How to get rid of roaches

Kill roaches at home

Roaches are perhaps the most despised pests on the planet. Not only do they carry diseases (in rare cases), but they’re associated with a dirty environment (often erroneously). There are home remedies for roaches that will act as a natural roach killer, allowing you to turn on your lights and not fear that a roach will skitter across the floor.

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What acts as a natural remedy for roaches?Let’s find out.

Cleanliness leads to roachlessness


The first thing you want to do in your fight against roaches is to protect you and your family from getting sick from them. Start by storing all food – even the fruit bowl – inside the fridge or in sealed-tight containers that the roaches can’t get into. And then scrub your house with a burning passion, making sure you clear your living space of roach droppings.

Regular cleaning doesn’t just prevent you and your family getting sick from a roach infestation, but also removes the food scraps and clutter that roaches are drawn to, ultimately creating an inhospitable environment for them and making it easier to get rid of roaches naturally.

Also consider making your own natural roach repellent by mixing peppermint oil with water to spray down your floors, countertops, tables, drawers and any other surfaces after you finish cleaning. You can do this by combing 30% peppermint oil and 70% water in a spray bottle. Roaches hate the smell of peppermint and while this probably won’t get rid of a roach infestation, it can help encourage them to leave your home.

Suck up roaches with a vacuum


If you’re squeamish about killing roaches – but want to get them out of your living space all the same, you can get rid of roaches naturally by sucking them up.

Your regular vacuum cleaner won’t do the trick, but the Sokos humane Bug Catcher Vacuum will.

All you do is aim it at the roach and suck them into a bug vacuum pipe. It doesn’t kill them so it also offers a humane option if you have qualms about killing roaches.

No more roach cracks


The small German cockroach can squeeze through a crack as thin as a dime and the larger American cockroach can fit through a space no thicker than a quarter. Even pregnant cockroaches are great at making their way through impossibly tiny gaps.

But roaches don’t just use these cracks and crevices to get into your home – they’re also thigmotropic, which means that they like feeling something solid in contact with their bodies, preferably on all sides. So when searching for a home, they’ll look for little spaces that offer them the comfort of a tight fit.

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The more cracks and crevices you have in your home, the more potential cockroach houses you have to offer these little buggers.

So grab some caulk and seal them off immediately. Be thorough – close off any and all entries into your home, cracks in the baseboards, inside your pantry, between the countertops and the walls, etc. Also, seal off your drains by using a stopper in your sink and tub whenever you’re not using them – pipes are a common roach entryway.

Sure, it’ll take some time but it’s totally worth the effort since you’re effectively blockading roaches from moving into your home and making it a less comfortable place for roaches to live.

Get safe cockroach traps

How to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally

Safe cockroach traps like this one work by using bait to entice roaches to enter and then making it impossible for them to leave. It doesn’t use chemicals, sprays or poisons so it’s a safe and natural way to get rid of roaches even with kids or pets around.

They’re also easy to dispose of – just toss the whole roach trap out – and replace with a new one. All you have to do is put some bait inside to lure the roaches – chips, bread, a piece of meat, etc. – and place them in areas where you’ve seen roaches and then rinse and repeat.

Kill roaches with diatomaceous earth


Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is an all natural roach killer that will kill any bug with an exoskeleton but is safe enough for any mammal to eat, including pets and kids.

DE looks like a soft powder because it’s made up from the fossilized bodies of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. These little diatoms have skeletons that are primarily composed of silica, a natural substance that works by puncturing the cockroach’s body, causing them to dehydrate to death.

It’s a great, non-toxic roach killer since they can’t build up a tolerance to it like they can with physical pesticides.

How to kill roaches with diatomaceous earth: Sprinkle a thin, even layer of DE anywhere you’ve seen roaches hang out (the surface must first be dry). Use a dust dispenser to make sure you distribute it evenly – roaches can avoid stepping on it if the dusting is too heavy.

Also, use DE anywhere roaches can hide as well as to line any entryways into your house so that roaches have to crawl through it in order to get into your house.

