▷ How to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally: Home Remedies (2024 Update)

Home Remedies for Roaches – How to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally

By Sabrina Wilson / June 2, 2019
Home remedies for roaches


Roaches are the bane of any homeowner’s existence. Where there is one, there are bound to be hundreds more! Known as one of the most common species of household pests, cockroaches or roaches prefer warm and moist places where they can lay eggs and multiply fast.

So what is the best way to get rid of roaches without making your home inhabitable afterwards? There are a number of natural remedies that you can use that will be safe for you and your family.

What Kills Cockroaches Instantly and Naturally?

Borax and Sugar

The boric acid cockroach killer recipe is a home remedy for roaches, and it is also called the best cockroach killer. All you need to do is make a mixture of 3 parts Borax to one part sugar and spread it where the roaches are. The sugar will act as bait while the Borax will be poison that the roaches take in when they gorge on it.

Just make sure you inform everyone in your home to stay away from the place for a while and keep kids/pets out of there as well. Return to the site a couple of hours later and you will see dead roaches everywhere (Source).

Electronic roach killers

Electronic roach repellants work by emitting ultrasonic or high frequency sound waves that these pests absolutely hate. The noise can confuse and even kill roaches but it is undetectable to human ears.

These can be plugged into wall outlets and can be found in any hardware store. Common ones include the Loskii PR 892 Ultrasonic Pest Repeller and the Pest Offense Electronic Pest Repeller to name a few. These are considered to be more humane than poisoning options.

dead roaches

DIY Roach Killers

Getting rid of roaches with DIY efforts may take a bit more time, but they are equally as effective. Here are some you should consider:

Diatomaceous earth

This works wonders in killing roaches since it absorbs the fat and oil from the cuticle in their exoskeletons. In other words, it dries them to death. Just sprinkle some around the area where these pests are and watch them shrivel up and die in hoards (Source).

Baking soda and sugar

The sweet smell of sugar entices roaches out into the open but if it is mixed with baking soda, you will have a potent pest poison in your hands. That’s because the soda causes gas buildup which eventually makes the roaches burst from the inside out (Source).

Coffee Traps​

To make this you will need a jar, coffee grounds and some water. Place it in the area where the roaches are aplenty and they will be attracted to the coffee and drown in the trap.

Wine bottle traps

Leave a few teaspoons of red wine in an empty wine bottle that has a long neck. The fermented smell will attract the roaches which won’t be able to get out of the bottle because of the narrow bottle neck.

Fabric softener spray

This can kill roaches by blocking off their pores. Mix 3 parts of fabric softener with 2 parts water and spray it near roach hotspots such as bins and drains.  Make it your regular homemade roach spray.

Natural Roach Repellents

The best natural ways to get rid of roaches do not depend on toxic ingredients and are safe for you and your family. These include:

Cedar oil

This oil can kill on contact if it is applied or sprayed directly to a roach by leaching the moisture out of them.

Peppermint oil

Most pests such as roaches cannot stand the smell of peppermint oil. Place cotton balls that are soaked with the oil around the house to keep them away.

Citrus Hystrix oil​

Spray this around the house to get rid of roaches. This is particularly effective against American and Harlequin roaches (Source).

Neem oil

How to get rid of roaches in your car? Apply peppermint oil on the seat. When this oil is absorbed by roaches it prevents them from reproducing by blocking their endocrine system (Source).

Bay leaves

Place whole bay leaves behind appliances or roach entry points to keep them at bay. They can’t stand the smell. Burn one in your home and spread the smoke around to keep them out.

Lemon peels or juice

Place lemon peels or lemon juice around areas where roaches gather in your home and watch them scatter because of the highly acidic smell.

These were the best natural remedies for roaches you can use without compromising your safety.

4 Signs That You Have a Roach Infestation

Seeing live or dead roaches​

If you see one or a couple of live and dead roaches, you already have a hundred more.

Roach droppings or egg casings

Look for these in cracks and crevices in your home as well as behind refrigerators and around bathtubs.

Musty or oily smell

Cockroaches that die off emit a musty smell that is caused by oleic acid buildup that develops during decomposition (Source).

Frequent upset stomachs/diarrhea

Roaches gather around trash bins and other moist areas such as your bathroom. If you suffer from frequent diarrhea chances are they are crawling on your food as well.

Types of Cockroaches

American Cockroaches 

This is the largest of the house infesting roach species. It is reddish brown in color and has a yellow figure 8 pattern on the back.

German Cockroaches

These are light brown to tan in color and have 2 dark stripes on the back.

Wood Roaches

How to get rid of wood roaches? First, find out where they live. Wood roaches are accidental home invaders because they are usually found outdoors. It is often mistaken for the American cockroach because of how similar it looks to it.

Oriental Roaches 

These roaches are quite large, dark brown in color and have a shiny exoskeleton (Source).

Call Out – How to Identify Cockroaches, American vs. German vs. Wood vs. Oriental







Reddish brown

Light brown


Dark brown or black


Sewers and basements

Kitchens and bathrooms

In yards and under leaf piles outside

Sewers and drains


Throughout the US

Throughout the US

Predominantly in Pennsylvania

Northern Regions of the US

How to Keep Roaches Away – Preventing an Infestation


Since these are omnivores,  roaches will devour the same things you love to eat and are considered to be the least picky eaters in the insect world.


Roaches prefer to live and eat in the dark because they are sensitive to light. This is why they scatter when it is directed at them.

Moisture and humidity

Roaches thrive in moist areas because these provide them with a ready supply of water which they need to survive.

Tips for Prevention

See the last of your roach problems with the following preventive measures:

Fix leaky pipes and faucets 

As mentioned before, roaches prefer to live in moist and wet areas. You can prevent that environment from forming by getting leaky pipes and faucets fixed.

Keep your home clean 

Roaches prefer to hide in clutter to avoid detection. You may have an infestation and not even know it if your home is dirty or has trash piled up. A cleanup will help.

Seal cracks and crevices 

Even if you get rid of every roach in your home, they can still get in via cracks and crevices. Seal these up to prevent that from happening. That is the best answer for the query ‘how to get rid of cockroaches in apartments’ as well.

When to Call a Professional

If the infestation has gotten out of hand or you see roaches everywhere even after using the aforementioned preventive measures, it is time to call in a professional service. They have the heavy duty pest killers that you are not trained to handle or use.



Q. How long does it take to get rid of cockroaches?

A. The answer depends on the extent of the infestation. Generally, getting rid of the infestation can take 2 weeks.


Q. Does vinegar kill roaches?

A. No, but it can kill Salmonella, one of the main germs that roaches bring in with them.


Q. Does bleach kill roaches?

A. Yes it can but only if you can drown them in it or get them to ingest it.


Q. Does baking soda kill roaches?

A. Yes, but you need to mix it with sugar to attract roaches to eat it first.


Q. What smells/scents repel cockroaches?

A. Roaches cannot stand the smell of peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus.


Q. What plants repel roaches?

A. Chrysanthemums, catnip and Osage orange trees repel roaches.

About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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