Home Remedies to Get Rid of Roaches, Grandma — s Guide

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Roaches

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.

Table of Contents

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.

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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


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

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 …

how do i get rid of german roaches

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

@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!!

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!

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!

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.

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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

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

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!

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.

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.

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…..

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.


10 Best Home Remedies for Roaches In The House

October 17, 2016, 9:58 am 1.2k Views

Did you know that roaches or cockroaches are supposed to have appeared on this planet long before humans? However, that doesn’t give them the right to invade our homes, especially the kitchens. There may be several highly effective chemical repellents, but all of them are highly toxic, and they do not just kill the roaches, they cause severe respiratory and skin problems for us, at times leaving us with some permanent allergy.

Over 10,000 roach species in the world form a primary food source for millions of birds, insectivorous mammals (small ones), and disgusting though it may sound, humans living in some parts of the world love roasting roaches and crunching them down for breakfast. The good news though is that there are several excellent home remedies for roaches in the house. Let’s first take a look at what attracts these detestable pests into our homes.

What attracts roaches into our homes?

  • The primary attractant undoubtedly is – Food
  • Damp, dark, wet cracks and crevices are heaven for these disgusting pests
  • Empty cartons, shelves, books and other knick-knacks are great hiding places
  • Infrequently used basements, garages and other such areas are favorite hideouts
  • Bathrooms and toilets that are not maintained hygienically attract these creatures

10 Best Home Remedies for Roaches

There are several easy home remedies for keeping out these pests, here the ten best:

10. Clean Up!


  • Don’t leave leftover food scraps lying around the house
  • Wipe the kitchen counters with damp cloth
  • Don’t leave unwashed dishes in the wash sink
  • Clean the stovetop after each spill
  • Wash and sanitize the bathroom floors

How does this work?

It is worth preventing a horde of roaches invading your home rather than looking for remedies to get rid of roaches. If the house you live in is kept clinically squeaky clean, there is not even a remote chance for roaches to enter. It is important to clean up spilled food and leftovers and dispose them of properly. Roaches get attracted by the smell of food and grease; hence a clean home naturally repels them. Make sure stovetops are cleaned each time food spills, and make sure that you don’t forget to clean up after a party as parties can leave a lot of mess around.

The remedy may not work if:

  • Guests bring in roaches inadvertently in their luggage
  • In such cases, use any of the other methods listed below

9. Pyrethrum Spray


  • Get a bunch of Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum) flowers
  • Dry the Pyrethrum in a cool dark place
  • Take a spray bottle and fill it with plain, clean water
  • Powder the dried Pyrethrum and pour it into the spray bottle
  • Spray the lethal (for roaches) mixture where roaches generally appear

How does this work?

Pyrethrum spray is a homemade pesticide that is quite harmless and easy to make at home. The strong smell of Pyrethrum is a deterrent for the most resilient roaches and repels them. Moreover, this is a natural and effective pesticide that gets rid of roaches easily. Make sure that you cover the food containers when going about spraying this natural pesticide in the kitchen. Not that it is harmful to humans; the all-pervading smell can cause a sense of nausea. Use the herbal spray within 2 to 3 days and make a fresh bottle when and if required.

The remedy may not work if:

  • The roach infestation is deep rooted and in large numbers
  • In such cases call in the experts to do a one-time job of eliminating the pests

8. Fill up cracks, crevices, holes


  • Get some quick-dry cement or sealer from the hardware store
  • Locate all the cracks and crevices in the house
  • Use a blower and blow-clean all the cracks, crevices and holes
  • Mix the cement or sealer and seal up all the crack and crevices
  • Conduct periodic inspections at least once in 6 months to detect fresh cracks

How does this work?

Cracks, crevices and holes are the favorite haunts of roaches. They not only reside there, but the female of the species lay their eggs there and allow them to hatch, resulting in an endless supply of roaches around the house. The best way to keep out roaches is by not giving them a chance to find a place to settle in inside your home. Once all the tiny cracks and crevices have been filled, they will have no place to hide. Dispose of empty cartons and boxes lying in the basement or attic, as they are perfect places for roaches to reside in.

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The remedy may not work if:

You have unused appliances like microwave ovens, bread toasters, etc. as roaches find such places convenient to live in and multiply.

7. DIY Roach Bait


  • Take 300 gm of boric acid in a large bowl
  • Add 100 gm of sugar to the boric acid
  • Mix well and store in a box with lid
  • Sprinkle this mixture on the kitchen top, near the fridge and under the wash sink

How does this work?

Boric acid has a natural repelling tendency on roaches. The sugar is added to lure the roaches, though the boric acid kills them almost instantly. Use this mixture within one week, utmost. Prepare this bait fresh again if all the roaches were not destroyed in one shot. The killed roaches need to be put in an incinerator and burnt. If you don’t have access to an incinerator, choose a spot away from the house and burn the dead roaches.

The remedy may not work if:

If the boric acid you have is old stock that has lost potency. In that case, you’ll have to get fresh stock that is potent, check the expiry date before purchasing.

