Home Remedies to Get Rid of Roaches

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cockroach home remedies

If the mere thought of cockroaches invading your home or apartment is enough to send shivers up and down your back, imagine the feeling that comes when they’ve actually found their way into your residence. Taking refuge in the nooks and crannies of your kitchen and bathroom, the roach is a common household pest with nearly 4,000 species scurrying across the world. Luckily, home remedies to get rid of roaches can help tame the 30 species known to infiltrate human dwellings.

What is a Roach?

Cockroaches are thought of as one of the most dreaded of household pests. They’ve been around for thousands of years and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. There are four species of cockroach officially considered ‘pests’ with the most recognized species being the American cockroach – measuring 30 millimeters long [1].

Preferring the warm environment found inside homes, the pest species of cockroach can easily adapt to their surroundings as they search for food and water. They will feed on pet and human edibles. Possessing the ability to live one month without water, and up to three months without food, the cockroach is a pretty resilient creature.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Roaches

If action is not taken to control the presence of roaches, their numbers will steadily increase. Many people call an exterminator or resort to using harmful chemicals to rid their home of roaches. However, at the first sign of the pest, home remedies for roaches can help drastically reduce numbers, as well as avoid toxic methods of roach control. A few suggestions include:

a) Petroleum Jelly Trap:

Apply petroleum jelly around the inner rim of a jar. Insert a couple of apple, potato or banana peelings into the jar. Leave out overnight where you’ve spotted roach activity. The pests should climb into the jar, but will be unable to escape because of the petroleum. Discard the contents in a bucket of soapy water, and then flush down the toilet.

b) Baking Soda and Confectioner’s Sugar:

Many believe that a mixture consisting of equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar applied to problem areas will control roaches. Supposedly, the sugar attracts the pests while the baking soda mixes with their stomach acids to cause internal destruction. Sprinkle this remedy inside of cabinets and inside the holes that roaches tend to gather around.

c) Coffee Grounds:

Fill a jar halfway with water and coffee grounds. This trap uses the scent of coffee, which is pleasant to the roach, to lure and trap roaches in the jar. As the pests climb into the jar, they should fall inside and drown.

d) Bleach:

Pour bleach down the drains of sinks and tubs to dissuade roaches from using drain pipes as a way to travel throughout your home.

e) Lemons [2]:

Effective against roaches, add the juice of four lemons (with the rinds) and ½ gallon (two liters) of water to a bucket. Using a sponge or mop, wash your floors with it. Apparently, the little pests cannot stand the smell.

f) Garlic Onion Pepper Mix:

Add one clove of garlic, one onion, and one tablespoon of cayenne pepper to one quart of water. Allow the ingredients to marinade for one hour. Add one tablespoon of liquid soap to the mixture and spray in the places that roaches frequent about your home.

g) Run a Clean Ship:

Roaches prefer to dwell in dark, dank places, especially when areas are filled with clutter. Keep your living spaces clean. Cover your garbage cans at all times and store your food in sealed containers and bags.

h) Caulk Water Pipes:

Roaches often congregate in kitchens and bathrooms, using the holes associated with water pipes as a means of travel. Caulking around all water pipes can help eliminate their routes into your living spaces.

i) Bleach Pinesol Mix:

Pour a mixture consisting of two cups of bleach, two cups of Pinesol, and one cup of hot boiling water to the areas that roaches frequent in your home. Wait around 10 minutes to clean up. It’s suggested to open windows when using this home remedy for roaches because the scent is very strong.

j) Vacuum:

Once you’ve used home remedies to get rid of roaches in your house, frequently vacuum around baseboards, kitchen drawers, and cabinets to eradicate the waste products and dead bodies of roaches. People with asthma and other respiratory problems can become affected by leftover roach waste.

k) Cheap Wine:

Filling a large bowl with inexpensive wine and then placing it under the sink (or wherever you have spotted the pests), is another way to get rid of roaches. The pests will actually consume the alcoholic beverage, get intoxicated, and then drown [3].

l) Bay Leaves:

Create roach-repellant sachets by adding bay leaves to the inside of a pair of pantyhose and placing in dresser drawers, closets, and cupboards.

m) Cucumber Slices and Bay Leaves:

Mix together chopped up cucumber slices and bay leaves to create a home remedy for roaches that you can spread around the areas that you see the pests. This solution is believed to deter them from returning.

n) Cornstarch and Plaster of Paris:

If you’d like to refrain from using chemical-based solutions to kill roaches in your home, consider making your own natural pesticide. Add equal parts of cornstarch and plaster of Paris together to make a powdery substance that when sprinkled into the cracks where roaches appear, can help get rid of the pests.

o) Catnip:

Fifi might get upset with you, but you can try submerging catnip leaves in hot water to create a tea. Strain the leaves before transferring the liquid to a spray bottle. Spritz your kitchen, bathroom, and other rooms with the solution to keep away roaches. Don’t forget to reapply the solution after you vacuum or mop these spaces.

p) Borax:

Don’t ignore the tops of cabinets as a potential hiding place for cockroaches. Sprinkle Borax atop the cabinets, which is high out of reach for children and pets. Roaches that have become poisoned by the Borax will take it back to their nest, and contaminate the rest [4].

