How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches

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Found a cockroach? Try this homemade roach killer and steps that get rid of cockroaches naturally to put an end to the problem for good.

Closeup of dead cockroach killed by homemade roach killer on kitchen counter

Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

Cockroaches can be a dangerous source of allergens and asthma triggers. Their feces, saliva, and shedded skins are all irritants that act like dust mites and can spread in your home’s air the same way. They also carry dangerous bacteria, molds, funguses, and viruses, including the one which causes polio.

They’re Also Gross

Cockroaches will feast on everything from crumbs to fecal matter. They’re also not picky about where they poop. They’ll do it on food that’s left out, your kitchen counters, your toothbrush, wherever. And their poop contains salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus bacteria that can make you very sick.

Plus, They Can Multiply Without Mating

That one cockroach you saw skittering across the kitchen floor can produce hundreds of offspring without breeding if it’s an American cockroach. Known as parthenogenesis, this reproductive strategy allows females to reproduce solo when mating partners are in short supply.

So, if you’ve seen one cockroach, it’s time to find out how to get rid of it fast. Otherwise, you may be dealing with a major infestation before long.

Why Do Cockroaches Invade Your Home?

Like most household pests, cockroaches search for a comfortable, safe spot to breed where there’s also a ready food supply. The average household provides all of these things:

Sources of food: Dirty dishes, full garbage cans, pet food on the floor, and crumbs.

Hiding places: Cardboard boxes, clutter, heavy appliances, dark cabinets, and closets.

Breeding spots: Warm, humid areas like refrigerator drip pans, damp basements, sweaty pipes.

How Cockroaches Get Into Your Home

Like most pests, cockroaches get into your home in predictable ways. They often get in through cracks in your home’s foundation or gaps around windows, beneath doors, or where pipes and utility wires enter your home. Sometimes, the things you bring into your home also bring in cockroaches.

Roaches often hitch a ride indoors in delivery packages left on the front step, cardboard boxes or paper bags from stores, and newspapers that sat in your driveway. Buying second-hand items or picking up furniture from the roadside can also introduce them into your home. It’s even possible for cockroaches to fly or jump in through open windows and doors.

How To Get Rid of Cockroaches

To get rid of cockroaches in your home, you need to kill the ones inside and do something about the things in your home that attract them.

1. Starve Them Out by Cleaning

While cockroaches don’t necessarily mean you’re a bad housekeeper, they do mean something is attracting them. So, cleaning your home thoroughly should be your first response to get rid of a cockroach infestation. By cleaning, you’ll deprive them of food and places to breed.

In the kitchen: Clean your counters and backsplash, moving everything that’s sitting out, so you don’t overlook any crumbs or spills that might attract pests. Clean behind and beneath your appliances, too. Your refrigerator’s drip tray is a favorite hiding spot for cockroaches. So is the drawer under your stove, which often collects crumbs and spills. If you’re concerned about missing any spots, use a kitchen deep cleaning checklist.

In the bathroom: Hair, makeup, and other messes in the bathroom provide an abundance of food sources for cockroaches. Clean all surfaces thoroughly, including cabinets beneath the sinks. Adding one of the cockroach-repelling scents below to a homemade bathroom cleaner can keep them out of this room.

In the family room: If your family likes to snack in front of the TV, you need to be vigilant about crumbs and dirty dishes they leave behind. Be sure to tidy this area as part of a daily cleaning routine, so you can get rid of food sources before cockroaches find them.

In bedrooms: Dirty dishes and food wrappers aren’t the only things that attract cockroaches to bedrooms. They also seek out piles of laundry on the floor and other types of clutter. Since roaches are drawn to dark, humid areas, they may also invade your bed or piles of blankets left on the floor.

2. Seal the Gaps

Check your home’s exterior for cracks and holes where pests can enter. Use caulk for gaps around windows and doors and also to fill any gap between your home’s siding and foundation. Add door sweeps and weatherstripping as needed, too. You may need to add foam insulation, backer rod, or steel wool before caulking larger gaps.

3. Use Cockroach Repellents to Keep them Away

There are some scents that cockroaches and other household pests don’t like. You can use these to keep cockroaches out of your home by adding them to a homemade all-purpose spray and using it to clean household surfaces and entrances.

Some scents that cockroaches don’t like include lavender (which also repels mosquitoes) and peppermint (which also helps get rid of ants). In your kitchen, try leaving whole bay leaves on pantry shelves: they’ll deter cockroaches and also prevent pantry moths.

