Home remedies for roaches

Home Remedies To Get rid of Roaches.

You probably stumbled upon this page because you have roaches and want to see if there are any effective home remedies. Well, luckily for you, we may well have the exact information that you are looking for here.

Cockroaches are a highly adapted species of insects with over 4,500 varieties living all over the planet. However, we reduce that number dramatically when looking at how many live around humans. Only 30 species of roach live around humans, with only four pests that often require intervention.

Cockroaches, as a species, are said to survive nearly everything. American cockroaches are the hardiest species you are likely to find. They have genes capable of metabolizing many substances in insecticides and other nasty chemicals you may use to get rid of cockroaches. Not only that, but studies show that they have a great sense of smell and taste that have adapted to help them avoid eating anything harmful to them.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches at Their Source?

Cockroaches are one of the most common pests in homes and businesses. They are attracted to moisture and can be found in damp areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Cockroaches can also be found in standing water. There are several home remedies for cockroach control, but the best way to get rid of cockroaches is to find and eliminate their source.

Cockroaches are attracted to moisture, so the first step in getting rid of them is to eliminate any sources of moisture in your home or business. Check for leaks under sinks and around appliances. Repair any broken pipes or fixtures and ensure all drains are clear. If you have a problem with standing water, consider installing a drain cover or a French drain. The next step is to remove any food sources that might attract cockroaches.

What Attracts Roaches To Your Home?

So, with that in mind, you may think that there is nothing that you can do about the nasty critters you find in your home. Luckily, you’re mistaken. You can do things at home to get rid of roaches overnight.

First of all, you need to know what attracts them to your home in the first place. Well, there are a lot of things that draw them into your home, and eliminating as many of them as you can, will help you to kill roaches:


Of course, like any animal, cockroaches need accommodation. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about having shelter unless you want to live in a tent. Even then, you will have the capacity and some of the other causes for them. Therefore, you need to try and remove all the places where they can live. Do that by sealing up all the cracks and gaps in windows, door frames, and walls. They are less likely to become a problem if they cannot get in.


Again, as with every living animal, roaches need water or moisture. That’s why you often find them in hot and humid areas where roaches hide. If you live near a lake or pond, you will have more chances of seeing them near your home.

However, again, you will not be able to do much about that unless you want to move home. So, it would be best to eliminate the other reasons for them to find moisture in your home. They include leaking pipes, high condensation, and standing water in your garden. If you have any of those, it will be a good idea to fix them or get rid of them completely.

Food Sources

The main reason you will see roaches entering your home is the food sources. They will move in and look elsewhere for water if they have a good supply of readily available food.

These insects will eat anything that they find lying nearby the home. When I say anything, I mean anything. However, they do have preferred foods that they draw into the house. Knowing these foods will help help you get rid of roaches; they are:

  • Sugar. – Anything you can think of that contains sugar; they will eat. Candy, cookies, cakes, chocolate, or anything else you can imagine.
  • Starch. – Potatoes, bread, grains, rice, pasta.
  • Protein. – Any meat source that they can find. Not living, of course!

That list is only a small “taster” of what cockroaches will eat. The truth is, they will eat anything they find lying around the home. That includes food that you have put in the trash, too!

Therefore, keep scraps of food to a minimum. But do not think that you will rid them of a spotless home! Some of the other things that you will find them eating are:

  • Wallpaper glue.
  • Bookbinding glue.
  • Dead skin.
  • Dead insects.
  • Human nails.

Yes, they are some disgusting things to eat! However, even starving cockroaches will not get rid of them. They can live for a month without food so long as they have water!

Home Remedies for Roaches

Now that you know what the roaches will eat, it is time to find out how to prevent roaches with your remedies. You may need to complete a little bit of work to find out where the nest of the roaches are, but once you do, try some of these remedies:

Home-Made Spray Remedies

Making your sprays and spraying them onto the roach infestations will help eliminate them. Here are some of the best sprays that you can use:

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has been used for years to prevent cockroaches so it will be no different now. As it is a widely used essential oil, it is safe to use as a repellent for roaches. Here is how to use it:

  • 10-15 drops of oil. – The amount you use will depend on your spray bottle size. However, it is OK to use more than less, except for the cost of the oil. However, the oil price does not match the cost you pay to keep the pests!
  • Spray a bottle of water. – Use plain tap water.
  • A couple of drops of dishwashing detergent. – The oil will not mix well with water unless you use a few drops of dishwashing detergent.
  • Spray the infested areas. – You may repeat this step several times to see great results. Once or twice a day should be fine for however long it takes to see a decline in the infestation.

Mint Oil

Just like the peppermint oil above, “standard” mint oil will work just as effectively. Use it in the same way as above. You only have to decide which you like the smell the most.


Parts of the Neem tree have proven to work wonders as a bug repellant. You can mix and use Neem oil the same way as peppermint oil or buy the powder to sprinkle around the areas. The cockroaches will eat the dust and die.

Kaffir Essential Oil

Kaffir lime oil has been proven in studies to have high effectiveness at repelling both German and American cockroaches. They are some of the most complex species of roach in the world. Therefore, if studies have shown that kaffir oil will repel those, it will likely repel all types.

While using this oil in the same way as peppermint may be effective, the test used different percentages of ethanol and oil mixed. So, try it with water, but as you have already seen in our alcohol vs bedbugs article, alcohol will help to dry insects out, thus lowering the time roaches can survive without food. (It is a lot more dangerous, though!!)


Various oils in mouthwashes, such as Listerine, repel and kill cockroaches. One of the most effective is menthol, so if you want, you can use menthol crystals dissolved in water and spray it at infested areas. If you’re going to use mouthwash, mix mouthwash, and water in a 50/50 ratio and sprinkle in the same places.


