20 Jul
2011

Chinese Chalk or Chinese Insecticide Chalk

Posted by Norman Fong

Chinese Insecticide Chalk

I found a friend who was using Chinese Miraculous Insecticide Chalk otherwise known as Pretty Baby Chalk and Chinese Chalk.  Tres Pasitos is a Spanish name for this product. The product is illegal and dangerous. The EPA has a warning on it too. We tried it in the past and found that it didn’t really work. I found this stuff being sold all over San Francisco’s Chinatown.

It does kill bugs because it contains toxic chemicals but are hazardous around kids.  Did you know that plain old chalk also works!

If you want to use Chinese Insecticide Chalk, consider Black Flag Ant & Roach Killing Chalk instead.

The dangers of Chinese Insecticide Chalk

The chemicals in the insecticide chalk change from batch to batch and have contained chemicals that produce serious health effects, including vomiting, stomach pains, convulsions, tremors, coma, and death due to respiratory failure. Serious allergic reactions are also possible. If you see a store selling this, report them to the local health department or agricultural Department.

Green Pesticide Alternatives:
Green pest control with orange guard

We prefer to use insecticides made with natural ingredients and no poisonous chemicals. Orange Guard, which is made from d-Limonene (orange peel extract) keeps the ants away. Spray and leave it for a while to soak in.

Baking, Soda, Arm & Hammer

Check out our green pest control article. Eco friendly pesticide alternatives includeDiatomaceous Earth(Info), Baking soda, vinegar, plain old ordinary soap, peppermint, baby powder. Here are some ant removal tips.

EcoPCO ACU contact insecticide is another eco-friendly insecticide alternative. It is made from plant essential oils and contains no poisonous chemicals.

Eliminating ants at the source

We have tried to trace ants back to their source.  Follow the ant trails and patiently observe where they are coming from. When you have found their origination point, caulk holes, foam up areas next to pipes, etc. to prevent them from reaching you in the first place. Preventing bug access should be the #1 goal.

Posted on July 20th, 2011
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28 Responses to “Chinese Chalk or Chinese Insecticide Chalk”

  1. D.B. Says:

    I am a tenured elementary school teacher who never received a reprimand before this year. I reported the use of Chinese chalk at my school site to the SF EPA after talking with my custodian because the principal of my school waved me on when I gave him the information. The EPA referred me to the director of risk management. The school was sited for not following the Healthy Kids Act by using the chalk for ant control. I began experiencing a sensation on my tongue that over a period of time became a prickly sensation that traveled down my back and settled in my chest. I had to run and do vigorous activity after school to get it to subside when it was at its worse. I went to an alternative doctor and was given an herbal tea to increase my lung capacity over the Christmas break which helped. I reported the chalks use to poison control who told me not to let my students enter the room until the carpets had been thoroughly cleaned. My carpets were not cleaned until the beginning of March. The incident occurred in October although I was experiencing the new sensation following the report. It lasted until March when I went out on sick leave after receiving numerous reprimands, a 45/90 form the district which I feared was going to result in my losing my teaching credential which was based on a lot of fabricated accusations from my principal. He said that parents told him I talked in sentence fragments, that I did not create a positive environment in my classroom, and fabricated letters form parents all of which he gave a copy to myself and the district. The union seemed to be more on the district’s side because I followed their directions that lead me into more trouble. I would like to know what testing I can have done to prove that I am allergic to the chalk. I have had two blood tests done and a 24 hour urine test which all came out negative. I was seen by the head toxicologist at Kaiser who stated that the effects I was complaining about “could possibly be from exposure to a chemical.” I had to request the urine test, and I was not done until June.

  2. suzi Says:

    I’ve been using this product for decades without incident. It is labeled as boric acid as its active ingredient. Boric acid is also the active ingredient in pink eye/stye medications WHICH YOU PUT IN YOUR EYE!!! Try that with a can of RAID!!!
    The EPA is no longer a reliable source as far as I’m concerned– They are beholden to big business–

  3. luel hayes Says:

    This product works very well. the reason these big companies don’t want it sold in the usa is because then they couldn’t charge you for the high expense they would charge you. How do i know? because I have worked for terminix. the only thing that makes it un-safe is the parent(s) that would let thier child get ahold of it

  4. Desiree Says:

    I use this stuff too and have forever and I love it. It has never made any of us sick. I even chalk around the dog food bowls, etc.

    All of the rest of the ant “chemicals” they sell in cans at stores are way more harmful. If it doesnt make them a buck they will bash on it.

    Dont eat it or give it to your kids but seriously, its the only thing that works and its cheap!