q) Borax, Sugar, Onion & Cornstarch:

Rethink the use of this roach eradicator if you have small children or pets in the home, but this poisonous remedy is one that is typically used as a last resort. Combine two cups of Borax, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup chopped onion, two tablespoons cornstarch, and two tablespoons of water [3]. Add all the ingredients to a bowl, and then roll into small balls. Place three balls into an unsealed Ziploc bag, and then situate wherever roaches have been known to roam in your residence.

r) WD-40:

When you’re out of bug spray to get rid of roaches, opt for a can of WD-40 as a quick fix. This do-it-all solution is known as an effective bug killer [5].

s) Soapy Water:

When you are low on home remedy ingredients to get rid of roaches, consider filling a spray bottle with extra soapy water and drenching the pests. The water has a drowning effect, and the soap makes it hard for them to scurry away.

t) Dryer Sheets:

There have been studies conducted that show certain brands of dryer sheets can be used to repel insects and pests, such as cockroaches in the home. If a fabric softener sheet contains linalool (the same natural, pleasant-smelling substance found in lavender), then it can mean toxic consequences for pests that come in contact with it. Once they crawl over the dryer sheet, the linalool causes the pest to become lethargic and eventually die.

u) The Light Trick:

If you want to get rid of roaches at the source, you must first locate their nest, and one of the best resources to take advantage of is light. Cockroaches are most active at night when they can conceal their activities under the cover of darkness. Turn an overhead light in a darkened room, and you’ll see the pests scurry back to their nests. Observe the path they take, and this should help you pinpoint their nest.

v) Hedge Apple:

It is said that hedge apples are a natural deterrent for roaches, where one apple per room can act as a repellent for up to two month.

w) Listerine:

Some say that Listerine can be used as a roach deterrent. You can create a solution comprised of 1 part Listerine and 1 part water with an added drop or two of dishwashing liquid. Transfer the remedy into a spray bottle, and use the ‘steady stream’ setting on the nozzle to apply the liquid. Start blasting the roaches with the spray, and you should see a change in roach activity in your home.

x) Beer-Soaked Bread:

To get rid of roaches, try placing one to two pieces of bread that has been soaked in beer in an empty one-pound coffee can [6]. Situate the can in spaces plagued by cockroach infestation.

y) Buy a Gecko:

Some animal and lizard lovers have no problem with allowing their gecko do the dirty work of eliminating roaches from a home. When allowed to roam free about a home (especially in the nighttime), the gecko is one pet who can help you get rid of unwanted pests. Once the roach population in your home starts to drastically decrease, your gecko will start coming out in the open more often in search of food. Place the gecko in a proper tank and feed it crickets daily. If you do choose to use a gecko for a natural home remedy to get rid of roaches, you can’t use any poisons in your home to kill the pests because your pet gecko will be affected as well when he eats poisoned roaches.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockroach?
[2] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg 199.
[3] Who Knew? Almanac by Bruce Lubin & Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin; pg. 522.
[4] MORE Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 52.
[5] MORE Who Knew? Almanac by Bruce Lubin & Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin; pg. 349.
[6] http://eartheasy.com/live_natpest_control.htm#h


  • joe clouse

    horse apples from bodark tree around outside of house and under cabinets will detore

  • Soubaghya

    Add Boring power+Maida+lil sugar with water make it a dough like chapati and stick tiny balls affected area .This is a very good remedy to get rid of cockroaches …

  • nairb

    how do i get rid of german roaches

  • Draegonore

    Boric acid & bacon grease. Mix into paste and form into little balls and hide in all the dark little places roaches like to hide.

    The roaches love the bacon grease and the Boric Acid eats them up from the inside. Another good thing about Boric Acid is that it’s only dangerous for insects. Pets and kids only come away with maybe a sore tummy at most.

  • Janelle

    Anybody now how the Baking Soda works need something that is going to work ASAP.

  • ranjani

    what is boric acid; is it the same as boric powder..

  • George

    Have Roaches in your home. don’t use An exterminater. All they do is set bates when they should bomb your home with a fogger.. you work your fingers too the bone all day leave your home 2 -4 hours. Exterminate only takes two clicks on the big hand. And he thinks hes done his job. If you live in apartments. All building should be bombed. Make sure all gas and electrical power is turn off. Ps! use home remedies thay work good. Raid has a yellow can of ant Ant Roach killer it works on contack and they will do back flips and belly flops. Instently.

