Natural Remedies for Roaches: 8 Methods to Try

Cockroach survival skills are amazing. They can continue to live, for a short time, without a head. They can hold their breath underwater for 40 minutes. They can run up to three miles in a single hour.

This is all great for cockroaches (and interesting enough, too) – until nasty bugs infest your apartment. Once they have entered your house, all you want to do is get rid of them. But, before making an appointment with an exterminator, consider an organic and DIY approach. Use one of the many natural remedies for cockroaches to keep them away.


How to get rid of cockroaches

Once you’ve established that you have unwanted visitors, whether you’ve seen cockroaches or just their bad leads, it’s time to think about how you want to get rid of them. You can use chemicals to get the job done, but if you have pets or small children, or are sensitive to certain products, natural might be a better option.

When it’s time to get rid of unwanted insect visitors, take a look at your pantry first, you might already have some of these natural remedies for cockroaches ready for use.

1. Sugar

Here is an example of using something sweet to attract cockroaches to their extinction. You just need to add a little something extra. Mix one part powdered sugar with three parts boric acid. Sugar brings in insects – boric acid kills them.

Boric acid is not toxic to people or pets, but it can irritate the skin. When you drop this mixture, avoid the counters and stick to the hidden places that the cockroaches can use for hiding. The right places are behind appliances, under the sink, and in cracks along the edges of cabinets.

If either ingredient isn’t readily available, this is a versatile recipe, so you can swap ingredients to achieve the same effect. Instead of powdered sugar, you can use peanut butter or jelly. You can also replace boric acid with food grade diatomaceous earth.

soapy water, one of the natural remedies for cockroaches

2. Soapy water

If you spot a cockroach and want to kill it without having to get close enough to walk on it, keep a spray bottle of soapy water handy. Use diluted dish soap so that the surface it’s on is also clean (an added bonus).

Spraying this mixture directly on a cockroach makes it impossible for the insect to breathe. It clogs their skin, that’s how they suck in air. It might take a bit longer to go around, and you still need to get rid of the roach, but hey – he won’t return to hang out with his buddies.

3. Coffee grounds

This easy-to-find staple helps make the perfect cockroach trap. They serve as bait to bring in cockroaches and are not toxic to everyone else in your house. AT make a trap, all you need is a glass jar, coffee grounds and water.

To build your trap:

  • Fill a large glass jar about halfway full with water.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of moistened coffee grounds.
  • Place the jars as close to potential nesting sites as possible.

Cockroaches will come to check the coffee, climb into the jar and get stuck and eventually drown. Then flush the entire contents of the trap down the toilet for a goodbye flush.

Lemon, one of the natural remedies for cockroaches

4. Lemon

While lemon doesn’t work on its own in warding off cockroaches, using lemon scented cleaners around your home can have a big impact on keeping the place cockroach free.

A clean house is the best way to avoid an infestation, and the scent of a lemon actually works to prevent a variety of insects from wanting to live in your place.

For an all-purpose cleanser that’s easy to make at home, you only need two ingredients: citrus peel and vinegar. To do:

  • Fill a glass jar with clean, chopped lemon zest.
  • Pour white vinegar over the peels to submerge them and seal the jar.
  • Let the mixture sit for about four weeks, shaking it regularly.
  • Filter the peels and put the liquid in a spray bottle.

This will keep counters, appliances, floors and glass clean and clear, while helping you fight cockroaches.

Make sure to clean your place regularly, focusing on areas like the kitchen and dining room. Cockroaches love crumbs and can smell food if the packages are left open in your pantry. It’s also a good idea to empty your trash cans regularly to prevent food odors from entering your home.

5. Plants

Moisture is another great attractor for cockroaches. One way to deal with excess humidity in your home is to regularly check your pipes for leaks, but sometimes it’s a matter of high humidity. To deal with this, consider purchasing a few houseplants.

You will need a specific type, epiphytes like ferns, orchids, and cacti. These are special plants that work like a natural dehumidifier, drawing water from the air to stay hydrated. They are easy to maintain and will help reduce humidity levels in your home.

Place one in every bathroom, on a screened porch, or wherever the air is heavy. They will not repel cockroaches themselves, but will help eliminate a serious temptation for insects to enter your home.

onions, one of the natural remedies for cockroaches

6. Onions

It might be the weirdest of all natural cockroach remedies, but it uses ingredients you must have in your house right now. All you need is an onion and some baking soda. Again, the food attracts hungry bugs and the baking soda does the dirty work.

To configure this:

  • Dice about half an onion.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on it.
  • Place on a small cardboard plate anywhere cockroaches can hide overnight.

Since cockroaches prefer the dark, you will likely “feed” more if you wait until evening to extinguish your trap. It’s also best to do this when there is minimal risk of running into the bad guys yourself.

7. Cornstarch

When you need to cover cracks to keep cockroaches away, this remedy is a great choice. Not only will this fill the space to let fewer cockroaches pass, but it will also kill anyone who eats it.

Mix equal parts cornstarch and plaster of paris to make a powder you can sprinkle anywhere. Do not activate the plaster of paris with water beforehand. Cockroaches do this after eating the concoction when they drink water. It’s the mixture in their stomachs that ultimately kills them.

It is important to note that plaster of paris is a toxic and dangerous ingredient for children and pets. Using this recipe specifically in cracks helps keep it away from everyone except cockroaches.

Peppermint Oil


Cockroaches hate the smell of peppermint. They will avoid it like the plague. It can also harm them if they come in contact with it. Spraying a mixture with peppermint oil directly on the cockroaches may mean that the lights go out, but that is only if you see the invaders around.

You’ll be more successful using mint as a repellant, targeting nearby areas where you think cockroaches are hiding. To make a mint infused spray:

  • Mix two parts water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Add about 10 drops of peppermint oil.
  • Shake and spray.

Chemicals are not needed to keep cockroaches away

The question is never whether you will see a cockroach in your apartment, but rather when. They’re out there, and there are a lot of them, but knowing how to push them away and say goodbye for good means you don’t have to live with them. We

Natural remedies for cockroaches allow you to live bug-free without having to buy harsh chemicals or spend money on an exterminator. Just make sure you target the right areas. Cockroaches Love to live in places like boiler rooms, basements, crawl spaces, steam tunnels, drains and sewers. Good hunt!



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