How to Get Rid of Roaches, Kill Cockroaches

How to Get Rid of Roaches

Cockroach Treatment Guide

What Does a Roach Treatment Program Include?

Learn the Best Way to Kill Roaches on Your Own

Getting rid of roaches involves more than just spraying an insecticide or putting down a bait or dust. Roaches get into everything, multiply rapidly, and can survive for several months without food and up to two weeks without water. These little pests definitely pose a challenge, but with the proper tools and roach killer products, you can learn how to get rid of cockroaches by following this roach management program.

Follow these 3 easy steps for best way to get rid of roaches:

  • Clean to get rid of roaches’ hiding places and remove food and water sources. This is one of the most important steps to get rid of roaches.
  • Use professional grade products to get rid of roach infestations. Insecticide to kill active cockroaches, bait to eliminate hidden roaches, and an IGR to prevent them from reproducing.
  • Monitor cockroaches with glue boards. It can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months to completely eliminate roaches.

Whether you are trying to control American roaches, German cockroaches, oriental roaches, smoky brown roaches, wood roaches, brown banded roaches, palmetto bugs, or any other type of roach, DoMyOwn’s guide will help you do it yourself.

Remove Food, Water, and Hiding Places

Eliminating what attracts roaches (food, water, and hiding places) is one of the most important steps to getting rid of roaches and preventing them. Most roach treatment programs will fail if this step is skipped or poorly implemented. You must eliminate what attracts roaches, including as many food sources and water sources as possible and seal off or eliminate places that roaches like to hide. This is the best natural roach control solution.

Remove Food Sources

Removing food sources for roaches is one of the most important steps in your roach control process. Sanitizing your kitchen and other areas is necessary to have a roach-free home.

Don’t forget the following spots when cleaning your home:

  • Clean Your Kitchen Appliances. Roaches in the kitchen can live off grease and food spills beneath and behind your appliances. Clean under and behind the stove, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, dishwasher, and around and beneath the kitchen sink.
  • Empty and Clean Cabinets. Crumbs and food spills from stored food products provide an excellent source of food for roaches. Get rid of roaches in your kitchen cabinets by thoroughly cleaning the cabinets and removing these food spills.
  • Keep Food in Sealed Containers. Roaches are small enough to get into cardboard packaging and loosely closed boxes and plastic bags. Store food in metal, glass, or hard plastic seal-able containers.
  • Limit Food Consumption to One Room of the House. Keeping all food and eating in one area of the home will limit crumbs and food spills, making it easier to concentrate on deep cleaning one room of the home.
  • Clean the Kitchen Each Night Before Bed. Roaches often come out to feed at night, so doing a thorough cleaning of the kitchen each night will leave nothing for roaches to eat. Wipe down kitchen counter tops, wash all dishes, put away all food, clean the sink and dry it to remove all water, and clean floors well.
  • Clean the Floors Frequently. Vacuum or sweep all non-food areas of the home every few days. Picking up stray crumbs will help keep your home clean. Roach egg sacs and body parts contain pheromones that attract other roaches to the same areas, so sweeping up roach feces, skins, body parts, and eggs sacs will also help.
  • Empty Pet Food Containers Overnight or Cover Tightly. Roaches will eat pet food and use water sources.
  • Keep Garbage Cans Clean and Covered.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches | Home Remedies

Cockroaches can infest your household in any season. They’re the world’s most hated pests, so read on to find out home remedies to get rid of cockroaches!

Cockroaches, one of the most common pests in the world, are attracted to your home in search of food and water. They don’t just sit around and look ugly, but they also carry germs and bacteria that are detrimental to your health. Some of the common contaminants and defecation of these cockroaches might be allergens to you or your pets. Not only do these creatures smell, but they can damage your books, wardrobes, and shelves. You need to sort this problem out as soon as you find it because cockroaches reproduce rather rapidly. It’s better to nip the problem in the bud when their numbers are limited. The products available in the market might also possess contaminants that are detrimental to you or your loved ones’ health. Alternatively, you can try some of these listed home remedies to get rid of cockroaches, whenever they spring up.

