How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches

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If you’ve spotted a roach crawling in your home, you probably wonder how to get rid of cockroaches for good — and fast. These tips, and the natural homemade cockroach killer recipe below will help.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches - Dead cockroach on its back against white background

Cockroaches Carry Diseases

Cockroaches aren’t just unsightly bugs — they also harbor a number of vicious bacteria.

There is a substantial list of bacteria, funguses, molds and a couple of viruses that cockroaches can carry from place to place, not to mention an amoeba that causes dysentery, another parasite that causes giardiasis and the virus that causes polio.

New York Times

Cockroaches carry salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. Because of this, they can cause food poisoning by depositing bacteria on food and cooking utensils.

More commonly, cockroaches trigger human allergies and asthma. So, if someone in your home has these issues, you need to get rid of cockroaches ASAP.

How Roaches Cause Disease is Gross

Cockroaches aren’t picky about what they eat: they’ll feast on everything from crumbs to fecal matter.

They’re also not picky about where they poop. If you’ve got cockroaches, you should know they poop on food that’s left out, your kitchen counters, your toothbrush — wherever.

Also, cockroach poop contains bacteria that can survive in their digestive system for months. When that bacteria makes its way to your body — by eating contaminated food or touching contaminated surfaces — you get sick.

Cockroaches Can Multiply Without Breeding

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 is common among some insects. It means that females can reproduce on their own 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 cockroaches. Otherwise, you may be dealing with a major infestation before long.

How To Keep Cockroaches out of Your Home

1. Be Careful About What You Bring Indoors

Paper and Boxes Can Carry Cockroaches Inside

Roaches love paper. It’s not just one of their favorite snacks, it’s also a surface on which they like pooping. When they do so, they leave behind a pheromone that tells other cockroaches they’ve found a feast.

Roaches frequently enter our homes by hitching a ride on paper goods stored in poorly-maintained stores, warehouses, and long-distance shipping facilities.

So, one of the easiest ways to get rid of cockroaches is by keeping potential sources of infestation from entering. Like:

  • Paper bags from the grocery store
  • Cardboard shipping boxes
  • Bulk item packaging (for example, cases of wrapped goods from Costco)

Second-Hand Items May Contain Roaches

That gorgeous piece of furniture you found on the roadside won’t seem like such a good deal if it leads to a cockroach infestation. The same goes for the huge set of used paperbacks you bought on eBay or the super cheap microwave you got at the thrift store.

After all, how much of a savings is it if you’ve got to spend time and effort trying to get rid of cockroaches that came along with your “deal?”

  • Don’t pick up any furniture from the roadside. It’s usually thrown out for a good reason.
  • Immediately launder all used clothing from thrift stores or online. If you can’t wash it immediately, double bag it in plastic and keep it in your garage or another outdoor location.
  • Freeze used books and other similar items for 72 hours to kill hidden pests. Wrap them in two plastic bags, each tied tightly, to protect the books from moisture.

2. Deprive Roaches of Hiding Spots

While even clean homes can have roaches, they’re more likely to infest cluttered homes. In other words, to get rid of cockroaches and keep them from returning, you need to clean regularly and keep your home decluttered.

  • Clean under appliances regularly. Crumbs, spills and other kitchen debris accumulates under refrigerators and ovens. At least once a season — and more often if you’ve seen roaches — pull your appliances out from the wall to clean behind and beneath them.
  • Don’t let laundry pile up on the floor. Even last night’s pajamas can provide a warm, safe breeding spot for roaches. Keep dirty clothes in hampers and hang up clothes you plan to wear again.
  • Declutter cupboards and closets. Crammed spaces provide roaches with a ready place to breed.

3. Deny them Food

A fast way to get rid of cockroaches is to stop feeding them.

  • Don’t leave food sitting out on your counters, including fruit bowls.
  • Use air-tight containers to store dry goods, including cereals and baking supplies.
  • Wipe spills immediately on counters, floors, and shelves.
  • Don’t keep dirty dishes in the sink. Wash them or, at the very least, rinse all the food off immediately after use.
  • Keep your stinky drains clean and grime-free. (Here’s how.)
  • Run your garbage disposal often and clean it weekly. Food debris can build up after doing dishes or cooking then serve as a buffet for roaches. Here is how to clean your garbage disposal.
  • Rinse recyclables like cans, bottles, and plastics before putting them in your recycling containers. Keep your bins in the garage.
  • Don’t let garbage pile up. Empty trash cans, diaper pails, and litter boxes daily.
  • Don’t leave pet food sitting out, either.

