How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches: A Comprehensive Guide

Aside from carrying over 30 types of diseases, cockroaches can cause numerous other problems for humans, including damage to your property and belongings. It is important to get rid of them as they are an invasive species that should not remain in your home. In this article, we describe various methods for their extermination to keep your home safe.

You can opt for many natural ingredients lying in your pantry to repel and kill roaches. If they don’t work, you can move on to using some advanced methods, such as roach baits and insecticides.

While these techniques may eliminate roaches, you must know when and how to implement them to achieve desired results.

If you detect a severe roach infestation, you should call a professional exterminator before these pests take over your entire home.

Don’t know where to start? This guide will tell you many ways to get rid of roaches efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • Cockroaches are invasive pests that carry multiple diseases, such as typhoid, leprosy, salmonellosis, listeriosis, and more. These viruses can also infest your food and water.
  • Roaches are attracted to areas with ample supply of food, moisture, and darkness, such as your pantry and bathroom.
  • Cockroaches can get into your home through drains, cracks, and pipes, so it’s best to seal up all unnecessary entryways.
  • Dead cockroaches scattered around, smear marks, baby cockroaches, droppings, and cockroach eggs are signs of a severe roach infestation. Contact a professional pest exterminator as soon as you spot any or all of these signs.
  • Borax, ammonia, diatomaceous earth, mouthwash, and bleach are effective ways to kill cockroaches. You can also get your home fumigated from professionals.

Most Common Cockroaches

The US homes have nearly 55 out of the 4,000 cockroach species present worldwide. While some are considered invasive pests, others may provide certain benefits for the environment. Here are the most common types of cockroaches and how to identify them.

How To Identify Types of Roaches

Most cockroaches have similar appearances, which is why they may be hard to identify. Luckily, the top three cockroach species found in the US have a distinct enough appearance for you to recognize them.

German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are typically around half inch long with a light brown or tan body. They have wings, but you’ll rarely see them fly. Instead, they’re typically hidden in kitchens and bathrooms since they’re attracted to humidity and warmth.

A female German cockroach can produce five egg sacks in her lifetime, each having 30 to 40 eggs.

American Cockroaches

American cockroaches have 1.5-1.7 inches, shiny-red brown bodies featuring a yellow band near their head. The male American cockroach has longer wings than the female, and they may fly in high temperatures.

These cockroaches are especially attracted to fermented food, which is why you may find them in restaurants and other commercial buildings.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

The brown-banded cockroach has a distinct appearance, with a body size ranging from half inch. They’re typically light or medium brown, but the female counterpart may be darker. The female brown-banded cockroach also has underdeveloped wings, which makes it hard to fly.

These are dangerous since they carry diseases and bacteria on their bodies and legs.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are much larger, ranging from 0.8 inches. They’re typically dark brown or black with wings they don’t use often. This hardy species can even survive freezing temperatures, spending time in garbage and debris.

These cockroaches also carry disease-causing bacteria, especially organisms that cause gastroenteritis.

What Attracts Roaches?

Most of the roaches are attracted to food, while others gravitate toward warmth, humidity, stagnant water, and even cardboard or paper.

What attracts cockroaches depends on the subspecies since different types are attracted to different factors.

What Do Roaches Eat?

As omnivores, cockroaches typically eat both animals and plants. Most subspecies are especially attracted to sweets, greasy foods, starches, and meats, but they’re not picky. Instead, they’ll resort to leftover food crumbs.


Starchy, sweet, greasy, carnivorous, and cheesy foods attract cockroaches. Other than that, they’re also attracted to the pungent smell coming from rotten fruits and vegetables.

So it’s best to keep your food in airtight containers and clean all food-related surfaces before bed.


Stagnant water can also attract roaches, so it’s best to check your pipes and eliminate any leaks.

Water can also get into your walls, so you must use caulk in gaps around your tubs and sinks. Wet washcloths, sponges, and towels can also attract cockroaches.


