10 Simple Tips To Get Rid Of Roaches In Your House

Cockroach On Floor

No one wants cockroaches in their home. Not only are they not very pretty to look at, but these insects can also be signs of other problems in your house and attract other pests. If you have a cockroach problem in your house, you need to take care of it immediately.

There are many ways that you can get rid of roaches, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. The most popular methods of getting rid of cockroaches are:

  • Keeping a clean house
  • Using duct tape to detect roaches
  • Trapping roaches to eliminate them
  • Using boric acid against roaches
  • Spraying peppermint

While this list contains many ways of getting rid of roaches, it is not cumulative, and you may be able to find a new way that works great for you. If you are interested in learning the most common and effective ways to get rid of roaches in your house, read on!

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Clean To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Your House

Roaches love messy places. They don’t like being around people, so they will most likely be hiding in places you don’t go very often. The pile of clothes in your closet or the dusty corners in your basement are ideal places for them to hide.

Dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping are things you should be doing anyway to keep your house tidy, but keeping your house clean enough to be cockroach-free goes beyond that. Food attracts roaches more than anything else. If you have a lot of food lying around, your kitchen is roach heaven.

To keep cockroaches out of your kitchen, make sure there aren’t any dirty dishes piling up in the sink. Seal all containers and don’t have any snacks or other basic pantry items lying around unopened.

For your cleaning efforts to be most effective, you’ll need to clean regularly and not forget places where you don’t go as much such as the basement and attic, and closets. Remember, roaches don’t like being around people, so the less you use a room, the more likely it is that you’ll find roaches there.

Use Duct Tape To Detect Roaches In Your House

Using duct tape to trap roaches is probably one of the oldest tricks in the book. It is a simple and fast method of catching roaches, so if you see a roach and want it gone by the time you wake up, this is the way to go. All you need is some duct tape and some leftover food to use as bait.

Take the roll of duct tape, cut off a piece, and then leave it upside down with a piece of food on top. It’s very important to make sure you leave the tape upside down so that you don’t end up with duct tape and food stuck to your floor. It’s not easy to peel off.

Confirm Whether Or Not You Have Roaches Overnight

The main advantage of this tip is that it works pretty much overnight. It’s not an ideal long-term solution since you don’t want to have duct tape around your house all the time AND it will most likely not get rid of all the roaches. If you need a quick fix, it’s the simplest solution.

The roaches will be instantly attracted to the smell of the food as well as the shiny tape. They are likely to come out while you’re in bed, so you won’t even necessarily have to see them.

This will also give you a good idea of how many cockroaches there are in your house and where they like to hang out. Ideally, you should put the duct tape in corners or along the walls. Just make sure you’re not going to put it in a spot where you’re going to step on it and get your foot stuck.

Get Rid Of Roaches By Using Traps

Macro photo of a cockroach close-up

Duct tape is effective at catching roaches but taking things to the next level is going to be necessary if you have a more serious problem. If this is the case, you’ll want to invest in professional roach traps.

There are several do-it-yourself tricks for making roach traps like leaving jelly or peanut butter in a jar and trapping the roach. This can be useful if you don’t have duct tape or time to go to the store. But, if you don’t like roaches, you probably don’t like the idea of them crawling around one of your favorite jars.

The advantage of buying roach traps is that you can throw them out as soon as you’ve captured the roaches. So that you don’t have to worry about extra waste or pesticides, there are some eco-friendly options out there. Gideal Roach Traps include bait and are made entirely of natural materials.

For the best results, spread the roach traps throughout your house, particularly in corners and dark areas. Like we mentioned earlier, roaches are most likely going to head to areas where you aren’t spending most of your time, so these are where you should concentrate your efforts.

You can read more about cockroach traps in our article: The 19 Best Sprays, Baits and Traps for German Cockroaches.

Essential Oils Can Get Rid Of Roaches In Your House

Traps are a great way of eliminating cockroaches, but roaches aren’t something you want in your house to begin with. Focusing on roach prevention will keep roaches out of your house so that you never have to see them. One of the simplest and most cost-friendly cockroach prevention methods is essential oils.

Essential oils and incense have been used as pest repellents for a long time, so you could say that they are better tested than the sprays that you buy at your hardware store. According to research from Integrated Pest Management Reviews, essential oils are effective as an environmentally friendly and healthy pesticide.

