How to Get Rid of Roaches

22 Simple Ways to Kill Roaches Effectively

By Kelly Ventura  •  Last Update: 15/10
14 minutes read.  •  Home » DIY Pest Control

Want to get rid of roaches? Below are 22 simple ways you can do to kill roaches effectively. Read now to learn how to get rid of roaches for good.

Seeing roaches scampering across the floor or finding them in the kitchen cabinet can be unnerving.

These insects do not usually visit a home alone and catching one could mean that there is an infestation, so you will need the right solutions on how to get rid of roaches quickly.

Roaches are the most despised insects as they could carry various diseases and contaminate your appliances, kitchen counters, and food.

Before calling an exterminator, there are many ways to kill nasty roaches with simple home remedies.

Keep in mind that the roaches will find their way back unless you eliminate the nest itself. You can place baits, use borax, homemade roach killer spray, diatomaceous earth, and other methods that work best for you.

How to Get Rid of Roaches with Home Remedies

As roaches multiply quickly, you have to take measures to eliminate them as soon as possible. Here are some of the simple ways on how to get rid of roaches in your home.

1. Borax and Sugar

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Borax

When it comes to preventing insects and controlling the growth of cockroaches, borax is an effective option. It dehydrates these pests and leads them to their demise by damaging their digestive system.

You can enhance the effectiveness of borax by mixing it with sugar. This allows you to lure roaches as they are attracted to sugar.

Here’s how to get rid of roaches with borax:

  1. Mix equal parts of borax and sugar in a cup.
  2. Sprinkle this mixture in areas where you often see roaches.
  3. Leave this bait overnight and repeat the application as often as necessary. When they walk through it, roaches will ingest it later and borax powder will kill them.
  4. Discard the dead roaches immediately.
  5. Follow this treatment until you no longer see roaches around your home.

Note: Keep the mixture away from small children and pets.

2. Fabric Softener Spray

One of the simplest ways to kill roaches is by spraying fabric softener on them. These creatures breathe through their skin, so a soapy solution will stop them from breathing.

This technique will suffocate roaches while disinfecting the area that they made contact with. To do this method, you will need a spray bottle, water, and natural fabric softener.

  1. Mix ½ cup of water with ¾ cup of fabric conditioner.
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake. Make sure that the solution has thick consistency as your aim is to keep the critters from breathing.
  3. Use the solution directly on roaches when you see them.

If you see a roach on the floor or counter, you can use this spray rather than stepping on them. The thick spray will suffocate them, making it one of the best ways on how to get rid of roaches in the house.

Read more: Top 5 Products You Should Use to Kill Roaches Effectively

3. Diatomaceous Earth

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Diatomaceous Earth

Another effective method on how to get rid of roaches without an exterminator is the use of food-grade diatomaceous earth. It is also useful for killing termites, ants, bugs, and fleas.

Diatomaceous earth is a great choice for eliminating roaches in hidden areas, such as behind appliances and top of cabinets. When they directly come in contact, the small and sharp particles of diatomaceous earth will penetrate their waxy exoskeleton.

  1. Apply a thin layer of food-grade diatomaceous earth on infested and dry areas.
  2. Reapply once a day to kill all roaches in your home.

Although DE feels like a powder to humans, it feels like thorns for insects.

Note: Before handling diatomaceous earth, always wear rubber gloves and mask. Do not use it on damp areas as it needs to be dry to be effective.

4. Lemon Juice or Lemon Peels

The citrus scent of lemon is often linked to a clean home as this fruit is often used as an ingredient in many household cleaning products. There is no doubt that lemon juice is powerful when it comes to repelling roaches and other insects.

If fresh lemons are not available, you can purchase 100% lemon juice.

Read more: 5 Things You Can Use to Kill Roaches Naturally

5. Eliminate Food Sources

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Eliminate Food Sources

One of the most effective ways on how to get rid of roaches for good is by eliminating their food sources. These creatures will keep on returning as long as they can take scraps and spills.

Read more: 15 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Fire Ants

6. Roach Traps

You can use store-bought traps like Cockroach Traps by Killer Green or make a homemade bait to lure them in.

  1. Take two to three large jars.
  2. Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly on the insides of the jars. This will prevent roaches from escaping.
  3. Add crumbs of food, wet coffee grounds or malt beverage to serve as bait.
  4. Place the jars near the infested areas.
  5. Once you see enough roaches trapped in the jar, kill them with fabric conditioner or other powerful insecticides.

You can also take the jars to a pest control team or throw them out in the wild.

