If you have just discovered the dreaded roaches in your home, don’t despair. Before you rush off to find an exterminator and spend loads of money on toxic chemicals, rather consider a few home remedies for roaches. These are not only inexpensive (you may even have them in your kitchen already) but they are also easy to use and effective in accomplishing the goal – to get rid of the roaches! So don’t let the waving whiskers of those scurrying scavengers intimidate you. Simply reach for one or more of these six successful home remedies to free your living space of cockroaches.

Boric Acid, the Most Effective All Natural Roach Killer

Boric acid comes in readily available powder form which has many uses, especially as a potent natural roach killer. When roaches come in contact with boric acid it begins to damage their exoskeleton, as well as affecting them internally when they ingest some of it. As they commute back and forth to their harbourage areas they spread it around and so other roaches are infected too. This then results in the maximum amount of deaths, of which you will become aware when you start cleaning up all the dead roaches you will find lying around.

There are two different ways you could use the boric acid. Firstly you can simply sprinkle the powder around your home where the roaches are likely to be most active. Make sure that you do not spread it too thickly – a fine dusting is ideal. Place it on top of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, behind appliances such as the stove, fridge and dishwasher, and around the pipes and plumbing in the bathrooms and kitchen. Secondly, you could mix two parts of boric acid with one part of flour and add a little syrup to form a paste which can then be applied strategically as bait for the roaches.


Borax is sometimes confused or used interchangeably with boric acid. Indeed both substances do contain the element boron, however they have different chemical compounds, but both are effective and all natural roach killers. Borax has the effect of dehydrating the roach’s exoskeleton and damaging its digestive system, resulting in certain death for the roach.

One of the best ways to use borax is to mix it with a little sugar and then sprinkle it over surfaces where they are likely to go, such as along the baseboards, in cracks and crevices and under the sink. The sugar will attract the roaches while the borax will poison them.

Another option is to make a dough or paste by mixing equal parts of borax, flour and sugar, then add just enough water to make a firm consistency. Now roll this dough into little bait balls and place them around your home, at the back of cabinets, behind appliances and in kitchen drawers or shelves.

Diatomaceous Earth

de one of many home remedies for reachesDiatomaceous earth is a less popular natural roach killer, but it is a great alternative if you’re looking for something that is a little safer than even boric acid, or borax. It’s a substance that is made from the fossilized remains of diatoms which are in fact minute aquatic organisms. The natural substance called silica is found in their skeletons which have collected for centuries in the sediments of oceans, lakes, rivers and streams. This is where diatomaceous earth is mined and it is available as a nontoxic option for getting rid of roaches.

“But how can soil from a riverbed kill a roach?” you may well ask. What happens is that the diatomaceous earth contains tiny particles which are very sharp and abrasive. When this comes in contact with the waxy exoskeleton of the cockroach it causes enough damage to kill the roach.

So what you need to do is get some food grade diatomaceous earth and lightly dust it in areas where the roaches run rife. Reapply the dusting everyday as necessary until all your roaches have died. Remember to wear a mask and rubber gloves when you sprinkle the diatomaceous earth, and don’t use it in wet or damp places as it will only be effective when it is dry.


Ammonia is well known for its strong pungent smell and this is noticed and abhorred by the roaches too, making ammonia one of the favoured home remedies for roaches. It functions as an effective repellent, driving roaches far away from your home.

Simply place two cups of ammonia in a bucket of water and then wash down the hard surfaces of your bathroom and kitchen. Also flush this solution down your sinks and toilets to clean out the pipes where roaches often like to hide. If you keep up this regimen at least once a fortnight you should certainly be able to enjoy a roach free home.

Baking Soda

Most people have a box of baking soda in their kitchen without realizing that it is a great home remedy for roaches. Apparently the digestive system of a cockroach cannot handle baking soda as it creates a lot of gas. This is due to the baking soda mixing with the stomach acids of the cockroach resulting in a rapid release of carbon dioxide which then causes the roach to die.

The best way to use baking soda to kill roaches is to mix it with a little sugar and then sprinkle around your home wherever the roaches are roaming. The sweet starchiness of the sugar attracts the roaches and then they get the baking soda as a bonus which ultimately leads to their downfall. All you need to do after that is clean up the dead roaches.

Bay Leaves

Another common household item which doubles as a home remedy for roaches is the humble bay leaf. Who would have thought that roaches can’t stand the smell of bay leaves? In fact it sends them scurrying as far away as possible from your home. So why not grab a handful of dried bay leaves. It works best if you crush them with a pestle and mortar – this releases the essential oils and enhances the smell even further. Then sprinkle these crushed bay leaves near your sink holes, in your cupboards and anywhere that is a high-traffic area for the roaches. The better the quality of bay leaves you use, the better your results will be.

Now that you know about these six successful home remedies for roaches, you are all set to get started on freeing your home from cockroaches. Be prepared to try several methods until you find what works best in your particular location and situation, bearing in mind that some roaches become resistant to certain methods. But with a little perseverance you will in due course be able to enjoy living in a peacefully roach free environment.