How to Kill Roaches

20 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Roaches

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

Want to get rid of roaches? Well, in this post you will discover 20 ways to kill them effectively. Read now to learn how to kill roaches for good.

Nobody likes to find roaches in their home. It makes you quickly start searching how to kill roaches and you are going to find a variety of remedies.

Some of these remedies are going to work, while others just waste more time. Read this comprehensive guide and we’ll show you how to kill roaches once and for all.

Understanding Them

Before you set out on a mission to kill all the roaches you can find, it will be important to understand what you are up against. Knowledge is power and learning about your enemy will give you an advantage.

What are Roaches

Ask anyone what a cockroaches is and they will happy to share their thoughts. I haven’t met someone yet that wasn’t annoyed by these creatures, but what exactly are they?

Cockroaches tend to be medium to larger-sized insects and can be quite frightening when encountered. Sometimes, they measure over 2-inches long.

If you are battling a tropical species, they could be even larger than that. They feature six spiny legs and long antennae.

Some varieties of roaches have wings but aren’t very good at flying. Some cockroaches can spread diseases because they spend time near waste deposits.

Other cockroaches are beneficial to the environment because they recycle decaying materials, dying plants or dead animals.

Varieties of Cockroaches

Varieties of Cockroaches

There are four main varieties of cockroaches to be aware of.

1. American Cockroach

These tend to be reddish brown in color with a yellow figure 8 marking on the back of the head. They are found throughout the United States.

They enjoy living in sewers, basements or anywhere there are pipes and drains. These are typically the type of cockroach that invades a home and they tend to be active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher.

2. Brownbanded Cockroach

These cockroaches are brown and have a banding across the wings. They are found throughout the United States in upper cabinets and other dry areas of the home.

3. German Cockroach

German cockroaches are light brown to tan with two dark stripes placed on the back. They tend to be oval shaped and have six legs.

They are located throughout the United States in kitchens and bathrooms. Many times these cockroaches are to blame for illness and allergic reactions of people.

4. Oriental Cockroach

These cockroaches are dark colored and shiny. They are found in the northern parts of the United States.

They like to live in sewers, drains, basements and crawl spaces. These are often referred to as water bugs.

These cockroaches tend to create a strong smell and tend to be the dirtiest species.

Dangers with Cockroaches

Cockroaches can pose serious health risks to people and pets. They pick up germs on their spines of the legs and then transfer them into the food we eat.

Here are some issues cockroaches have been known to cause:

Fun Facts about Cockroaches

How to Kill Roaches Naturally

Many people want to learn how to kill roaches naturally. That’s because they are hoping to use fewer chemicals and pesticides in their homes.

There are many methods that have been tried, but here are ways on how to kill roaches fast and naturally.

1. Baking Soda & Sugar

How to Kill Roaches: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

This simple mixture will kill roaches easily. In fact, you can notice a significant decline in the population right away.

Before you begin, make sure you know where they are hiding out. Then, prepare your ingredients:


  1. Mix equal parts of sugar and baking soda in a bowl and place where cockroaches hide.
  2. They will eat the mixture and share it with the others.
  3. They will die because baking soda is toxic to their system.

Now you know how to kill roaches with baking soda.

Read more: 25 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

2. Boric Acid

How to Kill Roaches: Boric Acid

You may have heard about doing this before, but I’ll show you how to kill roaches with boric acid. Start by purchasing some boric acid at the store or online.

Keep in mind that it isn’t safe for human consumption, so please keep it out of the reach of your children and pets. Ingesting boric acid will kill you, so please use this remedy with caution.


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

3. Homemade Fabric Softener Spray

How to Kill Roaches: Homemade Fabric Softener Spray

Fabric softener has a way of killing roaches, but it needs to be made into a spray. Here’s what you’ll need to do this remedy:


Considering that roaches breathe through their skin, this thick spray will suffocate them. You could also use dish soap but it isn’t as effective.

4. Lemons

Citrus foods that contain anti-pathogenic properties will deter roaches from coming. Using either lemon peels or lemon juice around the house should be enough to keep them away.