This is an effective solution to get rid of adult roaches. You will need to combine this method with other remedies to kill the eggs and destroy their nests.

7. Seal up Holes and Cracks

To keep roaches and other insects from entering your premises, you will need to seal all holes and cracks. Eliminating their breeding and hiding places will force them to leave your home.

This may take up some time but it is worth the effort. It is one of the best ways to get rid of roaches in apartment, especially if you have neighbors who do not meet the same standards of sanitation as you do.

8. Cut off Water Source

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Cut off Water Source

If you suspect that your house is infested with roaches, these insects must have a water source. Depending on their size, they can survive for thirty days without food, but they cannot go on for a week without water.

Once you cut off their water sources, roaches will be more interested in eating your baits.

9. Baking Soda and Sugar

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Arm Hammer Baking Soda

Like boric acid, baking soda will also damage the digestive system of roaches and kill them eventually. You can make sure that they will eat this bait by mixing it with an equal amount of sugar.

  1. Mix equal parts of sugar with baking soda.
  2. Sprinkle them near infested areas, such as behind kitchen cabinets, under the sink, and around pipes, counter tops.
  3. Repeat the application of the mixture once or twice a day to kill the roaches.

Since baking soda and sugar are merely and not pesticides, they won’t get rid of roaches as quickly as chemicals. This is one of the safest methods on how to get rid of roaches naturally for your family and pets.

10. De-Clutter Your Apartment

You can keep roaches, termites and other insects from entering your premises by de-cluttering your home. Follow these simple tips on how to get rid of roaches in an apartment permanently:

Read more: 22 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Gnats

11. Pandan Leaves

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Pandan Leaves

One of the best ways on how to get rid of roaches in your car, pandan leaves contain sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, terpenes and aroma that keep these critters at bay. Roaches find the scent of pandan leaves intolerable.

If you see roaches in your vehicles, you can use some pandan leaves to repel them. It is a great option if you do not want to use synthetic repellents that have undesirable effects not only on people but also on the environment.

12. Kaffir Lime Essential Oil

A tropical fruit that is native to Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and other parts of Asia, kaffir lime are often used for repelling insects. The limonene and citronellol found in this fruit are unappealing to roaches.

  1. Add ten drops of kaffir essential oil in two cups of water.
  2. Transfer the mixture into an empty spray bottle.
  3. Use this solution in areas where you always see roaches, including sinks and drains.
  4. Follow this treatment for several days or weeks.

According to a 2007 study in the Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, it was found that kaffir lime essential oil can repel three types of cockroaches. It also showed 100% repellency against German and American roach species.

13. Neem Oil

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Neem Oil

Neem powder or oil is a better alternative to synthetic insect repellants. It is economically cheaper and less toxic to human, animals and plants.

The highly volatile components in neem act as a natural insect deterrent. It was also found that neem is one of the best plants that can keep pests away.

  1. Add one tablespoon of neem oil in a medium-sized spray bottle.
  2. Fill it up with water.
  3. Shake the bottle and spray the solution in the infested areas before going to bed.
  4. Follow this treatment as often as needed.

Alternatively, you can add a thin layer of neem powder around cracks, crevices, holes and other affected areas to keep insects away.

14. Catnip

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Catnip

One of the best natural remedies to get rid of roaches is catnip.

This herb contains nepetalactone, an active ingredient that offers insect repellent properties. It is also nontoxic to humans and animals but may have adverse effects on cats.

It was found that catnip essential oil can repel roaches, house flies, mosquitoes and other nasty insects.

  1. Add some catnip leaves in two cups of water.
  2. Let it simmer for five minutes.
  3. Strain and let the solution cool down before pouring into a spray bottle.
  4. Spray this solution behind counters, kitchen cabinets, sink, crevices and other areas where roaches may be present.

Another option is to put some catnip leaves in small sachets or porous bags. Leave them in infested areas and change the leaves every three to four days.

15. Cedar Oil

Cedar oil is effective in controlling different insects, such as roaches, mosquitoes, ticks, moths and fleas. It acts to leach moisture from pests and leave them dehydrated.

This oil alkalizes the body serums of insects and emulsifies their body fats. It also causes severe respiratory irritation and causes them to avoid breathing.

Cedar oil dissolves pests in early stages like eggs and larvae. It also disintegrates the exoskeletons of adult ones too.

16. Pepper, Onion, and Garlic

The combination of pepper, onion and garlic makes a powerful roach deterrent.

  1. Peel and chop 1 onion and 1 clove of garlic and put in a small bowl.
  2. Add one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and one quart of water.
  3. Stir it well and leave it for one hour.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle.
  5. Spray the mixture on affected areas to keep roaches away.

