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Taking care of a cockroach infestation is no one’s dream weekend plan. But more often than we’d like to, we come face to face with a cockroach or two in our kitchen or another part of the home. Unfortunately, killing a cockroach is definitely not an easy task and finding a reliable solution that can eradicate the pest permanently can be just as challenging. Especially, when most commercial roach killers are made of strong and poisonous chemicals in order to deliver the desired result.

But is there a non-toxic way to eliminate the stubborn insects without exposing yourself, your family and your pets to the strong chemicals?

Well, you are in luck, because we know of several effective homemade cockroach killers and repellents that you can try. Without further ado, here are the best natural remedies that we know of that can put an end to a cockroach infestation without disturbing the clean air in your home. Just keep in mind that it’s possible for them to require more time and repetition to give the expected results.

Natural Home Remedies for Cockroaches:

Get rid of cockroaches with diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is one of the safest and commonly used products for cockroach control. It can be used on other pests like bed bugs or fleas too. But to have a full effect, you need to follow the below steps:

  • Clean your home thoroughly – Maintaining a sanitised environment will lower your chances of getting infested in the first place. If it’s already happened, though, this should be your first step. Make sure to go behind all the appliances, sofas, as well as clean under the rest of your big and small furniture.
  • Mop and dry any damp areas in your home – If you have any damp places, like under the matt in the bathroom or another spot somewhere in the kitchen, make sure that everything is dry before you apply the diatomaceous earth. If the area is even slightly wet, the diatomaceous earth will not kill the insects. Go around the house and check if there are any cracks, which have the potential of being an entry point and seal them for good.
  • Put on gloves, mask and glasses (optional) – If you have asthma or very sensitive skin, it is a good idea to spread the dust with gloves and mask on, so you do not inhale or touch any of it. It’s a good precaution measure, as it is possible for diatomaceous earth to cause skin or eye irritation for more sensitive people.
  • Go through all the places, where you have seen the cockroaches – Make sure to dust the spots lightly, because the pests won’t step on it if the product has been heavily applied. Cover all the places from where you think the cockroaches might have sneaked through inside the house, as well as areas, where food gets dropped often on the floor.
  • Go outside and apply the diatomaceous earth at the bases of your house – Check which applicators are better for your situation. What you decide to use will depend on whether you live in a place with a dry or damp climate.
  • Let the solution sit until the cockroach infestation is over – If the product gets washed away, apply it again. After you have successfully got rid of all the cockroaches, you can either clean the diatomaceous earth up or leave it as a prevention against future infestations.
Learn more about: The Most Common Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

Homemade cockroach killer with baking soda

Baking soda is one of the most multifunctional products ever created, so it’s no surprise that it has the ability to kill cockroaches, as well. The best method is if you mix the soda with some sugar, first.

The smell of sugar will bring out the roaches, tempting them to eat from the mixture, without noticing the baking soda. After that, when they go to drink some water, a reaction with the soda will cause their stomach to burst. Cockroaches often feed on their dead comrades, so a chain reaction of death will follow.

Here is how to proceed:

  • Mix equal parts of sugar and baking soda in a lid or a dish.
  • Place another dish or a lid close to the first one and fill it with water.
  • Refill the containers with more cockroach bait and water when the dead roaches start to appear.
  • Place a couple more dishes around the places, where roaches usually gather.
  • Repeat until you are cockroach free.

Boric acid cockroach bait

Speaking of how to bait the cockroaches in your home, we have an alternative method, similar to the one with baking soda and sugar.

Following the same preparation steps, you have to make a mixture of boric acid and flour, fill a couple of lids with it and place it where you have seen the highest cockroach activity.

The flour will attract the roaches and the acid will kill them. Just like the previous solution, even if the mix is deadly for the pests, it’s completely harmless to humans and pets.

Check this out!: How to Kill Cockroach Eggs

Catnip cockroach spray repellent

Catnip is one of the most effective home remedies to repel cockroaches and it’s really easy to use. Here is how to make the catnip spray that will keep the roaches away:

  • Boil around 1l of water.
  • Place 8 tsp catnip in the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let the solution cool down.
  • Put it in a spray bottle and apply it all over your property.

Do not use this method if you live with cats. If you have feline pets, use bay leaves instead of catnip.

Essential oils cockroach deterrent

Among other things, essential oils are actually a proven cockroach deterrent. Their strong smell disrupts the hunting path of roaches and if the oil concentration is strong enough, the substance will also kill them.

And which smells do cockroaches hate? Well, as it turns out the same as most other pests – these of lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oils. Either one of them should do the job, so just choose the one you like the most.

Here is how to use the essential oils to keep the cockroaches away from your home:

  • Apply the oil to a piece of cotton and wipe down with it all the places where the roaches gather. Soak the surfaces up well with the oil of your choice.
  • The other way to do it is to mix a solution of 15 oil drops and around 10 ounces of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray all the entry points and dark areas.

Roach repellent with household detergent

Another easy solution against these annoying crawling insects is a simple mixture of dish soap and water. Just like most insects, cockroaches breathe through their skin, so spraying the detergent on them will suffocate the pests instantly.


The one thing you have to keep in mind, though, is that it works only if the roach is directly sprayed. The method is not recommended if you need to get rid of a whole cockroach nest, unless you have the patience to spray each insect individually.

All of the above-mentioned remedies are most effective against a mild infestation or singular roaches. If you have a serious problem with cockroaches, the wiser option is to trust a professional company to take care of the problem.

Thanks to the experience and knowledge, the specialists will be able to estimate how serious the infestation is, which parts of the house it affects and will also find a safe pest control solution for your peace of mind.

Need professional help to deal with the roaches?

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Do you know of any other natural home remedies against cockroaches? Share your pest experience in the comments below and if you liked this article, make sure to share it with your family and friends. 

  • Last update: August 18, 2021

Posted in All Articles, Pest Issues