Dead cockroach is dead

DIY Roach Killer Recipe and Home Remedies to Kick Roaches to the Curb

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Eliminating cockroaches in your home is a two-step process. First, you need to stop more from coming inside. Then, use home remedies like my DIY roach killer recipe and targeted cleaning to get rid of roaches already in your home.

Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

Cockroaches can be a dangerous source of allergens and asthma triggers. Their feces, saliva, and shed skins are irritants that become part of your home’s dust and spread throughout your home. They also carry dangerous bacteria, molds, fungi, and viruses. In short: ew.

Keep Roaches Out of Your Home

Like most pests, cockroaches invade your home through cracks in your foundation, gaps around windows or doors, or where pipes and utility wires enter your home. Sometimes, they’ll come on on delivery boxes and paper bags form the store.

To keep cockroaches out of your home, caulk or add weatherstripping to gaps around windows and doors, and fill any crevices between your home’s siding and foundation. Caulk around pipe entry points, too.

Targeted Cleaning to Discourage Cockroaches

Dirty dishes, spills on the floor, crumbs or food left sitting out, and a full kitchen trash can are an open invite to roaches.

Since cockroaches are active at night, establish a pre-bedtime shutdown routine that cleans up these food sources. Then they’ll be even happier to eat the cockroach killer you leave out.

Cockroaches don’t like the smells of lavender, peppermint, or bay laurel essential oils. Add them to your homemade cleaning products, and tuck cotton balls doused with these scents under your sinks and in the corners of cabinets.

Pro Tip

If you have pets, stick with lavender since it is one of the safe essential oils to use around pets.

DIY Cockroach Killer Balls

An all-natural recipe that's not toxic for people or pets, but it sure is for cockroaches.
Type of Recipenatural pest control
Use AsBalls

Equipment and Materials

  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • berry box or other perforated container optional


  • 2 tbsp Crisco or cooking grease bacon fat works very well
  • 2 tbsp confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour any kind
  • 1 cup borax or diatomaceous earth (DE)
  • water


  1. Combine the grease, sugar, flour, and borax (or DE) with just enough water to make a soft dough that holds its shape.
  2. Roll the dough into olive-sized balls.
  3. Put the cockroach killer balls where roaches like to hide (e.g., behind appliances, under sinks, in the back of cabinets). If you have pets or children, you can first put them into a berry box or other perforated container.
  4. Mist the balls daily to keep their scent fresh.
  5. Replace when you can no longer smell them or they appear dry.


Multiply the recipe as desired and freeze the extras in a resealable bag or freezer container. There’s no need to thaw them before use.
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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 leave you with a home free of cockroaches, naturally.

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  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. 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.

    1. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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!


  15. 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.

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