What Kills Roaches Instantly? Best Elimination Methods

Although there are many roach elimination methods, you can’t really say any of them are “instant” unless you count squashing the bug with your shoe.

Some methods are effective but may take a little longer to work while others provide faster results. It all depends on what method you’re most comfortable with using.

If you have a roach problem in your home and are looking for some remedies, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will be going over a few natural methods and roach-eliminating options you can find at the store.

Natural Remedies 

If you’re looking to kill roaches but want to start with some natural remedies, this section will interest you. Here, we will be going over six ways you can use to eliminate roaches. 

Diatomaceous Earth 

Diatomaceous Earth is a fine sand-like powder made of shells of fossilized algae. It’s abrasive and works by wearing down the exoskeleton of the roaches resulting in water loss. Consequently, the insect dies due to dehydration. 

This method may not be as fast-acting as others, but it is effective and affordable. In addition, diatomaceous earth is non-toxic for children and pets making it a safer alternative. 

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Baking Soda 

Baking soda wreaks havoc in roaches. The powder doesn’t do anything on its own when roaches ingest it, but when they drink water after, the baking soda expands inflating their gut. 

Roaches are encased in a hard exoskeleton that does not expand. The expanding roach pushes up against its rigid shell crushing its organs and cracking the exoskeleton. 

However, for baking soda to work against roaches, you need to mix it with sugar since its smell and taste repels these pests. 

Sugar has a similar appearance, plus its enticing aroma fools the roaches into ingesting this poison. 

Mix equal parts of sugar and baking soda and loosely sprinkle this powder wherever you get roach activity. 

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Boric Acid 

Boric acid sticks to the cockroach’s body and is ingested when the pest grooms itself. The powder works by affecting the insect’s nervous and digestive systems, killing them rapidly. 

Another advantage of using boric acid is that since it sticks to the roaches’ legs, it may travel with them to their nest, where others can consume it.  

Boric acid itself does not attract roaches and therefore has to be placed next to something appealing. Remember, you’re trying to get the insect to walk through the powder. 

Sprinkling some sugar next to the boric acid may be a good way to attract them. 

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Essential Oils 

Essential oils work great against roaches. However, some are good at repelling them, while others can kill them. Make sure you choose the right one for the result you’re trying to achieve.  

EOs good for repelling roaches are Eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, cypress mulch, cedar oil, lavender oil, and catnip oil. 

On the other hand, peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, oregano, and mint essential oils are excellent for killing roaches. 

Always dilute your essential oil with water or vinegar before using it. Then, use the solution as a spray or soak it in cotton balls and place these in areas where you’ve spotted cockroaches. 

Although an effective insecticide, some essential oils can be harmful to cats and dogs; therefore, keep an eye on your pets when using this cockroach elimination method. In addition, always remember to go for a good essential oil brand. You can even buy essential oil-infused sprays. 

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A naturally occurring mineral, Borax is found in numerous household items like laundry detergents and cleaning sprays. 

Borax works against the roach in two ways: when ingested, it damages the gut lining, killing it out of starvation. In addition, borax is abrasive and damages the exoskeleton, dehydrating it. 

Borax does not entice roaches and needs to be mixed with another food attractant like sugar. 

Remember to purchase a good brand of Borax and be cautious when using it since it is toxic for pets. 

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  • Non-perishable; Packaged in resealable bag to preserve freshness; Store away from light, heat or humidity for longest shelf life

Soap Water 

You’re probably surprised to see this on the list. Can something as simple as soap water eliminate roaches?

Yep! All you have to do is combine soap and water and shake well for this reliable, inexpensive, and safe method to work. Any good brand will do. 

The solution blocks the breathing pores of the roaches, thereby suffocating them. 

Other Methods

If you’re interested in trying other methods than natural remedies, this section may interest you. We will now be going over four store-bought options for you to control the roach population in your home. 

