Best Homemade Cockroach Killer

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Effectiveness is a priority when choosing the most appropriate pest control method for the annoying bugs in your home, like roaches.

However, most people today also mind the presence of toxic chemicals, especially with kids and pets around, which is why homemade cockroach killer is gaining popularity.

Homemade roach killers can be highly effective against these resilient critters, provided you pick the right ingredients and proportions and apply the recipe correctly.

Homemade pest killers are also appealing because they are cheap and easily accessible. In fact, you likely have every ingredient you require to make the recipe in your kitchen.

Homemade Cockroach Killer (Pros and Cons)

Homemade Cockroach Killer

There are a handful of homemade recipes you can use to kill roaches effectively without using commercial sprays, foggers, or bombers.

However, consider the pros and cons before picking it as your preferred roach killer.

Pros of Homemade Cockroach Killer

a) Cost-effective

Most homemade roach killers are made with easily accessible ingredients, usually already found at home. Also, you can conveniently and cheaply find the ingredients you don’t have at home at local stores.

Therefore, homemade cockroach killers are more cost-effective compared to buying commercial pesticides or hiring a pest control professional.

The commonly used ingredients include baking soda, sugar, boric acid, and essential oils, which are inexpensive and readily available.

b) Safe

The natural ingredients used to make homemade roach killers are typically safe for animals and humans hence do not expose you to toxic chemicals. However, some ingredients can be harmful if you ingest them or they come into contact with your skin or eyes, so handle them carefully.

For instance, ingesting large quantities of boric acid can be toxic, while essential oils can make some people suffer from skin irritation or allergic reactions. Additionally, some natural ingredients harm pets, so research the potential risks of specific substances before using them.

c) Easy To Make And Use

You do not need special training or equipment to make and use homemade roach killers.

Cons of Homemade Cockroach Killer

a) They May Be Less Effective

Homemade roach killers may be less potent than commercial pesticides or professional treatments because they typically contain lower active ingredient concentrations. In addition, they are less likely to cover every part roaches visit or hide.

b) Time-consuming

Since homemade cockroach killers usually need multiple applications, it is time-consuming and inconvenient.

c) Messy

Depending on the ingredients and application method, some homemade roach killers can be messy or leave behind residue, which is unpleasant or difficult to clean up.

For example, sugar and baking soda bait and essential oil sprays leave behind an oily, sticky, or powdery residue.

What You Need To Make Cockroach Bait

There are many cockroach baits you can make at home, some more common than others. The ingredients for homemade roach killers include baking soda, sugar, boric acid, water, bay leaves, essential oils, catnip, dish soap, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), fabric softener, vinegar, and lemons.

You’ll also require a spray bottle if you are making a spray-based homemade roach killer.

How To Make A Natural Cockroach Killer

How To Make A Natural Cockroach Killer

Follow the steps below to make these common effective homemade roach killers.

1.  Homemade Roach Killer With Baking Soda and Sugar


  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • One tablespoon water

Combine some sugar and baking soda in a bowl, then add the water and stir thoroughly to create a thick paste. Next, place tiny paste dollops where you will likely find cockroaches, such as under sinks and behind appliances.

Also Read: Does Baking Soda Kill Roaches?

The sugar serves as bait, attracting the cockroaches, while the baking soda kills them upon consumption.

2.  DIY Roach Killer with Borax and Sugar


  • 1/4 cup borax
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • One tablespoon water

Mix the borax and sugar in a bowl, add the water, and then create a thick paste by stirring the mixture. Like the above recipe, place this ingredient in areas roaches visit or live, like inside cabinets.

Also Read: Does Borax Kill Roaches?

The sugar will entice them to eat the recipe, and then the recipe damages their digestive system, killing them.

3. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) For Roaches 

DE dehydrates the roach’s exoskeleton, killing them, but that could take many days, so patience is essential.


  • Food-grade diatomaceous earth
  • A tiny container or bowl or container. It should have a lid.
  • Paintbrush or a similar applicator
  • Protective gloves


Before making the recipe, keep your skin safe from irritation by putting on protective gloves.

Pour some diatomaceous earth into a small container or bowl. Just use enough DE to cover the area you want to treat.