How to Kill Cockroaches

Once you’ve eliminated the clutter, food sources and breeding areas through the above steps, this roach killer recipe will help destroy the rest.

Homemade Cockroach Killer Recipe

The Crisco or bacon grease and powdered sugar in these balls attract the roaches and give them something to eat. But Borax has very sharp edges, so it tears up their insides and kills them. The result? Dead bugs!

You will need:

  • 1/8 cup Crisco or bacon grease, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup powdered (confectioners’) sugar
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup flour (white or wheat)
  • Water
  • Plastic berry boxes (optional, see safety note below)

Directions:

  1. Combine the first four ingredients then add water slowly to form a soft dough that still holds shape.
  2. Roll into balls about the size of an olive.
  3. Stash two or three balls in each place roaches like to hang out: under sinks, behind appliances, in the corner of food cupboards, etc.
  4. Lightly mist the Cockroach Killer balls with water daily to keep them soft and their scent fresh.
  5. Replace with new balls as needed.

Kid and Pet Safety Using Homemade Roach Killer

Borax is an all-natural substance that is considered safe for use around humans and animals. Like any substance — even water — it can be harmful if ingested in large quantities.

Using plastic berry containers, which already have vent holes, can keep kids and pets from easily getting to them. Tape the containers shut before use. You can also simply put them down at night after the kids go to bed, which is when cockroaches usually come out, anyway.

Remember, keeping your home pest-free requires diligence, so even when the roach balls start to work you’ll want to stay clutter-free and clean to keep roaches out of your home.

177 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.) πŸ™‚

    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. I THINK BOTH OF U R SO STUPID ITS NOT EVEN FUNNY. They can’t brake a computer only u can

    6. just joking

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

    8. hi Katie, sorry to hear from your mom. Thanks for all the DIY, we here ib South Africa also has that problem. I download it already. Keep well, keep strong. your follower. regards.

    9. cathy clark says:

      way too much info. who cares if her web is down or you stayed on the phone.

  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!” πŸ˜‰ 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.

    2. cathy clark says:

      Why are all you people telling us your whole life stories. seriously who gives a fark.

    3. why are you being such a troll.

    4. Elizabeth Tadeo says:

      I love all this info. And the stories. Doesn’t bother me a bit. Keep us updated. ??

    5. Katie Berry says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth!

    6. Wow. Who asked for your negative opinion. I bet people just love you. Lol. Why do people act like that.

      We bought a house last year from a man who’s wife of almost 40 years died two years earlier. Why did I tell you that? Because he had someone take care of him and no longer had he maid and cook…… The house was infested. We bombed. We sprayed. We bombed we sprayed. We put out expensive bait in tubes. Two weeks later they would always come back. I am about to try this but I am going to ad som diatamaious earth along with the borax and see if it is more effective. Thank you for the recipie.

    7. Katie Berry says:

      You’re welcome, Crystal! And thank you for being the kind of person who cares for neighbors. We all need someone now and then.

    8. Buffy Schwartz says:

      Try a laxative, Cathy.

    9. Cathy,
      you do know that you are more than welcome to go to your nearest retail store and purchase some bleach to consume. Your negativity is completely unwarranted.

  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. πŸ™

  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.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      My grandmother swore by the Ortho stuff, but as someone who tries to avoid chemicals and toxins as much as possible, I go for the natural solutions first. With pecan trees, you already have an uphill battle… then again, you have pecans right out your back door. I’m jealous!

  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! πŸ™‚

    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. Katie Berry says:

      Good to know. Thanks!

    6. Family dollar sells it for $4

    7. Sereeta Brooks says:

      Amazon

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

    9. Katie Berry says:

      Good to know. Thank you for sharing!

    10. Estella Michael says:

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

    11. Katie Berry says:

      Yep!