Tips to Keep Roaches Away

If you keep your house clean and tidy, these roaches will not find sense in attacking your household.

  1. Seal up all the cracks and holes.
  2. Fix water leaks, if any.
  3. Make natural cockroach bait.
  4. Call in an exterminator.
  5. Cockroaches hate low temperatures. Keep your home cool!
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Home Remedies to Get Rid of Cockroaches

1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint is a natural repellant and insecticide that drives away insects. Compared to those annoying aerosol sprays sold in stores, why not make it at home using peppermint oil and water? This spray doesn’t cause any interference in your lives and is safe for you and your children to breathe in. Since it smells pleasant, you can even use this in your car too.

A good spray is a mix of 300ml water and 15-20 drops of peppermint oil. It forms an immiscible liquid that can be sprayed around dark corners and near organic wastes to reduce their attraction to cockroaches.

2. Borax

For the hard to kill cockroaches or the truly resilient ones, use this inorganic insecticide that’s been widely regarded as being a potent cure-all for cockroach infestations. Boric acid present in borax dissolves the cockroaches’ gut from within, killing them instantly. Cockroaches might be getting immune to commercial pesticides, but the borax will do the job.

3. Bay Leaves

The smell of bay leaves is repugnant to cockroaches and other insects. Cockroaches can’t stand it. Just placing a few of these around corners will help in getting the cockroaches away from your home. If you cannot grow your own, buying them from the store is always an idea. For added measure, crush the bay leaves and spread them around the household to get rid of infestations.

4. Catnip Spray

Over the past 50 years, catnip has been regarded as a reputed insect repellant. Nepetalactone, an active ingredient in catnip, bothers the roaches and drives them away. The catnip plant leaves can be used as a potent instrument to get rid of cockroaches. Boil a handful of Catnip leaves in two to three cups of water, refrigerate the steeped solution, and keep it stored in a spray bottle. Spray around the house and where you find cockroaches to drive them away.

5. Neem

Neem is a medicinal and ayurvedic plant with a ton of health benefits, and one other use for neem leaves is to ward off cockroach infestations. Sprayed on cockroach nests, this powerful chemical can sterilize the cockroach eggs to prune their population naturally. Using neem extracts in a spray bottle, you don’t need to move out of your house from calling an exterminator.

To do a neem cockroach cleanup, all you need is a handful of neem leaves, one liter of water, and a spray bottle. Crush the leaves (preferably add a couple of bay leaves into the mix) into a liter of water and mix well. Dilute this into a spray bottle and spray around corners of your house and damp areas. This gets rid of cockroaches!

6. Silica Aerogel

Silica is a desiccant. Which means it dries out anything that it comes in contact with. Cockroaches are slightly watery creatures and have an outer coating that prevents moisture from drying out. When a cockroach comes in connection with this reagent, it’s moisture dries out, making this one of the most effective ways to kill roaches around the house.

Just mix some sugar with silica aerogel (to attract the roaches to the compound) and sprinkle it around the corners of your house. Be sure to place it in corners where your pets or children cannot reach it as silica is poisonous to ingest, even for humans or their pets.

7. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth works on the same principle as silica aerogel mixtures, drying out the cockroaches from inside out. Some grades of diatomaceous earth contain powdered silica, which is poisonous to inhale, so find a variety that is safe to use around the house.

Add some sugar to the mixture to attract the roaches, so they come to the area where this is kept as bait and dry out. This method might need a few re-applications as diatomaceous earth can be used up by consuming moisture from the air.

8. Listerine Spray

Menthol, thymol, and eucalyptol, present in Listerine, make it a natural repellant for cockroaches. It also smells very fresh and minty! Just pour Listerine into a spray bottle and hose down roach nests, dark corners, and damp areas.

9. Coffee Trap

Moist coffee grinds can be used to take care of the visible roaches around your house. Take fresh coffee grinds in a jar and leave it in a place where it’s accessible to roaches. The smell of coffee would attract the roaches, and they would be trapped in the jar. Supplement this method with some of the other ones on this list for maximum benefit.

