La cucaracha, la cucaracha...
June 15, 2014 11:40 PM   Subscribe

I don't have a cockroach problem in my apartment exactly, but there are cockroaches outside and I want to keep them far enough away from the door that they don't periodically follow me inside. Difficultly level: Please don't kill my cat in the process.

I live in Albuquerque, NM, and cockroaches love the outdoors here. I have a balcony outside of my bedroom on the 2nd floor, and occasionally a cockroach manages to make its way inside from the balcony doors. They seem to be sealed perfectly well, so I'd assume that they're just getting in when I walk in and out. Of course I'm being more careful to enter/exit quickly and watch for unwanted guests as I do, but I'd also like to find a way to deter them from being on my balcony to avoid the whole problem (also, hanging out on my balcony with cockroaches makes me feel crawly and gross).

I have an indoor cat, so I'm afraid to use boric acid, lest they track it inside and she decides to finally be a good hunter and eats one of the wayward cockroaches. I'm open to all other (natural or not) suggestions. Please hope me, I hate these critters.
posted by cheerwine to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
In Japan, where there are many big cockroaches, people have told me the little buggers can get through extremely small gaps, so maybe they really are coming in through your balcony doors. Do you have air vents? That could also be a route.
posted by LoonyLovegood at 3:04 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Try googling "boric acid roach trap" and you'll find lots of ways to lure and trap roaches so they can't get back out where your cat could get them. It seems very effective. Warning: pics and vids of horrifying containers full of roaches.

And yes, they can get through tiny cracks.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:15 AM on June 16, 2014

Best answer: Not all types of cockroaches are terribly motivated to infest your house. Advantage of a cat is that they'll usually take care of any wayward big roaches that decide to take a look-see in your house.

The big black "waterbug" type are all over the place at night here in Philly, and I hate how they creep around our (cement) backyard once it gets truly dark, but they're really difficult to actually deter. I hear that they don't like the smell of mint, eucalyptus, and other similar aromatic oils.

Diatomaceous earth will kill the roaches (if you can keep it dusted on surfaces where they walk without it getting rinsed/blown away) and won't hurt your cat.
posted by desuetude at 8:16 AM on June 16, 2014

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