Although cockroaches can survive freezing temperatures, most subspecies seek warmth. That’s why cockroach infestations are much more probable in the summertime.

However, their preferred temperature ranges from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, so they may be less common in the winter.


Cockroaches like to live in warm, wet, and dark locations, so you may find them in the sewer or your basement.

Additionally, they may enter your home’s structure via pipes and drains and reside in the walls.

Humidity and Moisture

Cockroaches famously prefer humidity, warmth, and moisture. As tropical creatures, these pests even rely on the humidity for survival.

A dripping air conditioner may attract cockroaches even if your house is generally cold and dry.

Pet Supplies

Even if you’re vigilant about keeping your home clean and dry, pet food and water bowls attract cockroaches rapidly.

It is an open source of food and moisture for them, so it’s best to keep your pet’s food and water bowls empty until their feeding.

Cardboard and Paper

Since cockroaches can eat the organic fibers of cardboard and paper, these materials can encourage an infestation. Plus, the pests can easily hide under cover of cardboard boxes.

Cockroaches also use wet cardboard to stay hydrated.

Uncovered Trash

Cockroaches often feed on filth, which is why uncovered trash can attract them. In addition, your garbage can provide an available source of water, food, and hiding spots.

Clearing your trash cans every night is best to prevent infestations.

Signals and Symptoms of Infestation

Identifying a cockroach infestation is the first step toward eliminating these pests.

A few signals and symptoms of an infestation include cockroach droppings, smear marks, unusual odors, cockroach eggs, shedded skin, and more.

Dead Cockroaches

Dead cockroaches can point toward a possible cockroach infestation in your time.

They may have died due to dehydration or starvation, but there could still be others hiding in the cracks and corners of your home.

Baby Cockroaches

Baby cockroaches are an undeniable sign of a cockroach infestation, that means adult cockroaches have been living in your home long enough to lay eggs.

Spotting a baby cockroach means you have hundreds of other baby and adult cockroaches on the property.

Pregnant Roach

Female cockroaches can lay 5 to 15 egg sacs, each containing 30 to 40 eggs. Most species multiply their population by ten folds within days.

You can identify a pregnant cockroach by the egg sac on its back and get rid of it immediately before it lays eggs.

One Cockroach

If you see one cockroach, there are most likely more cockroaches crawling around your home.

Although, of course, it may be the last surviving member, loner, or roach scout. Still, it’s best to check common hiding spots for more.

Killing Cockroaches

Killing a cockroach will release fatty acids from the body, a great food source for others.

Dead cockroaches will undoubtedly attract more, so it’s best to dispose of the bodies properly and prevent an infestation.


Cockroaches lay 30 to 40 eggs in one go, typically in dark and safe crevices, pipelines, clothes, and wall gaps.

It’s also worth noting that they lay eggs every month for ten months after mating, so it’s hard to pause an infestation once it’s begun.


You may find cockroach nests in narrow crevices, such as under refrigerators, in floor drains, behind electrical appliances, and inside wall gaps.

It’s best to safely destroy a cockroach nest on the first sighting to prevent an infestation since they lay eggs pretty fast.


Cockroaches prefer living in walls due to trapped warmth and moisture and because it protects them from predators.

You’ll hear low chirping sounds and notice smear marks and droppings if cockroaches are living inside your walls.

Where Do Roaches Hide

Cockroaches prefer hiding in wet, dark, and hot areas, such as behind appliances, inside walls, or near the kitchen sink.

You may also find them in the trash, near the toilet, inside closets, or in your attic.

Unusual odors, eggshells, and smear marks indicate roaches hiding in your home.


Since cockroaches cannot survive fumigation, it’s a great technique to eliminate infestations from your home.

The process relies on lethal chemicals to kill all cockroaches and cockroach eggs within your home, so you won’t need a follow-up procedure.

How Roaches Enter Your Home

Since these pests are incredibly small, they can enter your home through various openings.That includes small cracks or gaps in windows, doors, and walls.

Shockingly, they can also hitch a ride on people, furniture, and pets.