10. Lemon

Lemon is a very effective cockroach repellent. You can use both lemon juice and peels to ward off cockroaches from your house. Cut a few lemons up in half and juice them into one liter of water. Use this mixture to wipe clean all surfaces, and the strong citrus smell will keep them away from your surfaces.

11. Baking Soda and Sugar

Just take a pinch of baking soda and sugar in a saucer or a shallow cup, and place it near roach-infested areas. The sugar in the mix will attract roaches to consume it, and baking soda will burst their stomach from the inside by creating a high volume of gas.

12. Essential Oils

There are several other essential oils than peppermint oil that you can use as a natural roach repellent. Some of the other oils that you can use in a water spray are:

  • Cypress oil
  • Cedar oil
  • Catnip oil
  • Oregano oil

All of these smells are hated by cockroaches and are a surefire way to get rid of pesky infestations. They also smell nice and keep the areas fresh and rejuvenating to live in.

13. Ammonia

This one is a method to kill cockroaches rather than repel infestations directly. It seems like an ideal mix for an ammonia cockroach solution is equal parts ammonia and water in a spray bottle. Sprayed on cockroaches, the solution kills them in minutes. This is great for smaller cockroach infestations or when they’re just starting since it can prevent more cockroaches from laying eggs. However, if your infestation spans in the range of more than a hundred cockroaches, it might be wiser to call in professional help.

14. Cayenne Pepper

Ground-up cayenne peppers are also an effective way to repel cockroaches. Furthermore, for more efficacy, you could grind up cayenne pepper with garlic and onion in a bowl and boil the mix in water for ten minutes. This forms a spray solution that you can use directly in roach-infested areas. It works wonderfully to repel and dislodge roaches from their nests.


15. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly is a great way to create cockroach traps (when you’re using an attractant method) as it lines up the insides of your trap jar with a slick surface. Consequently, cockroaches will not be able to escape out of the jar by climbing out of it.

16. Dish Soap

Dish soap works differently than other cockroach repellents. Sprayed directly on to cockroaches, a dish soap solution (one-part dish soap to five parts water) is a heavy fluid that blocks the pores of insects and cockroaches, suffocating them from inside. But this solution might also kill the helpful insects around your house, like huntsman spiders that themselves kill cockroaches and house flies.

17. Cucumber Peel

Cucumber peels can be used as a cockroach deterrent when fresh, and cockroach bait when aged. Cucumbers don’t attract cockroaches (because of a chemical called trans-2-nonenal), and aged cucumber peels act as bait. Put fresh cucumber peels in areas where you don’t want cockroaches going, and when they start to age, put something like diatomaceous earth on them to act as cockroach killers.

18. Vinegar

This isn’t a cockroach repellent or a roach-killer, but it can be used to keep the surfaces clean and tidy, so roaches aren’t attracted to open areas of your house. Vinegar kills salmonella, the disease-carrying germs that cockroaches lob around in your house.

19. Cedar balls or Chips

Cedar balls and chips possess a harsh smell that humans might like and cockroaches detest. Used in and around corners where roaches might infest, these chips can deter cockroaches and other bug infestations like moths and fleas too.

20. Bleach

If cockroaches infest within any piping or drainage systems in your house, pour some bleach down the pipes which work like poison for the roaches when their bodies soak it up. It might not be the most cost-effective way to get rid of roaches, but it does the job pretty well. However, used on carpets, bleach might cause bleach stains. Therefore we only recommend using it for piped up cockroaches.

21. Cornstarch

To create a cornstarch based cockroach killer, mix Cornstarch and Plaster of Paris in a bowl. Sprinkle this mixture into nooks and crannies, cracks, and crevices of your home. Cockroaches will eat this mixture and then die.

22. Ice Cream Trap

You can use a partially-eaten ice cream container as an effective roach trap. Sugar naturally attracts cockroaches and leads them to the container. But when the ice cream melts, cockroaches get trapped in the thick liquid that they cannot get out of. Most roaches will not make it out alive from this trap.