Almost any type of detergent will suffocate and kill cockroaches, and it is one of the best and readily available remedies for roaches. Any detergent will do.

Mix any detergent into warm water to ensure it dissolves correctly, and spray it into the areas where you frequently see roaches. However, I would test some detergents in some places, as powdered clothes detergents often dry and leave a powdery residue.

Garlic, Onion, and Cayenne Pepper

As you have seen, roaches eat anything, including garlic and onion. Both are pungent smells, so they draw out the cockroaches to feed. However, cayenne pepper will kill them. Mix all three into a paste with water and spray or drip it around the areas before bed. After a few nights, you will see decreased activity.


If you can get catnip, it will help you create a brilliant home remedy for roaches.

  • Boil catnip herb in water.
  • Allow it to cool.
  • Add to spray bottle.
  • Spray the infested areas.

As with other sprays, cover areas where you see roaches a lot.

Fabric Softener

Mixing a little softener into the water in a spray bottle will kill the roaches in your home. Cockroaches breathe the softener in and suffocate. Some suggestions are doing that only every fortnight will work. However, spraying more often will make the house smell nice and produce better results.

White Vinegar

The last spray that we have for you to try is white vinegar. It has a high acidity content and will kill a lot of roaches while deodorizing the home. However, there will be a strong smell of vinegar for a while that will go pretty quickly, leaving less stale odors than you had before you sprayed the vinegar.

Mix white vinegar and water in a 50/50 ratio in a spray bottle and use the same way as the rest of the sprays.

There is no definite spray that works better than any of the others, and you will have to try them individually. However, if I were to pick one, I would possibly try the kaffir oil and water. Although the studies have suggested adding ethanol, please try it with water first, as I would hate you to have fires because of the alcohol.


If you do not want to spray liquids around your home, you can try some powder home remedies for roaches.

Sugar Mixtures to Kill Cockroaches

Sugar is something that cockroaches love. When you use sugar to attract them, it is also the ideal time to poison them. Here are some of the different things that you can add to sugar to kill them:

  • Borax
  • Boric Acid
  • Baking Soda
  • Silica Gel 

Mix sugar and one of the other ingredients above in a 3/1 ratio of sugar to poison and sprinkle it around the nest of the roaches. Baking soda and sugar are controversial home remedies.

One thing to remember is that borax and boric acid are toxic to children and pets alike. Therefore, you will need to keep them away from the areas where you put them.

Diatomaceous Earth

There are two forms of diatomaceous earth; food-grade and swimming pool filter grade. For this to work correctly, you need to use the food grade. Sprinkle the powder around the areas and wait for them to eat it and breathe it in.

The particles are so tiny and sharp that it has a two-fold action. Firstly, it will dry out the insides of the roach, and secondly, it will shred their organs. Diatomaceous Earth is used in many insecticides and will work effectively if you use it in dry conditions. Try to sprinkle it wherever you know the cockroaches need to pass. However, wear gloves and face masks while handling it, and keep children away from the areas.

Extra Home Remedies For Roaches

Lemon Juice

Adding lemon juice to your mop bucket and mopping the floors around roach nests, preferably the rest of the feet, will keep them away. There are claims that lemon juice in mop water will kill the roaches. However, it is more of a deterrent than a killing method. It is still helpful to keep them away after killing most of them.


Using a trap is a great way to kill off any remaining stragglers after you have killed most of the infestation. Coffee is a great way to attract roaches to a trap. Therefore, follow these steps to make a roach trap:

  • Smear the inside of a jar with petroleum jelly. – That will stop the critters from climbing back out of it. Use a large pot if you can get hold of one.
  • Make black coffee. – Your standard coffee beans and water will do the trick. Add some sugar to make it more inviting.
  • Wait for the coffee to cool.
  • Add cold coffee to the jar. – If you add hot coffee, it could start to melt the petroleum jelly and render it ineffective.
  • Wait overnight. – The roaches will enter the jar to get coffee and not be able to get back out.
  • Empty and repeat. – Each morning, empty the jar of dead roaches and repeat it until you have no cockroaches. However, I would not stop on the first night you see no roaches. Try moving the trap around the home.

Stop Them Returning

After you have killed all the roaches you find, you need to address the issues that will make them return. Here are some options that you should consider:

  • Cleaning more often so there is no food lying around.
  • Repair leaking pipes.
  • Drying out damp spots.
  • Sealing cracks in doorframes, window frames, walls, etc. 
  • Continue to spray or dust areas of concern with one of the home remedies you have seen above. 

Try to stay on top of the issues as you find them, or plan one day a week where you check the home for new entry points they can use.


Roaches are one of the worst pests you will find in the home. Some of the above home remedies for roaches will work more effectively than others at ridding them from your home. Therefore, you must try each one and see how effective it is. However, above all, you need to stop them from getting into your home in the first place.

Keeping the areas clean will do most of the hard work for you, but as you have seen, they will eat almost anything. So, home maintenance is a must when trying to keep them at bay. If you make your home more difficult to access, they won’t be able to get to anything that may be lying around!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does vinegar kill roaches?

Vinegar is an acidic liquid that can kill roaches when used correctly. To make a vinegar solution, mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and apply it to areas where roaches are seen. Vinegar solutions will repel and kill roaches on contact.

What smell will keep cockroaches away?

A few smells can keep cockroaches away, including peppermint, garlic, and cucumber. These smells repel cockroaches because they cannot stand the strong scent. You can either place these items around your home or spray them with essential oils to keep them away.

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