  • lesa

    Dont anyone with roaches or mice the riddex plug-in dont work at all at first i just Had the bugs now m then came the mice i pulled it out of the plug and it had to be about 25 roaches on the back of it and its suppost to make them leave your home it made them come out of the wood works i would never tell anyone to use it the as seen on tv riddex plug-in with the light on its blue im a sham to take it back to the store it has roach dropings all over the back of it all in just two days being in

  • Lucy

    if apartment or house is empty, vaccum the floors and base boards completely, then mix equal parts Diatomaceous Earth, boric acid and Delta dust in a container , then dust whole area lighty but throughly with an duster applicator, hit the base boards really well. then take off all light switch, receptical covers and dust lightly inside the box, dust the top of doors as well, allow to sit like a week if possible then vaccum. then vaccum every day for a week hitting the base boards good. this works great for bed bugs and roaches. I treat apartments that have severe infestations, “SERIOUSLY” of both bed bugs and roaches and have super results. once in while if the apratment is occupied and the tenant will not do their part and clean, resulting in retreatment.. treament with just Boric Acid and Diatomaceous Earth works great as well, for people who don’t want to use chemicals…
    If the infestation is super bad use 91% alcohol to spray the bugs you can see and vaccum them up and get rid of the bag then treat.
    i have tried what seem like a gadzillion different treatments and this is what really works. seriously.

    Boric Acid and Diatomaceous Earth are relatively safe for humans.

    as for bedbugs taking action when first bug is seen is ASAP! vaccumming the room and its contents is also key to, also used plastic covers for your mattress, dry any blankets and clothes in the infected area.

  • tattoos girl

    I need the best remedy to get rid of house roaches cause we have 7 kids and I hate the fact that they are playing on the floor where they crawl at night please help me!!!!!

  • Suzanne

    i was hearing that if you use water and mixture of hot sauce it helps keep them away too.

  • Robin

    @tattoos girl were you able to find something that worked? i have 9 children and i have them and have been fighting them with everything under the sun for a long time i need them GONE!!

  • Bryan

    Petroleum jelly and combo of egg and cheese drew them in and we now have 2 roaches in the glass – the petroleum jelly theory works!

  • ughhh!!!

    i have them also and have tried everything but the coastly exterminator. the little pests are so annoying and a BIG agravation.. someone give me some good remidies to try asap please!

  • Bust’emBoy

    If you dont get any of the above to work something that I have been using in glue traps, sprinkle a pinch of sugar in the center and watch them pile in, it even catches the eggs they carry, and when the hatch its kinda neat, they all stick to the trap as well. And for the base dwellers I use a mixture of vanilla oil,amonia, and vinger. I been finding them legs up through out the place. Hope this helps and goodluck.

  • corina

    I hear beer in a cup with a piece of bread attracts them maybe with the theory of potrolyum jelly I think that might work

  • hey

    bengal helps u might have to spray a couple of times .. but when i started sprayin they where runnin .. and i have seen less of them everytime i spray

  • bug-a-phobic

    If you live in apartment the pest won’t fully go away unless everyone in the building works at getting rid of them as well. If you just do it, they will always come back. They like to hid un refrigerators.

    PS.Some of you may have centipede looking bugs, that appear kinda fuzzy. I think they may be called millipedes. anyway they actually eat roaches. but if you ask me are a lot scarier!

  • Liz Freeman

    I have used this remedy before to get rid of roaches and it works. You have to be patient but it does work.
    1(8oz.) boric acid powder
    1/8 cup sugar
    1/4 cup shortening
    1/2 cup plain flour
    1/2 teaspoon chopped onion(opt.)
    Mix ingredients with enough water to form a soft dough, blend well. Shape into small balls and let set for a little bit. ( BE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS TO NOT EAT THEM, MY DAD AND HIS WIFE ATE A COUPLE OF MINE BEFORE I SAT THEM OUT, IF THIS HAPPENS CALL POISIN CONTROL CENTER. Sat them in cabinets, under sink and other places. Be patient and it does work.

  • Anna BettsA

    I have been told that Cedar wood chips are effective at killing roaches, as Cedar gives off a natural poison that kills insects including ants, roaches, silverfish etc. Yet it is not harmful to humans or pets. My last home was done in Cedar Wood for the walls and there was no roaches or any pests. It was great.

  • rockermom75

    Borax acid has always worked for me and its harmless to pets and children since I pour it in the corner and ledges all over my house as soon as I move in and I clean everything with bleach & pinesol mix its kept them away…..

  • Jen

    I just moved into a apartment that I soon found out has a huge roach problem they of course hid from telling me! Here are a few things I have been doing to keep them away & it seems to work

    •boric acid..put it in the edges of your walls EVERYWHERE..by the porch door..by the front door..by the fridge..in the bathroom
    •cover every single drain you have..the roaches will crawl up from them at night
    •get roach traps & place them in the kitchen..bathroom..by the porch..under your bed
    •keep the kitchen light on at night..it may raise your electric bill a little more but it’s well worth it..roaches come at night & they hate light..this will draw them away
    •use bleach to spray directly on any that you see..they die within seconds
    •poor bleach down all of your drains..this will draw them away as well
    •make a mixture of cayanne pepper..boric acid..lemon juice & water..boil it..put it in a spray bottle & spray it in the corners of your kitchen..in the sink..cabinets..by the porch door..bathroom..this will draw them away..they hate the smell
    •never leave any dirty dishes in the sink & always sweep up food crumbs

  • I am bomb bardened with roaches & they are living in my phones & everywhere. I have a cat plus I am diabetic with COPD, CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE & NOW POSSIBLY BEDBUGS. I live in a 3-story brick apt. building & they can’t afford to pay for everyone’s apt to be sprayed. I will try some of these remedies, but so far, the roach spray isn’t working.