In the South, the air is as thick as the barbecue sauce isn’t. It’s a case where the combination of hot and wet doesn’t equal sexy, though. More often than not it equals roaches.

I try not to freak out about roaches. I don’t like them, but let’s face it: They’re not that different from crickets, which we tend to regard as cute. Poor roach never made it into a cartoon like Jiminy Cricket did — at least until recently.

But I obviously don’t want the skittery little bugs living in the house. And like everyone else, every now and then we get a few trying to make their home in our kitchen, which is nearly always spic-and-span by lights-out every night.

So it’s frustrating to have to deal with an occasional invasion.

For years I’ve used a combination of light boric acid dusting and roach bait, as directed in this fact sheet from the University of Kentucky. And like that paper says, results have matched anything we could expect from a professional service. (Jenn wants me to point out that roach bait/roach motel things are not organic. But honestly, we’ve had better luck using the two in concert.)

acid warning sign
Now with less fingers!

Like other phrases with “acid” in it — acid rain, hydrochloric acid, acid jazz — boric acid sounds a little scary. So we did a fair amount of research before dusting our kitchen and baths with it. But it turns out the stuff is everywhere.

In salt form, it sits on our shelf as a laundry detergent booster — in that box of borax.

And then, as I’m looking at the ingredients to my fancy-pants expensive eye drops, what’s in there? More boric acid.

Seriously? This is a cricket?
Jiminy So-Called Cricket has neither jumpy back legs nor wings. If he had floppy ears he’d be a rabbit.

I’ve now learned that it’s also used in fireworks and feminine cleansing products (but hopefully not at the same time).

I know it’s starting to sound like magic, but let’s not get too carried away.

Despite the fact that it’s apparently OK to pour on your eyeballs, don’t go mixing it into your peanut butter smoothies. Boric acid is toxic to people if consumed, if exposed to in high concentrations or for long periods of time.

Just use it sparingly around foodstuffs and places you walk barefoot, by Jiminy.

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