4. Bait and Kill Cockroaches in Your Home

It’s tempting to reach for a can of bug killer when you see a cockroach or other pest in your home. But those sprays are no more effective than squashing a bug: you’ll kill the one you see but won’t do anything about the ones you don’t.

If you want to get rid of cockroaches in your home and put an end to the infestation, you need to lure them to their death. You can easily make this homemade cockroach killer that attracts cockroaches then kills them. Put it in places where cockroaches like to hide: under sinks, behind appliances, in the corner of cupboards, etc.

Homemade Cockroach Killer

2 tablespoons of Crisco or cooking grease
2 tablespoons of powdered confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup borax or diatomaceous earth
Water

Combine the grease, sugar, flour, and borax with just enough water to make a soft dough that holds its shape. Roll the dough into olive-sized balls and put them where roaches like to hide. Tuck them into plastic berry containers first if you want to keep kids or pets from getting to them.

You might see a surge of pest activity when you first use the homemade roach killer balls. That’s because the grease lures bugs from their hiding places. Then, since both borax and diatomaceous earth have microscopically sharp edges that tear up their digestive tracts, they’ll dehydrate and die.

Keep refreshing the roach killer balls with a daily mist of water so their scent remains active and replace them when they completely lose their smell. Using them in combination with the other steps to eliminate cockroaches should have your problem under control in a couple of weeks.

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94 Comments

  1. My friend asked about this issue, I just found this article, called her and read it to her…her internet is not working due to computers problems, so I gave the website to use for herself. Further, I stayed on the phone and walked her through making the cockroach killer, she is so happy now…Thank you

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re welcome. (I wonder if the cockroaches got into her computer? Just kidding.) 🙂

    2. They got into our microwave, so it’s possible!!

    3. Katie Berry says:

      I swear they can get into anything!

    4. I lost a power supply and a motherboard to a roach infestation, so yes! YES THEY CAN DESTROY COMPUTERS! D:

    5. Roaches also like eating electrical wiring, and can crawl into a computer, the baby roaches can get into very small cracks of anything.

  2. I spent years battling roaches when I was much younger and we lived in crappy apartments. I never had any in the refrigerator but the dishwasher seemed a magnet for them. And under the coffee pot. They like warm moist places.

    The house we’re in now was rented for several years before we decided to move into it. The renters stored dogfood in open sacks in the kitchen cabinet along with the human food, also not kept in sealed containers. The whole place was disgustingly filthy even in places that are easy to keep clean. The renters apparently dealt with this by using 40 watt light bulbs. They had created a romantic spa for roaches.

    I had allowed a week for cleaning and bit of cosmetic updating before moving. That turned into 5 weeks.

    What you call decluttering, I call removing the places roaches live. Any place in a structure there is a crack can be home to a roach colony. The worst in this house were the spaces behind the shelves in all the cabinets. I caulked for days. Next was ill-fitting facings in all the rooms because it is an old house and it had settled. Some got replaced, the others got caulked.

    Frankly, I’m not a good housekeeper like you are. I appreciate your hints and, believe it or not, actually use some of them! But even slovenly people can live roach free if there’s no place for the roaches to live. Unless they live in an apartment. I don’t think there’s any way to get rid of them permanently there. Your cleaning techniques will send them to the other apartments looking for food in that case.

    Oh… there were mice in this house too. The DIY borax balls should help there too. I used a slightly different recipe containing borax (it was my mother’s and I should have written it down). I also didn’t have to worry about about children or pets getting to them because the house was vacant, so I used it liberally.

    We will occasionally see a mouse, but they are much easier to get rid of than roaches. Honestly, I think they get in because my husband doesn’t think shutting doors is necessary. This is the same way that durned snake got in the house too.

    But we’ve been roach-free for 23 years!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Donna, you ought to put a sign up in your kitchen: “ROACH-FREE FOR 23 YEARS!” 😉 Your idea to caulk is a great one. If new ones can’t get in, then the task is to just to kill off those already in the house.

      With mice, my husband’s like yours, constantly leaving doors open because “I’m only going outside for a minute” (which turns into 5 or 10, at least). Thankfully, we have two indoor cats that see wayward mice as a perfect chance to hone their predator skills.

  3. Mariette's Back to Basics says:

    Dearest Katie,
    Great posting; just printed it out for the recipe. We got them in our garage, sure with 8 cats coming in and out there and eating/sleeping… My husband just mentioned the other day that there for sure has to be some kind of trap. Your recipe sounds great and we like to try it out.
    Thanks for your always great tips to manage day-by-day living.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hello Mariette!
      Eight cats surely keep your garage mouse-free. Too bad they can’t be trained to chase down cockroaches! Be sure to keep the cockroach repellant balls in some kind of container that the cats can’t get into. Berry baskets work, and so do film canisters with small holes cut into the side.

