Does Lysol Kill Roaches?

Whenever you have a cockroach infestation or spot one of these disgusting pests running around your kitchen, the first thought will be to grab any household item available and either swat it or spray it. There are many household remedies for killing cockroaches including bleach, soap, mothballs, or even Listerine.

They all have varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the environment and circumstances. Another household product that may be easy for you to use against a roach is Lysol disinfectant spray. But is Lysol effective against home cockroaches and will it kill them?

In a nutshell, yes, it does kill them if applied effectively. A cockroach covered in Lysol will eventually suffocate to death. They breathe using spiracles on their backs, when you spray or douse them in a substance that can block these pores, it clogs them causing roaches to choke and die.

What is Lysol?

Lysol is a popular disinfectant spray that has been used for many decades. It was first created as an antiseptic to be used during World War I, but the company found out it works great as a deodorizer and cleaning agent. The Lysol brand now markets itself for use in homes with its line of disinfectants, cleaners, and degreasers.

Lysol is available in many forms including sprays, wipes, and liquids. It is marketed as a household product for use on just about any surface. Lysol is known not only for its ability to kill germs but also to repel insects that may be lurking around the house. This makes it effective against cockroaches that might happen to be in the home.

Does Lysol kill roaches?

How Does Lysol Work Against Cockroaches?

Roaches are the most resilient insects on the planet and have been known to survive for a week without their heads, grow back damaged legs, and withstand temperatures that many insects or animals would deem unbearable. However, there are still simple flaws in a cockroach’s anatomy that can act as an advantage for us humans trying to control or kill them.

Many people will use commercial-grade insecticides to kill roaches. Most insecticides work by affecting the roaches’ nervous system. When you spray them with such a product, it quickly gets absorbed into their bodies. As it reaches the brain, it causes them to lose control over their movements and will eventually end up on their back, dead. 

With a substance like Lysol, death is caused by something different. Roaches breathe through openings on their back called spiracles. When you spray Lysol on them, it will block these holes making them suffocate and eventually die.

These bugs have evolved to become adaptive over the millennia, but fortunately for us, they’re still susceptible to a rather basic chemical solution.

Lysol disinfectants contain ethyl (ethanol) alcohol, which roaches absorb via their pores when you spray it. Ethyl acetate is another component that roaches cannot tolerate, and this causes them to suffocate and die within minutes.

Other brands would work, but the high percentage of ethanol in Lysol is what makes it highly effective, so look out for anything over 75% alcohol to ensure the best results.

How Should You Apply Lysol to Kill Roaches?

As mentioned above, Lysol works by clogging the spiracles of a cockroach that might be in your home. However, for it to be effective you have to make sure that all openings or pores on the roach are blocked completely. This means you’d need to spray them thoroughly and make sure they can’t run for cover.

To make sure the Lysol covers every part of their body, you should apply it in a spray form so it will spread out quickly. Avoid using a concentrated form, as this can make it difficult to control and properly cover the roaches.

If you can spray the nest where the roaches are coming from, apply a generous amount so that they are covered. If you spot any cockroaches in a place where they can’t scurry away, spray as much spray as possible on them.

Also, apply the Lysol at corners and crevices where you think your roach infestation is coming from and this may help to contaminate the roaches.

spraying a cockroach with listerine

How Effective is Lysol For a Roach Infestation?

When it comes to getting rid of roaches, a spray cleaner is only one aspect of the equation. The problem with just using Lysol is that you may not be able to properly apply the spray to roaches that are scurrying around or hiding.

Cockroaches are experts at hiding in your home. They like to hide in dark corners, cracks, and crevices where Lysol may not be able to reach. They can run away quickly, so if you miss them with the spray, it’s difficult to find them again or follow them. If you find a single roach running around you may think that a quick spray of Lysol will sort the problem, but it’s very rare that a roach will be alone and there are more lurking in hiding spots in your home.

Therefore, Lysol is best when used alongside other roach killers and deterrents, such as baits, traps, or insecticides.

Cockroach baits are a great form of treatment as the roaches are attracted to a food or substance that they like, consume it then take it back to their nest to die. If you sprayed Lysol on them too, it will only cause a quicker demise.

Cockroach traps could be used to catch these bugs. By setting up traps in the areas where you spotted roaches, they will eventually come to investigate and enter the trap. Once inside, their bodies are coated with a sticky substance that traps them in place. This prevents them from scurrying away quickly or returning to their hiding places before dying. Again, with the use of Lysol alongside this method, you will have an arsenal that makes life very hard for the roaches.

dead cockroach

Other Benefits of Lysol For Cockroaches

There are also other benefits for Lysol that you may not be aware of when controlling cockroaches. For example, you can use it to repel cockroaches rather than kill them outright.

Just spray around your windows and doors, especially the ones on the inside where they enter your home. As cockroaches don’t like strong fragrances, they will stay away from these areas so they can’t get inside your home to ruin it.

Lysol is also known for its disinfecting properties, making it great for cleaning the hard surfaces in your home where roaches like to roam. This will help prevent them from contaminating food and parts of your home that may be suitable habitats for them to thrive.


Lysol is a useful product that has many uses and benefits for your home and health as well as killing roaches fast if sprayed directly on them.

Having the ability to spray this product around your home is also beneficial as it can be used to kill cockroaches in areas that are difficult to reach or apply insecticides.

Always remember that no matter what products you use, applying them alongside other tactics will be the best approach to get rid of cockroaches for good.

You can look into using baits, traps, and insecticides alongside Lysol to make sure your home is a place that these bugs will never want to return to.

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