    12. Lupita flotes says:

      Where can I find borox

    13. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Lupita,
      Borax is available at most major stores like Walmart or Target. You can find it in the laundry section. It’s also available on Amazon. Hope that helps!

  10. I think its important to point out that boric acid and borax do not work on the little german cock roaches. People will tell you it does but even the products made with boric acid specify that it wont work on them. If you have a serious problem no ammount of cleaning will help either. caulking can help them from coming in . I’ve used vinegar and water before and i just dont know if it helped. It definitely never hurt, but they didnt seem to mind it.The ortho fire ant killer works great. The next morning everything is dead, but unfortunately it is only supposed to be used outside. I think it even tells you to change your clothes afterward? THat stuff is pretty potent but more honestly than not really worth the risk. We make it in to something similar to the roach balls described above switching it for the boric acid. Leaving it out on bits of cardboard only overnight and cleaning up early in the morning before any children are around. If you use it never touch it. always cover your hands. Even in apartment where they will come back within a couple weeks it makes for a nice break. Nothing the exterminators have sprayed has come close. I get worried the roaches will become immune to it. It hasn’t happend yet though and my lease won’t be up for awhile so heres to hopin’

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “that stuff is pretty potent”. It contains a number of known carcinogens and nervous system disruptors, too. That’s why it’s specifically labeled for outdoor use — those things build up in a person’s body, both through exposure to them and in combination with other things we’re exposed to. In granular form, they’re particularly susceptible to breaking down, becoming part of household dust and even the air we breathe. “Really worth the risk”? Nancy, I just can’t agree on that.

    2. A new study on borax has led to our Health Canada to ban borax due to its poisonous properties when overexposed. So even borax is toxic.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Fingers crossed for you. Hope the kids stayed to lend a hand!

  14. 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 😑

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Try sweeping some talcum powder, cornstarch or even ground up chalk into that little crevice at the base of the cupboards. They’re all non-toxic and tear up cockroach bodies.

    2. Would the talcum, corn startch and ground chalk work in the balls? I have pets.

  15. Ravenwood says:

    Sorry Carl, didn’t see your post. My name is also Carl, so I’ll use a pseudonym πŸ˜‰

    I WILL be scouring THIS site

  16. 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.

  17. 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 !

    2. Katie Berry says:

      I remember those waterbugs from growing up in Texas Hill Country. Scary things.

    3. Canuck Sailor says:

      Just so you know, I HATE you! Cripes, talk about TMI, lol…

    4. Katie Berry says:

      I’ve been shuddering since reading Mike’s description of those Texas bugs, too!

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Oh dear. I fully sympathize: my husband does the exact same thing.

    2. you should be doing the dishes yourself

    3. Katie Berry says:

      Bzzzzt. Thanks for playing. I cook three meals a day from scratch. The deal in our house is that the cook does not have to do the dishes. (Though I do wash most everything I use in the process of cooking because I cannot stand a full sink.)

  20. I had some roach activity in last 2 weeks,always see one the most 2 in the kitchen sink every time i go in the evening,i live in a big complex,they come do pest control for free ,is a mess to move out everything and then heard some neighbor saying pest control come 2x and they scare roaches away for few days then they back so i decide to do my own pest control !
    At 1st i start with acid boric,made baits then i waste money for crap they sale at grocery stores,out everything i try i only find one that actually works which is the combat gel bait…but i end up doing my pest the pro way! I buy my own pro insecticide Suspend SC from amazon,28$ a bottle but with it i can mix 64 gallon! I spray my house everywhere and i have plenty to spray every week if i want too,i also got the pro gel bait Maxforce magnum and want it to try the advion gel baits,pros use this! I also buy a foam sealing sprayer and i seal all the holes/cracks focused under the kitchen sink/cabinets and bathroom,i am roach free now and i have neighbors asking me how to get ride of them since pest control doesn’t do the job right! You need keep clean around especially kitchen ,no food on the counter etc and no dishes in the sink,sink must be clear,clean and dry out every night…that is how you get ride of the roaches,no mickey mouse games,do it the pro way like i did lol

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Well, I’m glad the pro stuff worked for you. We try to avoid dangerous chemicals like that in my house; when someone in your family comes down with brain cancer, you tend to get VERY skittish about using harsh toxins.

  21. distraughmomma says:

    I live in an apartment complex and am on an end. I have one common wall! Anyway. Pest control came a week or so ago and Im still have problems. Tonight I was cleaning as usual (only this time I accidently used some ammonia instead of white vinegar was finished cleaning and walked out of the kitchen and back in (not even 5 minutes later) and bam there were 3 big ones right on my counter! Daylight and all! I haven’t seen many but I know they are around and I have done all the cleaning I can think of doing. Im contacting the manager of the apartments tomorrow but Do I really have so many roaches that they are not finding enough food in the dark that they have to come out during the day to find food??? (There wasn’t even any food out no crumbs nothing)I just finished cleaning _ BTW my house is not dirty im not perfect at cleaning but I don’t live in filth. HELP

    1. Katie Berry says:

      First try all of the suggestions in this article. Use vinegar this time, instead of ammonia.

  22. 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.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      If you’ve tried all of those things and you’re still being overrun with roaches, I’d start wondering what’s going on in the townhome next to yours. Sounds like they’re coming from next door.

    2. Bat Dance says:

      I second that wish!

  23. I just now found your page and i love ALL the cleaning techniques u have provided! πŸ™‚ We just moved into an apartment building, my 3 year old and 1 year old. I had a feeling just by the way the apartment smelled we were going to have a problem with cockroaches.. I am so afraid of them I practically run n scream seeing one.. But for the saftey and sanitary fact of my two babies I want a pest free apartment. Will the use of Clorox bleach help?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It might, Tanya, but bleach can cause all sorts of respiratory and skin problems. Since you’re concerned about the safety of your babies, I’d strongly suggest avoiding bleach when possible. I have many, many cleaning recipes on this site using natural products that pose less of a toxic risk. Give those a try!

    2. Hi there, id like to thank you for your tips
      I just cant believe all the storys im reading its like wow.
      as Iv jst moved into my new rental home to my horror its loaded with live and dead roaches.
      I have cleaned most places but not all and have got the rental agency to give it a bomb out.there are still some living but.these tips I will try out asap
      I have had my daughter come over home and she has been saying ewe whats that smell.but I guess my nose is use to that smell I cant smell it.now im thinking its them those critters there still here but don’t no where.
      I was gonna move out as I don’t want to live with these guys but im gona get on to these tips that use have mentioned.
      I will say I have not cleaned out my hotwater cupboard as there are lots of dead roaches in there and I don’t want to go near there.they have left powder and tablets in there I guess I thought it would b better if I just left them there.
      the thought of cleaning it up scares me abit as there is lots in there but reading threw all these advices I best be getting on to it now but not before I get to the market
      Im from New Zealand so ill have to look up and see if we have the boric acid here and where to find it.
      I have seen big black ones outside aswel and looking for tips on keeping them outside.
      I don’t usally close my windows at nights but I will be from now onwards.
      I would like to once again thank you for your tips
      so hope I beat them and not have to move.

    3. Katie Berry says:

      I’d just stick the vacuum’s hose in that hot water cupboard to suck up the dead roaches. As disgusting as it is, their rotting bodies will only attract more of their kind. Good luck!

  24. Thomas Williams says:

    I love em!!!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You love cockroaches? Crispy or steamed? Or are you just odd Thomas? (Oh, wait. That’s a book title already, isn’t it?)

  25. Pamela dugger says:

    Is this product pet friendly

    1. Katie Berry says:

      This DIY recipe uses Borax. You don’t want your pets to eat Borax. As the article says: “it’s a good idea to pop the DIY Roach Repellant Balls in a plastic berry container (which has vent holes that let cockroaches get in) and tape them shut before stashing them where kids or pets can get to them.”

  26. Tammy Loggins-Townsend says:

    I would like to know if and when they are in the walls, do or can they cause black mold? If so how bad and who has to pay for it to be fixed? I live in a rented trailer. Please, I NEED HELP!!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      They don’t cause black mold, but they love to live where black mold exists. It’s VERY important that you get your mold problem fixed — black mold is dangerously toxic and can cause a variety of problems ranging from neurological to respiratory, immune, and reproductive illnesses.

      Since you rent, it’s your landlord’s job to fix it. That said, many landlords don’t take these things seriously (they’re not the ones living with it, after all) so you need to get on the matter yourself if your landlord won’t.

      You might also want to check out the laws in your area to see if the presence if black mold renders a place legally inhabitable. If so, you may be able to legally break your lease. Let me emphasize that you first CHECK THE LAWS OF YOUR STATE and consider speaking with a lawyer.

  27. 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.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Glad to hear it, Arlene!

    2. Bat Dance says:

      What paste are you speaking of? The Borax balls? Or is it something else?

  28. 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.

  29. What a great idea! I hate the roaches we’ve gotten in this old house. We’ve used the toxic sprays, gels, and traps and they are expensive and dangerous to continue to the point necessary for total roach annihilation. We have four young girls, two cats, a dog, two turtles…and a partridge in a pear tree. We simply can’t afford all the chemical treatments necessary, plus the time it took us to move everything and spray the entire house, not to mention having to evacuate the kids for several days and trying to juggle pets from room to room when no one wanted to pet sit. I have been looking into using borax as I cannot find DE anywhere locally, and I plan on making my own laundry detergent soon anyway. However, I have concerns about the toxicity of borax. Some things I’ve read say it’s only as toxic as table salt and is not a worry at all because large quantities must be ingested before it’s actually toxic. Other places say it is toxic and is responsible for the deaths of many children and animals. Placing it down as a powder was a little unsettling to me especially with sugar, because my dog would probably eat all of it. She’s not quite a year old, belongs to my kids, sneaks candy, and gets into quite a bit. She was able to remove the screw on cap from the turtle food while we were gone one night and share it with the cats. ~_~ She’s a very smart, but very naive puppy. So the idea for the balls that could be placed in something she can’t get into sounds wonderful to me. However, I’m sure she could chew through a berry basket. Any ideas on something a bit harder for an Australian Cattle Dog (medium to large dog) to get in to? Thanks so much for the idea. πŸ™‚

  30. Michaela Wilson says:

    I’ve dealt with roaches all my life. Ive lived in the same house all mylife I’m only 16. Weve got a city dumpster in the back of our house. (Our house is very clean. ) people dumpster dive in the dumpster they tear up trash bags and just don’t care. Our neighbours arent that clean either. But I have a 2 year old. And he runs around our house with food. Which attracts them. And I just opened my hope chest and they were in there. I don’t know what to do any more please help. I live in the basement so they love it down here. I kill them everytime i walk in our room. And they even sometimes get on our bed and crawl on our blankets. It makes me feel dirty and I don’t know what to do. I’ve even caught one crawling on my son in the middle of the night. Please help me I don’t know what to do!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sprinkle Borax outside at the base of the walls to keep the cockroaches from coming in. Go through the steps in the article to get rid of any cockroaches currently living in your house. Make some of the DIY Cockroach Balls, put them in old plastic food containers with lids (e.g., sour cream or cottage cheese containers) and cut small holes in the sides, then duct tape the lids on so your child can’t get into them. Put those under your bed, under cupboards, in your hope chest, etc., to kill more roaches. Repeat this regularly, because battling cockroaches is NOT a one-time thing.

      As for your 2-year-old running around the house with food: you’re the parent. Teach your child to eat at the table.

  31. 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.