  5. bill mashek Says:

    Stay away from chinese chalk–they put lead in kids toys–what would you think they would put in insecticide? (the insecticide in chinese chalk in not epa approved)
    Saying this. chalk in itself is a desiccant and will often repel ants if you put chalk in their trails.
    The least toxic insecticide for ants is sufural laurate: dish soap and water. (it can have a chemical name and still be low toxic)

  6. Agree with Zuzi Says:

    I have used this each time I’ve moved to a new place that had a prior pest problem and I NEVER had the pest problem again. We used this ONCE when I was little and we never had pest problems in that home again for the next decade until we sold the house (the new owners probably still have no problems).

    Draw the double lines away from heavy traffic that people often touch (like at the baseboard). Of course wear gloves and keep away from water & food sources, little children, and pets who could eat it. Don’t breath it in, touch it w/ bare hand or eat it and it usually does not cause any harm. There’s always a group of people who do have allergic reactions who should not go near it, but for those of us who do not – it is a miracle.

    I tried all the “green” stuff suggested and NONE of them work and cost a fortune. It’s good to be green and I try whenever I can, but it is no good when it isn’t effective and cost too much green for no lasting results.

  7. loosecannon Says:

    I have used this chalk in the past after trying all the expensive name brands wwith little result, and just a few sticks costing $5.00 solved the problem. I drew the line around the room where the wall touched the floor and the following day I couldn’t believe I had that many roaches — DEAD ONES. I’ve noticed that anytime a foreign company makes something that is cheap and effective, the large corporations always find someone in authority to get rid of them and say their products are poisonous and raise a lot of hoopla about it. If children eat boric acid or swallow roach sprays they are dangerous and deadly too. The ingredients I have heard in the chalk are not illegal in the US. It’s just that it looks like a piece of chalk and that seems to be the problem. It’s up to the parent(s) to use as much caution with the chalk as they would use with any kind of pesticide and keep it safely away from kids, also to handle it with gloves. This product is widely used in Canada.

  8. Janice Says:

    Where do you guys buy the chalk? I have called a few local Asian grocery stores and they don’t have it.
    Thank you

  9. JACKIE Says:

    I HAVE USED CHINESE CHALK FOR 2 DECADES. I HAVE USED IT AROUND MY FARM ANIMALS AND HOUSE PETS. IT WORKS THE BEST WHEN CONTROLLING AN INSCET PROBLEM. I HAVE NEVER HAD NOR ANYONE ELSE WHO LIVED IN MY HOUSE HAD A PROBLEM FROM EXPOSURE TO THIS PRODUCT. MY PETS AND FARM ANIMALS ALSO DID WELL WITH THIS PRODUCT. GRANTED, I WOULD NOT LET LITTLE KIDS PLAY WITH IT. IT IS ALWAYS IMPORTANT TO APPLY COMMON SENSE WHEN USING ANY PRODUCT THAT IS TO CONTROL PEST.

  10. Bettina Says:

    I have to agree with the vast majority of the posters here – this chalk is a miracle worker. All of our other household products are eco-friendly/biodegradable. Yes, we’ve tried Orange Guard, soap, peppermint oil, praying nicely to the ants to leave, etc, etc, but this chalk is the only thing that really works when you have a real infestation. Just follow ‘Agree with Zuzi’s’ common sense advice, and be careful how you use it.

  11. bill Says:

    you guys think this chalk is some type of “toxic” magic wand, guess what! There is no such thing as a miracle product. This stuff is not only extremely toxic but also a carcinogen and can cause birth disorders. EPA has outlawed Chinese chalk for a good reason. It is all about understanding the biology and behavior of the pest. Low toxic baits work extremely well. Use critical thinking and if that doesn’t work call a pro.

  12. meme Says:

    @D.B., of course I’d listen to a tenured elementary school teacher who doesn’t know how to spell.

    And, #8 Janice, no one will tell you over the phone that they have this chalk. Walk in and ask. Here in L.A. you can get it in Chinatown or most independent 99 cent stores.

  13. mary Says:

    People should now know that the FDA has approved dangerous medicines/drugs because they are in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. Now this very effective roach and ant insecticide chalk is banned because it’s so cheap compared to the more toxic/less effective solutions that big chemical companies offer.

    I’ve used this chalk with no side effects or ill health as a result, after seeing that foggers and sprays did not work. Moreover, the chalk markings are effective for a long time (don’t wash it off) so the product is even more economical because of that.