      Hugs,
      Katie

    2. Actually cats can be. We don’t have mice so when our kitty get bored he goes bug hunting and kills any bugs he finds

    3. We had a cat for 10 years who ate roaches and piled up parts of roach exoskeletons in a particular corner of the garage. My parents assigned my brother the job of sweeping up those exoskeletons. Heehee…

    4. Katie Berry says:

      Oh my goodness, that’s the funniest cat behavior I’ve heard of yet! My cats love to chase spiders, but they’re too wimpy to actually kill them for me. 🙁

  4. Awesome tips! We don’t have roaches luckily but the few times I have seen them, I smash them with my meat tenderized. This way I know that it’s good and dead.

    1. Sorry to say, but if you see a critter in the open, it only means that it couldn’t find any other way of finding food, because other critters have already taken them. In other words, it’s a sign of over-population. If you see even one, you have a problem and should take maximum action.

    2. Katie Berry says:

      Oh, I absolutely agree: if there’s one, there are countless more.

  5. Awesome tips! My wife has been looking for a good diy roach killer recipe for a while, will definitely share with her! Thanks for sharing!

  6. micki @addhousewife says:

    Great info! We live in a part of the country where the roaches just *are*…and we have pecan trees… so…it’s just a matter of keeping them at bay. If you have a big problem, you need to remove boxed foods (they will eat the glue on the boxes) and they will eat particle board in cheap cabinetry. The very best roast killer/deterrent I have found is ortho fire ant powder! It smells like collard greens, but if you sprinkle it around the foundation, any space where the roaches might like to hide, etc. they will be GONE in a week. buh-bye roaches. I treat the home every 3-4 months.

  7. celia lowe says:

    We live on a cattle ranch and My son shows a couple Brahman heifers that we keep by our house and the roaches from the feed that the heifers spill are awful. We have lived here for 5 yrs and I don’t have roaches in the house thank God

  8. This is all very good advice. Decluttering, wiping down surfaces, and locking food away is essential. In my experience, nothing beats Boric acid powder for effectiveness, and it’s cheap and odorless, too. The power must be applied in the corners and edges where the critters travel — NOT anywhere you normally can see standing up. You have to get behind, under, and around the back of things. If you have very small pets and children, you have to keep them away from it, but if you’ve applied it properly, it won’t be in any places they normally go.

    The powder works very quickly; within a few days you will see results. A key to its effectiveness is that the powder is carried on their bodies back to the nests, where it is spread to the other critters by grooming.

    One thing to note: critters really hate light and will do anything to keep from being seen. So, if you see even one in the open, it means you have a big problem on your hands. The instant you see one, go to maximum red alert.

    1. So do you make those balls or just use borox

  9. DIY Roach Killer Balls – Is that safe to use under the stove, where heat is present? Also, cannot find Borax at my local Wal-Mart. Any other suggestions on where to purchase it?

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It should be perfectly safe under an oven, though I wouldn’t go putting it right next to a pilot light. (Then again, nothing should go next to a pilot light, right?) If you can’t find it at Walmart, try a hardware store, even Home Depot or Lowe’s. It will be in the cleaning or laundry supply section. You can also order it from Amazon (see the bottom of my entry for the link).

    2. I found Borax at a Dollar General store in the laundry detergent section.

    3. I bought mine at Kmart close to bleach and washing powder. I think I paid around $4.00 or maybe a little more. I bought it last year or first part of 2013.

    4. I got mine at Family Dollar! In right next to the bleach/

    5. Family dollar sells it for $4

    6. I found some at Family Dollar for $5 a box

    7. Estella Michael says:

      Amazon carries Borax, 20 Mile Team Borax and Boraxo (reasonably priced) both organic and regular store types.

  10. Hi there,
    I live in London in a ground/lower ground floor apartment. I have recently come across a couple of covkroaches and my housemate has even been bitten by them at night (she ain’t happy – understandably).
    I need to get rid of them fast… unfortunately they are the little German cock-a-roaches so they bacon flavoured acid balls above will not work (right?).
    Removing clutter is a good start and keeping it v clean of course, but is there anything else I can do? I do have a lot of junk in an unused and unventilated spare room/storage room with no windows – which happens to be the next door room to my housemate’s room… coincedence?
    I also have a pane of glass on the inside of the windows in each bedroom, i guess to reduce noise from the road – the windows are at pavement height, a keep heat in as a cheap alternative to double glazing. Should I remove this to increase ventilation?
    Should I get a new ventilation fan for the bathroom (which also has no windows)?