  32. CornSnake19 says:

    Do you guys have anymore sure ways to get rid of roaches?
    I just moved in with my boyfriend about 3 months ago and the town we live in is known for its roach problem. We are trying to keep the house as clean as possible but we can’t quite keep it spotless and food/water free at night due to having our wide assortment of pets (1 cat, 2 dogs (one of which sheds non stop and slobbers everywhere) 5 birds, 2 indoor water turtles and 2 snakes). He works 12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week so he doesn’t have much time to help clean and this is a 4 br house. I’m just one person haha. Ive been cleaning since 6:30 pm and I only just finished with it being 4:30 am. And I didn’t manage to get the place as clean as I would like. This isn’t the best house- its older and seems to have been sloppily built and taken care of. There are holes we can’t fill or cover- we are renting this place currently and the landlord isnt the nicest when it comes to things like that.
    I would love to be able to bomb this place to hell and back but we cannot due to the birds (boyfriend inherited them when his mother passed and no one is willing to take them for a few days). I have bought a pound of boric acid, n ounce of roach growth regulating hormone stuff- roach birth control, and Cy-kick CS… and used them all badically at the same time… and they disappeared for a while yet now are back just as bad if not worse. I’m at my wits end- and I’ve only been dealing with this for 3 months! I don’t know what else to try. I need to figure out something and quick- they’re already making me sick and have breathing problems. Sorry for my long winded comment- but I needed to vent and get it all out there. Wewont be able to get out of this place until at least the new year. Does anyone know what else we can try? I would love to go a more natural route but will try anything at this point. How do we keep from bringing them with us when we do eventually move?
    Heather

    1. CornSnake19 says:

      Please help- I don’t know what else to try.
      It’s it straight lemons/oranges? Or can it be the plastic lemon bottles with the juice in it? What else do they not like?
      Has anyone tried diatomaceous earth? Does it work?

    2. Katie Berry says:

      No one mentioned lemons or oranges. Wipe every surface with 50/50 white vinegar and water. Sweep and mop the floor daily. Try my homemade floor cleaner for that, but use peppermint and/or cypress oil. Make the roach killer balls mentioned in this blog entry, and put them behind your appliances where your pets can’t get to them. Take the trash out every night before bed, and spray the garbage can with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution before putting the new bag in. Get rid of piles of papers, all boxes, and paper bags. Keep ALL food tightly sealed, and be sure you’ve cleaned under your sinks and sprayed them with the vinegar-water mix.

      As for not bringing them with you when you move, that’s a tough one. Don’t keep the boxes sitting around before you pack them, shake everything well before packing, then seal the boxes and — most importantly — get them out of your house immediately so roaches don’t sneak in.

    3. CornSnake19 says:

      I was talking about a couple sites I found stating scents and smells they dont like. They all mentioned them not liking anything citrusy.
      it seems like as soon as I get a semi ok handle on them in the kitchen and bathroom, they intensify in our bedroom- and I hate bugs so finding them on/around my bed and dresser freaks me out.
      Curious- where do you get essential oils like you’re talking about? What are they? (Sorry if those are bad/stupid questions)

    4. Katie Berry says:

      The thing about battling roaches is that, as you’ve noticed, they’ll go from one room to another. Your best bet is to spend a day cleaning every room and spraying them all liberally with peppermint oil, then continue using the oil as part of your daily cleaning routine.

      As for where to buy them, I get mine via Amazon. You can find them easily in my Amazon store or just visit Amazon and search for “essential oils”. I use Plant Therapy’s oils for cleaning purposes since they’re less expensive but just as effective as other brands.

  33. 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.

  34. I'm just a cute pumpkin <3 says:

    So, this may not be written very well, because i’m a kid but me and my dad just moved into an apartment we liked it for a few days But then we started noticing some cockroaches. of course, i’m terrified of bugs, (AAAHHH) so it was a huge problem for me. but my dad.. not so much… so we didn’t do anything about it. but then more and more came and now me and my dad did everything we could to get rid of those horrible brown beasts but nothing worked. we had a proffesinal (sorry if i spelled it wrong i’m terrible at spelling because i just moved to america two years ago or maybe a year ago) bug killer or something spray the whole house… BUT IT DIDN’T WORK! I WAS SO MAD >:( but anyway, my dad decided he had enough so we cleaned the whole house as much as we could.. HE threw away allot of my stuff i have allot of newspapers, magezens books, plain old boring books, And ALLOT and i mean ALLOT of paper. and under my bed was a junk yard i saw many bugs in my room IT WAS DISGUSTING i thought it was because of my junk under my bed so i cleaned it out it took me two hours! (two hours of my life dead!finished!gone!) but i still noticed some cockroaches in my room :(so anyway that’s my story for the room. NOW THE KITCHEN. i’m a really messy eater. if no one was looking id stuff my whole mouth full of french fries… so what i’m saying is i always leave crumbs and i’m also very lazy so when i’m trying to close a container i just close it half way and stuff like that… and me and my dad notice allot of cockroaches trying to crawl there way in our refregerator some got in, some had bad luck and got squished by my sandals (R.I.P……NOT.) we also see allot of cockroaches in our microwave and by our sink or in our sink or.. any were really. we also see cockroaches in our bathroom and living room. i already wrote a really long …paragraph/story/artical/something so i should probably end it soon… so me and my dad tried allot of things to get rid of those horrible brown beasts but we failed… this artical that you made didn’t really work out for me or my dad but it was still great. and i just felt like waisting some time and wrighting my opinion down… Well, thanks for everything. And if you have any other way we can get rid of them bugs…Then SPILL the beans! πŸ˜› but bye for now.

    Love,
    Your cute pumpkin <3
    /tebah <–real name… :p

  35. Should you replace the boric acid bait every so often? I’ve heard its best when the boric acid is dry.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      About once a month should do it.

  36. Bat Dance says:

    I found this on HuffPost –

    -Borax + Sugar: The exterminator recommended this mix (3 parts borax to 1 part sugar) because the borax acts similarly to commercial roach killing sprays by dehydrating the pests’ exoskeleton. The sugar just acts as a bait. Though borax is a pretty safe product, I erred on the side of caution and sprinkled the mix only in high up places. A few hours later, there were dead roaches galore. Bottom line: Amazingly effective.

  37. 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?

  38. 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!

  39. 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….

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

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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thank you for sharing that trick, Jake! It’s very clever. πŸ™‚

  44. Quick question for anyone that can answer.

    What about if a member of your household absolutely REFUSES to clean out a room that is literally half-filled with random stuff? I live with my grandma and her little dog. My grandpa passed away at least seven years ago. She has yet to get rid of ANY of his stuff (I don’t see it happening any time soon, either), and has since moved all of it into my uncle’s old bedroom. That room is pretty much an optimal place for the stupid things to live in. Unfortunately, we do have an infestation, and I need to find a way to get rid of the critters since she won’t.

    Any help to figure it out would be a blessing! Thanks in advance!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sam, this is a tough one. If we were discussing a teen who refused to clean out his or her room, and that was causing an infestation, I’d tell you to send the kid to the movies or to a friend’s house and clean it out for them, then threaten to take away everything but their bed and clothes unless they kept it clean.

      But this is an adult we’re talking about. More importantly, it’s your grandmother who lost her spouse. A death like that can often trigger hoarding for the simple reason that a person has suffered such an enormous loss that it’s emotionally painful to part with anything else. I say this as a woman whose husband passed away 6 months ago; cleaning his clothes out of the closet was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, and I’ve yet to touch any of his other possessions because of that. (But I will this fall.) Were you to do to your grandmother what I’d suggested with a teen you could very well cause some trauma that she wouldn’t emotionally recover from.

      So, the question is: how bad is the infestation and what’s the nature of the stuff causing it? If it’s food items, clear those out quietly when she’s sleeping or watching TV. Chances are she wouldn’t notice them. If it’s due to other belongings, perhaps suggest that you’d like to sort through his things and move them into plastic storage containers for “safekeeping”. That would give you the chance to get rid of any live critters roaming around while also ensuring that any you didn’t discover would be confined within the containers, rather than roaming throughout the house. Containers would be easier to move around for occasional vacuuming, too.

      In the process, if you find some obvious junk (old newspapers, toiletries, etc.) you could suggest to your grandma that your grandpa wouldn’t want those things littering the house. You might even be able to convince her that things like old suits or sweaters should go to charity where they can serve someone else, and that your grandpa would want to know his things were being useful rather than causing problems in the house. BUT if she’s terribly resistant to even those ideas, just box them up in those plastic containers and realize that, sadly, there will be a time when she won’t be around to object to their disposal.

      I’m sorry you’re going through this, and sorry your grandmother is, too. Kind regards to you both!

  45. 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.

  46. cajandra conde says:

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

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Absolutely.

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

  48. 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. πŸ™‚

    2. diatomaceous earth.Β  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.

    3. Katie Berry says:

      I’m not sure that DE works wet, either. The bag I use in the garden says to replenish after heavy rain, but it’s not clear if the rain makes it ineffective or they assume it gets washed away.

