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Old 10-11-2017, 11:08 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Do cucumbers really repel cockroaches?

Lots of sites recommend cucumber slices or cucumber peel as a perimeter defense against cockroaches but these all read like folk remedies to me.

Are there any scientific studies that say this works? Is there any explanation of the underlying mechanism of why it would work?

Bonus round: If you are not a fan of the cucumber approach, what is the best proven way to deal with cockroaches? (My daughter has seen a couple in her apartment. I assume that if one apartment has one cockroach, there are cockroaches throughout the building and only a whole-building solution will work.)
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:55 AM
Dorj鄚 Dorj鄚 is offline
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Lots of sites recommend cucumber slices or cucumber peel as a perimeter defense against cockroaches but these all read like folk remedies to me.

Are there any scientific studies that say this works? Is there any explanation of the underlying mechanism of why it would work?

Bonus round: If you are not a fan of the cucumber approach, what is the best proven way to deal with cockroaches? (My daughter has seen a couple in her apartment. I assume that if one apartment has one cockroach, there are cockroaches throughout the building and only a whole-building solution will work.)
Never heard of that cucumber thing. Boric Acid is still effective against roaches.
  #3  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:59 AM
smithsb smithsb is offline
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Cucumbers are good for bags under the eye reduction according to rumors. Not sure how you got the internet intertubes crossed to get cucumbers/cockroaches.
  #4  
Old 10-11-2017, 12:00 PM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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I've never heard of cucumbers repelling cockroaches, although I've seen another plant repel cockroaches ... I'll not name that plant as it also causes negative reactions in humans, some could be quite serious ...

You are correct that if your daughter sees one cockroach, there are at least 100 she hasn't seen, perhaps thousands in the building ... there are ways to get rid of them, but no way to stop a new tenant from bringing them back in ... thus the problem with ridding the building of cockroaches is that it is only temporary, more will be brought in and re-infest the building ...

A] Hire an exterminator, an honest one will do a great job ...

B] "Do-it-yourself" methods will require all the tenants to fully co-operate, and this starts with complete cleanliness as all food sources must be eliminated ... next all the cockroaches' hiding place have to be filled, and for an older building this might take several cases of painter's chalking ... finally all the tenants have to set out roach traps, Combat brand is the best, one under the refer, another under the stove and one on top of the water heater ... replace every month and within six months the building should be clear ... remember, all it takes is one tenant leaving a bowl of cat food out to ruin the whole process ...

Sadly, in some jurisdictions, if the unit was free of cockroaches when your daughter moved in, then the landlord is not responsible for the cockroach infestation that occurs afterward ... however, cockroaches are bad for the landlord's business ... I suggest your daughter and her fellow tenants all do a major cleaning over the whole building, then ask the landlord to help, and suggest that hiring an exterminator when the building is squeaky clean would be of good value and potentially higher profits going forward ... just an idea ...

Years ago I read an interesting report about cockroaches from the University of Minnesota ... one suggestion they had was to move everyone out for a couple of weeks, drain all the water lines, and let the building freeze up ... cockroaches and their eggs all die if the temperature is -10慚 for awhile ... an outdoor temperature common in Minnesota during the winter months ...

ETA: Indeed, boric acid is effective, thanx Dorj鄚 for bringing that up ... under the stove and refer, on top of the water heater ...
  #5  
Old 10-11-2017, 12:16 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Here is what the interwebs say about it
  #6  
Old 10-11-2017, 01:44 PM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is online now
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Originally Posted by smithsb View Post
Not sure how you got the internet intertubes crossed to get cucumbers/cockroaches.
I am so not putting cockroaches under my eyes...
  #7  
Old 10-11-2017, 02:26 PM
JJOHNSON JJOHNSON is offline
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I don't think they repel any insect, because I saw a roach crawling on my cucumber this morning.

Last edited by JJOHNSON; 10-11-2017 at 02:28 PM. Reason: fix spelling
  #8  
Old 10-11-2017, 03:23 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is online now
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Maybe people are doing a correlation/causation error analogous to using capfuls of beer to kill garden slugs.

Hell, just leave piles of sugar out and wait for them to die of diabetes.


ETA: Come to think of it, I don’t even know what cockroaches prefer to feed on.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 10-11-2017 at 03:26 PM.
  #9  
Old 10-11-2017, 03:40 PM
Ann Hedonia Ann Hedonia is offline
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Advion cockroach gel. It was a miracle solution for me.

I've lived in the same apartment for 25 years. Cockroaches were a constant battle. I used every spray on the market. I sprayed daily. I sealed every crack and crevice. I had a professional exterminator come in every month. And best, all this minimized them but if I let up for even a day or two it got worse. And it kept getting worse. I couldn't turn my back while preparing food. I had to preheat the freaking oven, otherwise roaches would attack while the oven warmed. I couldn't leave a glass of water on the bedside table.

