Home Remedies for Roaches

19 Home Remedies for Roaches

Why Home Remedies for Roaches?

Does the thought of spraying insecticide inside your home make you nervous? It’s true that over-the-counter roach sprays can cause problems for humans when inhaled during the application process, and there’s the possibility that pets may lick roach traps or gels when you leave them sitting out. You can remove your family and pets from the home while treating for roaches, call a professional willing to treat your home with safer chemicals or try to treat your home with natural home remedies for roaches before resorting to chemicals.

A “natural remedy” is anything produced by nature that has the ability to repel or kill roaches. Plants, oils and other natural products can still potentially have a harmful effect on humans when consumed, so you may still want to watch children and pets when using these remedies.

Natural Roach Repellent


If you have mums growing in your garden or flowerbed, you may already have a powerful natural ingredient that can end your battle with roaches. While most home remedies merely repel roaches so that they don’t want to live near your home, you can use these flowers to make a spray that will paralyze them instantly. You can spray each roach directly, discarding of the bodies before the roaches have a chance to revive.

Top 5 Best Cockroach Killer Products

Chrysanthemums contain insecticides called pyrethrins that are used in thousands of commercial bug sprays, bombs, and powders. While products sold at the store typically mix other chemicals with the pyrethrins to make a more effective solution, you can make your own spray that uses only the natural insecticide found in these beautiful flowers. You may also want to grow these plants outdoors to help keep roaches away from your trees, firewood pile, compost bin and outdoor buildings.

It’s important to note that pyrethrins are strong insecticides that can make asthma and other breathing problems worse. Make sure that you don’t breathe the solution in while you spray your roaches, and keep the solution away from children and pets at all times.


While your cat may enjoy catnip, your roaches will run for the door when they get a whiff of it in your home. This natural plant contains nepetalactone, which is an oil that creates a strong smell that gives cats their high. That same smell is intolerant to roaches, making this oil an effective pest deterrent with minimal risk to humans.

You can buy catnip or nepetalactone essential oil and heat it in oil burners to distribute the smell throughout your home, or you can mix the oil with water to create a natural deterrent spray. That method is messy, so you may prefer to fill small satchels with fresh catnip. You can place these satchels in your dresser drawers, in the back of kitchen cabinets, under your bathroom sink and in other places where you may find roaches.

Bay Leaves & Garlic Powder

Could raiding your spice cabinet help you eliminate roaches from your home? There is a good chance that it will at least help since bay leaves and garlic powder are proven to drive roaches and other pests away due to their strong scent. You can crush bay leaves and scatter them in your cupboards and along your floorboards, or boil them to make a tea that is easily sprayed in select areas of your home.

Some other spices that you can use to create a more complex spray include cayenne pepper and onion paste. Adding dish detergent may turn the deterrent into an effective pesticide, so play around with your spice mixtures until you find something that sends your roaches running.

Pandanus amaryllifolius

Pandanus amaryllifolius (also known as pandan leaves) is a tropical plant that’s commonly used in Southeast Asian countries as cooking flavoring. You can often find them in Asian markets. It can be used as a natural cockroach repellent, but attractive compounds also found in the plant. However, a study has concluded that the proportion of repellent components in mature pandanus outweighs its attractive counterparts. It is also one of the most used home remedies for roaches in Southeast Asian countries.

On a side note, if you are wondering how to get rid of roaches in your car, then you should give it a try. This special plant is commonly used by taxi drivers in Singapore and Malaysia to ward off cockroaches. They usually leave bunches of pandan leaves at the back of the taxi to ward off these uninvited guests.

Moth Balls

This is one of the more traditional methods of deterring a long list of household pests, especially if you don’t want the roaches roaming through your bedroom closet or living in the back of your dresser drawers. You simply set the mothballs in areas of your home where roaches tend to linger. The downside is that you have to tolerate the smell of the mothballs, and that smell may get into your clothing.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are easy to find today, and many have been used for thousands of years for a variety of practical applications. The following oils are often used to create sprays that deter and kill roaches:

  • Peppermint
  • Cypress
  • Tea tree
  • Eucalyptus

One suggested mixture is saltwater, peppermint oil, and cypress oil. You can add the other oils listed above or substitute them for the cypress, but you want to use peppermint because it’s considered the most effective option. You can spray your mixture around your home without worrying about toxicity to humans, and the scent should send most of the bugs off to find a new home.