Sticky Roach Traps 

Sticky traps, also called roach motels, are small cardboard boxes that are open at both ends and contain an adhesive material to trap the roaches. 

Most sticky traps don’t have a pesticide coating, while some may be aromatic to lure roaches to the sticky surface. Once caught, the strong glue causes the cockroaches to stick to the surface and die. 

There are a few advantages to using this method. First, you don’t have to pick up any dead bugs. Instead, the cardboard collects them, and you simply throw the trap away. 

Second, roach motels are also a great way to monitor the roach population in your home. Place your sticky traps in places where roach activity is the highest such as behind appliances, along baseboards, under the furniture, etc. 

However, this is not the most effective way to eliminate roaches. Roach motels will only trap and kill a few roaches at a time, which means their nest remains unharmed, producing new roaches every day. 

Roaches are smarter than we realize. If a roach sees its fellow roaches in distress or dead, it’ll run in the opposite direction. 

Roach motels are best if you’re looking to get rid of only a few bugs as long as you’re using a good trap from a reliable brand. 

In case of an infestation, use a roach motel in the identification stage, when you’re trying to figure out the extent of the roach invasion, before using another elimination method. 

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Cockroach Sprays 

If you see a cockroach in your home and reach for any ordinary bug spray, chances are it won’t work. Instead, you need to use a spray that is effective against cockroaches. 

For example, using a spray that works against flies may not work against roaches. This is because fly sprays are water-based and do not penetrate the thick, waxy cuticle of the roach. 

On the other hand, roach sprays are solvent-based, which rapidly spread across the cuticle and quickly penetrate it. 

Once in, the spray affects the nerves, stopping them from transmitting signals, leading to paralysis and eventually death. 

Most cockroach sprays are pyrethroid-based, organic compounds present in chrysanthemum flowers. This active ingredient is lethal to roaches and leads to a quick death.

Be careful when using pyrethrin-based sprays, though. It is safe for humans but may be harmful to pets. 

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Roach Bombs 

Another instant cockroach killer is the roach bomb, also called bug bombs, foggers, and total release aerosols.

These are designed to be placed in the center of the room, on a table or chair. The bomb is activated once the tab at the top is removed, causing the contents to be released up in the air. 

The pesticide stays in the air for a bit, after which it gradually begins to settle all over the room. When cockroaches come into contact with this pesticide, they are instantly killed. 

Roach bombs may provide you with a quick fix, but we recommend against using these. 

Unfortunately, many people go for these products when they’re looking to solve their pest problem without the help of an exterminator, but these foggers do more harm than good. 

Firstly, the pesticide settles on all surfaces, but very little gets into the cracks and crevices where cockroaches nest. This means that using a roach bomb may kill a few cockroaches, but it won’t completely fix your roach problem. 

Secondly, roach foggers are incredibly toxic, and unless you take proper precautions, you and your family can fall ill. When using a roach bomb, you’ll have to evacuate your house, even if the bomb was present in one room. You can only return once the time (as indicated on the label) has passed.

Lastly, you will have to cover all your clothes, delicate appliances and furniture. You’ll also have to wipe down every surface in your home to prevent contact with the pesticide. 

Sounds like a lot of work for a method that may not even be effective, doesn’t it? 

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Gel Baits 

Cockroach gel baits are a great way to eliminate roaches instantly. As the name suggests, the gel tricks the roaches into thinking it’s something to eat when actually, they’re consuming an insecticide. 

Typically, gel baits are used by applying tiny dots of the product in cracks and crevices where you believe the roaches are nesting. You can locate these areas by looking for the insects themselves, feces, or skin shed. 

This is a relatively mess-free option as you only apply the gel bait in certain areas without having to clean up large amounts of insecticide off surfaces later. 

There are many options for gel baits with different kinds of formulations, so you can choose whichever one you believe will work best for you.

