We are having serious cockroach problem. I was advised to mix silica gel and boric acid and powder the surfaces where roaches come in. I can't find the silica gel in powder form in my location. I can buy them as crystals in bulk.

I am thinking of using a small mixer grinder jar to powder the crystals. But, I am not sure if it works.

What would be best method to crush silica gel crystals?


Desiccant silica gel is not all that tough. A spinning blade coffee grinder, or a blender should work. When you get it down to powder, leave the top on for 5-10 minutes. The dust will be awful. You shouldn't dull the blades much, unless you make a habit of this. Mortar and pestle would work too, but for the quantities you'll need would probably be tiresome.

  • Will give a try. As @DrMoishe commented, I am exploring the safety issues. – gv1507 May 5 '19 at 13:01
  • Come to think of it, last time I had to do something like this, I did it outside, on a breezy day. Doesn't keep dust down, but it keeps it away from you. This is also the preferred method for grinding up Horseradish root. That will drive you out of the kitchen. – Wayfaring Stranger May 6 '19 at 16:00
  • I have decided against grinding the silica gel due to safety concerns. Thanks for suggestions. – gv1507 May 7 '19 at 0:26

Grinding silica is not safe, since silicosis is a hazard! You can buy silica in the form of diatomaceous earth, AKA "diatomite" and kieselgur, which is sold as an insecticide (and is also used as a swimming-pool filter and spill-absorbent material).

Interestingly, this fine silica is the remains of microscopic creatures. If you have access to a microscope, take a close look at these elegant shells!

  • He wants to grind the gel, not silica. Different stuff, no diatoms: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silica_gel The stuff is softer than diatomaceous earth. The dust is still fairly nasty. – Wayfaring Stranger May 5 '19 at 4:20
  • @DiMoishe Pippik, thanks for alerting me. I have decided to use only Boric Acid. – gv1507 May 7 '19 at 0:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.