If the infestation is bad, gather these items:


  1. Mix water and juice together, but don’t dilute the lemon heavily.
  2. Add lemon juice into a bucket first, then slowly add water to ensure you still have a strong lemon scent.
  3. Clean the entire area with your mixture.

Read more: How to Get Rid of Flying Ants

5. Bay Leaves

How to Kill Roaches: Bay Leaves

Bay leaves naturally deter roaches from entering the home. You will need the following items:


  1. Place leaves in a bowl and crush them into a powder.
  2. Sprinkle the powder in areas where roaches have been.
  3. For additional benefit, place some cucumber peels or slices around the home as well.

6. Coffee Traps

How to Kill Roaches: Coffee Traps

Did you know that roaches like coffee? Use them as a lure to trap them and bring them to their demise.

Here’s what you’ll need:


  1. Fill the jar with coffee grounds and add water.
  2. Once the roaches find themselves in the jar, ensure they stay in the water for at least 40 minutes. Remember, they can hold their breath for that long.
  3. You can add petroleum jelly to the inside of the jar so they can’t climb out.
  4. Place the jars anywhere you notice roaches.
  5. Check them every morning and dump out the dead pests.
  6. Repeat this until you notice no more roaches enter your jars.

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

7. Borax

How to Kill Roaches: Borax 20 Mule Team Detergent Booster

You can also learn how to kill roaches with Borax and the steps are simple. Roaches will consume this mixture because they like sugar.

Once they’ve eaten, borax damages both their digestive system and the outer skeleton as well. This results in their death.

You will need:


  1. Mix sugar and Borax in equal parts.
  2. Apply it to baseboards, under cabinets, near sinks and around cracks
  3. Dust these surfaces until you don’t notice cockroaches anymore.

Read more: 19 Effective Ways to Kill Termites

8. Diatomaceous Earth

How to Kill Roaches: Diatomaceous Earth

This non-toxic product is also all-natural and a great solution for anyone looking to avoid pesticides. Diatomaceous Earth is food grade, so it is safe to have around the house.

All you have to do it apply it the same way that you did the boric acid. The results are almost identical.

How to Kill Roaches Fast

There is a time and a place to try the natural remedies, but sometimes you just need to know how to kill roaches fast. That’s when you might want to consider purchasing some commercial products designed to get rid of roaches fast.

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

1. Professional Grade Concentrate Pesticides

These are the same formulations that are used by pest control companies. Many homeowners have learned that if you want to control the roach population, you need to hit them hard.

These concentrated pesticides are considered contact killers. That means that once the roach comes into contact with the applied poison, they will die.

The best part about this solution is that it doesn’t take days or weeks for them to die, but just seconds. The downside to this solution is that most of the solutions don’t make their way back to the roach family; they just kill the ones that you can see.

2. Roach Baits

How to Kill Roaches: Advion Cockroach Bait Station

One of the best ways to attack the roach infestation is to have the roaches help you. Using a cockroach to take poison to the rest of his family is a great way to rid yourself of the pests.

You can choose gel formulas or bait stations. Either one you choose, the concept of how it works is the same.

Many of these baits actually use boric acid as the active ingredient. The roaches will journey to the bait and happily consume it.

That’s due to the attractant that is placed in the formula. Then, they take that poison back to the nest and share it with all the others.

Once they’ve eaten, they will begin to die! Follow these simple instructions for best results:

Other places to consider putting cockroach baits should include:

3. Cockroach Traps

You can purchase store-bought traps to lure them in for death. They normally contain some form of adhesive and you will need to purchase several.

Place them wherever you’ve seen the cockroaches. This method is only effective against a small population of adults. It won’t attack the nest in any way.

How to Kill German Roaches

German roaches can be blamed for many of the health ailments caused by cockroaches. That’s why it is important to get rid of them as soon as you see them.