A few limitations to gel baits include: 

  • Roaches may not take the bait making this method ineffective. 
  • Gel baits dry out and have to be removed over time. Removal and application of a fresh layer of gel bait may be time consuming.
  • The insecticides present within the bait may be harmful to children and pets.
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Find An Exterminator 

Because getting an exterminator is expensive compared to other methods, many people keep this option as a last resort. However, if you see cockroaches frequently, you should call for help ASAP. 

Signs of a cockroach infestation include: 

  • Droppings. Brown or black feces which may be small or long. 
  • Exoskeletons. Shed skins of roaches 
  • Eggs. Dark-brown to reddish-brown which you can spot with a naked eye
  • Smell. Roaches have a foul odor, a musty smell 
  • Marks. Roaches leave irregular, brown smear marks wherever they go

Prevention Above All Else 

Although the listed elimination methods are effective, the prevention of cockroaches is perhaps the best way to keep them away. So dig into this section to find the best ways of keeping these bugs out of your home. 

Keep Things Clean 

Roaches are attracted to numerous things, but the aroma of spilled food and grease entices them the most. 

Removing a food spill is not always enough. You need to leave no traces behind for roaches to sniff out. 

Try cleaning your spills using lemon and water or lemon and vinegar to remove all stains. In addition, keep your food covered to prevent any roaches. 

Since strong scents deter roaches, you can use any essential oils mentioned above to keep your home roach-free.

Seal Entry Points 

Identify where roaches are entering your home. You can use all the baits and traps you want, but unless you seal off the entry point, the roach situation in your home isn’t going to get any better. 

Seal all gaps between walls, window seals, and doors.

You will most probably find cockroaches in the dark spots of your home. For instance, they might be staying under your dishwasher or behind a sofa. Moreover, they are also found in bathrooms and under your washing machine. 

Roaches love a warm and dark environment so you may spot them in your attic or basement. These spots work best as a home for them, ensuring safety from other creatures who might eat them up. 

When it comes to finding a home, cockroaches may also settle down in your yard. Things such as gutters and flowerpots make a good shelter for them, and food such as fruit plants and bird seeds are perfect for fulfilling their appetite. 

There are many ways in which roaches crawl inside your home. Here are a few. 

  • Cockroaches can squeeze their bodies and easily pass-through holes and cracks in your doors or windows. Alternatively, if you or your pets keep your doors open at all times, cockroaches might see that as an opportunity to enter your shelter. 
  • Roaches hide in backpacks or suitcases present in your home. So, if there is a cockroach in your car, it may enter your bag from there, making its way into your house.
  • If you have gutters right outside your home, the chances of cockroaches entering your house increase manifold. 

Prevent Water Leakage 

Like all living creatures, roaches cannot survive without water. If you have any leaky faucets or any area where water accumulates, there is a chance you may find a roach hotspot there. 

Fix your faucets and drain all extra water, so you no longer attract these unwanted pests. 

Types of Cockroach You May Come Across in Your Home

Interestingly, there are around 4,500 types of roaches in this world right now, but your home may not have all of them. 

Most species don’t even like invading human houses, but a few don’t mind settling under your shelter. For instance, German cockroaches are commonly found in many homes in the USA. These roaches breed quickly and love to feed on human food and water. 

You may also spot some Brown-banded roaches, usually found on your refrigerator or television walls. These roaches love warm places but hate water, so you may probably find them in moist-free spots. 

american cockroach

American cockroaches are pretty giant roaches and again belong to a common species of roaches. They can live up to two years, and hence spotting them is easy, but removing them is a task. 

Final Takeaway

There you go! You now know every cockroach elimination method under the sun. 

Although all methods will yield some form of results, you’ll notice that some ways are faster but come with significant toxicity problems. 

On the other hand, some take longer to work but are far more effective. 

At the end of the day, go with the elimination technique you believe will work best for you and your family in the long run. 

Although it’s great to take matters into your own hands, if you see an improvement in the roach population in your home, it may be time to seek professional help to eradicate the pest problem. 

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