Cucumber Slices or Peels

This is one of those home remedies that you see mentioned all over the internet but which may or may not work well. Some sources recommend placing fresh cucumber peels in an aluminum can because a chemical reaction between the can and the peels will repel roaches. Many other sources recommend laying fresh cucumber slices around your home or placing the peels in small cracks and crevices where roaches may hide.

If you’re going to use bay leaves to deter roaches from your property, you may want to add some cucumber peel just in case it does work. Keep in mind that this is an approach to deter roaches, so you can’t depend on cucumbers alone to eliminate all bugs already in your home. Roaches can simply find new areas to infest, avoiding the unappealing cucumbers.

Hedge Apples

This is one of the more common natural remedies for roaches, and you will find hundreds of websites suggesting that you set them in your basement, outside your home or even inside your kitchen cabinets to get of unwanted house guests. While some scientific studies have proven that the apples can repel insects, they have also determined that the amount of compounds found in the natural fruit is not adequate to keep bugs at bay for long. You may still want to give it a try if you have some apples on hand, but keep in mind that they grow mold and get sticky rather quickly.


You use this to keep your breath fresh, but roaches don’t enjoy that minty scent. Mix it in equal parts with water and dish detergent in a spray bottle, and then spray it in areas where you notice the presence of roaches. While it probably won’t kill the pests and isn’t strong enough to fix a severe infestation, you can use your Listerine spray to drive some roaches away and prevent them from finding your home attractive in the future. This is one of your safest options if you have children and pets in the home or someone in your household suffers from asthma.

Homemade Roach Killer

Borax for Roaches

Mix borax powder with a small amount of sugar, and sprinkle the mixture in places where you know that your roaches frequent. If you know where they nest, you know exactly where to place the mixture. If you want to contain the mess, you can place the mixture in a jar rather than spreading it along your baseboards or the back of your kitchen cabinets.

The sugar will attract the roaches, and the borax will have a deadly drying effect on their bodies. You will see dead roaches shortly after distributing the poisonous mix, but some roaches may also carry the borax back to the next, leading to even more deaths later.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is a chemical derivative of boron, and it’s one of the most effective home remedies to kill roaches that are currently on your property while fighting against future infestations. It comes in powder form and is safe to apply to the surface of your home in areas where roaches tend to crawl. This is typically in dark, moist places like underneath sinks and behind kitchen appliances. If you apply boric acid for roaches correctly, it will continue to kill them months after it is applied.

While Borax and boric acid are both derived from boron and are both effective for the elimination of roaches, there are some differences in their chemical properties. They are both considered more toxic to humans than some natural remedies for roaches, but they’re also safer than many over-the-counter pesticide sprays. If you use them properly and keep them out of the reach of children and pets, they may help you overcome even severe roach infestations.

Silica Gel

While it is sometimes difficult to find silica gel in large enough quantities to treat your home, this is an ingredient found in many commercial pesticides that is also effective on its own. If you can get your hands on it, apply it in cracks and crevices where roaches are known to hide in your home. It will dry the bugs out, causing their death upon contact.


The smell of cedar will send a variety of pests running, including roaches and mosquitoes. While it won’t immediately kill your bugs, it can make them think twice about living with you long term. You can buy cedar balls or chips and set them around your home, or purchase natural products that use cedar as the main ingredient for pest control. It’s important to read the ingredient list carefully when purchasing products to ensure that you always know what you’re spraying in your home environment.

Another option is to buy cedar liners for your closets and shelves. This is a more expensive option, but it’s an effective way to keep roaches out of dark spaces that they find naturally attractive.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another popular home remedy for roaches. Mix it with a small amount of sugar or powdered sugar, and set it around your home to serve as a roach bait and insecticide. The sugar will attract the bugs, and the baking soda will dry them out and lead to their death. For this to work, it’s important to use a small cap from a bottle or a shallow bowl, so don’t set this out in large quantities.

Fabric Softener

If you have a problem with roaches, you’ve probably been told by at least one person that leaving dryer sheets throughout your home will fix the problem. You’ve probably already tried that and found it ineffective, but don’t rule this method out entirely. You can use dryer sheets as a mild deterrent to help prevent future infestations, but mixing fabric softener with water is a proven method for killing the bugs. You have to spray each bug directly and then clean up the bodies, so this isn’t a reasonable solution for substantial infestations.