23. Chrysanthemum Flowers

Pyrethrins, the active compound in Chrysanthemum Flowers, attacks the nervous systems of insects in direct contact. This paralyzes the bugs almost instantly. Consequently, this is an excellent way to get rid of not just cockroaches, but also ants, ticks, lice, fleas, and bedbugs. The way to use Crysanthemum flowers is by drying some flowers up, crushing them down into a powder, and mixing the powder into a liter of hot water. This spray is an effective and potent bug killer. You can spray this directly on to infestations and visible cockroaches.

24. Beer and Bread Trap

Cockroaches like beer! Who would’ve known? Use this information to prepare a trap for cockroaches. Take a round-lip jar and slather the inside of the jar with petroleum jelly. Take a beer-soaked piece of bread and place it inside the jar. The smell of beer will attract the roaches, and they will fall into the trap, never to get out.

How to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally and Cheaply

Having cockroaches invade your home can be a downright horrifying experience. As you may know, by the time you see one in the kitchen, you probably already have many more lurking behind your walls. Obviously you can use commercial applications to get rid of roaches, but why not use natural ingredients? Getting rid of cockroaches naturally is safe for your family, your pets and the environment.

This article will cover the most commonly used natural ingredients for getting rid of cockroaches, such as boric acid and diatomaceous earth (DE) as well as other natural cockroach repellents. In additions to these, you will find guidelines and measurements you can easily take to prevent cockroaches from coming into your house.

How to Prevent Cockroach Infestation

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so keeping a tidy home free of food debris and other “cockroach lures” can help prevent roaches from calling your house their home in the first place.

  • Sweep and mop floors regularly, including under and behind kitchen appliances.
  • Remove any corrugated cardboard from the home, and any collections of plastic grocery sacks, as roaches love to hide here.
  • Clean surfaces with vinegar to sanitize them, and keep food in airtight containers.
  • Don’t let the rubbish bin sit for too long and make sure the lid is closed.
  • Cockroaches are thirsty creatures, so make sure to repair any leaky faucets around the house.

However, sometimes in spite of our efforts to clean and disinfect regularly, even the most spotless of homes can experience a cockroach invasion. Here are some safe and natural ways that can help you to get rid of cockroach infestation, and prevent a new one.

Use borax and sugar to kill cockroaches

Making a mixture of borax and sugar in a 3:1 ratio (3 parts borax to 1 part sugar) is an incredibly effective way to get rid of cockroaches and waterbugs.

The sugar lures the roaches out of hiding and fools them into nibbling at the borax, which is lethal to insects but exponentially less toxic to humans—to the extent that the substance is often marketed as a laundry and dish washing aid.

Nevertheless, use caution when setting out the cockroach bait, placing it in areas easily accessible to roaches but unlikely to receive human or pet traffic. (Note: never purposefully ingest borax or other boric acid products!) Mix up this bait trap and set it near nooks and crannies where you have caught roaches entering or escaping your living space, and they will soon be gone.

How to get rid of cockroaches with boric acid

As an alternative to using borax and sugar, natural cockroach baits can be created using boric acid, flour and cocoa powder in a 1:2:1 ratio.

Like the sugar bait, this mixture can be placed near crevices where roaches have been seen entering and leaving the area.

Common areas to find hidden roaches include behind and under waste bins, behind and beneath the refrigerator, and in cracks along the baseboards in the kitchen or bathroom.

See also:  Bed bugs and bites

Be sure to re-set the cockroach bait every week to get rid of roaches, and to replace any bait that has become wet, as the method is only effective when the bait remains dry. You can also use boric acid baits to get rid of German roaches and to eradicate termites.

Get rid of roaches with coffee grounds

Coffee drinkers will be glad to learn that coffee grounds make an amazing cockroach repellent.

If you have a cockroach problem, try taking the used grounds from your filter or coffee press and placing them outside your home in areas where you suspect the roaches to be entering from.

Look for cracks and crannies near the foundation of the home, or get into the crawlspace if your home has one and look for areas of possible roach access, placing the used grounds in these locations. This will prevent roaches from entering your living space.

How to get rid of cockroaches with Diatomaceous Earth (DE) food grade

Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is a natural substance with inherent scouring properties, often used in cleaning powders and even once quite common in toothpaste.

