Chemical free ways to control roaches

Natural Roach Remedies

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Help! I'm desperate. I need an effective natural roach remedy. I'm being bombarded and have tried having the house sprayed several times. The critters will not leave. I've also tried spraying it myself. I need advice on something that will really get rid of roaches. Thanks.

Get a Gecko

This might bother some people, but it worked for one of my previous roommates. She had amazing results. Get a gecko (it's a kind of lizard) and let it loose in the house. The natural food chain process kicks in, the gecko eats the roaches and there you have it.

The gecko will most likely start to hang out in the open more as the population of roaches dwindles. When they are gone, keep your gecko in an appropriate tank and feed them crickets daily, which you can purchase at any pet store. Geckos need to eat everyday (unlike snakes that can go prolonged periods without food). As I said, this might bother some people. So, if you don't like lizards, I suggest another approach. Oh, and don't spray the roaches with insecticides. They shouldn't be poisoned when the gecko eats them.

Related: What Rights Does a Renter Have to Get Roaches Exterminated?

Keep It Clean

The best way to get rid of roaches is to keep your house super clean and continue to have it sprayed for roaches on a regular basis. Make sure that your counters and floors are clean. Wipe up spills when they happen. Store food in glass jars and sealed plastic containers. Fix leaky faucets. Keep the refrigerator and the oven clean.

Do not use the same pest control company every time. There are a lot of dishonest people out there and it costs them less if they spray with a mixture of water and alcohol than a roach-killing compound. The one you have been using may not have been using the proper chemicals.
Penny C.

Cheap, Simple and Effective!

This is the cheapest, simplest, least toxic and most effective roach treatment ever, and it has worked for over a year now in my house. Stir together equal parts of sugar and baking soda. Roaches gobble up the sugar, and the baking soda gives them gas, messes up their stomachs and ultimately kills them. It only takes a cup or so of the mixture to treat a house, placing dabs in strategic spots like behind or beneath appliances, in closets or near wastebaskets. If you have pets, limit the mixture to places or containers your pets can't get into because it might make them sick if they eat it. I found that empty pill bottles wedged horizontally into tight spots and plates underneath furniture work well to keep things tidy.

Related: Effective Methods of Killing Roaches

Try Diatomaceous Earth

One of the best natural remedies for getting rid of roaches and all manner of creepy crawly things is Diatomaceous Earth. It is odorless and nontoxic. DE is composed of finely milled fossilized shells of minuscule organisms called diatoms. The microscopically fine, sharp edges desiccate the insects' exoskeleton upon contact and the pests dehydrate and die within hours. The insects also die when they eat the dust. It will not, however, harm you and me, dogs, cats, babies, etc. I have found it for around $2 to $3 per pound and it is well worth it. I highly recommend it to all my friends.

Grocery Store Remedy

Bay laurel leaves repel roaches. You can buy them at grocery stores (cooking herb) or buy a bay laurel plant and scatter leaves in cupboards, etc.

What About the Neighbors?

If you live in a multi-family building, and your neighbors have roaches, you will never get rid of them. This may also apply if you live in a single-family dwelling but are in close proximity with roach-infested neighbors. Before spending all your money, look at your situation. Perhaps all of your neighbors can get together and spray on the same day. If you get it done professionally, maybe the guy will give a big discount since he'll be doing a lot of work in one area.

Boric Acid is Best

Boric acid is a 100% effective method since the acid eats the body of the insect, and they can never become immune to that! It isn't instant. You just need to put the powder where they walk. Treat under cabinets, behind and under appliances, etc. Boric acid becomes ineffective over time, so it needs to be re-applied periodically, and water makes it lose potency, so using it outdoors isn't as effective. It used to be sold under the brand name "Roach Pruf" but I don't know if it still is. I used to live in an area where roaches were a given in every home, and this was the only sure way of getting rid of them for good. It is also non-toxic, although you don't want kids and pets getting into it.

Boric Acid Kicked Up a Notch

Get several old plastic lids (or even just cut squares of aluminum foil) and place a cracker on each. Pour enough water on it to make it soggy. Then sprinkle boric acid on the cracker. Place these crackers inside cabinets, in corners, and anyplace that you have seen roaches. The roaches will come and eat the cracker, ingesting the boric acid, but they will also get it on their feet and feelers. They will then carry it back to the nest where it will kill those roaches too. No smell, no mess, no costly fees, and no roaches!
Babette in Colorado

In Search of Cedarcide

Go to the garden section in Wal-Mart, Home Depot, or Lowe's and look for Cedarcide granules. I live in Seguin, Texas and you can get a very large bag of the granules for under $10 and sprinkle it around the perimeter of the house. This is a natural product and can be used for other pests as well and you can use it on your animals as well to repel fleas. Once in a great while, I will have one or two of the large cockroaches come in, but it's usually with a weather change. I usually purchase two bags of it and I do my whole yard for under $20. You can't beat that price for pest control!

Shop the web's most popular pest control store at

Roach Ball Recipe

This worked for me when we lived in an older apartment complex that had been infested for years.

Roach Balls

1 cup borax
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Make a paste of the ingredients and roll the paste into little balls. Place two or three balls into a sandwich-size plastic bag and leave the top open. Place the bag anywhere you have a roach problem. The roaches will eat the balls and carry them away. The bugs die at home, out of sight, and other roaches eat those carcasses and so on. The onion scent draws them in. This recipe makes about 50 balls for about 10 applications. There is one caution. Hide these bags carefully so that children and pets can't get at them.

Do-It-Yourself Extermination

Years ago, we lived in Florida and the house we were renting had roaches. My husband went to a do-it-yourself exterminator store there and bought a product called "Demon." He was told it was made from some plant and was harmless to children and pets. It was a powder that we mixed with water and sprayed all over the house. We allowed it to dry and didn't even wipe it off the walls. There was no smell to it, but when it dried, you could see a bit of powder on the walls. I didn't care; it was preferable to roaches! We never saw a live roach after that, and we lived there three years. We had tried other things, but nothing worked at all like that.

Reviewed January 2018

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