Home PestsRoaches

What Household Items Kill Roaches?

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Cockroaches are a common household pest that can be difficult to eliminate. Not only are they a nuisance, but they can also carry harmful bacteria and trigger allergies and asthma. Fortunately, there are several household items that can be used to kill or repel roaches. In this article, we will explore these items in detail, providing examples and discussing their effectiveness.


Several household items can effectively kill or repel roaches. Soapy water can suffocate roaches when sprayed directly on them. Spices like cayenne, garlic, and onion powder can repel roaches due to their strong odors. Tea tree oil mixed with water can also deter roaches. Borax and sugar or baking soda and sugar can attract and kill roaches. Lastly, diatomaceous earth can cause roaches to dehydrate and die. However, severe infestations may require professional pest control.

Using Household Items to Kill Roaches

1. Soapy Water

A simple mixture of dish soap and water can be an effective tool against roaches. When sprayed directly on them, the soapy water suffocates and kills the roaches by forming a thin film around their breathing pores. It’s a handy and cost-effective solution.

2. Spices

A mixture of cayenne, garlic, and onion powder can be a powerful roach deterrent. Sprinkling this mixture in roach-prone areas can help repel them, as they are repulsed by the strong odors of these spices.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is known for its potent antiseptic properties, but it can also be used to repel roaches. Mixing tea tree oil with water and spraying it around your home can help keep these pests at bay.

4. Borax and Sugar

Borax and sugar make an effective combination for killing roaches. The sugar attracts roaches, and the borax kills them. Sprinkle the mixture in areas where you’ve seen roach activity for the best results.

5. Baking Soda and Sugar

This is another lethal combination for roaches. The roaches are attracted to the sugar and consume the baking soda along with it, which ultimately kills them.

6. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from tiny fossilized aquatic organisms. When roaches come into contact with this powder, it damages their exoskeletons and causes them to dehydrate and die.

Precautions When Using Household Items

While these household items can be effective in killing roaches, it’s essential to use them responsibly to keep your household safe. Avoid inhaling substances like diatomaceous earth and boric acid, as they can cause respiratory irritation. Keep these substances out of reach from children and pets, and avoid spreading them on countertops or food preparation surfaces.

Preventing Future Infestations

Aside from eliminating roaches, these household items can also help prevent future infestations. Regularly clean your home, especially the kitchen and bathroom, to eliminate food and water sources for roaches. Seal cracks and holes in your home where roaches can enter and hide. By taking these steps, along with using the household items mentioned above, you can create a roach-free environment in your home.


While these household items can be effective in killing and repelling roaches, remember that severe infestations may require professional pest control. If you’ve tried these methods and are still seeing roaches in your home, it may be time to call in the experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for roaches to die after coming into contact with these household items?

The time it takes for roaches to die after coming into contact with these household items can vary. For example, roaches that come into contact with soapy water usually die within a few minutes, while those that ingest borax or baking soda may take up to 48 hours to die.

Can I mix different household items together for a more potent solution?

It’s best to stick to the combinations mentioned in the article. Mixing different household items together could potentially create harmful substances or negate the effectiveness of the original items.

How often should I apply these household items?

The frequency of application depends on the severity of the infestation. In general, it’s recommended to apply these solutions every few days until you no longer see signs of roaches.

Will these household items also kill other pests?

Some of these household items can also be effective against other pests. For example, diatomaceous earth can kill a variety of insects, including bed bugs and ants, while tea tree oil can repel a wide range of insects.

Are there any specific areas in the house that I should focus on when applying these household items?

Roaches often hide in dark, moist areas of the home. Therefore, focus on areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, basement, and any cracks or crevices where roaches might be hiding.

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