of German cockroach infestations

J Econ Entomol. 2004 Apr;97(2):581-7. doi: 10.1093/jee/97.2.581.


Boric acid dust has a long history as an insecticide in urban pest management, and it has been shown to be an effective alternative to conventional neurotoxic insecticides. However, dust formulations require specialized equipment and are difficult to apply, whereas gel and paste formulations contain large amounts of boric acid and tend to be less efficacious than other insecticide baits. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of borate solutions as baits against the German cockroach. Several borate-sugar combinations were evaluated in choice and no-choice assays in the laboratory. Mortality was recorded for 15 d and expressed as lethal time90, the time taken to kill 90% of the cockroaches. Results showed that boric acid was more effective than sodium tetraborate or disodium octaborate tetrahydrate and that aqueous solutions containing mixtures of 0.5-2% boric acid and any of several inexpensive sugars, including fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose as a phagostimulant, at molar concentrations of 0.05-1.0, can provide rapid and effective kill of German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Boric Acids*
  • Carbohydrates*
  • Cockroaches*
  • Female
  • Insect Control / methods*
  • Male
  • Pheromones*
  • Solutions


  • Boric Acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Pheromones
  • Solutions
  • insect attractants
  • boric acid