You can find more information about this substance in my article about the most extraordinary Diatomaceous Earth uses and benefits.

Diatomaceous earth also happens to be a marvelous insect control substance and I’ve mentioned it in my articles on how to get rid of ants and on how to get rid of fleas. It poses zero risk to humans and pets when used properly and it is a natural way to get rid of roaches.

Purchase food-grade Diatomaceous earth from a home improvement store, grocery store, or online (note: the DE must be labelled as “food grade” to be considered safe for use in the home!), and sprinkle it outside the home, around the perimeter.

Diatomaceous earth can also be placed against windowsills and the bottom of outer doorways. Within two days, the DE will work its magic and begin ridding your home of unwanted roaches.

Like the boric-acid-based roach baits, DE becomes inert when it gets wet, so make sure to make another round along your home’s perimeter after a rain.

Natural cockroach repellent – soapy water

By giving running cockroaches a spritz with a spray bottle filled with soapy water, you can kill the cockroaches and easily clean up afterwards, making this method a one-two punch in roach control.

However, this is an active method of pest control, requiring that you spray the roaches as you see them—it cannot affect any cockroaches lurking between floorboards or behind walls. Nevertheless, it is an effective and efficient method if you should happen to see stray cockroaches around your home while waiting for a bait or trap method to become effective. Spritz the roach, then wipe up the mess. It’s a very simple way to naturally get rid of cockroaches.

Use catnip to get rid of cockroaches

Nepeta cataria, commonly known as catnip, catswort or catmint is a plant of the mint family with pungent smell which is attractive to cats.

Catnip is useful for more than just attracting cats and making a nerve-calming tea for people. You can also use catnip to get rid of roaches (and it is also one of the top 10 natural ways to repel mosquitoes).

Prepare the catnip as you would for a tea (you can use the tea for cold and flu), using approximately 1 teaspoon of dried catnip per 8 ounces of water and allowing it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.

Fill a spray bottle with this tea and apply the mixture along baseboards in the home, near crevices where roaches may hide, behind and under appliances, and anywhere else you suspect roaches may be congregating in your home.

How to kill cockroaches with soda bottle traps

You can create an effective cockroach trap using an empty two-liter soda pop bottle, a pair of scissors, a roll of duct tape, and a cup of sweet fruit juice—guava and mango juices work extremely well for this.

Cut the top one-third of the bottle (the end that you pour from) off using the scissors, then invert it and place it back inside the bottle, so that it creates a funnel shape pointing down into the bottle.

Tape the cut-off top to the rest of the bottle, then fill the bottom portion of the bottle with the fruit juice of your choice, pouring it through the funnel and into the bottle.

Leave the bottle in a place where roaches are likely to hang out, and wait. That’s all there is to it! Cockroaches will smell the yummy juice and come running, but will be unable to escape from the bottle, and thus become trapped – in that way you’ll be able to kill the roaches.

This method works well when you have a few maverick roaches running around rather than a large-scale infestation.

How to get rid of roaches with essential oil spray

Science has proven that the use of selected essential oils can work well as an insect repellent and as infestation preventative. A 2001 study performed by researchers at Auburn University found that mint oil was incredibly toxic to more than one species of cockroach.

To create a natural cockroach repellent, fill water into a spray bottle and add 20 drops of peppermint or spearmint or cypress essential oil.

Vigorously shake this concoction (some versions add 2 tablespoon of salt or use soapy water) spraying your roach “problem areas”— any nooks or spaces between the wall and baseboards, areas behind and beneath home appliances (washing machine, microwave, refrigerator).

Not only will this method kill existing cockroaches and deter new roaches from moving in, it will also leave a fresh, crisp scent behind in its wake! Now that’s a winning combination.

How to Get Rid of Cockroach Bites

Cockroaches are also known to bite humans, and their bites can leave you with a painful lump on your skin. There are many natural ways to treat and prevent cockroach bites – read about them in my article: Cockroach Bites: Facts, Prevention and Simple Treatment Options.

If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This e-book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

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