Does Baking Soda Kill Cockroaches

Cockroach-head-closeup on white background

Baking soda is an essential part of our cooking. It gives the perfect texture to our foods, making them an aesthetic appeal. However, this compound is also considered a popular and effective roach-killer remedy.

Of course, you can always fill your home with the fumes of insecticides to get rid of roaches. But unfortunately, these bugs still find their way out of this method. That’s when you can go to your pantry and take out baking soda as your ultimate weapon.

Yes, baking soda does eliminate cockroaches, but it’s pretty challenging to make these bugs eat it. That’s mainly due to the robust smell and flavor of the baking soda that cockroaches dislike.

However, when they do consume baking soda, it bursts roaches’ bodies with extreme pressure and kills them.

Baking soda works effectively when mixed with different ingredients, such as sugar and onion. So let’s dig deeper into how baking soda kills cockroaches and several ways of using it today.

Is Baking Soda Effective to Kill Cockroaches?

Yes, baking soda is super-effective in killing cockroaches. It first damages the exoskeleton of the roaches and then destroys their internal organs. However, this only happens if the consumed baking soda is fresh and powdered.

Baking soda, chemically known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white powder consisting of two primary components: bicarbonate anion and sodium cation. You can simply take it as salt and an initial stage of carbonic acid.

Baking soda is a pH neutralizer. When used in cooking or mixed with any other ingredient, baking soda transforms into a gas and expands whatever it’s combined with.

It has a distinct smell that cockroaches hate. However, these pests are known for their instincts.

So, determining why they don’t consume baking soda is debatable. It could be their dislike of the smell and taste of baking soda, or they just know the dangers of consuming it.

Thus, you should mix this ingredient with foods that cockroaches like to lure them toward eating. These include sweets, meat, starches, and greasy foods.

How Does Baking Soda Kill Roaches?

Baking soda kills roaches by causing them to explode. Even though it’s not a noticeable explosion, it damages the roaches’ bodies from outside to inside.

But how does baking soda actually work like that? Let’s find out.

It Turns into Gas and Expands Quickly

Baking soda tends to expand whatever it is combined in. However, it instantly expands when mixed with water or other liquids.

This reaction happens when sodium bicarbonate reacts with water and creates carbonic acid. It happens instantly and turns into an exothermic heat reaction, where baking soda is released as a gas, generating some heat all along.

It Damages Roaches’ Internal Organs

An exoskeleton protects cockroaches’ bodies. This outer shell keeps all their inside organs safe and strengthens them to fight against outside elements.

However, it lacks flesh and tissues. This prevents them from stretching and expanding no matter what happens.

When cockroaches ingest baking soda, it is transformed into the gas within their bodies. Unfortunately, their exoskeleton doesn’t have enough space to store or escape gaseous baking soda. This traps the gas inside their bodies and damages them inside out.

It Cracks Cockroaches’ Exoskeleton

Baking soda tries to escape from the cockroaches’ bodies. Because of this, it puts pressure on their hard exoskeletons, crushing the internal organs all along. This pressure intensifies over time.

As the gas heats up and expands, it cracks the cockroaches’ exoskeleton, killing them on the spot.

Baking soda also affects the mobility of cockroaches by targeting their internal organs and nervous system. As a result, they lose balance and topple over. They either starve to death or become a meal for any predator when this happens.

How Can You Use Baking Soda to Kill Roaches?

Pest control specialist disenfecting furniture

You can use baking soda to eliminate roaches from your home in three ways.

Baking Soda and Sugar

Mixing baking soda with sugar is one of the best ways to mask the white poison. Sugar is considered a strong roach killer as it has an attractive, sweet scent that cockroaches love. In addition, it contains glucose and cellulose and looks like baking soda.

So, using both ingredients as bait lures roaches and makes them believe they’re consuming sugar instead of baking soda. Sugar also balances the pungent smell of baking soda.

You can create a roach killer with baking soda and sugar in the following steps:

  1. First, mix equal baking soda and sugar parts, usually two teaspoons of each.
  2. Combine them in a bowl so roaches won’t distinguish.

This mixture can be placed in small bowls at high roach traffic areas or sprinkled in the corners and cracks of your home. Alternatively, you can also use it to trap cockroaches in the bait.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar can eliminate roaches, but they may not be an effective insecticide. That’s because vinegar isn’t toxic to bugs and pests and has a strong smell that repels roaches from a distance.

There is no purpose in using baking soda and vinegar to eliminate roaches for these reasons.

When mixed, vinegar immediately expands the baking soda in the bowl, even before the cockroaches find it. And even if they do ingest it, the expansion isn’t as effective as it should be to kill them.

Baking Soda and Onion

The US Patent Office states that raw yellow onions are effective food bait to trap roaches.

That’s because onion has sticky and thick juice that masks the flavors of other ingredients. Moreover, they have a strong, pungent smell that distracts roaches from identifying baking soda and falling for the bait anyway.

The best thing about using onion is that its water content doesn’t activate the components of baking soda instantly.

Thus, the baking soda and onion combination works incredibly well as a pesticide. You have to:

  1. Slice the onion into several chunks.
  2. Now, sprinkle baking soda all over the onion pieces.
  3. Place these onion pieces in multiple bowls and put them in high roach traffic areas.
  4. Keep in mind to replace these onions after every 2-3 days.

The alluring scent of onions attracts cockroaches. When these bugs bite the onion chunks, they consume baking soda unknowingly.

Ensure that your onions aren’t too moist. If so, the baking soda will be activated even before reaching the roaches’ mouths.

Does Baking Soda Instantly Kill Cockroaches?

Baking soda takes only a few hours to eliminate roach infestations. The time duration is about 15 hours, which can be extended to 24 hours.

Keep in mind that baking soda only activates when it comes in contact with water. Thus, if you’ve used powdered baking soda to kill roaches, it will need moisture inside the bug’s body to release its toxicity.

If the cockroach is dehydrated, this process may take more time than expected. There is also a chance that baking soda may not kill cockroaches instantly, even if it’s activated at the right time.

Even if you see toppled roaches or cracked exoskeletons, it still doesn’t mean that they are dead. Instead, after a few hours or days, they starve or are killed by any other factor.

Baking soda can more effectively paralyze the cockroach so that you can get rid of it quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly-asked questions related to the effectiveness of baking soda in killing roaches:

Does Baking Soda Kill Cockroaches?

Yes, baking soda kills cockroaches when it’s fresh and in powdered form. When roaches ingest baking soda, it turns into a gas inside their bodies. As it continues to intensify, it damages the internal organs of the roaches and puts pressure on their exoskeleton. Finally, gaseous baking soda cracks its outer shell by exploding them.

Do Cockroaches Eat Baking Soda?

No, cockroaches don’t eat baking soda in its raw form. Instead, you have to mix it with their favorite foods to make them ingest baking soda.

The Bottom Line

Baking soda can help you get rid of roach infestations. Of course, it may not be as effective as an anti-roach spray, but you can use it to kill these bugs at home.

If you’re allergic to chemicals or insecticides, mixing baking soda with sugar or onions can be a natural alternative. However, you can’t use baking soda solely as it has a pungent odor that can deter cockroaches from ingesting it.

Thus, you need to combine baking soda with a significant water content substance to activate its properties and mask its smell.

Remember that you can consult a professional pests terminator service whenever you feel that roaches have taken over your home. Or simply use a roach-killer spray, whatever suits you the best.