    I haven’t painted a great picture of my apartment – which is actually lovely (when it doesnt have cockroaches- but any advice would be great. THANKS !!!!
    Tom
    x

  11. Ok I’ve been living in the same house for 20 years and never had a roach until now. I can’t even sleep peacefully knowing that they are running around. I’m going to try the borax balls and the boric powder as well. If all else fails than ortho fire ant dust. Can’t live with these pests anymore. Pray for me …

    1. Tiffany Brown says:

      I’ve never had roaches anywhere I’ve lived. We moved to a house between a lake and pond surrounded by trees. I couldn’t figure out why all of sudden I was seeing these nightmarish, disgusting, pest. Until I started discovering them outside, under tarps, rotted trees, I guess they like the dampness of the area idk. I just treated the yard, and going to try this recipe, store bought items only very temporarily work.

  12. Well, I have not had a bug problem in over four years. Used to see black waterbugs. But again bug free for four years. Now all of the sudden I have these huge brown cockroaches. Don’t know where they are coming from. Have boric acid in my front door and still here they come. My house is not that clean, though I’m not a slob. A lot of old paperwork and junk in garage. I saw one crawling up my wall at around 11:00 p.m.. Well needless to say they travel in pairs (three?) My daughter found the second one. AHHHHHH! I’m probably not going to work tomorrow. Doing a thorough clean and making the bug balls you talked about. Should make my kids stay home from school to help me. Pray for me. Thanks for all your advice.

  13. Ridhwanah Aydin says:

    Thanks for the advice. The other day I saw what was my 5th cockaroach spotted in my apartment, darting across the bathroom floor. i panicked so bad. the crazy thing is our apartment is extremely clean. I take the trash out EVERY night and never leave food lying around. But today after seeing that cockaroach i practically spring cleaned my entire kitchen and cleaned behind all appliances. Unfortunately the kitchens built where i live are designed in such a way that its EASY for cockaroaches to hide and lay eggs. the bottoms of the counters that touch the ground, open up and are not sealed up like american kitchens. so basically the bottom of the counters are bare. so cockaroaches get right in there so easily. me and my husband opened up all the bottoms of the counters and what did we find….their nest. I freaked. the weird thing was the baby cockaraches were already dead? any reason why that is? anyway really wishing i had the money to redesign my whole kitchen. Now every month i have to clean down there yikes 😡

  14. matthew b says:

    For German cock roaches Boric acid will work it just takes a long time. Being in Texas for the last 15 years and in Florida has made me a unwilling bug adviser. I digress though, so to the point.

    Boric Acid will kill almost anything, but Roaches it will cause them to explode, and remember people, trap, smash and flush any cockroach you see in the open. If its a female one it could be in route with little kids on her, ones you cant see, and when you smash it they will run. German cockroaches may encase as many as 40 eggs in one ootheca, (or egg sack) while the larger American roaches average about 14 eggs per capsule.

    Use 5 paper towels and your hand do wonders, use toilet paper if your worried about your drains. Just scoop them up and take them to the toilet before smashing or outside across the street.

    Cracks and crevices are NOT to be left open, most cock roaches, can squeeze into anything, German ones can get into a space the thickness of a dime, and American ones quarter thick

    To stop them use the balls and also:
    Boric acid this also comes in a handy paste form with a syringe. Use it like caulk and do this for around 3 months. Trace the caulk, even if they caulk looks sealed and do this under all counters, and the sinks. Around toilets and drains you don’t use but once a week. Everywhere, the stove, the whole kitchen, wash room, windows, any place you can think of. And fill in any holes with this stuff, making sure to look up and do vents as well, you want to be sure that when they come out at nigh andt they get some of that stuff on them.

    Then use the powder, its recommended to use it around all entries, windows, base boards, water heater, appliances and furniture. If you do this right it will look like Scarface rented your apartment, and you will have little white lines around everything. But I know this is not realistic for people with kids and pets, but the US EPA, has stated no known carcinogen and does not damage people, pets or children so it should be safe, also its in most commercially grown food like Oranges. go to epa.gov for more info

    So for this move and vacuum your couch and stands and tables. Then place the acid under the couch and tables. Remember Adult cock roaches will still be able to get under a coffee table on hard wood, its what they do for a living. Then use the calk again around any place that powder would blow away.
    When all this is in place, open all cabinets, and inside doors. Suite cases, boxes bags, etc, even take all packed items, and packing material, and throw it away. Its easier to buy more clean boxes and have no worried. Then use a bug bomb or 3 and don’t come home for 24 to 48 hrs. YOU MUST UNPACK AND OPEN EVERYTHING. So after you bomb you will have a lot of cloths, towels and dishes to do.

