10 Natural Home Remedies for Killing Cockroaches

Give these 10 all-natural home remedies for cockroaches a try. They’re a lot safer for you, your family, and your pets. Hold off on calling the exterminator; because chances are, they’ll use those pesticides you’re looking to avoid. These natural solutions are separated into two categories: repelling roaches, and killing them.

Natural Home Remedies for Repelling Roaches

Using natural ingredients, and chemical-free methods, you can kep roaches away.

Using these remedies to keep roaches away will help if:

  • You don’t have a cockroach problem and you’d like to keep it that way.
  • Your neighbor has a cockroach problem and you want to make sure they stay there (away from your house)
  • You only see a cockroach once in a while and you want to keep them away.
  • You’re already using one or more of the remedies for killing roaches listed further below.

If you already have a cockroach infestation in your home (regardless of how big/small the problem is) then you’ll want to avoid using remedies that will only repel them. They don’t do anything to kill the population. The only way to get rid of a roach problem is, unfortunately, to kill them all.

Lemon Peel/Juice

Roaches just don’t like the smell of citrus. Good thing for us, most of us have no problem with it and many even love it. You can place fresh lemon peel around the house to deter them. Or mix lemon juice with a little bit of water in a spray bottle and spray it around the house.

Bay Leaves

Another common kitchen item they can’t stand are bay leaves. The smell just doesn’t really appeal to them, so they’d rather keep a distance. Place fresh/dried bay leaves around the house. Or place crushed bay leaves in clean paper tea filter bags and hang/place them around the house.

Cucumber slices/Peels

These pests don’t like the smell of fresh cucumbers either. You can use cucumber slices or peels. I prefer the enjoy the cucumber slices myself and leave the peels for keeping those roaches away.


Keep a few catnips around the house in small growing pots to help repel roaches. There’s just something about catnip that drives them up the wall. Whatever the exact reason is, it doesn’t matter as long as it keeps them far away.

Natural DIY Cockroach Repelling Spray

All the other home remedies a little too boring for you? Why not whip up your own all-natural repelling spray? Bring out the blender and throw in a few hot peppers, one onion and a few cloves of garlic. Blend them with a little water and pour it all into a spray bottle. Give it a good shake before you use it and spray it wherever you’d like the roaches to keep away.

Clean, Clean, Clean!

The most natural way (and FREE) to keep unwanted roaches and other pests away is to keep your house clean. Remove clutter. Don’t leave food out. Take out the garbage and keep it covered. Garbage and food that are left out will attract roaches and other pests from the outside. Don’t give them a reason to enter, and they will likely move on to the next place that smells like food.

Home Remedies to Kill Roaches

After taking the steps to keep tem away, make sure to use these home remedies to kill the roaches .Use these home remedies to kill cockroaches if they’re already making themselves comfortable in your home. You might also want to consider some of the home remedies above to keep more from coming in while you deal with the current population inside.

Baking Soda & Cornstarch

Baking soda will cause excessive gas to build up inside once a cockroach has eaten it. They won’t eat it plain and simple, so you’ll have to trick them with a little sugar. That’s where cornstarch comes in. Mix equal parts of the two together and leave them out for the roaches to feast on. Alternatively, you can substitute cornstarch with sugar.

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly (a.k.a Vaseline) make effective and safe roach traps. Smear a thin layer of the oily jelly on a thin piece of paper or cardboard. Place a few pieces of food crumbs in the middle and leave them out in areas where you often see roaches crawling through. Petroleum jelly itself doesn’t kill them, but it will keep them glued to the trap. Toss the trap outside in the garbage.

Ice Cream

Like the idea of the petroleum jelly, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to bait it? Then ice cream is your answer. Leave a small container of melted ice cream out. The sugar will lure them in and they’ll get stuck. Just toss it in the garbage outside afterwards.


A spray bottle of soapy water is an all-natural alternative to toxic pesticide sprays. Give any roach you see a good spray and let the soap do the job. Give the bottle a good shake before using.

Beer and Bread

This is a great remedy to fix your roach problem and help you get rid of that cheap beer that’s been sitting there for a while now. Grab some old bread (or new) and soak it in the beer. Leave the soaked bread out and let the roaches eat them. The bread will entice them to eat it, and the beer will kill them.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is the single most effective natural remedy for killing roaches. When consumed, it attacks them from the inside. When physical contact is made, it hurts the roaches from the outside.

It’s so effective, many commercial roach baits use boric acid as the main active ingredient. It’s actually a well-kept secret among professional exterminators. If I had to choose only one item on this entire list, I’d use boric acid.

Are They Effective?

Now let’s talk about the questions that’s probably been weighing on your mind, “Do they work?”, and “Are they effective?” The answer to both questions is, YES. However, they don’t’ all work the same. Some home remedies for roaches will work better than others. Some will work better for other people. To find out what will work for you, you will have to test a few at a time to see what works best.

I think the only item on this list that could be an exception to this is boric acid. PestEnd.org speaks highly of it and so do many others that have used it for removing roaches.  It just works plain and simple and it works for all roaches. It ca be modified to work for almost all roach problems as well. If you only have to choose one item from this list to help manage your roach problems, I would highly recommend that you consider boric acid first. Chances are, you won’t have to experience much with what to use. You might have to adjust a bit with amount, application, treatment time, and the likes but the active ingredient (boric acid) will stay the same.

Cons of Using Home Remedies

You’re probably also wondering what the cons are to using natural remedies such as these. Surely, there’s bound to be problems right?

Yep, you’re right about that. Natural remedies are perfect. As stated above, results will vary. The biggest problem with natural results though is they don’t work as fast and for many of them, they just don’t work as well as the pesticides designed specifically for eradicating cockroaches. Natural solutions take a little more time, patience, and work.

If you’ve got a roach problem, or you just want to make sure you don’t ever have a problem with them, then these other natural home remedies for cockroaches are well worth a try. Combine multiple home remedies to get the most out of them. Use repelling remedies to keep more roaches away from the house and use the kill remedies to remove them for good.