Does bleach kill roaches? Yes, it does, but it’s one of the home remedies that you want to use with caution. You probably already have bleach around the house. It’s often suggested that you mix it with hot water before pouring it in areas of your home frequented by roaches, but this is a slow approach to eliminating an active infestation, and it might discolor a lot of things. You must thoroughly cover each roach in the bleach before they will die, and it can take a long time to hit every bug in your home. While you’re trying to cover them all, they continue to hatch new eggs in cracks throughout your home.

There is one way to use bleach effectively, and that’s when you dump it down your drains in large concentrations. This will drown any bugs living in your drains.


This is another product that you may already have in your home that is known for killing roaches after ingestion. You can make the spray by combining cornstarch with sugar and plaster of Paris powder, and you may even want to add some boric acid to make it even more potent. Sprinkle the mixture in areas of your home where you see roaches frequently, and they will take the bait when they smell the sugar. Some bugs may die instantly while others carry the mixture back to their nests for a more deadly impact.

Diatomaceous Earth

You may not find marine phytoplankton an attractive ingredient for dinner, but it wouldn’t kill you if you decided to munch on it for lunch. The same doesn’t apply to roaches, fleas and other small pests that are quickly found dead when they dine on the remains of marine phytoplankton, otherwise known as Diatomaceous earth or DE. There are many applications for this product, but it’s best known as a safe insecticide when you purchase the food-grade product.

You simply scatter the powder in cabinets, along baseboards, under sinks and in other places where you often see roaches. It will dry out their exoskeletons, leading to their death, but it won’t pose any risk to your pets and members of your household.

Lure & Kill Roaches with Homemade Traps

If you don’t want to buy roach bait traps or you worry about the chemicals that are used inside of those traps, there are a few ways to make your own with products that present no harm to humans in your household:

  • Ice Cream Trap: Set a partially-eaten container of ice cream in an area where roaches commonly run and leave it overnight. The ice cream will melt into a thick liquid that roaches cannot run out of easily. They will climb in due to their attraction to sugar, but most of them won’t make it out alive.
  • Petroleum Jelly Jar Trap: Smear a generous helping of petroleum jelly around the rim of a jar, and then drop sliced fruit or coffee grounds into the bottom of the jar. Roaches will run into the jar to reach the food, but the petroleum jelly will prevent them from running back out.
  • Coffee Grounds Trap: Mix coffee grounds with water in a cup or jar and leave it in an area where roaches commonly run. The smell of the coffee will attract the bugs, and the water will drown them after they climb into the cup or jar.

How to Get Rid of Roaches Fast?

Home remedies might work well for many people, but that doesn’t mean it’s the fastest way. Take some time to read our main guide and learn how to get rid of roaches for good. The plan works really well if you compliment it with some of these home remedies.

Infographic – Top 5 Home Remedies for Roaches

You should consider using home remedies to get rid of roaches if you are not comfortable with spraying commercial insecticide inside your home. These are some of the best natural ways to repel or kill cockroaches. Aside from that, using home remedies for roaches also save you more money in the long run because you don’t have to hire an exterminator to get the job done.

Have any questions for us? Have any suggestions on other homemade natural roach killer and repellent that you would like to share with others? Simply leave a comment and we will get back to you as soon as possible! In the meantime, try out the top 5 home remedies for roaches listed below and let us know if it works for you.

Home Remedies for Roaches Infographic

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7 thoughts on “Home Remedies for Roaches”

  1. I’ve lived in my home (a mobile home) for 4 years. About 2 1/2 yrs ago , I saw a dead roach on the edge of the counter. A few months later a live one on the wall above the fridge,. This morning I see one crawling on the blinds in my living room. I grabbed the Windex and sprayed him until he fell, then squashed him. I have no clue how many are here or how long they’ve been here. I’ve never seen any in the kitchen like when it’s dark or anything, but I’m concerned. I keep my house clean and I never go to bed leaving dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter. Any suggestions?

  2. I just want to thank you for very good articles about controlling and getting rid of cockroaches It is the best thing I’ve seen online.

    1. I am too!! Just found I had a small dripping leak from my kitchen faucet under the sink. I am replacing the entire faucet assembly and drying the area well. I am going to use the diatomaceous earth and make up a spray of essential oils. They hate peppermint and they hate catnip. I have scrubbed, vacuumed until I could scream! Hopefully they will die, leave or find another place to go!

  3. Kimberly Sherman

    I just moved into a trailer with a very bad roach issue.
    I have tried everything and spent over 300.00
    I still see them and they seem to be accumulating.
    What’s the best remedy to get rid of these nasty bugs.


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