How Do You Get Rid of Cockroaches Naturally?

I recently had a small panic attack when I woke up early one morning to an army of cockroaches marching across my kitchen counter.  ACK!!  Our home had never been invaded by cockroaches in all my years and I had no idea how to handle them.  So I sat down and looked through my favorite DIY resources and came across a couple of options and went to work.

Here’s What Didn’t Work for Me

  1. Starving Them:  It’s a well known fact that roaches can survive on very little food, so I started by emptying all of my cabinets and vacuuming out every single crumb, pitching old food and repackaging those high carb foods they love in airtight containers.
  2. Keeping Them Outside Where They Belong:  Next I blocked holes that allowed easy entry from the outside of the house.
  3. Glue Traps:  Then I laid out glue traps and waited…
  4. Diatomaceous Earth:  Two weeks later, I had caught maybe 4 of the buggers and they were mostly walking right around the traps.  So I moved on to trap number two (and this is typically a favorite of mine when dealing with insects): diatomaceous earth.  It looked like a dirt bomb had gone off in my kitchen, but you can bet that those roaches would have to walk over the stuff.  And that’s exactly what they did.  Just walked right over it.  Even rolled in it like it was nothing. Then got back up and went on their merry way.  ARRGGHH!

A Little Help From My Friends

I went screaming to my computer and begged for helped getting rid of these fully armored cockroaches naturally from my favorite green bloggers.  They referred me to several great resources, but my favorite was the complete guide from Beyond Pesticides suggested by the awesome Janelle Sorensen.

The Secret Weapon

Borax!  Beyond Pesticides recommended boric acid as the most effective direct control method, and I already had it on hand so it took all of 5 minutes to assemble my weapon of mass destruction. Who’d have known it was so simple, so cheap and so easy?!

Borax may be toxic to humans and pets so I don’t use it in my green cleaning recipes, but it’s whole lot more desirable than nuking your home with toxic pesticides.

I found Housewife’s How-to’s DIY recipe the easiest and most effective.  All it takes is some bacon drippings, sugar, Borax and flour mixed up, rolled into balls and strategically placed to attract the most visitors.  Roaches like the mixture because they’re attracted to the sugar, and once they’ve fallen for the bait, the borax damages both their digestive system and their outer skeleton, resulting in death.

There’s no doubt that the first 4 steps I began with are foundational for ridding your home of those nasty creatures, but I was so relieved to learn how to knock them out for good with that final step.

How did you take care of your roach problem without toxic pesticides?  Share your tips!

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  • Betsy (Eco-novice)

    So glad you found a solution that worked for you!

  • Koleyna

    Is there a pet friendly way to get rid of them? Our neighbors was infested and since we live below them they have come down here and we all got sprayed to get rid of them but they are starting to come back and I have a cat

    • I used the borax ball mixture with pets in my home, but I made sure to place them in areas the animals couldn’t reach. Sorry I don’t have any more suggestions for you. ~Alicia

  • Thank you so much for the link, and I’m very glad my solution worked for you. It’s particularly thrilling to me to be linked by a local blog! Our area has so many wonderful attractions and lovely old buildings, but that history also brings an abundance of cockroaches. Fighting them with natural methods protects not just our homes but also our gorgeous KS/MO resources!

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