Roach Control the Natural Way

By HomeAdvisor

Updated May 17, 2016


While cockroach infestations are generally despised by everyone, some homeowners want to avoid the use of dangerous insecticides and poisons while attempting to rid themselves of the problem. Small children, pets, and even some adults can be adversely affected by harsh chemical agents, making the search for natural roach control a common endeavor. If you’re looking for a natural roach control alternative to the traditional fare, here’s a list of proven alternative strategies to help rid yourself of unwanted six legged guests.

Bring in a Hired Gun

Natural roach control is more often than not a case of thinking outside the box. And when it comes to members of the natural world, why not fight fire with fire? Purchase a gecko or two and give them free reign of your home while your infestation persists. They are natural predators of cockroaches of all varieties and will tirelessly hunt down and eventually eradicate your problem. At first you won’t even know they are there, but when food sources become scarce, you’ll notice your gecko making more frequent appearances out in the open. Some people swear by this method. Although you should go into it knowing you’re not only investing in organic roach control, you’re acquiring a pet, or two, as well. Once the geckos have cleaned your house of the problem, you’ll need to put them up in an aquarium or other suitable enclosure and make sure their needs are being met, including cleaning their tank and providing daily feedings.

Lizards a No Go?

Of course, not everybody is comfortable bringing free ranging reptiles into their home. Luckily there are a number of other natural cockroach control solutions out there to try if you’ve got cockroaches in house. Here’s a few of the more common ones.

  • Set Out a Mixture of Baking Soda and Sugar. Cockroaches have a very high acid content in their stomachs. When they ingest the sugar, and the baking soda along with it, the subsequent reaction between the soda and their natural make-up results in death.

  • Mix Up a Non-Toxic Bait. Also taking advantage of the adverse effects of baking soda, mix up a dough made of baking soda, bacon grease, minced onions, sugar and flour. The bait is easier to distribute and cleaner than the above mentioned strategy, with the same deadly results.

  • Try Boric Acid. Boric acid isn’t non-toxic, but it isn’t as volatile as most insecticides, either. You can purchase it as a powder that you sprinkle in areas where you suspect roaches are congregating. It’s not exactly organic roach control, but your roaches in house will get the boric acid on their exoskeletons through contact, after which the acid eats away at them until they die. You can also make Boric Acid-based bait, similar to the baking soda bait listed above, though be sure to keep pets and children away from any area where boric acid is used.

A Few Other Ideas

Besides the above mentioned natural roach control methods, other things you might try include spreading diatomaceous earth, using epsom salts as poisonous bait, and placing bay leaves in cupboards, pantries and other areas as a repellent. Finally, keep in mind that none of these organic roach control remedies will work if you don’t take other important steps of cleaning your house and putting food and sources of water out of reach. Also, don’t forget that cockroaches are nature’s ultimate survivors. Even the use of high potency chemicals can come up short, let alone home remedies. If you’ve got a roach infestation that won’t go away, track down a pest control company that specializes in organic roach control practices to come in and take care of the problem for you.

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  1. Delicia Rich, May 22:

    All the ways you have given us are great ideas to get rid of cockroaches. The main thing is just like you said, clean your house, mainly the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s very hard to keep roaches away when you live in an old house that was built in the 40’s. I have found out that palm trees do bring many cockroaches, I hire palm gardeners to shave the palm trees, that way they can’t hide in them.

  2. Carol, October 25:

    What works best for me is to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add a good squirt of Dawn blue dishsoap. When you see roaches spray and they die right then. No poison

  3. Laurie, May 29:

    FYI – if your problem is the American cockroach- I put bay leaves all over the kitchen. Woke up at 1:00am this morning and found two big American cockroaches on the counter dancing right over the top of bay leaves. Please note I have been wiping the counter with vinegar water before going to bed but had used another cleaner I had last night instead – I think that was a mistake- but it did prove that bay leaves will not keep the American cockroach out of your house

  4. Jeanette, June 9:

    I’ve been battling American cockroaches this season. My natural remedy is peppermint and rosemary essential oil. Peppermint repels and rosemary is toxic. I haven’t seen any in the week I’ve been using them; and the first day, 1 drop of rosemary oil dripped onto a live cockroach I found resulted in his death within minutes.

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