Here’s What Really Kills Cockroaches—And What Doesn’t

Updated: Nov. 25, 2022

Looking to get rid of cockroaches lurking in your house? If you can't wait for the exterminator to get to your home, these at-home tricks should significantly help.

There’s no denying that cockroaches are the absolute worst. They are gross to look at, they can spread a range of diseases, and they can even squish their bodies into half their size and climb into tight spaces. Yeah. Nasty. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of cockroaches.

Having this pest in your home is probably the last thing you want. If this is the reality you face, it’s time to start figuring out how to get rid of these suckers. Make sure you know the subtle sign your house could be infested with cockroaches.

Although the exterminator is probably the best route when it comes to getting rid of cockroaches, some people are up for trying natural remedies to get rid of these little buggers. If you do decide to pursue the natural route to getting rid of cockroaches as opposed to hiring an exterminator, here are the things you should know that your exterminator won’t tell you.

What helps: adhesive-based traps

Want to catch the roach without running around your house? Try adhesive-based traps. According to Orkin, a pest control company, “Sticky cockroach bait traps are a good monitoring tool, but not a good way to get rid of cockroaches. Based on the limitations of their size and design, they often fail to catch more than a few insects at a time. However, when employed in the right way, a cockroach trap can still play a role in dealing with pest infestations.”

Adhesive-based traps can help with the roaches that are roaming around your house, but unfortunately, this will not help you in locating the roach’s original nest (where you will probably find even more roaches).

Don’t try: cucumbers

This may come as a bit of a shock, but people have tested using cucumbers as a way to repel roaches away from their home. The theory is to use cucumber peels to ward off cockroaches because they find the smell repulsive. However, the myth has been busted and doesn’t actually get rid of cockroaches. According to pest control company Western Exterminator, “Many think that this home remedy for cockroaches works as a natural repellent as roaches hate the smell of cucumber. This is a myth. In fact, you’re more likely to attract these crawling insects than repel them by offering them a free dinner!”

What kills cockroaches, try: poisonous roach baits

If you want to get rid of the nest, this is the way to go. According to Western Exterminator, bait comes in three forms: liquid, gel, and solid and “after feeding on the bait, the cockroach likely return to its nest, where it will defecate. Other hungry cockroaches in the nest consume the feces and saliva from the ‘poisoned’ cockroach and will therefore be affected by the bait as well.” It’s gross, but effective.

Don’t try: citrus liquids or herbs

Some people have written that citrus water, herbs or even essential oils can stave off cockroaches from your home. According to pest control company Terminix, “Keeping a clean house can help prevent a roach infestation, but it cannot cure one. Even with a clean home, roaches can still enter to search for food and water if your points of entry are not sealed and the weather outside drives them in.” Sadly, this is just another myth busted by pest control experts. Next, make sure you know these things in your house that are attracting pests right now.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman