Natural Roach Killers:  5 Ways to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally, Plus One More for Good Measure

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Natural Roach Killers:  5 Ways to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally, Plus One More for Good Measure 

Controlling cockroaches can be a pain in the you-know-what once an infestation happens.  The following list can help you get rid of roaches naturally.


Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms.  Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica.  Over a long period of time, diatoms accumulated in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans.  Today, silica deposits are mined from these areas.

How does diatomaceous earth work?

Diatomaceous earth is not poisonous; it does not have to be eaten in order to be effective.  Diatomaceous earth causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect’s exoskeleton.  Its sharp edges are abrasive, speeding up the process.  It remains effective as long as it is kept dry and undisturbed.

[2013 Diatomaceous Earth General Fact Sheet; National Pesticide Information Center, Oregon State University Extension Services.]

How to Use It:

Simply spread it around areas that the roaches travel.  A bulb duster will help make the job easier but isn't entirely necessary.


Boric acid and its sodium borate salts are pesticides that we can find in nature and many products.  Borax is one of the most common products.  Boric acid and its sodium salts each combine boron with other elements in a different way.  In general, their toxicities each depend on the amount of boron they contain.

How does boric acid work?

Boric acid can kill insects if they eat it.  It disrupts their stomach and can affect their nervous system.  It can also scratch and damage the exterior of insects.

[Boone, C.; Bond, C.; Stone, D. 2012. Boric Acid General Fact Sheet; National Pesticide Information Center, Oregon State University Extension Services.]

How to Use it:

Like the diatomaceous earth, boric acid is another easy to use product.  Simply spread it, in a very-very thin layer, in areas where roaches are likely to travel.  As they walk through the boric acid, it attaches to their bodies, then when they clean themselves they ingest it.  It will also stick to any foods they drag through, taking it to the nest.


I know this solution works – for the roaches you see.  It won't do anything for the ones you don't, and I've read statements that say for every roach you see, there could be 800 to 1,000 in hiding.  Just let that sink in for a moment.  While I knew it worked, I didn't know exactly why – something about suffocation.  Here's an answer I found on Quora:

"Soap allows water to wet surfaces better.  Specifically, it increases the adhesion of water molecules to a surface by reducing the cohesion between water molecules.

An insect breathes through small vents on its body.  The body is sort of waxy so water has very little adhesion to it.  But soapy water clings to an insect's body and suffocates it.  Two or three drops (with only very little soap added) are sufficient to kill a cockroach in just a few seconds."

How to Use It:

Easy-peasy, but messy:  simply fill a spray bottle most of the way with water and then fill the rest with liquid soap.  If the soap is thin, you'll need more than you would a more concentrated soap.  Then, when you see a roach, you shoot it with the soapy water and it'll die almost instantaneously.


Borax is where boric acid comes from.  The sugar serves as bait and the borax works much the same way as the boric acid does.

How to Use It:

Mix 3 parts borax with 1 part sugar and place in a bowl or shallow dish.  Place the dish in an area that the roaches frequent, but out of the way of children and pets.


This works on the "catch 'em, then kill 'em" premise.  Set a trap that they get caught in and then they die.

How to Make a Very Effective, Pesticide-Free Cockroach Trap []

  1. Make cockroach traps by cutting the top off of a 2-liter soda pop bottle. Cut in a straight line where the bottle begins to curve.
  2. Put a little Vaseline or cooking spray around the inside of the bottle (Be careful not to get any on the outside). Invert the top and put it back inside the bottle like a funnel. Then tape the edges to keep the top from falling inside and the roaches from escaping. (See picture of bottle above).
  3. Put some masking tape or fabric on the outside from the bottom to the top, so the roaches can climb up and into your trap.
  4. Put in a piece of bread soaked in beer (non-alcoholic beer is fine to use) in the bottom and place bottle under sinks, in corners, and wherever you see roaches.
  5. Leave trap overnight, placing it in a room along a wall or cabinet – not in the center of the room.
  6. Check traps every morning. Change out the beer-bread every few days since it will mold quickly.
  7. To kill the cockroaches, you can either freeze the contents or pour in HOT soapy water. Empty out the hot water in the garbage or flush down the toilet, then put another small piece of beer-soaked bread in the trap, and set it out again that night.

If you repeat this over several days, your cockroach population will greatly decrease. You can use the trap to monitor or control roach infestations.


I had to include this one for good measure.  As I was looking for information, I came across this idea and got a grin out of it.

“Liar, liar, set ‘em on fire.” Female cockroaches can produce three-hundred to four-hundred offspring in its lifetime…and do this asexually! While I’m convinced carpet-bombing is the only sure-fire way to eliminate the enemy, a simple candy-coated candle will do the trick. Use a sugary-scented candle or douse the interior with a Pixy Stick, set it aflame, and watch the roaches jump into Hell.  []


This information is provided for information only.  I am not a "professional" entomologist, herbalist, or any other "-ist."  You are responsible for whatever you do with this information.  REMEMBER, natural does not always mean, or infer, non-toxic, harmless, or suitable for all situations.  Be sure you know of any potential hazards for you, your pets, or your home.