Cracks and Gaps in Windows and Doors

Cockroaches have a great sense of smell, so they may detect stagnant water, open food, or wet cardboard from cracks or gaps in windows or doors.

Unfortunately, they will use these openings to get inside and infest your home.

Holes in Pipes and Vents

Cockroaches famously reside in sewers due to the location’s wet and dark nature.

This allows them to enter your home via holes in pipes and vents. Especially in apartment buildings that place pipes like highways between apartments.

Hitching a Ride (Furniture, People, Washing, Other Items)

Cockroaches can also hitch a ride on furniture, people, and other items to enter your home discreetly.

Your dry cleaning, neighbors, and food delivery can unknowingly carry baby cockroaches or eggs to infest your home.

How To Get Rid of Cockroaches at Home

The first step toward eliminating a cockroach infestation is recognizing it.

Then, you can dedicate time and effort to each vulnerable spot with varying techniques to kill all cockroaches living in your home.

You may find them in the refrigerator, microwave, dishwater, appliances, bedroom, bathroom, attic, garage, car, …


Cockroaches rely on loose rubber seals or cracked doors to get into your refrigerator, and rapidly infest it.

You can eliminate them by spreading insecticidal dust in your fridge (very dangerous) or strategically placing poisonous cockroach baits.

Borax and sugar can also get the job done if you prefer DIY home remedies.

While the sugar attracts them, the borax dries out the exoskeleton and kills the cockroach.

Crushed cucumbers can also repel cockroaches.


Cockroaches can get into your microwave via cracks and open doors, and corrode its wiring by secreting damaging liquids.

They can also affect the microwave’s functioning by laying eggs in the wrong spots, or even cause fires by damaging the wires.

Deep cleansing your microwave to keep it free of food spills and splatters is the best way to keep cockroaches out.

It’s also essential to clean the interior and exterior with vinegar and lemon solution.


Cockroaches are attracted to your dishwasher’s moist and dark interior, which they enter via the drain or unnoticed gaps.

Your dishwasher is especially vulnerable to an infestation, if you leave dirty dishes too long or let grease build-up.

To prevent this, it’s best to deep clean your dishwasher as regularly as possible, and keep the dishes from staying in there too long.

You must also pay attention to the drains and pipes, which can get clogged and attract pests.

Electronics and Appliances

Cockroaches love the warmth of our electronics and appliances. They are ideal hiding spots.

If you find baby cockroaches or eggs in smaller electronics, place them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer.

You can also blast them out of the appliance using pressurized air, but you’ll need extra precaution with this technique.

If the cockroaches are inside appliances like ovens, toasters, etc., it’s best to place roach bait inside.


If cockroaches are anywhere in your house, they’ll also find their way into your bedroom through cracks, open doors, gaps in electrical outlets, vents, or laundry chutes. They could hitch a ride on clothes, boxes, furniture, etc.

Keeping your bedroom clean of clutter is the best way to prevent cockroaches, while sealing all cracks and gaps around your room.

If an infestation is evident, it’s best to use roach bait, and call a professional exterminator.


Due to the moist nature of the room, cockroaches are commonly found in bathrooms. With their expert climbing skills, these pests have no trouble making their way up your drains and pipes, and crawling through gaps.

If you detect an infestation, it’s best to pour concentrated insecticide, diluted bleach, or boiling water down the drains and pipes to kill the roaches.

A baking soda and vinegar solution will also work wonders.


The insulation in your attic attracts cockroaches due to the warmth and organic material. An ideal food source for pests.

Replacing your attic’s insulation every 15 years circa is the best way to prevent infestations.

You can identify a roach infestation in your attic with egg shells, nymphs, smear marks, foul odor, and unexplained damage to paper and cardboard.

To prevent this, you must seal all entryways and guarantee proper insulation.


If you store pet food, cardboard boxes, and water in your garage, it becomes a safe haven for cockroaches to hide their nest.

They may enter your garage through cracks in the door or hitch a ride in your car.

The first step is to remove their food and water sources, which may also come from a water heater leak or condensation on the walls.

The next solution is to place a roach bait and call an exterminator.


Your car is a perfectly dark, warm, and enclosed spot for cockroaches, with various cracks and crevices to find their way in. Plus, they can easily feed on the food particles and sauce drips scattered around your car.

First, it’s best to vacuum under the car seats, in the trunk, under the floor mats, and inside the glove compartment.

Keeping your car clear of food and water sources is the best way to make the vehicle inhabitable for pests.


If your neighbor’s home has a cockroach infestation, the pests will likely find their way into your home too.

They may rely on cracks, pipes, drains, and windows to get in or even hitch a ride on your neighbor’s clothes.

The best way to prevent a roach infestation is to spray your home with insecticide sprays after your neighbor’s visit.

You must also seal all entry points, set roach baits, take the trash out as regularly as possible, and maintain overall cleanliness.

How To Keep Roaches Out of Your House

If you don’t already have a roach infestation, you’re in luck. However, it doesn’t take long for these pests to invade your home, so you must maintain preventive measures to keep them out. Here’s how you can keep cockroaches out of your home.

Clean the House

Cockroaches are naturally attracted to dirt and filth, so cleaning your house as much as possible is important.

They may utilize unwashed dishes as food sources or pet bowls as water sources. They may also stay in unclean and humid bathrooms.

Taking your garbage out every night is the first step to preventing roaches, along with mopping every spot of the house you can reach.

In addition, keeping the lights on and maintaining proper ventilation makes your home more unwelcoming for cockroaches.

Storing Food

Cockroaches are tiny pests, so even a crumb of food or a bit of water is enough for them to consider your home a reliable source of food and water.

With their expert sense of smell, they can detect exactly where you store your food and face no trouble getting in containers, fridges, ovens, and dishes.

To prevent an infestation – and food poisoning, store your food in airtight containers. At the end of the day, a quick vacuum throughout the home will get rid of crumbs and spills.

Additionally, clean your counters and avoid leaving fruits outside overnight.

Clean Kitchen Appliances

Roaches are also incredibly attracted to grease and filth. Regularly clean your kitchen appliances.

Toaster, air fryer, microwave, oven, and fridge can accumulate endless splatters, spills, and crumbs, which makes them a cockroach’s heaven.

Wipe down the exterior and interior of all appliances at every chance you get, including the stove, its backsplash, and your garbage disposal.

Adding lemon oil to your cleaner will help repel cockroaches after cleaning.

No Newspapers or Cardboard Boxes

Cockroaches consider cardboard and newspaper as great food sources, due to the organic materials, which aren’t hard for them to digest.

Unfortunately, they’re also perfect materials for nesting and breeding, which is why they attract roaches automatically.

Wherever you store paper and cardboard, cockroaches will come shortly, especially if the materials are wet.

Recycling these materials as soon as possible is best to prevent roach infestations in your home.

Seal Cracks and Entry Points

Cockroaches find their way inside your home through cracks, crevices, gaps, drains, pipes, and many other entry points.

You can’t close up your drain and pipes, but sealing up all other openings and entry points is the best way to prevent an infestation.

You can use sprayable foam or caulk to seal any crack or crevice you notice.

Check gaps near your vents, around windows, and holes made for plumbing, gas, or electric.

Fix Leaks as Soon as Possible

Leaks don’t just create a moist and humid environment beloved by cockroaches, they also make for a great water source.

Even a tiny drip is all they need for survival, so it’s best to fix plumbing leaks as soon as you notice them.

Also check dripping sinks, fridges, water dispensers, air conditioners, and other appliances to ensure nothing is producing more moisture than it should.

How Do Exterminators Get Rid of Roaches?

Hiring a licensed exterminator is the best way to eliminate a roach infestation, as long as you maintain cleanliness after. If you hire an exterminator to get the job, here’s what you can expect from the process.


The extermination process begins with a thorough inspection of your home.