There are many benefits to using essential oils, and they usually smell nice, so why not give them a try? Essential oils are also effective in warding off other annoying pests like spiders, mice, and rats. So, you’ll be taking care of more than just cockroaches.

The scent that is most effective in warding off roaches is peppermint. Roaches despise peppermint scents as it masks any potential food source they’re trying to find AND is irritating to them when pungent.

So, pouring some peppermint oil in your essential oil diffuser is a great way to keep roaches away while keeping your house smelling nice. Other scents that cockroaches don’t like include cypress and lemongrass.

You can read more about using scents to repel roaches in our article: 8 Scents That Roaches Hate (And How To Use Them)

Get Rid Of Cockroaches With Diatomaceous Earth

food grade diatomaceous earth supplement - stoneware teaspoon of powder

If you have a pool, you probably have some diatomaceous earth lying around. If you don’t have a pool, this material is pretty versatile and is effective at warding off a variety of pests, so investing in some isn’t a bad idea. It’s not very expensive and it’s pretty easy to find, making it extremely practical.

To trap roaches, mix some diatomaceous earth with some powdered sugar and spread it around your house. The roaches will be attracted to the sugar, but the diatomaceous earth destroys a roach’s exoskeleton. It only takes a little bit of powder to eliminate a roach.

Make sure to follow all product instructions for use. It is recommended that you wear a mask while spreading it and keeping others away while using.

Some products are more natural than others. The Harris Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer is made of all-natural ingredients and comes with a convenient powder duster so you can spread it in small cracks and areas that are harder to reach. You can spread it indoors and outdoors.

Baking Soda And Onions Can Get Rid Of Roaches

Pouring vinegar into spoon with baking soda over saucepan, closeup

While we’re on the subject of natural solutions, let’s go over one that is super easy and all-natural. Baking soda and onions are a great home remedy for roaches if you need a quick solution and don’t have time to run to the store. You probably also have both of these things in your pantry, so it’s not going to take you much effort.

All you have to do is dice up some onions, sprinkle them with baking soda, and spread them out where you think the roaches are hanging out. The acids in the onions and baking soda are toxic for cockroaches, but they can also be toxic for other animals, so be careful if you have any pets.

Using Cockroach Sprays To Remove Roaches

Woman spraying insecticide onto cockroaches, closeup. Pest control

Roaches are pretty elusive creatures, so they will probably figure out where you keep your traps or repellents pretty quickly.

That’s why it’s important to follow as many of these tips as possible. There is strength in numbers, and it’s no different with roach prevention or if needed, roach elimination.

When it comes to sprays, there are two types of pesticides that you should be looking at. The first is a repellent spray, which is designed to ward off roaches and other pests before you see them. The other is an elimination spray, which will eliminate roaches.

Repellent Sprays For Roaches

Roach repellent sprays use some of the same tips we’ve already mentioned. A lot of sprays have essential oils or scents roaches don’t like such as peppermint or lemongrass. This is great for us since we normally find these scents pleasant.

If you want to be very old-fashioned, you can try mixing some essential oils with water and spraying it around your house, but essential oils can be expensive. And you might not know the perfect ratio of oil to water. Thankfully, products like Mighty Mint Roach Repellent Spray have come up with the right mixture for you.

A good repellent spray, in combination with the other methods we’ve mentioned, will effectively prevent roaches from coming into your house. However, it’s not going to be entirely effective and if you spot a roach, you’ll need to use an elimination spray.

For more information on sprays for roaches, check out this article on the 19 Best Sprays, Baits, And Traps For German Cockroaches!

Elimination Sprays For Roaches

It would make sense if repellent sprays were also effective at eliminating roaches, but this isn’t always the case. Just because a roach doesn’t like a scent doesn’t mean the oil will necessarily eliminate it.

Elimination sprays have chemicals that will get rid of roaches on contact. This is great because you won’t have to chase the cockroach down to stomp it. Most sprays are aerosol and will only work at short distances, but you can also look into some sprays that are designed for harder-to-reach areas.

Harris Roach Killer Liquid Spray comes with a handle and tube that make it easy to spray corners and cracks you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. It also allows you to target more specific spots than a classic aerosol can.

Get Rid Of Roaches With Boric Acid

Boric acid is a naturally occurring compound. It is a mixture of water and boron and can be found in a variety of fruits and plants. It can be found as a powder or in crystals with a salt-like consistency.

The acid destroys the exoskeletons of insects like roaches. Contact with even a small amount of boric acid will cause a roach’s exoskeleton to collapse. This won’t happen immediately, and the roach will probably make it back to its nest before being eliminated.

One of the benefits of boric acid is that it will have a domino effect. When the roach returns to its nest, it will take the acid with it and infect other roaches. In the long run, this makes boric acid a more effective method than eliminating a roach with a spray or simply stomping on it.

If you’re serious about eliminating roaches from your home, targeting the nest will deliver the best results. To help you do that, let’s take a look at where roaches are most likely to lay their eggs.

Where Do Roaches Nest?

Roaches lay their eggs in a location where they have easy access to everything they need. The two things they need to survive are food and water. This makes your kitchen the most ideal nesting location.

They live in colonies, meaning that if you find one cockroach, there’s bound to be others. They will lay their eggs near their colony in a location that’s likely not to be disturbed by people or other animals. Corners, cracks in the walls, or underneath furniture are ideal nesting spots.

Roaches particularly love dark, humid and warm spots. This means your bathroom is another great spot for them to hang out. Keeping your bathroom well-ventilated and clean is a good tactic to keep them from nesting there.

Signs of a roach nest are, first and foremost, the presence of roaches. However, you might stumble across roach eggs but no roaches. Roach eggs are small, dark, and round.

When you find a nest, you can vacuum up the eggs and throw them away. This will get rid of the eggs that are there, but other roaches will probably return to the same spot. The best thing to do is pour boric acid over the nesting spot and remove the eggs.

Boric acid will eliminate roaches while they are still in the eggs. Once you’ve eliminated roaches and the eggs from the nest, do a thorough inspection of nearby areas. There are probably multiple nesting spots.

Instead of using raw boric acid, use a roach specific product like HARRIS Boric Acid and follow all of the product instructions.

Bay Leaves Can Get Rid Of Roaches In Your House

This is a bit of an old legend, but legend has it that bay leaves ward off roaches. The compound eucalyptol which is found in bay leaves has a smell that roaches don’t like. Breaking up some bay leaves and spreading them throughout your cabinet should be effective in keeping roaches from invading your pantry.

You’ll need to regularly replace the bay leaves to keep them from drying out.

As is the case with all of these tips, you need to couple your efforts with vigilant cleaning, especially in your kitchen. While this spice repels roaches, the other yummy things in your pantry are going to attract them. If you keep your food well-sealed, roaches will only smell the bay leaves and thus, not be attracted to your area!

Talk To A Cockroach Removal Professional

If you have consistent problems with roaches, there could be a deeper underlying problem that you’re going to need to take care of. Like we’ve said, these methods aren’t going to guarantee that no cockroaches will ever come into your house. The more tips you follow, the more effective your efforts will be, but for the best solution, you should talk to an expert.

A professional pest control company can give you advice tailored to your specific needs, and they can help you identify the source of the roaches. Who knows? There might be a nest somewhere in your backyard that you wouldn’t be able to spot otherwise.

Consulting a nearby pest control company is also a good way to support local businesses and is a good long-term solution. It’s also advised if you’re heading out of town for a while and won’t be able to take care of things on your own for an extended period. It might be more expensive than some of the other options we’ve talked about, but if you consistently have problems, it’s probably the most effective.

If you’re interested, you can use our nationwide partner network of pest control professionals to contact a pro near you today!

Wrapping Up!

That’s about all the information we have about roach prevention! Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two and have found some helpful tips to keep roaches out of your house. If not, check in with your local pest control company.

In summary, the more prevention methods you put in place, the more likely you are to keep roaches out of your house. Roach prevention is a better tactic than roach elimination because it means you hopefully won’t have to see any roaches. If you do find roaches, you’ll have to switch to roach elimination tactics.

Some of the most effective methods are roach sprays, essential oils, and diatomaceous earth. If you want to do everything on your own, try a do-it-yourself method like baking soda and onions.

In the meantime, good luck with your pest prevention! And thanks for reading!


Regnault-Roger, Catherine. “The potential of botanical essential oils for insect pest control.” Integrated Pest Management Reviews 2.1 (1997): 25-34.

Roth, Louis M., and Edwin R. Willis. “The reproduction of cockroaches.” Smithsonian miscellaneous collections (1954).

Quarles, William. “Diatomaceous earth for pest control.” IPM practitioner 14.5/6 (1992): 1-11.

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