Dip the paintbrush or applicator into the diatomaceous earth, making sure to get a good amount of the powder onto the brush.

Related: Diatomaceous Earth For Roaches

Apply the diatomaceous earth to areas roaches are likely found, such as cracks, crevices, and along baseboards. A thin layer is more effective, so don’t use too much DE.

Reapply the diatomaceous earth every couple of days because it can get disturbed or wet, losing effectiveness.

4. Bay Leaves

Bay leaves won’t kill cockroaches directly, but this natural, non-toxic ingredient will help repel roaches, discouraging them from entering your home or infesting your kitchen.


  • Bay leaves
  • Small sachet or cheesecloth bag
  • String or rubber band


Place many bay leaves inside a small sachet or cheesecloth bag, then tie it with a string or a rubber band.

Place the sachet or bag strategically in places like pantry shelves and cabinets.

Replace the sachet or bag every few weeks for continued effectiveness.

5. Vinegar

This natural ingredient can help you repel or kill cockroaches.


  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle


Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio, then shake the bottle well to mix the ingredients.

Spray the mixture around baseboards, behind appliances, and other areas roaches are likely to infest.

Reapply this recipe as needed.

6. Fabric Softener, Boric Acid, and Water

This is another DIY recipe you can easily make to bait and eliminate roaches.


  • Fabric softener
  • Boric acid
  • Water
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon or mixing tool


Mix fabric softener and boric acid (equal parts) in a small bowl, then add sufficient water to the mixture to make a thick paste.

Thoroughly combine the ingredients by stirring the mixture well.

Place the paste in problematic areas.

Regularly monitor the bait. Also, replace it if necessary.

7. Catnip

This homemade roach killer is pretty easy to use. You can simply sprinkle catnip in places you have seen cockroaches, then let the natural pesticide in it kill the roaches. Alternatively, boil catnip and water, then spray it in the affected areas.

8. Essential Oils

The essential oils you can use to repel or kill roaches include peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil. Mix water and a few drops of your chosen essential oil in a spray bottle, mix well and spray the solution around problematic areas.

Also Read: Peppermint Oil For Roaches

How Does A Homemade Roach Killer Work?

Homemade roach killers use natural ingredients that kill or repel roaches. The ingredients you use may kill the roaches directly, or repel them, keeping them from entering your home or infesting your kitchen.

For example, a boric acid and sugar-made bait lures roaches with the sugar’s sweet smell. Once they consume the bait, the boric acid causes damage to their digestive system, leading to death.

Similarly, a diatomaceous earth and sugar mixture dehydrate roaches, leading to death.

On the other hand, essential oils or vinegar-based homemade roach killers work by repelling cockroaches with unpleasant scents.

Therefore,  you can create an unappealing environment for roaches using essential oils like peppermint or vinegar, keeping these critters away.

Where To Put Homemade Cockroach Bait

The place you put your homemade roach killer will influence its effectiveness, so choose the locations wisely. The best places include:

  • Kitchen cabinets– focus on areas roaches may easily find water or food.
  • Around baseboards– roaches will hide and breed in these areas because they are dark and warm, and food can accumulate between the gaps.
  • Behind appliances– the back of your appliances, like refrigerators, give roaches the perfect places to hide, so lure them out by placing baits behind them.
  • Trash cans– your garbage cans, whether inside or outside, provide an excellent food source for cockroaches. Therefore, lace some bait in and around your trash cans to help prevent roaches from getting into them and even kill the ones already inside.
  • Entry points– Any cracks or gaps in your walls, windows, floors, or doors provide roaches with excellent entry points. So, place bait in these areas but seal them first.

How Long To Leave Homemade Roach Bait

The duration you should leave a homemade roach bait out varies depending on the infestation severity and the recipe’s potency. However, leave it until all the roaches are gone, or the bait is completely consumed.


While homemade roach killers can be effective, they are weaker than commercial pesticides and may not eliminate a severe roach infestation. Therefore, consider using other methods besides homemade roach killers, such as baits and traps.

Reinforcing your homemade cockroach killer with other methods makes your strategy more effective against roaches.

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