Next, the experts will investigate various areas in your home where the cockroaches may be nesting and breeding, especially in dark, humid, and enclosed spots.

First Treatment

Based on their first inspection, the exterminators will devise a plan to eliminate the infestation.

That may include baiting, trapping, spraying, or monitoring the cockroaches in your home.

However, if the condition isn’t too severe, they may only educate you on how to clean your home and prevent an infestation.

Follow Up

The follow-up appointment might not be necessary if the exterminators were satisfied with the results of their first treatment.

Otherwise, they’ll use this opportunity to check their monitoring methods and deploy other treatments if needed.

Did You Know? Cockroaches Can Survive Extreme Living Conditions

Starving these pests of food and water is a great way to make your home unwelcoming for them, but it doesn’t guarantee their instant death.

They can live surprisingly long without resources that humans wouldn’t last a day without.

For example, these cold-blooded insects can survive a month without food. So, if you remove all available food sources without an additional extermination method, they may still stay in your home for another month.

They also can last one week without water, which is why dehydrating extermination methods take some time to get the job done.

Cockroaches can hold their breath for 40 minutes. Extermination methods that attack the roach’s respiratory system, such as benzalkonium chloride in Lysol or vinegar mixed with shampoo, will take at least 40 minutes to kill the insect.

Shockingly, even if you stomp on a cockroach’s head, it can survive for another week.

How To Keep Roaches Out of Your Garden/Yard?

If you’re worried about traditional pesticides harming your plants, there are various other ways to get rid of roaches in your garden.

Here are some preventive measures you can take to safeguard your plants.

Remove Food and Water

First and foremost, you must remove extra food and water sources.

This includes keeping the trash can closed, cleaning the outdoor kitchen, taking pet food inside, etc. Composting meat, eggs, and dairy can attract cockroaches due to the smell.

Set Traps and Baits

You can’t remove your plants, but you can trap the cockroaches.

Using roach glue traps with baits is the perfect way to lure and kill cockroaches. Once they’re stuck in the glue strips, they’ll soon die of dehydration and starvation.

Use Natural Remedies

Instead of using a pesticide, you can use natural remedies to protect your plants from these pests.

This includes sprinkling diatomaceous earth around your garden, which damages their exoskeleton significantly and slowly kills it.

Consult a Pro

If your garden has become a victim of a severe infestation, it’s best to avoid worsening the situation and let the pros handle it.

Hire a professional exterminator to get the job done, and follow preventive measures after their treatment.

How To Get Rid or Repel Roaches Naturally?

If you’re not ready to hire a prof exterminator to eliminate the cockroach infestation, you may utilize natural remedies to get the job done.

None of these remedies are harmful to your children or pets, and relatively easy to implement.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is deadly for cockroaches once it attacks their nervous and digestive systems.

The best method is to place boric acid with peanut butter and orange peels as bait.

Pros / Cons

Boric acid is natural, effective, and non-toxic. Additionally, this repellant is also affordable and easy to implement.

However, this method can be messy and require several applications to work effectively. You’ll also need to track down the dead cockroaches for complete removal.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is also deadly for cockroaches upon consumption, it causes their stomachs to burst due to excessive gas.

All you need to do is sprinkle diced onions with baking soda and place the bait where you note cockroach activity.

Pros / Cons

Baking soda is a common and non-toxic household item, it works effectively for cockroach removal.

The required onion mixture can be toxic for dogs, and you’ll need to dispose of the dead cockroaches one by one.


Due to their excellent sense of smell, cockroaches can smell salt from a mile away. They don’t like eating it because it is hard to chew and distasteful, so they avoid salty foods.

If you place salt in active areas, you may be able to repel pests.

Pros / Cons

Salt is an affordable and effective way to repel cockroaches.

You may need higher quantities and combine them with their favorite foods.

Essential Oils

Although essential oils won’t kill cockroaches, the correct picks will significantly deter them.

The best results will come from lemongrass or peppermint essential oils mixed with some water and sprayed everywhere.

