Top DIY Remedies to Fight Cockroaches in Your Home

Cockroaches are the last thing you want to see crawling around your floor in the middle of the night. You actively work to avoid attracting roaches to your home, but no matter how much you clean and declutter, these nasty pests somehow keep on appearing out of thin air.

The best solution is to call professional exterminators, but it’s also expensive. So before you start looking for a pest control service, trying some proven home remedies for your roach problem might be cheaper. In this article, we will go over 8 of the best DIY cockroach control methods!

Sprinkle some boric acid

Boric acid is a natural compound found in many pest control products. And while the substance is not completely harmless to humans, it is still much safer than many pesticides sold for cockroach control. It works by disrupting their nervous and digestive systems, which leads to a rather quick demise.

You can sprinkle some boric acid directly onto the ground wherever you’ve seen roach activity. If you want to create a trap, add some of the powder onto a paper plate, drop a spoonful of peanut butter in the middle, and place it all in a cockroach-infested area.

Baking soda against cockroaches

On the other hand, regular ol’ baking soda is a completely harmless and non-toxic substance that can still absolutely ruin the day of those pesky roaches! When ingested, it quickly starts expanding inside the cockroach’s stomach and destroys it from the inside out.

Start by mixing equal parts of baking soda and sugar in a small container. Shake well until completely homogenous. Pour some of this mixture into shallow containers and place it in the areas where you keep spotting cockroaches. The sugar will attract the roaches, which will then consume the mixture, and you know how the rest goes.

Get rid of cockroaches with peppermint oil

Essential oils have more uses than aromatherapy and skincare. For example, peppermint oil might smell wonderful, but you better not ask what cockroaches think about it! Peppermint is one of the most powerful natural roach repellents out there and is completely safe to use.

All you need to do is add some peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water and start showering infested areas with minty goodness. Continue regularly applying, and you will see the effect!

Neem is a good alternative too

Neem oil is a naturally occurring pesticide extracted from seeds of the neem tree, with a hundred-plus-year history of controlling pests. The active ingredient in the oil is azadirachtin, which repels and kills many different kinds of insects, cockroaches included!

To use, simply mix some neem oil with water and spray this solution in the places where you’ve spotted roach activity. If you spot any of them running around, you can even directly target cockroaches with it. The substance interferes with the normal life cycle of insects, including feeding, moulting, mating, and egg-laying.

Crush some bay leaves

The next remedy is probably already in your spice cabinet! Bay leaves are a wonderful addition to many dishes, but cockroaches couldn’t agree less. It’s one of the best repellents for roaches out there, not only for them but for fruit flies and other flying insects.

Get a handful of dried bay leaves and grind them with a mortar & pestle or use a food processor. Apply the resulting powder to all the roach hotspots around your home. The potent odour of the bay leaves will quickly send all those nasty bugs running away in sheer terror.

Cayenne pepper can also help

Another extremely effective natural remedy includes the use of cayenne pepper. It isn’t clear why exactly this mixture repels cockroaches, but the fact is that it does! The recipe is rather simple. All you need is the following:

  • 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 small white onion, crushed
  • 4 cups of water

Mix the pepper, garlic, and onion in a bowl. Add the water to a pot and bring it to a boil. Add the mixed ingredients to the pot and boil it for 10 minutes. After that, take off the heat and let the mixture cool. Once it has cooled sufficiently, add it to a spray bottle and apply it to all the roach-infested spots around the house.

Mix some water with fabric softener

Fabric softeners might make your clothes feel and smell amazing, but to cockroaches, it is nothing more than another weapon of mass destruction. Like all insects, roaches breathe through tiny openings called spiracles located all over the outside of their body. The fabric softener works by interfering with this exact system of breathing.

Use three parts fabric softener and two parts water, then spray onto any cockroaches you see. This mixture will make breathing for them extremely difficult and will eventually lead to death from suffocation.

Cockroaches hate catnip as well

Boy, do cockroaches hate a whole slew of different aromas. But that’s their loss and our gain! Another plant that roaches can’t stand is catnip. The active ingredient in this useful herb is nepetalactone, which is non-toxic to pets and humans, but an element that roaches hate. The pungent odour of catnip repels cockroaches with extreme efficacy.

There are two ways you can use catnip as a roach repellent. The first way is to simmer some catnip in water to make tea. Pour this herbal solution into a spray bottle and apply it to any place where cockroaches might enter your home, take refuge or pass by regularly. Alternatively, fill small sachets with catnip and leave them around your home, preferably around roach-infested areas.

If you own a feline friend, you might be familiar with how catnip affects them. So avoid using this method, as catnip has a strong effect on cats, and such prolonged exposure can lead to a variety of health issues.


Nobody wants to wake up at night and find the floor alive with gross cockroaches. If you keep seeing these nasty little critters pop up, it’s time to take things into your own hands. And now that you’ve read this article, you know how to work those roaches quickly.

However, if these home remedies just don’t seem to be working well enough in your situation and the infestation only worsens, then it’s time to bring in the big guns. Call your local cockroach control experts and let them take care of the rest.