    I when I was a 18 yr old punk, got a couch off the street filled with roaches, (we didn’t care we partied all the time, and slept in college and needed a couch) they were so bad they would run across you during the day, but doing the above in less than 6 months they were gone.

    You will know its working when they go from big to smaller and smaller and then you will see little gray and black dots running around, then you got them. When all is clear bomb again just for good measure, I know its not natural but this does work. Got a family friend who has been in pest control in Texas for about 40 yrs, peanut butter and boric acid will work too, make it into a paste and apply anywhere you want to .

    Also get the good Boric acid from the Pest control guys, not the weak stuff. If you see dead one, catch and flush or remove them to a dumpster or across the street ASAP, don’t throw them in the trash can unless you got a zip lock bag
    .
    Now that they are gone keep them that way, if and when you move, from now till forever, unpack all boxes outside BEFORE you bring them in the house. Every time I did a move to a new post in the Army I and my family would do this, and always find one or two, and that is all it takes and you will have thousands later.

  15. matthew b says:

    You can find Borax at Walmart, but its with the laundry detergent not the cleaners, weird I know.

    Part 2 of Cock Roaches FACTS and Why WHY WHY!!!!!
    Some cockroach notes on why they are still with you.
    1. I explained the squeezing in cracks, but they also like to be near walls, and touched on all sides.
    2. They can move at 8cm a second and have a reaction time of just 8.2 millisecond and sense movement based on the moving air, and with 6 legs turn on a dime.
    3. German cock roaches have 40 babies a year, American 12 to 15 per yr.
    4. They can LIVE 6 WEEKS WITH NO FOOD, and food for a cock roach is everything from people food to leather, drywall, paper, glue, and HAIR EVEN, they eat anything and can live on it due to bacteroides, which, manufacture all the vitamins and amino acids the cockroach needs to live. Its a bacteria that gives them the ability to eat glue and live, So moving is not going to get ride of them, unless you put your stuff in storage for a few years.
    5. They CAN LIVE for 2 weeks + without their heads. They breath from their sides by spiracles along the sides of the body, and as long as the wound clots, they will keep alive until the dehydrate or are over taken by mold.
    6. Lastly there are 4000 know types of roaches and most are needed in nature and eat whats on the forest floor.
    Other types like
    Megaloblatta longipennis – boasts a wingspan of 18 cm, or 7 inches.
    The Australian rhinoceros cockroach (Macropanesthia rhinoceros) – weighs a hefty 33.5 grams. (1.18 oz) by comparison the American Cock roach weight just 1.8g.
    The giant cave cricket, Blaberus giganteus, – measures 4 inches long at maturity.

    Remember treating them is a all the time thing, and you will never be rid of them, hey they have been around for millions of years and can survive direct radiation, so they know how to hang out.
    The balls work and I hope this little bit on info will help some of y’all get ride of them, also if you have a musty smell in certain rooms of the house it could be a gathering spot for Cockroaches, and a pheromone that they use to mark where to hang out, think of it as a bus stop for them. Place killers there.

    1. Here in The Texas Panhandle we have this big black roach we call a waterbug but its a roach kuz its infested houses we have moved in in the past ! My mom and stepdad have been battling the American roach for about 2 years kuz my half sister brought a box that had roaches in it ! They have been paying orkin to come and do his thing but he hasnt done all that good ! Ill try these things to see if its better !

  16. Thanks for this article and all the follow up details everyone has added. It’s 12.45am and I just found one running up the wall in the living room. No back to bed for me, time to start cleaning the loungeroom. I know most sane people would go to back to bed and deal with it in the morning but I can’t.

  17. However I must say, I am tempted to go wake my husband who promised he’d do the dishes before bed. Looks like he stayed up and played computer games then went to bed and forgot about the dishes.

  18. Auriellis says:

    My townhome is swarmed with roaches and I have tried every possible solution under the sun.

    Nothing works. I live right next to a lake, which is host to thousands of other pesky bugs that LOVE to creep into townhomes during the summer and winter.

    I’ve tried the store brand bug sprays. Nothing. The little black square traps from RAID. Nothing. The bug barrier stuff you spray on cracks. Nope. I’ve even tried fumigating the entire house. Killed some roaches, but didn’t affect their nests.