This mixture of water and essential oils will emit a repellent scent for the roaches.

Pros / Cons

Essential oils are the safest and non-toxic way to repel cockroaches when you have pets and children.

This method only repels cockroaches and does not kill them.

Diatomaceous Earth

The sharp and dehydrating nature of diatomaceous earth can damage the exoskeletons of cockroaches and dry them out completely.

Mix food-grade diatomaceous earth with water, and apply it wherever you note cockroach activity.

Luckily, you only need a small amount to get things done.

Pros / Cons

Diatomaceous is affordable, effective, and pet-friendly.

The process can be messy and require re-application. You’ll also need to track down the dead cockroaches one by one.


Borax kills cockroaches by dehydrating them. Unlike most other extermination methods, it does the job for both baby and adult roaches.

You can mix borax with white table sugar as roach bait, and place it in spots with high roach activity.

Pros / Cons

Borax effectively and affordably kills both baby and adult cockroaches.

The process can be messy and repetitive and requires tracking down the dead cockroaches for removal.

Lemon Juice

The citrus smell deters cockroaches and is a safe repellant when you have children or pets.

All you need to do is add lemon oil to your mopping water, and use it in every spot and crevice of your home.

The scent will be fresh and pleasant for everyone except for these pests.

Pros / Cons

Lemon juice is a safe, readily available, and pet-friendly way to repel cockroaches.

This method does not kill cockroaches; it only deters them.


Vinegar isn’t a surefire way to kill cockroaches, but you may block their respiratory openings by mixing the liquid with shampoo or liquid soap.

It effectively repels them with the pungent smell if you remember to reapply it often enough.

Pros / Cons

It’s a great way to repel roaches due to the strong smell.

Vinegar only repels cockroaches and does not kill them. You’ll need to apply the solution often.

Bay Leaves

Cockroaches hate the smell of bay leaves, which can irritate their expert noses.

You may scatter the leaves or grind them and sprinkle the powder in active areas.

It’s imperative to put bay leaves in your pantry and cabinets in kitchens to prevent infestations.

Pros / Cons

Bay leaves are an easy, safe, and organic way to keep roaches away from your house, especially your kitchen.

They do not kill cockroaches but deter them with their smell.


Catnip has a strong minty scent that cockroaches find unpleasant, making it a perfect repellant.

Research has even found it 100 times more effective than DEET, a common counter insecticides’ ingredient.

You can either plant catnip in your garden or scatter store-bought catnip around your home.

Pros / Cons

It’s a safe and effective way to deter cockroaches if you have cats at home.

Catnip only deters cockroaches and does not kill them.

How to Get Rid of Roaches on Your Own

If you want to eliminate a cockroach infestation on your own, you can use certain simple methods that take little to no effort to implement.

Please be aware that the methods below may be hurtful or offensive to some individuals.


Insecticides are easily the most foolproof way to kill cockroaches.

Once you spray them, the liquid will be absorbed into the roaches’ body, preventing its nerves from sending transmissions and signals to its brain. Then, its entire body will shut down.

Pros / Cons

Insecticides are a foolproof and simple way to kill and eliminate a cockroach infestation.

They can contaminate water and soil, so you must be careful where you spray them.


When mixed with water, pure ammonia can target a cockroach’s exoskeleton, breaking down every tissue and layer.

Once the exoskeleton is completely damaged, the cockroach can no longer survive.

A simple 2:1 ratio of water and ammonia is enough to get the job done.

Pros / Cons

Only a small amount of ammonia is enough to kill cockroaches.

Ammonia must never be used in its purest form and isn’t enough to exterminate larger infestations.


Mouthwash contains menthol, eucalyptol, methyl salicylate, and thymol, all essential oils that repel and kill cockroaches.

Only mouthwashes with Listerine contain these essential oils, so you must check the ingredients.

You’ll only need to spray a mixture of mouthwash and water around your home to get the job done.

Pros / Cons

The essential oils in mouthwash do a great job of killing cockroaches.

