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How to Get Rid of Roaches Permanently

How to Get Rid of Roaches Permanently

Cockroaches or roaches, as we call them, can be the most nasty creatures you could imagine to share your home with you! They can transmit disease and spread bacteria all over your home. Of course, you have that pest control guy and the exterminator too for help but all those chemicals to kill the roaches are not so good for you, your kids, pets and any human living with you. So, why not adopt some home remedies to get rid of roaches permanently and that too in natural ways! These are also inexpensive ways of getting rid of roaches as compared to the bills of pest control companies!

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Roaches

Remedies to get rid of roaches include a variety of ways. There are some natural ingredients that act as repellents and keep these roaches away from your house. Then there are some other natural ingredients that kill them and give you relief from these creatures permanently, well, till others of their species don’t find you home too attractive to avoid! Then there are some tricks to trap roaches in case you don’t want to kill them. We try to cover all these remedies so that you get rid of roaches completely.

Coffee Grinds to Get Rid of Roaches

Whether the caffeine in coffee kills these roaches or the aromatic coffee acts as a bait is a debatable point. The core of the theory is that coffee grind is one of the most effective remedies to get rid of roaches. They will feed on anything organic and if you have ever noticed, they are especially attracted to coffee grounds left over the counter among many other foods. So, lure them and eliminate them.

How to Use Coffee Grounds to Kill Roaches

Get this:

  • Large glass jars
  • Wet coffee grinds
  • Water
  • Small cups

Do this:

  • Take the glass jars and fill them with water, about halfway.
  • Now take the small cups and place wet coffee grinds inside each of them.
  • Place one such cup inside all the jars.
  • Now place these jars against walls or baseboards or any other place where possibly the roaches are nesting.
  • What happens is, roaches get attracted to the aroma of the coffee grinds and enter the jar. Once they are inside the jar, they can’t escape from there.
  • Once you have laid the jars to attract the roaches, check them daily once. The day you see the jar has quite a number of roaches, dump them along with the water into the toilet. However, before discarding these roaches, remove the cups from inside the jars.
  • Now, fill the jars again with water and place some more wet coffee grinds in the cups and repeat the process.
  • Do this till the time you see no roaches for days in your jars with coffee ground.

Borax and Sugar to Get Rid of Roaches

As mentioned above, anything organic attracts roaches and so does anything sweet! So, this remedy uses sugar to attract them but what is used to kill them! Borax. Yes, borax can be as effective as the sprays used by your commercial exterminator. It dehydrates the roaches’ exoskeleton and also damages their digestive system. This is enough to kill them.

How to Make Borax-Sugar Bait for Roaches

Get this:
Equal parts of:

  • Borax
  • Sugar

Do this:

  • Take equal amounts of borax and sugar and mix them.
  • Apply this mixture along the baseboards, into the cracks, under your cabinets and the sink or any other place where you usually see the roaches.
  • You will see many dead roaches in a few hours of time.

Precaution: Borax is categorized as poison and thus needs to be used very cautiously, especially if you have kids or pets at home. Always sprinkle the borax and sugar powder in higher places and where the kids and pets cannot reach. Always label the jar or the container in which you store borax so that no accident happens in future.

Fabric Softener to Get Rid of Roaches

Fabric softener is yet another way to effectively kill cockroaches. Roaches breathe through their skin and when you spray a thick solution of fabric softener and water on them, it suffocates them, makes it difficult for them to breathe. Thus they get killed.

How to Use Fabric Softener to Kill Roaches

Get this:

  • Fabric softener, preferably natural one- 3 parts
  • Water- 2 parts
  • Spray bottle

Do this:

  • Mix the fabric softener and water.
  • Fill the spray bottle with this thick solution.
  • Now spray this over any cockroach you see. You may even spray it in places you are sure has hidden roaches

Make a Cucumber Trap to Get Rid of Roaches

While not many found this remedy too effective, some still say it works. Anyway, cucumbers are almost always in your fridge so it doesn’t hurt to experiment with this cucumber peel remedy too to find out if the roaches in your house really react to them! It is said that cucumber peels when placed in aluminum can react to the metal and produce such a stink that isn’t tolerable to roaches and they die off.


