Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Roaches

Show of hands.

Who here is tired of using insecticides that are not only expensive but are toxic to your health?

If you’re raising your hands, I have good news.

There are many ways you can get rid of roaches using items that are already in your home.

These items are not just chemical-free; they are also cheap and effective.

If you’re curious to learn more, keep reading.

1. Essential Oils

Natural oils are some of the best natural cockroach repellents available today.

Not only are they free of toxic chemicals, but also cheap and easy to use.

Essential oils have been proven as an effective repellant by countless studies.

Some of the most effective essential oil repellant are Orange, Oregano, Rosemary, and Peppermint Oil.

There are two ways you can apply essential oil to repel roaches.

The first is to make a spray:

  1. Combine 3 ounces of 100% oil, 2 tbsp of liquid soap, and 1 gallon of water.
  2. Place your mixture inside a spray bottle
  3. Spray around your house or where cockroaches frequent, such as tiny holes, voids, and crevices.
  4. Reapply weekly

Orange, Oregano, Rosemary Oil are also effective at terminating roaches within 24 hours.

You can spray them directly on roaches to kill them.

The second method is to use cotton balls:

  1. Drop essential oil onto cotton balls.
  2. Place the cotton balls where roaches are known to live and travel. Some ideal locations are under appliances and sinks, as well as in small cracks and holes.
  3. Reapply essential oil every week or as necessary.

If you have kids or pets, place cotton balls inside small plastic containers. Then, cut holes through the plastic so the vapors can exit.

This way, even if your pet or child comes in contact with the cotton, they won’t get the oil on their skin.

Check out this article for an in-depth look at each of the essential oils mentioned above. 

2. Borax

Borax has been a household item for a little over a century.

It’s an all-natural ingredient used in household products, such as laundry detergent and multi-purpose cleaning solutions.

But borax can do more than clean your house.

It’s also effective at killing roaches!

Borax is poisonous to roaches when ingested.

And while roaches will not eat borax on purpose, they can consume them by accident.


Well, there’s a couple of ways you can do this.

The first is to spread a thin layer of borax where roaches live and travel, so it gets on their bodies.

Roaches clean themselves by running their legs and antennae through their mouths.

Grooming helps them remove buildup so they can smell food, find mates, and sense danger.

So, while the immediate contact with borax with not kill roaches, they will eventually consume the boric acid that gets on them.

The good thing about killing cockroaches this way is that it effectively spreads the poison to the rest of the population.

Cockroaches don’t groom themselves until they return home, which works well to your advantage.

Another way to kill cockroaches with borax is to mix it with food.

Here are a few recipes you can try:

Egg yolk:

  1. Boil four eggs and remove the eggs yolks.
  2. Add ½ cup of boric acid and ½ cup of sugar
  3. Mix until you reach playdough like consistency.
  4. If necessary, add more sugar to achieve the desired consistency.

Peanut Butter:

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of peanut butter for every two tablespoons of borax.

Cocoa Powder and Flour:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, one tablespoon boric acid, and 2 tablespoons white flour.
  2. Add a few drops of water until consistency reaches a dough-like texture.
  3. Break the mixture into small balls, and place them in small bowls or baggies.

Hide the bait in high traffic areas such as under the sink, cupboards, cabinets.


While borax is all-natural, it is NOT safe for you, your children, or your pets to eat.

Make sure to place the bait where your kids and pets can’t get to them.

3.Baking Soda

Baking soda is another natural home remedy you can use to kill roaches.

Roaches don’t have a gastrointestinal system to release the gas from the baking soda.

So, when ingested the compound destroys the roaches’
digestive system, killing them in the process.

After ingestion, roaches will die between 24 or 48 hours.

Here are two ways you can use baking soda to kill cockroaches.

Baking soda and sugar:

  1. Mix equal parts of sugar and baking soda. The sugar will attract cockroaches while the baking soda will kill them.
  2. Place the mixture in small dishes or bottle caps.
  3. Then, put the bait in common hiding spots such as under cabinets and appliances.

Baking soda Putty

The other way you can use baking soda is by making a small putty.

This method is more convenient if you want to target small crevices and holes.

Here’s how:

  1. Add equal parts of baking soda, flour, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add a few drops of water and mix.
  3. Add more flour or water until you reach a doughy consistency. Take care not to make the dough too hard. Aim for a mixture that quickly falls apart.
  4. Tear the putty apart and place them in cracks and crevices, or any high traffic areas.

4. Cockroach Traps

2 liter cockroach trap

Sticky traps are one the foundation for treating a cockroach infestation.

They allow you to determine what type of roach and level of infestation you have.

Sticky traps also tell you where most roaches travel in your home.

This information is vital for any successful roach termination.

Luckily there is a natural home remedy that you can use to create these traps.

It’s both easy and cheap. So, you won’t have to spend $10 on a few sticky traps anymore.

Here’s how:

What you’ll need:

  • 2 Liter Bottle
  • Scissors
  • Masking Tape
  • Beer
  • Bread
  • Water
  1. Cut the top (where the bottle begins to curve) of the 2-litter litter bottle.
  2. Dab a bit of vaseline around the inside of the container. Make sure not to put any oil on the outside.
  3. Invert and place the top part you cut off inside the bottle, similar to a funnel.
  4. Tape the edges together.
  5. Put some masking tape on the outside from the bottom to the top. The tape will allow the roaches to climb up and into your trap.
  6. Put in a piece of bread soaked in beer inside the bottle. You can also use peanut butter.
  7. Place the hatch where the cockroaches live and travel. Some ideal places are under kitchen and bathroom sinks.
  8. Leave the trap overnight.
  9. Check traps during the day when roaches are least active.
  10. Replace the beer-bread in the trap every few days to avoid mold.
  11. To kill the trapped cockroaches, pour boiling water inside.
  12. Discard the dead roaches.
  13. Repeat.