    I have battled these ugly, nasty abominations for 9 years. Nine. They’re relentless. Nothing I seem to do helps in diminishing their population. Even as I type right now, roaches are crawling along my desk, and I have to sweep them off and stomp on them. Ughh, disgusting!

    If I had but one wish, I would wish cockroaches extinct forever.

  19. I have made this paste, and I leave it in the cupboards, and along the counter top ridge, and we don’t really have any problems with roaches.

  20. Amanda Welshans says:

    Is it safe to put the balls in behind the light sockets and electrical plugs?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I don’t think I’d ever feel comfortable putting things behind sockets or plugs.

  21. I have never had roaches until about 3 months ago. Only in 2 rooms of the house. I have cleaned daily, Spray ed Ortho-Home Defense through out my kitchen & living room. Also I have put Boric Acid down in mounds. They seem to be getting worse! Help!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’d be afraid to spray Ortho Home Defense in the kitchen. In fact, I suggest you check the label because I’m fairly confident they discourage use around food preparation areas.

      Try pulling your refrigerator and oven out from the wall and cleaning behind them, including both the walls and floors. Then make some of the roach killer balls from my recipe and place them behind the appliances before you return them to place.

      Get rid of all stacks of papers, keep foods in air-tight containers, put pet food away nightly, never leave dishes in your sink, and take the garbage out every single night.

  22. Hi, the bastards are not actually living in the house but come in from outside. I bought this nasty powder which kills them in about 20 seconds but I am sure that eventually, one day, I will find myself (or my girlfriend) crawling on my back due to the powder.
    Any suggestion on keeping them out of the house, rather that creating the food for them inside?

    1. I have to add that until 3 weeks ago (when we moved in) the house was so dirty that I can understand why roaches loved it. I bet that all roaches of the town were living there… Now the scrubbing and cleaning has been done and they are not coming in mass anymore but there still are some adventurers trying to take over my bathroom or kitchen.

  23. I live in a downtown apartment with neighbours on both sides in a cockroach infested building. The building does spray and put down gel but all that does is move them temporarily and kill some. I have recently scrubbed down the entire place, cupboards, walls everything, decluttered, thrown away all my small appliances, most of everything I own is now kept in air tight containers, I am sweeping and mopping every day as well as cleaning my kitchen and bathroom every day.I pour bleach down my drains every night. I put boric acid along every edge and in every corner in this dump but I still have some caulking to do as well purchasing outlet plug things. Now I have got roaches running across my living room floor!!! This seems so hopeless, I cannot afford to move but I can’t live like this please help me, what else can I do?

  24. Making this recipe asap.. thank you! We never have roaches, but for the past couple of weeks we’ve found that there are SO many roaches in our kitchen, we did everything possible, even found what we believe was the nest, killed it, cleaned like mad men, and we are still infested. They also leave off a certain smell into the air that the doctor says is affecting my lungs (I have had problems with my lungs for years) because they’re in a place I spend a majority of my time in…my own home! Can’t wait to try this out. If it doesn’t work, its time to call the wonderful person we all know and appreciate..pest control!

  25. Donni Slater says:

    My apartment complex does nothing to help and my next door neighbor is the worst when it comes to cleaning. so I am overrun. I have to say, I haven’t seen these buggers go anywhere near the sugar but they LOVE LOVE LOVE my onions and garlic. I am unsure how well this recipe will work. Perhaps I will substitute the sugar for some sliced onion….

  26. Looking forward to getting rid of them by making balls

  27. has anyone had good luck at killing the roaches with these roach balls

  28. We have backyard chickens, will this DIY bug killer be safe around them? in other words, if the cockroaches eat it and die, and then the chickens eat the dead bugs (they LOVE bugs) will it harm the chickens?

    Thank you for the great tips too!

    Danniel.

  29. I did the original formula but added a spoonful of peanut butter. Peanut butter has a strong odor and lots of oils so the formula will stay wet and attract more roaches. I’m can’t moisten the balls every day. Plus, I put the roach balls on a small piece of paper towel so the roaches will leave a scent next to the bait and attract more of the nasty buggers.

  30. Barbara Turner says:

    You can also use a mixture of any type of sugar(powdered or regular your choice) and baking soda and put it in places you know the lil bugger are. I’ve found that to be a effective way to kill them too.

  31. cajandra conde says:

    Hello, I was wondering if I can use lard instead of Crisco.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Absolutely.