6. Garlic, Onion, Pepper, Soap


  • Take one liter of water in a small wide-mouthed container
  • Take 2 garlic cloves, peel and crush them and add to water
  • Take 50 gm of black pepper and powder it finely and add
  • Take 2 medium sized onions and chop them finely and add
  • Add a few drops of liquid detergent soap to the mixture and allow to marinate for 2 hours
  • Sprinkle this mixture in the places where roaches frequent

How does this work?

Garlic has a strong, pungent odor which acts as a natural repellent on roaches. Pepper powder also has a pungent smell and acts as an effective roach repellent. Onions also are pungent and acidic in nature, which roaches detect with their feelers and make sure that they keep away. Soap water has a suffocating effect on roaches, which are believed to breathe through their skin. Hence this potent homemade repellent is probably the safest and best of all home remedies for killing roaches.

The remedy may not work if:

There is no way this mixture cannot work. It is a very potent mix that will certainly repel roaches and rid the menace once for all.

5. Dish Wash Detergent

  • Take two to three tablespoons of dish wash detergent powder
  • Take some warm water in a spray bottle
  • Add the dish was detergent and mix well
  • Spray this mixture in the areas the roaches frequent
  • You may spray the mixture directly on the roaches as well

How does this work?

Dish wash detergent is powerful enough to kill the roaches. The reason is quite simple – roaches are known to breathe through their skin, and spraying dish wash detergent on them has a suffocating effect and during the struggle, the roaches turn turtle (upside down) and struggle for a while and then die. Dish wash detergent is one of the effective home remedies for roaches and is used extensively by many households the world over.

The remedy may not work if:

Dish wash detergent is powerful enough to kill roaches. Hence, this is a simple and foolproof method for getting rid of the roach menace in your home.

4. Baking Soda and Sugar


  • Take 100 gm of baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate)
  • Take 100 gm of sugar in a bowl
  • Mix baking soda and sugar thoroughly
  • Sprinkle the mixture in the areas roaches reside or frequent

How does this work?

Baking soda is powerful enough to kill the bacteria, provide they ingest it. The sugar is mixed with baking powder to attract the roaches which start feasting on the mixture. Once ingested the sodium bicarbonate reacts with the juices in the digestive juices and releases carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide has a toxic effect on the insides of the roaches and kills them almost instantly; making this mixture one of the most preferred home remedies for roaches in the house.

The remedy may not work if:

The roaches do not consume the mixture for any reason. However, in most cases, the sugar does the trick.

3. Borax Bait


  • Take 100 gm of borax, 100 gm of wheat flour, and 100 gm of sugar
  • Mix all three and add water and knead
  • Roll small balls of the dough and place in roach prone areas

How does this work?

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate is a boron compound. This mineral is a salt of boric acid, and is white in color, though it comprises colorless crystals. This harmless looking chemical can actually sound the death knell for the roaches that are a permanent menace for households. Once the roaches eat the bait, they are doomed, and what’s worse (for the roaches) is that they carry some of the bait back to their nests to feed the little ones, thus triggering a mass extermination of themselves. This roach bait is one of the handiest home remedies for roaches in the house as it is harmless to humans and is very effective on roaches.

The remedy may not work if:

The roaches do not consume the mixture for any reason. However, sugar is added as an ingredient in the bait as roaches love sugar and are sure to take the bait.

2. Petroleum Jelly Bait


  • Get a bottle of fresh petroleum jelly. Take a sheet of thick cardboard and 50 gramsof sugar
  • Spread a thick layer of petroleum jelly on the cardboard
  • Sprinkle some sugar on the jelly and wait

How does this work?

Petroleum jelly is very viscous and becomes a deadly quagmire for the unsuspecting roaches. All you have to do is to spread a liberal quantity of petroleum jelly on the cardboard sheet and sprinkle some sugar on it. The sugar acts as the bait and attracts the roaches. Once the roaches step on to the petroleum jelly they are as good as dead. You may either wait for them to die slowly, or find your own means of disposing of the troublesome roaches and rid your homes of the menace.

The remedy may not work if:

The only way this method won’t work is if you place the trap in the wrong location. It is important that you set the trap in the areas the roaches haunt frequently.

1. Bay Leaves


  • Take a bunch of fresh Bay leaves. Crush them or chop them into fine pieces
  • Spread the pieces/powder near the nests and areas roaches frequent
  • Repeat process a couple of times in a week

How does this work?

Bay leaves, also known as laurel leaves have a strong, pungent smell that acts as a natural repellent for roaches and ants. Crushing the leaves and sprinkling the dust/powder strategically helps chase away the roaches from the areas like the kitchen top, wash sink, store room, bathroom, etc. where they are found commonly. However, they may not be eradicated totally, as the bay leaves act only as a repellent and not a destroying agent.

The remedy may not work if:

Bay leaves may be good for keeping the roaches away from the kitchen and other areas they frequent. However, there is no guarantee that the roaches will be eradicated.


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