As mentioned, this trap is excellent for identifying the type of roach you have and the severity of your infestation.

It is not ideal to use for eliminating an entire infestation.

For that, do the other tips on this article.

5. Diatomaceous Earth

DE is a great natural product that you can use to kill roaches inside of your home.

In particular, DE will eliminate 60% of roaches within 24 hours, 80% within 48 hours, and a 100% mortality rate at one week.

The killing happens in two steps.

First, DE absorbs the oily and waxy outer cuticle layer found on a cockroaches exoskeleton.

Second, once the outer layer is destroyed, cockroaches lose water and die from dehydration.

You can use DE as a dust bait and apply it under appliances and crevices to eliminate cockroaches.

Keep in mind; Diatomaceous Earth is only effective when it’s dry.

For best results, clean the area before applying the DE to remove any oil and grease on the surface.

Then give it a few minutes to dry.

If your attic, basement, or bathroom is too humid, use fans to minimize moisture before applying DE.

You’ll also want to apply a thin layer of DE so the cockroaches will not avoid it.

Another thing you could use with DE is a duster.

A duster will help you get DE into tiny holes, small crevices, and gaps on your walls.

For treating larger areas, I recommend using a slurry.

A slurry is a mixture of DE powder and water.

While DE will not work when wet, it will work once the solution has dried up.

To make a slurry, mix eight tablespoons of DE with two cups of water in a spray bottle.

Increase the amount of DE to ⅔ cup if your infestation is extensive.

If you are interested in learning more about Diatomaceous Earth check out this article

6. Detergent and Fabric Softener – Homemade Cockroach Spray

Laundry detergent and fabric softener are a great alternative to conventional household insect spray with toxic chemicals.

Unlike conventional insect sprays, detergents smell fresh in your home.

Plus, it’s easy to remove after you have sprayed it.

Liquid detergent and fabric softener kills roaches by suffocating them when they get into direct contact.

In a study, most roaches were unresponsive after only 7 minutes of coming in contact with the mixture.

And hundreds of these cockroaches were dead after 72 hours of coming in contact.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Mix three parts detergent or softener and two parts water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray on roaches as well as where they live and travel.
  3. Be sure to wipe up this solution after you have used it, especially if you have pets or children.

Bonus Tips To Get Rid of Roaches

1. Eliminate Water Sources

Roaches need water to survive and will wander into your home to access it.

So, one of the best ways to keep roaches from coming and staying in your house is to eliminate their water sources.

Check your house for any possible sources of water for roaches.

Look for any leaky faucets or pipes both inside and outside your home and fix them.

2. Clean Your Home Thourghly

The easiest way to keep roaches out of your home is by keeping it clean.

Roaches are scavengers and will eat anything from food crumbs to grease.

To get rid of roaches, make sure to do the following:

  • Wash dishes and put away after meals
  • Fresh crumbs and spills immediately
  • Take out the garbage before going to bed
  • Remove grease from the stovetop
  • Seal food in containers
  • Mop regularly

You’ll also want to clean less visible areas regularly. Make sure to keep these places food and dirt-free:

  • Under your appliances
  • Inside shelves and pantries
  • Under cabinets
  • Under the Sink

3. De-clutter To Minimize Hiding Spots

Roaches love to stay in places where they can easily hide.

And a cluttered home is like a big playground to them.

Piles of books, clothing, and papers are all great hiding spots for a roach.

Stacks of books and clothes in your attic or basement are excellent places for roaches to mate and hide their eggs.

The more stuff you have, the better for them.

To keep roaches away, remove the items in your house that you don’t need.

Organize your closet and cabinets to minimize places where roaches can hide.

Staying organized plays an essential role in keeping roaches out of your home.

Less clutter means fewer places for the roaches to hide.

4. Eliminate All Open Food Sources

Make sure all the food sources in your home are sealed.

Even the tiniest cracks or tears in food packaging are enough for the cockroaches to get in.

Look through your pantry and kitchen cabinets and make sure all food is secure.

Keep in mind; roaches eat pet foods too!

If you have a pet, I recommend using an automatic food dispenser so there wouldn’t be any food lying around.

Also, do not leave food out without a cover at night.

Seal any leftovers or put them inside the fridge.

5. Seal Up All Entry Points

Cockroaches can slip through the smallest cracks and holes.

Some entry points are much easier to spot, such as open doors or broken window screens.

But there are subtler ones such as pipes, holes on your floors, and gaps around air vents.

Keep roaches out by doing a thorough inspection and look for all the entry points around your home.

Seal all holes and tears on your doors, windows, walls, and floors.

Weatherstrip your doors and windows to keep roaches from entering the sides or top of your door.

Use a door sweep to block the gap under your door to prevent roaches from crawling in. 

If you don’t want to drill, I recommend using the kind that sticks onto the door with an adhesive strip.

Make sure to caulk any cracks and holes in your pipes and faucets.

Don’t leave your windows and doors ajar. 

If you like keeping them open, make sure you have screens installed.

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