  49. 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!

  50. 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.

  51. 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.ο»Ώ

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

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

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I haven’t tried it on them, so I can’t give you an accurate answer. Sorry!

    2. Hi everyone
      I’m new to the group. Tonight I just sprinkled change pepper on my counter, the the counter is where they live. So, can I use borax acid instead of the borax detergent?

      Thanks for the heads up.

    3. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Agnes,
      The homemade cockroach killer recipe provided uses borax, which is not the same as boric acid. You can find borax under the brand name “20 Mule Team Borax” in the laundry section of stores like Walmart or Target.

  55. 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. Katie Berry says:

      Clean them with the degreasing process described, including the floor or counter and walk behind them. Then use the roach killer. Good luck!

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

    3. Katie Berry says:

      Thanks for the suggestion!

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

    1. Katie Berry says:

      No, it kills adult roaches.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. Cynthia Holstine says:

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

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yes, grease is what attracts cockroaches.

  60. Chandra Ballard says:

    I have found that a mixture of 1/2 cup Epsom salt along with 10 drops each eucalyptus and peppermint oil kills roach as well as any pesticide full of chemicals. I have used boric acid to seal off the cracks and crevices that are not in reach of animals and children.

    1. Chandra Ballard says:

      Sorry the mixture should be with a gallon of water.

    2. Katie Berry says:

      Thank you for the suggestion!

  61. 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?

  62. 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. Katie Berry says:

      It worked for me when combined with keeping food put away, not holding onto piles of boxes or piles of newspapers and the like. πŸ™‚

    2. 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

  63. Cathy get a farking life. Or just go away. I for one like hearing the stories. But there’s always gotta be a boob like you being mean and rude. Makes me wonder what a miserable human being you must be.

  64. Sylvester says:

    Would diameteous earth work in place of borax? Also, what about granulated sugar instead of powdered? Only because it’s 3:50 am and I’d like to start on something immediately. (Our Walmart is no longer open 24 hours, but come to think of it, rite aid or cvs may carry borax….)

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Diatomaceous earth might work. I shared the recipe that I used and which worked for me but, as with any recipe, if you change the ingredients your results may change, too. And, incidentally, I sleep at 3:50 AM. πŸ™‚

  65. Hi Crystal, I just read what you wrote about the man who’s wife of 40 yrs just died. You stated that after all the cleaning and disinfecting the roaches kept coming back. I live in an apartment in NYC and I had a roach infestation 25yrs ago and the roaches kept coming back also until I realized that I wasn’t cleaning up and scraping away the droppings which are really the nest. If you don’t clean it with detergent rinse and dry it then add the roach gel or spray within 3 months you see the roaches gathering in that same spot because the droppings is how they communicate with each other and no matter how long those stains and droppings are there it will keep calling roaches back to the nest. Yes of course roaches get in thru doorways, windows, and any opening available but if there’s no place to gather or water or food they will die, and those lonely ones I find dead or single ones that are struggling to live I call scouts because those are the ones that come looking for food, water and a warm place so that they go back and leave a trail where the others can follow, but there’s no nest or Roach to follow because the scout is dead!! Advise: clean stains and droppings around the corners of cabinetdoors, under the rim of the sink or any where you see roach stains or droppings and make sure you don’t let that Roach Scout get away because he is going back to let the others know that he has found them a new home! Forgive me I know its alot of reading but I’ve never read about the nest and droppings and I saw an opportunity to let the readers know how I keep them from coming back to my apt. Thanks Sonia

  66. 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.

  67. 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!!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi J.C.
      Thank you for letting me know this method helped! So glad to hear you’ve got these pests under control and safely, too.
      Best,
      Katie

  68. How about Diatomaceous Earth instead of Borax? Would that be as effective?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Chel,
      It should work to kill them since DE will cut their exoskeletons and cause them to eventually die, but without the other ingredients, there’s nothing to bait them out of hiding spots.

    2. Ok so if I use your recipe but sub DE, it should work?

    3. Katie Berry says:

      Since I haven’t tried it, I can’t say one way or the other, Chel. But I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t work.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

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