Keep in mind that DE is one of the most effective ways to kill roaches naturally but it does take awhile to work since in order for DE to kill roaches, the roaches must first make physical contact with the DE powder. For faster results, combine with a natural roach killer that the roaches can eat…

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Employ a roach eater


This is one of the more unusual natural ways to get rid of roaches, but it is totally non-toxic and safe for you, your pets and your kids. 

How does it work? You get a team of roach predators and let them loose in your place to do your pest control for you. Cockroaches have many natural predators, including toads, frogs, beetles, geckos and iguanas. Of these – geckos are the most preferred since they’re very affordable, low-maintenance and mostly stay out of sight.

We haven’t personally tried this method – but this guy and this guy have with great success. And it’s not surprising since geckos operate on the same schedule as roaches (both are nocturnal); geckos can scamper up walls, ceilings and anywhere else roaches roam; and geckos can run faster than roaches.

Plus, geckos don’t eat anything other than live insects so they’ll be feeding exclusively on the roaches in your home.

Make boric acid roaches bait


Boric acid is cheap, easy to find and a very effective natural roach killer. It works by poisoning roaches once ingested, destroying their stomach lining and causing them to die of starvation.

The downside is that boric acid is natural but it is not non-toxic so if you have children or pets and you’re looking for a totally safe way to get rid of roaches, you might want to skip this one. It’s classified as a Category III toxin, which means that it is moderately toxic, and can cause moderate to severe health problems if ingested. If you do decide to use it, do not use it in any area within a child or pet’s reach.

How to get rid of roaches with boric acid: You have to first entice them to eat it by mixing the boric acid with sugar, honey, jelly, peanut butter, onion juice, or anything else that makes an appealing bait for roaches. Use a high concentration of the poison (i.e. 3 parts borax to 1 part sugar) and mix very, very well so the roaches can’t eat around the boric acid. To make a paste, drop in some water, milk or juice.

Leave the boric acid bait in roach-infested areas.

You can also use the boric acid to sprinkle in areas where roaches crawl around although we really don’t recommend this if you have pets or children. Stick to the bait traps and place them in places where your child or pets can’t reach.

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Sound repel roaches away


Another natural way to get rid of roaches in your home is to use an ultrasonic pest repeller like the Sonic Pest Fighter. These use electromagnetic and ultrasonic waves that are not audible to the human ear, but can be heard by a wide array of pests including roaches, mice, spiders, etc.

It’s safe to use around pets and children and requires no clean up since it repels without killing.

Ring, Ring,… We have Roaches!

“Roaches are evil spawns from the pits of hell” (tweetable?).

From time to time, they choose to rear their ugly heads and cause major issues for landlords and tenants.  For a landlord, roaches are like the sleazy con artist 2nd-removed uncle that stops by (uninvited) to sleep on your couch indefinitely when your wife is 9.2 months pregnant.  In my opinion, the best way to get rid of them both is to poison them.

Okay, sorry uncle Ernie.  But in all seriousness, roaches can be a big problem for landlords. In my experience, they tend to show up a few months after my new tenants move-in (especially the group houses, with tenants under 30 years old). There seems to be a direct correlation between sub-par cleanliness, and the presence of roaches – go figure.

My theory on how roaches happen:

  1. After lease signing, I deliver a rental property that is super clean and bug-free
  2. Tenants move-in
  3. Tenants buy food to stock the fridge and pantry
  4. 2-3 months go by of inadequate cleaning habits such as: food spoiling, piles of dishes in the sink at all times, and bags of garbage left inside the house
  5. Roaches move-in to help eliminate the left-over food (how nice of them)
  6. Roaches make babies and flourish
  7. Tenants call me to complain about a mysterious roach problem. Tenants are genuinely confused as to why there would be bugs in the house.

I politely remind them that the lease clearly states that they are responsible for all pest control after the first 2 weeks following move-in.  However, I realize that I am vested in making sure that the roach problem doesn’t become a full-blown infestation – so I try to help solve the problem as quickly as possible.

If I don’t get involved, and the tenants do nothing, then the roaches take over.  If that happens, tenants often leave suddenly, and I could potentially get slapped with a health code violation.

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