How to Make Cucumber Trap for Roaches

Get this:

  • Fresh cucumber peels
  • Aluminum can

Do this:

  • Place the cucumber peels in the can.
  • Now place this can somewhere near a site where you think there are many cockroaches.
  • Now just wait for the nasty creatures to die away.

Baking Soda- Sugar to Get Rid of Roaches

Earlier we have talked about borax and sugar mix that makes poisonous bait for the roaches. Now if you do not want to use borax due to the presence of kids and pets in your home, try mixing baking soda with sugar to make almost equally effective bait for the roaches at your home. The theory for sugar is the same that they attract roaches and for baking soda, it’s said that they affect the digestive system of the roaches. In fact, it leads to build up of so much gas into the creature that it dies.

How to Make Baking Soda-Sugar Bait for Roaches

Get this:

  • Baking Soda
  • Sugar

Do this:

  • Take equal amounts of both the ingredients and mix them.
  • Sprinkle the mix in those areas that are infested by the roaches.
  • When the roaches eat the mixture, they would die

Bay Leaf to Get Rid of Roaches

This can be said a homemade repellant that drives roaches away from your home instead of killing them. Bay leaf, a herb spice used extensively in Asian cooking, can be found easily in a store selling Indian or other Asian spices. It is said that roaches can’t stand the smell of bay leaves and thus you can get rid of roaches permanently even without killing them.

How to Use Bay Leaves for Roaches

Get this:

  • Bay leaves- handful of them
  • Mortar or pestle or any other tool to crush them

Do this:

  • Crush the bay leaves to get its powder. Bay leaf is already dried and you won’t find it difficult to grind it.
  • Now sprinkle this powder near the places nesting roaches.
  • The roaches will soon leave your home and migrate somewhere else where they get their favorite foods.

Ammonia-Water Solution to Get Rid of Roaches

Ammonia too works as repellant for roaches due to its pungent smell. Therefore, make it a habit to clean the hard surfaces with a solution of ammonia and water.

How to Use Ammonia for Roaches

Get this:

  • Ammonia- 2 cups
  • Water- 1 bucket

Do this:

  • Add ammonia to the bucket full of water.
  • Now wash the hard surfaces of your kitchen and bathroom and if possible at other places with this solution.
  • Roaches will leave your home soon but keep on using this solution at least once in two weeks to prevent them from entering your house again.

Soda Bottle Traps

While you can always buy roach traps, if you have some time and will to put a little effort, you can use those empty soda bottles to make roach traps right at home. Here’s how you can make one.

How to Make Soda Bottle Trap for Roaches

Get this:

  • Plastic soda bottle
  • A sharp knife or any other thing that may cut the bottle
  •  Tape
  • Soap
  • Water

Do this:

  • Take your plastic soda bottle and with the help of cutting tool, cut off its top from the place where it curves.
  • Now take this detached top of the bottle and place it in inverted position into the body of the bottle. Don’t forget to take out its cap. It should look and act like a funnel inside the soda bottle.
  • Use the tape around the rim to hold it in place.
  • Now mix a little water with soap and pour this into the bottle. You need very little solution of soap-water in the bottom of the bottle.
  • Now place your homemade cockroach trap where roaches are seen often.
  • Roaches will crawl into the bottle and will drown.

Use Catnip to Get Rid of Roaches

Catnip herb is a natural repellant for roaches that you can use to get rid of roaches safely without harming your pets and kids. The active ingredient in catnip is nepetalactone and this is non-toxic to humans as well as pets.

Ways to Use Catnip for Roaches

  1. Get small sachets of catnip and leave them in places where you see cockroach.
  2. Simmer 1 tsp of catnip in 2 cups of water and make a catnip tea. Use this as a spray after filling it in a spray bottle. Spray it around baseboards and behind counters or anywhere you doubt roaches hide in your house.