Here are the best solutions on how to kill German roaches:

Read more: How to Get Rid of German Roaches

How to Kill Roaches for Good

Once you’ve taken the time to get rid of an infestation, it is important to learn how to kill roaches for good. Thankfully, taking some practical steps in the home will dramatically lower your chances of dealing with cockroaches again in the future.

Here are some actions you need to take.

1. Deny the Cockroaches Food and Water

Cockroaches need to have access to a source of water to live. It is easy for them to live without food for up to a month, so that isn’t the issue.

A week without water and they will die. Start by finding all the water leaks in your home and have them repaired. It is also a good time to set out some gel-based baits since they will be searching for something to eat.

Be sure the house is cleaned up of any water at all times. Start in the kitchen.
Wash your dishes and put them away immediately when finished. Clean up all crumbs or spills as soon as they happen.

Pay close attention to your range. Leftover grease is a haven for cockroaches.
Hide all food. This includes keeping the containers sealed and never leaving food to sit out.

Other Ways to Eliminate Water Sources

Other Ways to Eliminate Food Sources

2. Cleaning

How to Kill Roaches: Cleaning

This is one of the most important steps you need to take. Prevention is so much easier than treating the problem.

With a little work, you can keep those cockroaches gone for good. Start by wiping the counters every night. Remember, don’t leave those dirty dishes to sit in the sink – wash them.

Clean the stovetop and other appliances plus sweet and vacuum the entire house. Empty the trash and clean the can thoroughly. Consider using some bleach to get the job done right.

In addition, you need to keep the pet litter containers clean and emptied plus take out those dirty diapers immediately. If you choose to use a diaper pail, clean it often.

The initial deep cleaning project might take you some time. If you keep up with it, the upkeep shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes per day.

3. Yard Work

How to Kill Roaches: Yard Work

Since you are experiencing problems indoors, it might not seem logical to focus on the outdoors, but it is important. Follow these steps to prevent cockroach infestation:

4. Seal Cracks and Holes

How to Kill Roaches: Seal Cracks and Holes

Cockroaches love to make their way into your home through discreet holes and cracks. This includes spaces inside the pantry, baseboards and between the walls and countertops.

Roaches, and other insects as well, can climb through some pretty small holes. That’s why it is important to take the time and seal them all completely.

This task may take some time, but it will be worth all your effort. You’ll find this to be important especially if you live in an apartment building with unclean neighbors.

To get the job done right, invest in a quality caulk and caulking gun.

5. Keep the House Cool

You may not know, but the American cockroach is the most common species found in New York City. When it starts to get warm in summer, they will start to fly because they have more muscle abilities in the warmth.

It is clear that we don’t have power over the weather outside, but we can control the temperature indoors. By keeping your home as cool as possible, you will be able to confine the cockroaches to the ground. This makes them much easier to treat and kill.

7. Fix those Water Leaks

We briefly touched on this earlier when we talked about removing the water source. Cockroaches love water and are naturally attracted to it.

You need to remove all sources of water coming into the home, especially leaky pipes. Even if you find a tiny leak, it will be important to take the time and have it repaired.

8. Time to Call the Experts

How to Kill Roaches: Time to Call the Experts

If you’ve tried everything and you just can’t seem to get a handle on things, it is time to call in the professionals. This doesn’t mean that you need someone that is going to spray pesticides all over the home.

There are several pest control companies now that offer all-natural pest control. If the natural aspect isn’t a concern of yours, look for a provider in your area that comes highly recommended.

Some companies will come and offer a free consultation. They may even be willing to give you some advice or additional tricks you haven’t thought about before.

Don’t be too proud to reach out for help when you are at your wit’s end. They may be able to resolve your problem faster than you could’ve imagined.


There are many options available to you when learning how to kill roaches. You can take the natural way with homemade traps and solutions. You can opt to go with pesticides that are guaranteed to kill fast.

Whatever you do, make sure that you are also incorporating the steps to keep your house clean. Only then, will you be able to be rid of cockroaches forever.

Your house, sanity and family all deserve to live in an environment free from these dangerous pests.

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20 Easy Ways You Can Do Today to Kill Roaches Effectively
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