  14. Deba Lazo Says:

    We The People don’t need a ban on this long proven bug killer, safest around ever, next to stepping on them. We need a ban, erradication, foreclosure, prohibition, on ALL these letter soup agencies designed by the powers-that-be to harrass, intimidate, and ultimately rule over us, unconstitutionally.

    Besides, their pathetic and complicit argument that it has a killing agent is ludicrous: compared to say, RAID, RATICATE, ROUNDUP and the rest, this is baby stuff.

    I have used since mid eighties, still have a couple chalks, with no problem at all, except to the critters. Counteract their propaganda. Vote corrupt politicos OUT, and their pampered criminal agencies with them.

  15. Rob Says:

    Another user of this chalk. Imagine a product that costs $1-$2 and kills ants and they dont come back. This is it.

    The insecticide industry has a huge incentive to lobby and slander this chalk to protect their billion dollar industry of ineffective chemicals that works for 1 day maybe.

    I’ve read some of the government reports about this chalk and didn’t see anything of nasty bs that you read. I would think RAID for example is more toxic to kids than this chalk, but because the chalk does not come in a child proof container is a total BS argument against it. However RAID doesn’t work

  16. Micelle Says:

    Help I have been looking for this chinese chaulk for a while and can’t seem to find it. We have ants in our travel trailor and all over our yard. I have used this in the past it worked great for the inside. I don’t know what to do about my yard. Last year I had a pest control company come but can’t afford it this year. Plus, when they sprayed they killed my outside flowers. Where can I get this at? I used to get it at a flea markert years ago but now I can’t find.

  17. Kala Says:

    This chalk is great! My family for decades have used this chalk around the house when I was younger & now I use it at my house and tell others about it. Ants are the WORST and this chalk is the best thing I’ve used that instantly kills the ants and they don’t come back. Unless you have a crawling baby or children and pets that will mess with the chalk, then I highly suggest trying it. I haven’t heard of anyone becoming allergic to the chalk except when I found this site haha

  18. Debalazo Says:

    Trolls from Pesticide Industries: Everything you say, or your rip-off bosses, is a LIE. Just this little chalk can put your industry partially to rest, so good and innofensive this product is.

    I have used it since it came into town, back in the 80’s. I live in the same house still, and the chalk I used inside the return register for the central heat, STILL kills occassional roaches that crawl in from outside through the attic, that’s some 25 years old stuff.

    Ants, scorpions, spiders, both German and the big ugly cockroaches, are quickly and securely killed.

    Friends, family, co-workers, we all used the chalk, until the greedy worthless petro-chemicals and the corrupt Gov un-elected officials we have, colluded to remove this great product. These same officials eventually go to work for the Chemical industry after they ‘retire’ as parasites in the US Gov.

  19. nasyr Says:

    I also have been using these chalks for 2 decades plus and this is the ONLY effective remedy for cockroaches. I completely agree with Debalazo. However, these chalks are freely available in India under many brands. At least Indian govt is less bastard sometimes than other countries’ govts.

  20. Wini Gravelin Says:

    Lived in 1929 NYC upscale bldg with sporadic roach problems. Doorman told me to use CHINESE CHALK. In 1990 bought the chalk, chalked a rectangle in the kitchen in evening, next morning, saw 100’s dead. 2nd Day, 20 more dead roaches, then gone for next 15 years.I fed a few dead roaches to pet frog who became fat & healthy so no poisonous residue. EPA bans it because it is effective, cheap & works. I’ve sprayed RAID on a running roach & it keeps running. Spray Clorex on roaches, kills them faster than RAID which has poisonous fumes. Boiling water kills ants, destroys ant trails w/ chlorox/Lysol. Impossible to find Chinese Chalk in Florida where its needed. W Gravelin

  21. YW Says:

    The New Chinese chalk is thin and breaks frequently. I am hoping that they go back to making it thick where it is easier to use…..but still works.

  22. Jorge-Peru Says:

    Excuse me… TRES PASITOS is a banned pesticide for control rats. And its made of a danger pesticide called Aldicarb. Chinese chalk contains deltamethrin who is not as dangerous as aldicarb.