The exterminator got snarky about my housekeeping-which wasn't bad, I have someone come in weekly to clean but the exterminator came a few hours before the house cleaner so I wasn't spotless. Then the exterminator tried to tell me I needed to rebuild my cabinets. Then my neighbors started complaining about roaches they felt were coming from my place.

I looked at some products on Amazon. I ordered the Advion gel. I applied it very liberally. Dots spaced a foot apart. Around all baseboards, where the ceiling met the wall, around every shelf on every cabinet. Around all switcplates and light fixtures. In the cabinet hinges. Along the backsplash. I used all 4 tubes. Don't skimp.

https://www.amazon.com/Advion-Syngen...gel+bait&psc=1

This was 2 years ago. It took about a week to kill them all. Since then I have not seen one single cockroach ever. And I keep an eye out with the intent of applying it again if I see as much as one bug. I haven't done any other extermination in that time, I didn't want anything to interfere wuh the attractants.

But they are gone. Completely. It worked. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 10-11-2017 at 03:42 PM.
  #10  
Old 10-11-2017, 03:44 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I don't know about cockroaches, but you can use cucumbers to repel cats. Pretty dramatically, too:

http://www.smash.com/why-are-cats-af...red-hate-them/

Maybe REALLY TINY cucumbers would work as well on cockroaches.
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2017, 04:21 PM
DooWahDiddy DooWahDiddy is offline
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Maybe you were looking at the Spanish internet and confused cucaracha with cucumber.

I'll show myself out.
  #12  
Old 10-11-2017, 05:02 PM
Derleth Derleth is online now
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Originally Posted by DooWahDiddy View Post
Maybe you were looking at the Spanish internet and confused cucaracha with cucumber.

I'll show myself out.
It's not like Mexican cockroaches repel German cockroaches, it's just that German cockroaches want to be with their own kind!

In the suburbs!

Stop looking at me like that!
  #13  
Old 10-11-2017, 05:33 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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I don't think they repel any insect, because I saw a roach crawling on my cucumber this morning.
Best post/username combo of the thread!
  #14  
Old 10-11-2017, 06:20 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is online now
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Best post/username combo of the thread!
I dont get it...
  #15  
Old 10-11-2017, 06:22 PM
Derleth Derleth is online now
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I dont get it...
It's a dick joke.
  #16  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:00 PM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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Maybe you were looking at the Spanish internet and confused cucaracha with cucumber.

I'll show myself out.
I can't believe you posted that ...
  #17  
Old 10-12-2017, 11:10 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Then the exterminator tried to tell me I needed to rebuild my cabinets.
FWIW, we had our kitchen cabinets replaced after the water main burst under the house and caused all sorts of water damage. It made a huge difference; I used to see at least one roach a week back then, and I haven't seen more than three or four in two years since.
  #18  
Old 10-12-2017, 10:27 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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Wild cucumbers are full of bitter chemicals called "cucurbitacins." These are defensive compounds that could conceivably repel cockroaches. Cultivated cucumbers have had the cucurbitacins bred out of them, so they won't repel roaches.
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2017, 08:23 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Maybe people are doing a correlation/causation error analogous to using capfuls of beer to kill garden slugs..
The beer slug trap does work, but its effectiveness is limited.

http://www.gardenmyths.com/how-to-ge...ugs-with-beer/
  #20  
Old 10-13-2017, 09:19 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Even if cucumbers really did repel cockroaches, do you really want to risk an aardvark infestation?

(I've heard that osage oranges repel cockroaches--probably works as well as cucumbers.)
  #21  
Old 10-14-2017, 09:54 AM
scooter_trash scooter_trash is offline
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I lived in an apartment building in South Florida that was so horribly infested I saw an albino roach. A genuine, all white roach.

Management sprayed several times to no avail.

Late one night I saw a commercial for Combat roach killing gel and said "well, we've tried everything else, why not." Amazing. It worked. The instructions said I should see an improvement in two weeks and I saw an improvement in 2 days. After two weeks any roaches I saw were twitching and after two more weeks any I saw were dead.

The roaches eat it and it slowly kills them (relative to being sprayed, anyhow). They leave behind poisonous roach poop before they die. Other roaches will eat the poisonous roach poop as well as the poisoned corpses, creating more poisonous roach poop and poisoned corpses. At least that's what the manufacturer said at the time.

You just put a little dab in areas where you've seen roaches and that's it. Put it where it won't be seen, like the bottom of a counter or sink as it dries to a hard brown substance that's hard to remove once dried.

I'm sort of new here so I hope mentioning a product name is cool. Didn't see anything about that in ToS.
  #22  
Old 10-16-2017, 06:08 PM
SCSimmons SCSimmons is offline
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A HufPo writer tested some anti-cockroach theories, including the cucumber plan. The verdict: "... if roaches could laugh, it would be because I thought this could actually work."

