Home Remedies for Cockroaches: Fact vs. Fiction


If there’s a list of the most despised pests on the planet, cockroaches will surely be at the top for the majority of people. There is a long list of why people find these creatures repulsive. For the most part, they are synonymous to dirt and filth. They carry disease-causing bacteria, parasitic worms, and pathogens. In hindsight, it is human nature’s evolutionary aversion to dirty, greasy, and smelly things. They also multiply at an alarming rate, that is why it is extremely important to control them as much as you can. But aside from the trusted bug spray, are there actually safe and effective home remedies for roaches? This entry will try to separate fact from fiction. 

What attracts roaches?

First off, you need to understand what brings these nasty creatures inside your house. 

For one, cockroaches thrive in dirty and humid environments. This is why you always find them in trash cans and garbage piles on the street. They are attracted to leftover food, food crumbs on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink. They also love clutter as it gives them places to hide.

The truth about home remedies for roaches

Though it is best to hire professionals to kill, disinfect, and protect your home against cockroaches (since they can always come back), it is also good to have home remedies that can help you keep them at bay. 

What you need to know however, is that just because one thing is popular, doesn’t mean it is actually effective. 

Many opt for holistic approaches, such as mixing liquids and powders such as water and baking soda. Some use strong and even harmful and poisonous substances such as boric acid. Some go for an all-natural approach, such as Neem powder or oil, peppermint, and even Bay Leaves. But do these home remedies for roaches actually work? Here’s the truth about the most common home remedies used for killing and keeping roaches away.

Boric Acid (Fact)

This is actually a common substance used by many exterminators for killing cockroaches. It works best when roaches intentionally eat them. That is why it is mixed with cocoa or white sugar and used as bait. This deadly concoction attacks the cockroach’s digestive and nervous system, and eventually kills them. 

Baking Soda (Fact)

Baking soda, especially when mixed with sugar, is a great alternative for harmful substances like Boric Acid, since it is much less toxic for both humans and pets. Roaches are attracted to the smell of sugar. When they eat sugar-baking soda mixture their digestive system gets bloated which will kill them. 

Soapy Water with Dishwashing Soap or Detergent (Plausible)

Soap creates a film-like barrier that clogs the roaches’ breathing pores. This causes them to suffocate and die. You can use different types of detergent or even fabric softener, but it is best to put the mixture in a spray bottle and make sure the solution is thin enough to spray on the roaches. 

Depending on your solution, this can kill roaches instantly, especially if it hits their head, belly, or lower abdomen.

Hair Spray (Plausible)

Just like soapy water, hair spray chemicals can suffocate the roaches. The added advantage of this home remedy is that it can trap them better since the chemical is sticky and works like glue. 

You can spray hair spray on their hiding spots, trashcans, damp cloths, etc. The plus side of this remedy is it is also safe and non-toxic. 


Cucumber slices (Plausible)

This may sound too good to be true, but it actually works, especially as a trap. There is something about cucumber peels that reacts with aluminum cans, which makes a pungent smell that kills cockroaches. 

Place cucumber slices inside an aluminum can and leave it overnight. Roaches will be attracted to the cucumber and then, slowly die from the exposure of the pungent smell.

Bay Leaves (Fiction) 

This is one of the most common DIY home remedies for dealing with cockroaches, unfortunately, it is a myth. To be fair, they don’t say it can kill the pest, rather, it helps deter. 

Supposedly, scattered bay leaves can repel cockroaches. However, the scent of the bay leaf is simply not strong enough to deter cockroaches. Unless you are willing to leave a handful of powdered bay leaves all over your house, this is an inconvenient approach to deter roaches. 

Lemon Juice (Fiction)

Like bay leaves, many DIY-ers say lemon juice can help deter cockroaches. While the scent can in fact repel cockroaches, it has to be in an extremely high concentration, like in the form of essential oil. 

Furthermore, citrus essential oils, such as lemon essential oils, evaporate quickly. Meaning, they cannot protect your perimeter for a long time.

Isopropyl Alcohol (Plausible)

While you may kill a roach or two by spraying isopropyl alcohol directly on them, that will require you to spray multiple times and chase them around the house. 

Though plausible, this is less than ideal as isopropyl alcohol can be harsh for your respiratory system. Also, it is highly flammable, making it dangerous to play around with.

Coffee Grounds (Fiction)

There are two common ways people go about this: one is by using a trap jar that will attract, trap, and kill cockroaches, the other is to deter them. 

The issue with this is quite obvious – on one hand, the coffee ground is used as bait, while on the other hand, it is supposed to deter. The truth is cockroaches do not care about coffee and coffee grounds. They neither hate it, nor like it. It’s basically useless against cockroaches. 

Effective Home Remedies for Roaches

Do Home Remedies for Roaches Work?

There are so many confusing tips on home remedies for roaches online. As said earlier, the best way to deal with this problem is to leave it to the expert exterminators. They are fully equipped, skilled, and experienced to handle whatever infestation you have in your property. They have the tools and methods to go about the problem safely and effectively. More importantly, they can put strategies in place to help you keep cockroaches away from your home. 

Call AccuRat and book your free inspection today

You can always contact us when you are dealing with cockroach infestation, even if you are unsure about the species. You can do it directly through our website or call a member of our staff and we will send you a technician as soon as possible. Don’t let cockroaches control your life, let us control and get rid of the infestation. We stand behind our work offering you a professional service as well as a warranty after each treatment.

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020 8144 4744



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