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How To Get Rid of Roaches on a Boat

How To Get Rid Of Roaches On A Boat

Roaches are the last visitor you want with you aboard.

With their small bodies, they often get into boats through cardboard boxes, groceries, and bags.

Once aboard, these insects can damage electrical appliances and spread several disease-causing bacteria to humans.

This guide will walk you through some practical strategies to eliminate them from your boat. Let’s get into it!


Although tiny, roaches are one insect nobody wants around. They can harm humans and wreck unimaginable damage to several boat parts.

If you notice their activities on your boat, the following strategies can help eliminate them:

  • Starve them (deny them access to water and food)
  • Clean areas they love to hang out
  • Use a roach motel
  • Use poisoned baits

Above are four foolproof roach-deterring strategies. Keep reading to learn more!

In the sections below, we will discuss seven practical ways to keep roaches at bay from your boat. Also, we will answer some frequently asked questions about roach infestation on boats. Happy learning!

7 Ways To Get Rid of Roaches From Your Boat

7 Ways To Get Rid Of Roaches From Your Boat

Back then, the only cure for roaches was to ‘bomb’ the boat, sell the boat, or destroy the boat completely.

When a boat was suffering from roach infestation, foggers were employed. Foggers consist of aerosol canisters that fill the boat with a poisonous mist.

Thankfully, there are several environment-friendly and healthier ways to get rid of roaches on boats other than using hazardous chemicals.

Below, we consider seven simple and effective strategies to rid roaches from your boat:

1. Starve Them

Starve Them

Like humans, roaches need water and food to survive and will always hang around anywhere they have access to them. They stay where they can eat, stay and procreate.

Deny them access to water and food and watch how they will flee. For this, you can dry the sink on your boat and put in the plug.

Keep everywhere clean and put all food in boxes. When you do not give roaches an enabling environment to thrive, they will stay away from your boat.

2. Clean Areas Roaches Love To Hang Out

Clean Areas Roaches Love To Hang Out

Roaches love to hang out in damp and dark places. If your boat has a kitchen, that is a target spot for them because of the presence of food.

Never assume that your boat is clean without checking each area well to remove any mess that would cause a roach infestation.

Remember, It takes these creatures very little time to reproduce and make your boat an abode.

So, ensure your kitchen is spotlessly clean. Sweep and wipe every corner and every dark area.

3. Use a Roach Motel

Use A Roach Motel

Roach motel (roach trap) contains a unique lure that attracts roaches into the trap.

A lure can be food crumbs or a cloth soaked in a stale beer. Once inside, roaches become stuck in a powerful glue or petroleum jelly and die.

Roach motel is easy to use. There is no need to clean out cabinets or pick up dead roaches throughout the boat. Just throw this product away when full.

For best results, place the trap on the habitual roach pathways. These may include the inner edge of cabinets and floor edges. 

Also, ensure there are no competing food sources. Your boat must be spotlessly clean.

4. Use Poisoned Baits

Use Poisoned Baits

You can make your personalized poisoned bait using boric acid and condensed milk.

After thoroughly mixing, apply the mixture with a syringe.

Spray directly on roaches, crevices, and other hiding places.

Do not use this method if you have small children or sugar-loving pets.

Boric acid can be difficult to find, but it is available in more significant pharmacies and stores.

5. Use Pest Control Pouch

Use Pest Control Pouch

Pest control pouches naturally repel pests.

These pouches encapsulate an ultra-powerful combination of essential oils in a convenient-to-use form. Cedar, cinnamon, lemongrass, rosemary, mint, and peppermint oil are the secret ingredients.

This strategy effectively helps repel many different pests, including roaches. A pack of pest control pouches can last from six months to one year.

Place in a small-enclosed area to repel roaches. A pest control pouch is the most effective roach repellent and more effective because it creates no mess and it is straightforward to use.

Pest control pouches are a safe alternative to chemicals and poisoned baits. The clean, fresh smell of 100% pure essential oils they contain is safe for humans and pets.

To apply, place one odorant pouch in any enclosed space of up to 10 cubic feet to deter roaches from intrusion or nesting.

6. Always Fumigate Your Trash Bags

Always Fumigate Your Trash Bags

Every time you start using a new trash bag, spray a squirt of roach killer before you put anything into it.

Spray the bag lining the trash can in the head and the recycled bags and jars you use for garbage (food scraps) on your boat.

You do not need sophisticated chemicals; baking soda, borax acid, and sugar will do the trick.

7. Use Roach Gel Bait

Use Roach Gel Bait

Although the application of gel baits is time-consuming, it is pretty straightforward.

While it does not harm humans, it is highly toxic to roaches.

Put tiny bits in every conceivable roach-roaming place, like corners of cupboards, lockers, and drawers.

You can also apply the gel behind hinges and crevices in your boat.

For best results, make sure to place the gel every two feet apart.


Roaches are the last insect anyone wants with them on board.

Besides the horrible sight, these insects can spread several disease-causing bacteria causing typhoid, dysentery, and other deadly diseases. Their feces can also trigger an asthmatic attack.

Above, we discussed seven practical ways to keep them away from boats, including roach motels, poison baits, gel baits, etc.

Before and after deploying these strategies, ensure your boat is clean and dry.

Roaches are naturally attracted to damp and dirty places. With clean corners and crevices, these insects will have no reason to infest your boat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Roach Species Infest Boats?

The common roach found on boats is the German roach. It has wings, but you will not find it flying around your cabin during the day.

This roach species breeds very rapidly. A German roach and her offspring can produce 300,000 more roaches a year.

How Can I Roach Bomb a Boat?

To roach-bomb your boat, you or your crew can arrange a two-day break between outings.

Next, remove all food and utensils from your ship, and then allow the pros to go aboard and set off foggers. 

Foggers consist of aerosol canisters that fill the vessel with a poisonous mist to kill the roaches on the boat.

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