  32. I’ve found that fire ant killer works great also…..

  33. Janneane Durbin says:

    I’ve also heard you can use diatomaceous earth which is safe for pets, you might check into it. It does the same as the boric acid but it’s safer you will need the food grade diatomaceous earth. They sell it at Walmart $8:00 a bag (yellow bag) just trying to help.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re right, Janneane. Diatomaceous earth is often interchangeable with boric acid, and that includes this DIY Roach Killer recipe. You must have a good Walmart, though, because I can’t find it in mine. 🙂

    2. diatomaceous earth.  Also called DE is sold at tractor supply stores or feed stores or places farmers shop. Farmers use DE a lot and feed stores sell in 20lb bags for $20.00.
      It’s good for all kinds of bugs. Put on plants too. And is totally safe. But must be FOOD GRADE as they also make it for the pool and that one has chemicals added to it.
      Amazon and some other places (maybe pet supply stores as well) have small bags of DE but its better to get the big bags for the money, and then you will have it for the yard, ( kills fleas too) all along the outside of house or apt, and can spread along baseboards, everywhere. DE is the only thing that killed the bedbugs in an apt we lived in. Had to keep it up till all the babies were killed too. Then we move.
      Use those bottles that you buy for katchup and mustard. They have long spout and are squeezable. For inside the home and along the outside walls. And use a yard fertilizer duster for the yard. Very great stuff. I don’t know if it works in the balls, because the way DE works is to dehydrate them by stabbing them with the tiny daggers found in DE. I don’t know if it works wet. but if borax works wet, then DE just might as well.

  34. i live in appartment andstartedseeing the things 3 months ago i got sprayed by pets control but a few weeks later again i startedto see them in my kitchen counters i tried different things literine with soapand water cat nip bleach it seem to kill thembut istated seeing them again soi got the pest control again this time he used stronger stuff openafew holesin my counters buti see alot more now on the counterhe didn t do and i only been a few days espacilally nearthe sink i started put borax laundrysoap around it seems to kill thembut they still come whatdoi do i hate this bugs my house isclean no food around no clutter but they still come ilive in a building onthe 2 floor and ilearnthat the person on the 4 floor is yhe problem howcan i stop them from comingto my house pleasehelpme than u

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Living in an apartment makes it difficult to get rid of cockroaches completely, since they may very well be living with your neighbors but visiting your place.

      One step that’s very helpful is caulking around the base of your walls and wherever pipes enter your apartment through the wall. This makes it more difficult for the roaches to enter.

      You may also find that previous tenants have left a mess behind and under the oven/stove, so cleaning around it and behind your refrigerator will help.

      As for other measures, make the DIY Roach Killer Balls as written and leave them behind appliances and under sinks. That will help reduce their numbers.

      Good luck!

  35. Buy “Simple Green” household cleaner. It comes in a spray bottle full strength. Spray the roaches heavily on their backs and it dissolves the waxy coating on their wings and they die by not being able to breath. You must use full strength. It will take a few minutes to a day before you will find them dead.
    Simple Green is non toxic so if a pet happens to lick or sniff around where you doused the roach or bug it won’t harm your pet. (Unlike roach sprays and poisons)
    Your bottle of Simple Green is a great household cleaner and can be diluted for use on floors, walls, etc. The roach killer is just a side perk for a non-toxic use.

    1. MegaTron1106 says:

      Lysol works well also. Great stuff for killing them

    2. Katie Berry says:

      If you see them, spray them. Unfortunately, that won’t kill the ones nesting in the walls or other spots.

  36. Is it normal to see more right after I made some? I placed them inside the dishwasher where I found one roach for the first time and around the kitchen. I have seen total three for the last two weeks.
    After I placed the balls I already found one crawling the sink and the kitchen floor, and one more inside the dishwasher again in one day. Does it mean it is working or I made it wrong ?
    I did not kill them so maybe they can go back to their places and spread it.

  37. Dee Murray says:

    I was told that if you see roaches In the daytime that means that they are in your walls,,,,

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Well, chances are if you have roaches they’re in your walls regardless of whether you see them. They love to live there.

  38. Have big roach bugs coming up drain even when water running I have old pipes in a rental what is safe to pour down the drains? Help

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda down the drain then add 1 cup of VERY hot vinegar. This will bubble like crazy but in the process will also remove any grease that’s attracting the roaches and other insects. Repeat this weekly.

  39. Thank you for the information and comments will use this. Will this work on tree roaches also

  40. i believe my cock roaches are living inside the back of my fridge and in side my microwave. i kill at least 3/4 every night. from small ones to big ones. any solutions. or is it easier to just by a new fridge freezer aswell as a new microwave.

    1. Advion roach gel wipes them out 100% I’ve used it for years now. Works every time.

  41. will the roach killer balls kill the eggs and babies?