Precaution: While the herb is safe for pets, it makes cats go crazy so if you have a cat in your house, look for some other remedy to get rid of roaches.

Boric Acid to Get Rid of Roaches

This is what the commercial pest control use- boric acid. And thus it’s a toxic way to get rid of roaches but yes it is one of the options if you have just fed up with these nasty creatures.

How to Use Boric Acid to Kill Roaches

Get this:

  • Boric Acid

Do this:

  • Put boric acid on top of the kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets wherever they are.
  • Don’t put boric acid inside cabinets. Remember, they are toxic.
  • You may actually put it somewhere between ceiling and cabinets if it’s possible. Roaches like high places and so this effort won’t go waste.
  • If you are able to do this, roaches will take boric acid to their nests from these high places and kill all of their species there.

Precaution: Take utmost care to keep boric acid away from kids and pets. Wash your hands properly after putting boric acid. Better if you use gloves to do the job and wash off the gloves properly immediately after placing boric acid in desirable place.

Cayenne Pepper to Get Rid of Roaches

Among the herbs, other than bay leaves and catnip, you may include pepper too when it comes to make natural repellant for roaches. Where there is cayenne pepper, the roaches would not like to live there. Now whether this is due to the smell of the pepper or due to some ingredient in it, is not clear but pepper does work.

How to Use Cayenne Pepper for Roaches

Get this:

  • Cayenne (or red) pepper- 1 tbsp
  • Garlic clove (crushed)- 1
  • White onion (crushed)- 1
  • Water- 4 cups

Do this:

  • Take a tablespoon of red or cayenne pepper.
  • Mix it with a crushed garlic clove and white onion.
  • Now boil a quart or 4 cups of water and add all this to the boiling hot water.
  • Put off the flame and wait till it cools down.
  • Pour this into a spray bottle and spray in the roach-infested areas.

You may also sprinkle cayenne pepper behind any object or place where you doubt roaches to be hiding.

Hair Spray to Get Rid of Roaches

Yes, you have read right! You can even use the simple hair spray lying in your home to kill roaches. As the spray is sticky, it makes the wings roaches get glued so that they may not escape. It also seals the breathing orifices of the roaches and thus they suffocate and die.

How to Use Hair Spray to Kill Roaches

Get this:

  • Hair spray
  • Damp cloth

Do this:

  • Spray the hair spray solution whenever and wherever you see a cockroach.
  • When the insect dies, put it in dustbin and use a damp cloth to clean the area where you sprayed with the hairspray.

Warning: hairspray is highly flammable ingredient. Never ever use it around an open flame. It’s better not to use this remedy in kitchen.

Essential Oils Remedy to Get Rid of Roaches

There are many pleasant smells that we humans like but roaches, flies and other insects cannot stand them. Some of such oils include rosemary oil, cedar, eucalyptus, fir and lemon oil. You can always pour few drops of these oils onto a cotton ball and place this near insect infested areas. Here is a remedy that uses some of these oils along with baking soda and borax to get you rid of roaches and other insects as well. This will leave your home smelling pleasantly too.

Use Cedar, Lemon and Fir Oils to Get Rid of Roaches

Get this:


  • Cedar essential oil- 10-12 drops
  • Lemon essential oil- 4 drops
  • White fir essential oil- 4 drops
  • Baking soda- 2 cups
  • Borax- 4 tbsp

Do this:

  • Add all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix them well.
  • Now sprinkle this mixture everywhere where you think there might be roaches. You can even sprinkle this on carpets and upholstered furniture. Soda and borax absorb soil, oils and odors. This makes your carpets and furniture fresh and clean.
  •  Now leave it for about half an hour.
  • Then vacuum well so that all soda residues are removed. You may not like to clean it from such places as behind the cabinets etc.
  • This will not only kill and repel roaches but will also repel mites, ticks, fleas, spiders, bedbugs etc.

Make Sticky Trap to Get Rid of Roaches

You may trap the roaches in such a way that they remain unable to escape and this you can do by using super-strength packaging tape! You just need to keep the sticky side up. If that doesn’t please you, get glue boards used to catch mice.