(Oh, and for the record, the results of their boric acid test: "Amazingly effective." I don't know why anyone needs the rest of the 'net when they have the Straight Dope right here.)
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  #23  
Old 10-16-2017, 06:47 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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I'm sort of new here so I hope mentioning a product name is cool. Didn't see anything about that in ToS.
No problem at all (as long as you didn't join the site just to promote the product, which you obviously haven't).
  #24  
Old 10-16-2017, 07:35 PM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is online now
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Even if cucumbers really did repel cockroaches, do you really want to risk an aardvark infestation?
As long as the aardvarks sound like Jackie Mason when they talk....
  #25  
Old 10-16-2017, 09:28 PM
TSBG TSBG is offline
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Wild cucumbers are full of bitter chemicals called "cucurbitacins." These are defensive compounds that could conceivably repel cockroaches. Cultivated cucumbers have had the cucurbitacins bred out of them, so they won't repel roaches.
I tried growing cucumbers a few years ago and they all came out incredibly bitter. I suppose I could have figured the problem out but they were also eaten alive by some kind of bug. Whatever bitterness was going on didn't deter them...
  #26  
Old 10-17-2017, 02:33 PM
The Plutonium Kid The Plutonium Kid is offline
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Never heard of that cucumber thing. Boric Acid is still effective against roaches.
Yeah, borax works, but, man, is it messy, especially when it gets wet.
  #27  
Old 10-17-2017, 11:19 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Yeah, borax works, but, man, is it messy, especially when it gets wet.
Borax is not boric acid. It is a salt of boric acid. You can create boric acid by a reaction of borax and hydrochloric acid. Borax is typically sold as a laundry detergent booster.
  #28  
Old 10-17-2017, 11:42 PM
The Plutonium Kid The Plutonium Kid is offline
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Borax is not boric acid. It is a salt of boric acid. You can create boric acid by a reaction of borax and hydrochloric acid. Borax is typically sold as a laundry detergent booster.
Not sure what your point is, but if you lay out a spread of borax to kill cockroaches, and that borax gets wet, it's damn near impossible to clean it up. After the stuff dries out, it forms a crust almost as hard as stone, and you pretty much have to chip it out somehow. I don't doubt what you're saying is true, but I just wanted to point out that borax as an insecticide has at least one serious disadvantage.
  #29  
Old 10-18-2017, 12:29 AM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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Not sure what your point is, but if you lay out a spread of borax to kill cockroaches, and that borax gets wet, it's damn near impossible to clean it up.
His point is that borax and boric acid are not the same thing. While it may be true that borax is hard to clean up if it gets wet, that has nothing to do with the use of boric acid as an insect repellent.
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  #30  
Old 10-18-2017, 08:23 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Originally Posted by The Plutonium Kid View Post
Not sure what your point is, but if you lay out a spread of borax to kill cockroaches, and that borax gets wet, it's damn near impossible to clean it up. After the stuff dries out, it forms a crust almost as hard as stone, and you pretty much have to chip it out somehow. I don't doubt what you're saying is true, but I just wanted to point out that borax as an insecticide has at least one serious disadvantage.
My point is why would you use borax as an insecticide?
  #31  
Old 10-19-2017, 11:47 AM
The Plutonium Kid The Plutonium Kid is offline
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Sorry. It was a brain fart.

Last edited by The Plutonium Kid; 10-19-2017 at 11:48 AM.
  #32  
Old 10-19-2017, 02:06 PM
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2nd the gel. I used Combat. I had a cockroach problem for a couple of months. I never saw them for 13 years in that apartment, then a new neighbor and they were everywhere. I sprayed. I put down traps. They still were coming out of the drawers and cabinets and creating little cockroach babies. I used the gel at the back of the drawers and under the rims of the cabinets. For about three days, I spent my mornings sweeping up dead cockroaches and like that the infestation was over.

Now the great big tree roaches, they're looking for water and they'll come in under the door and waltz right past your cats. They are handled by the racquetball racquet.
  #33  
Old 10-20-2017, 07:39 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Originally Posted by Dorj鄚 View Post
Never heard of that cucumber thing. Boric Acid is still effective against roaches.
Wife loved the idea of the crystals getting in their joints and sawing their limbs off. She was a bit sadistic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Bloom View Post
Maybe people are doing a correlation/causation error analogous to using capfuls of beer to kill garden slugs.
dropdad was told in the Army Air Corps that the solution to crabs was applying a mixture of whiskey and sand to the affected area. The crabs would get drunk and kill each other throwing boulders around. Don't know about that, but I've dropped some roaches in their tracks by squirting them with mouthwash.

And for our more ghoulish viewers, OMG! Cockroach Giving Birth While Being Devoured By Fire Ants, the most horrifying, yet satisfying, video on YouTube. Spoilered for the two click rule, spoiled again because a right-thinking human, as I know at least a couple of you are, wouldn't want to watch this:

SPOILER:
Are you sure?
  #34  
Old 10-21-2017, 12:02 AM
Ann Hedonia Ann Hedonia is offline
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Boric acid was one of the things I used for months against the roaches with very little effect.
  #35  
Old 10-21-2017, 12:42 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I find cucumbers very effective on roaches. You just take the cucumber and bash the little bastards with it.
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