However, only mouthwashes containing Listerine can kill cockroaches.


Alcohol has varying effects on cockroaches, depending on the method used and the subspecies.

For example, alcohol-based sprays and alcohol-soaked rags effectively kill cockroaches, while a bleach solution can also harm humans.

Most cockroach subspecies become paralyzed due to alcohol, which also dissolves their exoskeleton and bacteria left by them.

Pros / Cons

Alcohol serves as a powerful and harmful pesticide to get rid of cockroaches.

Some cockroaches may not be killed with the help of alcohol.


Bleach breaks down chemical bonds within the cockroach’s body and kills it almost immediately.

Chlorine bleach works best since it is more potent than oxygen bleach.

The best method is creating bleach bait by mixing it with crumbs, their favorite food.

Pros / Cons

Chlorine bleach effectively kills cockroaches with no need for re-application.

Cockroach eggs are hard to find, so you may be unable to eliminate the infestation with bleach.

Roach Trap/Glue Trap

Cockroaches are attracted to the smell of glue traps.

Once they step on the trap, the glue is strong enough to hold them down. At one point, they will die of starvation or dehydration.

Cockroaches cannot last weeks without water.

Pros / Cons

Roach traps are incredibly effective and fast-acting. They’re also safe for kids and pets as long as they’re well-hidden.

You’ll need to replace the traps every time they become filled with dead cockroaches.

Ultrasonic Pest Repellents

If you’re not a fan of using harmful and expensive chemicals in your home, ultrasonic pest repellents may be the perfect alternative to get the job done.

The devices rely on sound force to repel cockroaches but are reported as ineffective.

In most cases, it’s better to use a roach glue trap instead.

Pros / Cons

They repel cockroaches without using harmful chemicals.

Unfortunately, there’s little evidence about the effectiveness of ultrasonic pest repellents.


Lysol contains alcohol and benzalkonium chloride, both of which work effectively in killing cockroaches.

While alcohol dries out its exoskeleton, benzalkonium chloride blocks its spiracles and suffocates it to death.

You can see effective results within an hour.

Pros / Cons

Both ingredients in Lysol are foolproof at killing the cockroach indefinitely.

You may need to wait an hour or more for the cockroaches to die since they can live 45 minutes without oxygen.


Cockroaches have a strong sense of smell, which is why the floral scent of Fabuloso irritates and repels them.

The scent may suffocate them if they’re close enough to the solution. It’s best to attract cockroaches to the solution with their favorite food as bait.

Pros / Cons

Fabuloso causes substantial damage to pests while being non-toxic for humans and pets.

Most of the time, it only repels cockroaches instead of killing them.

Bed Bug Spray

Bed bug spray contains pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide, which effectively kills not just bed bugs but cockroaches too.

These two pests can co-exist in your home, but most likely in contrasting places.

So with a bed bug spray, you can kill two birds with one stone.

Pros / Cons

Bed bug spray kills nearly all types of bugs and pests effectively and affordably.

Bed bug spray may not kill cockroach eggs as their shell protects them.


Mothballs contain camphor and pyrethroids, which deter cockroaches with their strong scents.

They can deter termites, cockroaches, moths, silverfish, and beetles.

It’s best to keep mothballs in kitchen cabinets, attics, and other areas with low ventilation, but they only serve as a short-term solution and require replacement often.

Pros / Cons

Mothballs are a great and low-maintenance way to deter roaches.

They’re only a short-term solution for deterring cockroaches and cannot kill them.

What NOT Do to Get Rid of Cockroaches

There are several online myths and pieces of misinformation about how to kill cockroaches.

Unfortunately, not every available method will effectively kill these pests, so it’s best not to waste your time on them.

For example, many sources claim that herbs and citruses can kill cockroaches upon consumption. However, roaches won’t even come near these foods due to their strong scents, which is why they work best as repellents.

Now that you know what attracts, repels, and kills cockroaches, you can keep your home free of these invasive and disease-carrying pests for a healthier lifestyle.