How to Make Sticky Trap for Roaches

Get this:
• Packaging tapes
OR
• Glue board (meant for mice control)

Do this:

  • Take the tapes and place them in such places as along baseboards and countertops, behind the refrigerator and stove. Don’t forget to keep the sticky side up.
  • Do this at night before going to bed because this is the time when roaches are the most active creatures.
  • If you have roaches, hope to catch some of them till morning.
  • Do this daily till you see none for a couple of days.
  • If it’s a lot of work, just place glue boards that are made for mice control in places where you see roaches.

Some Other Tips to Prevent and Get Rid of Roaches

If you don’t want these unwelcome guests called cockroaches in your house, you need to cut off their supply. Yes roaches too have basic needs like us- food, water and shelter. So don’t let food be easily available to them by avoiding spills and storing food properly. Fix your leaking pipes and keep drains clean. Keep your house clean, free of clutter and warm moist dirty places because such places are what become shelter of roaches. Here are some tips for you so that you can prevent roaches from entering your house and if they have already entered, you will also find some tips to get them out of your home.

  1. Remove all the clutter from everywhere in your house.
  2. Keep your house clean by vacuuming well and often. Clean floors daily. Pay special attention to furniture, walls, cabinets, moldings, baseboards, etc. while cleaning.
  3. Vacuum or sweep and then sponge mop kitchen floor every week, if not daily. Take care to mop up all the water.
  4. Wash all the hard washable surfaces like sinks etc. with cleansers and not just water. You may use ammonia and water as mentioned in the remedies above.
  5. The places that are hard to reach and not visible and those that you can’t clean everyday need to fix with something to detract roaches. Dust these places with boric acid powder.
  6. Seal any cracks and openings with caulk. You can find such cracks and openings where the wall and the ceiling meet, where the wall and the floor meet, around baseboards and pipes, door and window moldings, around splash board at sink, and inside cabinets.

Tips to Cut off Food Supply of Roaches to keep them out

  1. Always keep food stored in sealed containers or in your refrigerator. It’s better to keep it sealed in fridge too.
  2. Try to paint your cabinet shelves and drawers using enamel. Always keep them clean.
  3. Don’t let the garbage lay open. Use covered dustbins in kitchen and where you have moist garbage. As far as possible, keep covered garbage containers outside.
  4. Keep everything in kitchen clean. Wash your dishes, tables, counters and stovetops every day without fail.
  5. Store anything edible including dry items like flour, sugar, cereal, pasta and crackers in covered containers. Remember, these are also the foods that attract roaches.

Tips to Cut off Water Supply to Roaches

  1. Fix all the leaks in your house. No pipes, taps, flush tanks, nothing should leak water.
  2. Clean drains every day.
  3. Keep all the places in house clean and dry. Kitchen and bathroom should also be clean and dry. Mop any water as soon as the area gets wet.

Tips to Eliminate Hiding Places of Roaches

  1. Clean the clutter from all storage spaces including shelves, drawers, closets etc. Throw away everything that is junk.
  2. Don’t use shelf paper as roaches love to hide under them.
  3. Unused furniture, appliances, food and clothing, all of them are clutter. Throw them away or give them away. Do whatever you need to get rid of them.
  4. Regular home repairs are a must. Seal cracks and openings. Also remove chipped paint.
  5. If there is wallpaper in your house, make sure, it is not losing. Lose wallpapers should be removed or repaired. The same is true for plaster.
  6. Check your books in the shelves or drawers or wherever you store them. Check behind picture frames, under the sink and electronics for cockroaches. Clean them regularly.

If you take all the above measures, roaches would just hate your house and you will not have to think about the ways to get rid of roaches!

About Sara

Sara is a Boston-based registered dietitian who works with clients to improve their health by optimizing nutrition. You can find her running, sweating in hot yoga, cooking in the kitchen, dining out, or exploring. Eating Food-Mostly Plants, and improving our relationship with food, is the secret to lifelong health in her eyes.