The unpleasant odor will suffocate them and prevent these critters from coming back, making it one of the best methods on how to get rid of roaches fast.

17. Bay Leaves

Another pungent herb that can deter roaches is bay leaves. It is also useful for repelling ants, weevils, flies, and moths as these insects hate the aroma of this herb.

  1. Get some bay leaves and crush them using mortar and pestle to create a powder.
  2. Sprinkle the powder in infested areas and other places where you see them scampering.
  3. Repeat the process every five days to drive roaches out and prevent them from returning.

You can also place some bay leaves near containers of rice, flour, and other goods. Consider taping some leaves inside shelves and cupboards.

18. Petroleum Jelly

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Mountain Falls Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly makes an effective trap and it works wonders for eliminating pesky roaches that are roaming around your home.

  1. Apply one tablespoon of petroleum jelly on a piece of cardboard. Make as many traps as needed.
  2. Add sugar or bread in the middle to attract the roaches.
  3. Place your traps near cupboards, sink, between refrigerator and other appliance, behind microwave and other areas where you always see them scrawling.
  4. Leave the traps for three to five days. Check them every day and dispose of once there are roaches on the trap.
  5. Replace the traps to get rid of all these nasty critters.

The thickness and stickiness of petroleum jelly will trap these critters and they will die eventually.

19. Cornstarch and Plaster of Paris

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Cornstarch and Plaster of Paris

If you do not want to use chemical sprays, you can make a homemade pesticide to eliminate roaches and prevent them from coming back.

To use this method, you will need two tablespoons of cornstarch and two tablespoons of plaster Paris.

  1. Combine plaster of Paris and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  2. Mix it well and apply a thin layer of this mixture on affected areas.
  3. Let the mixture sit for seven days before washing them off.
  4. Repeat the application weekly until you manage to get rid of all roaches in your home.

Make sure that you sprinkle the mixture in walls, crevices and holes to prevent them from entering your home.

20. Mint Spray

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Mint Spray

The strong scent of mint is also effective against roaches. These insects hate mint as it irritates their sense of smell.

  1. Add one bunch of fresh mint leaves in two cups of hot water.
  2. Let it steep for at least four minutes. Allow it to cool down before transferring to a clean spray bottle.
  3. Spray the solution on the infested areas.
  4. Repeat the application every two days to prevent roaches from entering your premises.

Another option is to mix 10 drops of peppermint essential oil with 8 drops of cypress oil. Add it in ½ cup of salt water. Spray the mixture around the affected areas.

21. Pyrethrum Flower

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Pyrethrum Flower

Many insecticide products contain pyrethrum. It is a daisy flower native to northern Europe and Asia. Also known as chrysanthemum, the toxins produced by these flowers can kill insects effectively.

If there are pyrethrum flowers around your area, you can make your own natural pesticide. In addition to saving money, you can guarantee that it is natural and has more exterminating power.

  1. Add some fresh pyrethrum flowers in two cups of hot water.
  2. Let it steep for at least five minutes.
  3. Once it has cooled down, transfer it to a clean spray bottle.
  4. Spray the solution on areas where you have seen cockroaches.
  5. You can also use this solution directly on roaches to kill them right away.

If fresh pyrethrum flowers are not available, you can use dried ones and crush them into powder form.

Although it is a powerful repellent, Pyrethrum will break down once it makes contact with oxygen, heat and sunlight.

22. Listerine Spray

How to Get Rid of Roaches: Listerine Spray

Mixing Listerine or any other mouthwash with an equal amount of water makes a powerful roach repellent. You can also add a few drop of dish soap to make it extra effective.

This treatment will kill these critters through suffocation and prevent others from entering your home.

  1. Add equal amounts of Listerine and water into a spray bottle.
  2. Add three drops of dish soap to make the solution.
  3. Shake the bottle and spray the mixture to infested areas.
  4. Use this solution directly on roaches to kill these creatures almost instantly.

Read more: 9 Natural Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away


Cockroaches can be difficult to eliminate once they make themselves comfortable in your house. One should avoid using harmful chemicals for killing pests unless you are well informed about its toxicity.

With patience and perseverance, you can eliminate nasty critters that may be present in your home. Keep your bathroom and kitchen as dry as possible.

Follow one or combination of the simple and natural solutions on how to get rid of roaches mentioned above. In case of severe infestations, call an exterminator for help.

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22 Simple Ways You Can Do Today to Get Rid of Roaches
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