  23. Gav Says:

    The EPA’s opinion:
    “Illegal Insecticide Chalk, also known as “Miraculous Chalk” or “Chinese Chalk.” You may have seen the chalk in a neighborhood store or sold on the street for about $1 a box. It is mostly imported illegally from China and often bears a label in both English and Chinese. Sometimes, like on the label we show here, the manufacturer makes claims that the chalk is “harmless to human beings and animals” and “safe to use.” These claims are untrue and dangerous. Because insecticide chalk looks just like regular chalk, children often take it in their hands, write with it and put it in their mouths. The active ingredient in Insecticide Chalk is a chemical called deltamethrin, which is one of the most toxic pesticides of its kind. Insecticide chalk should be avoided at all times.”
    (http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/health/illegalproducts/chalk.htm )
    The truth is:
    “Deltamethrin products are among the most popular and widely used insecticides in the world[citation needed] and have become very popular with pest control operators and individuals in the United States.[1] This material is a member of one of the safest classes of pesticides: synthetic pyrethroids. This pesticide is highly toxic to aquatic life, particularly fish, and therefore must be used with extreme caution around water. It is neurotoxic to humans and has been found in human breast milk.[2]
    There are many uses for deltamethrin, ranging from agricultural uses to home pest control. Deltamethrin has been instrumental in preventing the spread of diseases carried by tick-infested prairie dogs, rodents and other burrowing animals[citation needed]. It is helpful in eliminating and preventing a wide variety of household pests, especially spiders, fleas, ticks, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, cockroaches and bedbugs. Deltamethrin is also one of the primary ingredients in ant chalk.”
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deltamethrin )

  24. user Says:

    I also have used this product for years. Works great and have never been sick because of this chalk, neither has my cats. I agree with the above comments. Big companies cant make money from this product so they try to knock it off the market. Have tried raid and many other expensive pesticides that dont work. This miraculous chalk does work!

  25. ScrewTheEPA Says:

    IT’S NOT ANY WORSE THAN BLACK FLAG PRODUCTS!!! And this stuff WORKS. Teach your stupid kids to stay away from this stuff or keep it locked up like you would ANY pesticide so they can’t get their grimy little hands on it.

    God almighty. You people are SUCH pussies. It’s not China’s or the government’s job to police the rest of the universe and look out for people’s kids where it comes to ant chalk. Used properly, like everything else, there’s NOTHING wrong with it. If stupid people either A. Weren’t allowed to BREED; or, B. KNEW HOW TO PARENT, i.e. WATCH THEIR STUPID KIDS, there would BE no problems with the product. By your mentality/reasoning, ant chalk should be eliminated because stupid people’s kids MIGHT eat it/mistake it for chalk/etc., when it’s the PARENT’S job to make sure they keep this stuff AWAY from kids. (P.S. Your issues with the PACKAGING being made with harmful chemicals—-REALLY? If that’s a problem in your household, i.e. you’ve got stupid kids that you can’t keep from stuffing cardboard boxes in their mouths/you can’t be bothered to WATCH them so they DON’T do that, then ANOTHER nanny-state agency, i.e. CPS—Child Protective Services—needs to round up your brood and farm them out to foster care, because obviously your parenting skills aren’t much better than a shark’s.)

    Black Flag products & ANY other pesticide/gardening chemicals/etc.—can also ALL be HARMFUL TO CHILDREN if they’re not LOCKED UP so the little brats can’t get hold of them. Ant chalk is a cheap, effective way to eliminate ants. The people who need to be more responsible aren’t the manufacturers of it—the PARENTS need to be PARENTS and lock up common household products so that Widdle Pwecious doesn’t stick it in his mouth. SO tired of this constant policing of everything. I’ve had friends who use this stuff and swear by it. Just because the friggin’ EPA doesn’t aprove of it or the FDA doesn’t approve of stuff doesn’t mean jack; look at all the food items the FDA DOES approve that makes you go “Hmmm….”

  26. ScrewTheEPA Says:

    P.S. Just another example of big corporations who are in bed with the EPA are trying to keep a cheaper, equally effective product off the market so they don’t have competition.

  27. Rosie Peters Says:

    I’ve been using the ant chalk since the 80’s without incident, and with cats, dogs and children in the household. I’ve never worn gloves, but always wash my hands thoroughly after use. I even use it on my bedside table where ants come searching for food.
    I don’t use toxic products such as Raid, Roundup and eat organic food. I am very conscientious about using chemicals because of the already polluted environment. I say this to let you know I am not taking this controversy about this chalk lightly. It is much safer than all the other chemicals on the market, including the the currently marketed chemical company “copy” now being sold through the usual markets. The arguments against the chalk are cooked up by the corporate giants who want to get all your money, no matter what it takes. Even your fancy perfume products can injure or kill a child if swallowed. Don’t believe the hype.

  28. Dude Says:

    Actually, there is a Black Flag ant and cockroach chalk, which is the same product. It’s $7 at my local Lowes store. The warnings are that the cheap Chinese versions are not well packaged and kids might put it in their mouth. The expensive Black Flag product is more difficult for kids to get to.

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