29 comments

  1. Please share some tips on how to get rid of lizard menace tq

  2. marvellous site. full of information and helpful tips

  3. Thank you so much! The baking soda and sugar are doing wonders ❤

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  6. On the Coffee, Do you make it first or just get the grounds wet, can it be instant? do you float a little cup in a jar of water?

    The baking soda and sugar its just that right not liquid? is it powdered sugar?

  7. I would assume grounds are what you get after you brew your coffee. I'm gonna try it tomorrow. Good luck!

  8. Very useful ideas on gettingrib of bugs. Will be trying them tonight.

  9. My house is infested with roaches!! I hate it! I can see them at all times of the day
    It's driving crazy! I can't continue living like this, it's just so disgusting, I tried a lot of things and nothing seems to work….tonight I am going to try the baking soda and sugar ….I Prat to God it Works

  10. dude the catnip attracts MORE it does not work

  11. Did it work? I think I saw a dead roach in my basement and I need to get this taken care of before it becomes a problem!

  12. IM TRYIN A FEW, IVE HAD IT & LANDLORD DON'T DO ANYTHING. TIRED OF SPENDIN MY &. I GET SSI CAN'T AFIRD IT.

  13. We started getting roaches,when our neighbors started cleaning out their sheds.We've tried everything u can buy.I'm going to try the sugar n baking soda. I need these thing out of my house.we've only live in our new home for 3yrs.We started seeing them when spring time came.I hate having nasty neighbors.

  14. When we moved in to our apartment we had them and they just getting. Worse I clean everyday

  15. So do you use powdered sugar or regular sugar?

  16. I promise this will work….I call them dough balls. Mix together flour and water so that you make a dough consistancy. Now pour in as much boric acid as you want also add some sugar, chopped onion and some bacon grease. Roll dough into balls and strategically place throughout house…..Get that!

  17. Well, did it work?…Wendy? …Wendy?
    Maybe they ate her.

  18. combat trays did the job for the little roaches. haven't seen one in 15 years. the big ones come in from the trees outside. i am afraid of them

  19. Tried boric acid (powdered from Walgreens) and it was totally ineffective. Will try the coffee grounds, the bay leaves and also the fabric softener.

  20. Thank you! I think this is worth sharing with people I know to try. I wonder if it would work for ants, too?

  21. Boric acid does work but it's best to make a thick paste out of it using condensed milk. Then you put it on a little square of aluminum foil and put them under furniture hidden away. Less mess than the powdery sticky catastrophe this sugar proposal mentions. Haven't seen a roach in years if it didn't just walk in the door from me leaving it open. You do have to replace them but only every couple of years.

  22. Dawn Trygstad I have found the best defense for ants is CINNAMON. Most kitchens have at least one bottle of cinnamon. Try it and I believe you'll agree with me it's the best. It doesn't stink like pesticides, it's not toxic, and it's an easy clean up.

  23. Diatomaceous earth is the absolute superb roach killing, organic, method of roach killing. Its Organic you can even eat it and its not harmful to u or ur pets now mind u its dusty and when laid down will leave some dusty residue however its the lesser of 2 evils if ur really concerted to be rid of ur roach problem or infestation. I urge u to do independant research of ur own rather than just taking my word for it. However, my mother uses this faithfully as we live in the country and it not only works on roaches, spiders ( brown recluse are rampant in our area and many have we seen), anyy bug with an exoskeleton it destroys not immediately but ultimately within 24 hours and being avid pet owners, lovers this is a remedy even safe for our cats, dogs, rabbits, squirrel, possum and our mole.

  24. It can be wet or dry, instant or not – doesn't matter. They seem to love the smell of it.

  25. An about that subject…… While taking the mad dump, i saw a medium roach in the corner, just a chilln. I tried to scare it away by stomping, but he stood still. Needless to say that pissed me off. I had to step on the lil nasty focker. That made me mad… Smashed roachata on my freekn shoes!!! Ughhhhh so mad i cant even scream for help. The hollering may piss myself off further.

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