How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches (FAST AND EASY)

As spring is in full swing, one of the most common household pests – cockroaches – start to bother us. They are attracted to homes in search of food or water mostly as winter is leaving.

The 3 most common types of cockroaches are: the German, Oriental and American roaches and they can all be eliminated with home remedies as well.

What you should know is that these ugly little creatures running around the households are also harmful to your health. They act as carriers of different germs and bacteria and contaminate the rooms and items in them with their waste products as well.

This can cause mild or severe allergic reactions, and even serious diseases, in people and pets.
Household items like books, clothes, electronics, wires, etc. can all carry pests’ waste products, which then can be transferred to you through touching these items.

Along with diseases, roaches, when in large numbers, produce a mild moldy smell. As cockroaches multiply fast, you need to take measures to clean your house of them as quickly as possible.

Although there are plenty of commercial products that can efficiently eliminate a roach infestation, such products also pose higher health risks, so you should give them a second thought. Maybe it is time to replace them with certain natural methods. And while home remedies may require repeated use, they can surely help in getting rid of them.

Here are the top 10 ways to through cockroaches out of your home:

1. Borax and sugar

Borax is good at controlling the growth of roaches and preventing the insects from conquering your premises. Borax acts through dehydrating the pests’ exoskeleton and through damaging their digestive system, which ultimately leads to their death.

Here’s how to make this remedy:

1. Mix three parts of borax and one part of sugar.
2. Put this mixture along places where you usually see the roaches at night.
3. Wash your hands thoroughly after distributing this mixture. It is also recommended to wear protective gloves.
4. Repeat for a few days until roaches eventually vanish.
Note: Borax’ effectiveness can be increased by adding some sugar. Sugar helps draw the roaches to the trap. In place of borax, you can also use boric acid or simple baking soda.
This remedy is not recommended if you have kids or pets at home.

2. Neem oil

Synthetic methods of insect control can be replaced with neem oil or powder. It contains highly volatile components that act as insect repellent. Plus, it is less toxic to non-targeted organisms and cheaper than chemical repellents.
A recent study, posted in the International Journal of Pure and Applied Bioscience, reports that neem is one of the plants reported to have the ability to kill or keep away the critters.

Here’s how to make this remedy:

1. Put 1 tablespoon of neem oil in a regular-sized spray bottle and fill it out with water. Spray the solution in the roach-affected areas at night. Repeat as per need.
2. Another way is to sprinkle some neem powder around the affected areas before going to bed. Repeat as needed.
Note: Other effective plants include: turmeric, clove, sage, Chinese chaste tree and Malabar nut.
3. Kaffir lime essential oil
The oil derived through steam distillation of kaffir lime leaves (makrut lime) also functions as an effective homemade repellent for harmful roaches.

A 2007 study, published in the Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, researchers compared the repellent activity of 7 essential oils and found that kaffir lime leaf essential oil showed as the best repellent against the 3 types of cockroaches (mentioned above) under laboratory conditions. In fact, it showed 100%repellency against the American and German roach species!

Here’s how to make this remedy:

1. Add 8 to 10 drops of kaffir essential oil to 2 cups of water.
2. Pour the solution in a spray bottle.
3. Spray the solution in areas where you notice roaches’ movement.
4. Pour the remaining solution around drains and sinks.
5. Spray as often as needed.
Note: Other essential oils that have insect-repellent properties are peppermint and tea tree oil.

4. Catnip

Another herb that works as a natural repellent to cockroaches is catnip. The active ingredient in it called nepetalactone provides the repellent action. Importantly, it is non-toxic to humans and pets (except for cats).
A report by the American Chemical Society of 2006 found that catnip essential oil can act as an effective insect repellent for frequent household pests.

Here’s how to make this remedy:

1. Put a small amount of fresh catnip leaves in small porous bags or sachets. Leave them in areas where you see cockroach activity. Change the leaves after a few days, and repeat as needed.
2. You can also simmer 1 tablespoon of catnip leaves in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Strain and allow it to cool. Spray the solution on kitchen cabinets, behind counters, and anywhere else needed.

5. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is another risk-free alternative to eliminate roaches for good. It works as a gentle abrasive and it is highly successful in hidden areas such as cabinet tops and behind appliances, where roaches gather.
How does it act? When the insects come into contact with the sharp tiny particles of diatomaceous earth, they die due to the damage caused to their waxy exoskeletons. This earth is good at repelling bed bugs as well.

Here’s how to use this remedy:

1. Lightly dust food-grade diatomaceous earth on suspected areas.
2. Repeat once daily until all the roaches are chased out.
Note: Wear a mask and rubber gloves when handling diatomaceous earth. Avoid using it in wet and damp areas as it will not work as well.

6. Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds have an aroma that lures cockroaches out of the dark, quiet corners of your house. It is one of the most effective natural options to kill roaches. However, it is still not known whether it is the caffeine in the coffee that kills the roaches.

Here’s how to use this remedy:

1. Fill a few glass jars with water.
2. Put wet coffee grounds in small paper cups and place them inside the jars.
3. Put the jars against walls or baseboards or any other place where you see roaches at night. The roaches are attracted to the aroma of the coffee grounds and enter the jar, from which they can’t escape.
4. The next morning, dump the contents of the jars.
5. Repeat the process for a few days.

7. Pandan leaves

Pandan leaves are very efficient if you notice cockroaches in your car. It is very common to see taxi drivers in Singapore and Malaysia using pandan leaves to repel roaches in their vehicles.
The volatile essential oils in the leaves mainly contain terpenes and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, as well as a major aroma component, that holds the insect-repellent and attractant properties of these musky leaves.

A 2003 study, done by the School of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, relates that pandan leaves work as a natural cockroach repellent, although it is not the most efficient one.

Yet, it is a far better option than synthetic agents such as DEET that have detrimental effects on people and the environment. Just put some pandan leaves in places where you see the small critters and soon they will vanish!

8. Fabric softener

Fabric softener works as an effective roach killer. Critters, when exposed to a soapy solution, suffocate and ultimately die, since they breathe through their skin.

Here’s how to make and distribute this remedy:

1. Mix equal amounts of fabric softener and water.
2. Put the solution in a spray bottle.
3. Spray the solution directly onto the insects. Also, spray it in places where you suspect hidden roaches.
4. Repeat as often as needed.

9. Cut off pests’ food source

A key to getting rid of these tiny creepy-crawlies is to cut off their food supply. Remember that they cannot live without food and water for more than one week. Yes, it is hard to completely deprive them of food, but limiting the food supply will make it easier for other methods to work effectively.

Here’s how to apply this remedy:

1. Store food items in airtight containers.
2. Raw fruits and vegetables should be stored in your refrigerator.
3. Keep tables, counters and stovetops clean and free of food particles at all times.
4. Always wash your dishes after meals and put away leftover food immediately. Make sure that no dirty dishes or leftover food sit out overnight.
5. No open food should be left out overnight, including pet food.
6. Store your cooking dishes and pots upside down.
7. Keep cabinet shelves and drawers closed when not in use. Also, keep them dry and clean.
8. Keep garbage cans covered and avoid moist garbage, even in your garden.

10. Keep your house clean and sanitary

A clean, dirt-free house, especially the kitchen and bathroom, prevents critters from taking up your place. So, keep your kitchens and bathrooms as dry as you possible!

Here’s how to achieve this:

1. Fix all the leaks in your bathroom and kitchen.
2. Remove all wood piles and trash cans from your yard.
3. Use a dehumidifier in your house, as humid environments attract the pests more.
4. Use screens on your windows and avoid keeping the door open for a long time.
5. Use a vacuum cleaner once a week to clean behind and beside furniture and cabinets.
6. Remove clutter from your store room, cabinets and other possible breeding places.
7. Do not keep stacks of paper bags, sacks, cardboard boxes or rags in open areas.
8. Check insulation around motors and clean them regularly.
9. Always keep a trash can with a lid in the bathroom as well as garden area, and empty them daily.