  42. How fast do they die with your idea? Will you see dead roaches in the morning in the plastic container?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      No, they eat the stuff and crawl back in their hole to die. Then their friends feast on them (because cockroaches are disgusting) and they die, too.

  43. I tried this and within a week I didn’t see anything but tiny roaches. How often do I need to do another round? This is the only thing that has worked for me and I have spent a ton trying to kill them.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’d repeat it weekly for at least a month, then monthly after that until you don’t see any at all.

  44. Cynthia Holstine says:

    Do you have to use grease I don’t have any.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yes, grease is what attracts cockroaches.

  45. Food grade DE also works. Lightly dust under appliances and inside walls. It is non toxic to pets and humans. Actually it is healthy for humans to take for certain health conditions. Also works to kill gleas on pets.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      DE is amazing stuff, isn’t it?

  46. Omg ANYBODY pleasr tell me if this has worked for you.! I moved into a house 5 months ago. First month didnt notice any bug activity. Then we started to see those hoping cricket spiders in the garage along with beetles. I thought “its the garage. Its like being outside practically. Not worried” And rhen the summer heat striked and roaches! First seen baby roach in cabinet. And denied its existence. A month later it must have had a birthday because I spotted the same roach (probably his sibling) on the floor.

    Im not here to vent. So I need to know…. Did this recipe work quickly and efficiently?

    I should’ve cleaned before moving in. But I trusted my boyfriend and just did a quick wipe down.
    Ill have a list of things to do beforw moving into the next dwelling! Because my assumption is I could’ve done something about it before the bugs took over.

    1. Hi Sydney, try to find out where they gather at because that is the nest or one of them anyways Clean the stains and droppings with dish detergent and dry then spray with roach killer and that will be one place they won’t becoming back to again now go find more dropping inside the cabinets under the sink around the stove and clean it up. you can use Combat gel and after cleaning and drying these areas just add a line an inch long every 12 inches and within a week or two NO more Roaches

  47. Roaches CAN destory a computer…….my daughters computer tower was infested with them. I am giving her this recipe to make. I hope it works as well as everyone says it does

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yikes! Don’t sprinkle it in the computer tower, of course.

  48. J.C Engelbrecht says:

    Well people, greetings from South Africa. Just want to give feedback on the advice received here a few months ago. I am an owner of a takeout restaurant. Despite nightly cleaning before lock-up my premises got roach infested. German Type Roaches. Initially I responded with spraying DyRoach aerosol into the spaces I saw them occupy and by using Doom roach powder to make life unbearable for them. They responded by migrating and taking over previously unaffected areas of the establishment like front of house and the office portion!! Needless to say, that was highly embarrassing! The more I fought them with poison the more they became! It was like they kicked their breeding into overdrive to ensure survival! They were popping up everywhere and I nearly became despondent! Enter the D.I.Y Blogs with a very eco friendly simple recipe. Boracic Acid, Cake Flour and Icing Sugar mixture – equal portions as bait stations + Boracic Paste/Gel placed in strategic places all over. The last thing I did was to dust the premises twice, a week part, with clean Boracic powder. It took a bit over a month but there is not a single roach, baby or adult left and I have tested by coming into the kitchen after lights out and lock up. Not a single one in site! Thank you!!

  49. Hi I just read this article a minute too late I bought borax and through it all over the kitchen counters please advise if this will help in anyway we have a seriously bad infestation like millions at night they are in every room every cupboard every corner I tried almost everything did the borax balls with sugar and flour nothing seems to be working is this infestation to bad… So now I went crazy and just through borax everywhere on the kitchen counters in the cupboards hoping this would help please help… Will this method work in anyway

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Nelly,
      I think the number one concern here is having Borax spread all over your counters. It’s a powder, which means it can easily become airborne and inhaled. The purpose of mixing it as suggested in this DIY Cockroach Killer recipe is to keep it from floating around in the air, so I’d encourage you to clean it up right away and start over with a safe mix.

  50. One other area you’ll need to seal up, is the porch roof. We think roaches are living in the wood frames. Also, the land from the foundation has separated from the walls. Roaches living in there. They are on the side of our house walls as well. I’m scared they are in the attic too. Lots of fluff up there. Hard to put balls or DE powder up there.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You might try throwing a few Homemade Cockroach Killer balls into a shallow, uncovered box and setting it in the attic.

  51. Will other cooking oils like canola or olive oil work?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      I don’t think other cooking oils would work as well because they don’t get solid at room temperature the way Crisco or bacon grease does. Since they stay liquid, the other ingredients would dissolve in them — and that would keep the sharp edges of the Borax from killing cockroaches.

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