Who wants to have any kind of insect running around the home? Nobody! Who wants to see a cockroach free and easy in their home? Absolutely nobody!
Cockroaches are certainly one of the most hated and feared insects on the planet. The reasons for this are quite far-reaching, but it really comes down to the fact they are big, they are ugly, and they are super-fast. These insects have the power to make the strongest man run away in fear. Of course, it’s not that they are likely to bite you, and if they do it is extremely rare, but it’s more about the fact that they are unclean, they carry diseases, and if you see one, there is a very high chance that there are far more lurking somewhere very close by.
Cockroaches do not hunt alone; they are pack dwellers – they are sociable creatures, and they are also likely to have a very large extended family. These insects multiply fast, and they multiply in great numbers. For instance, if you see a baby roach in your house, you should take action right away. This is because you are seeing just one of what could be hundreds lurking somewhere in a nest, probably in your house or garden. Once these grow and mature, they then begin to multiply themselves, which as you can imagine, leads to a huge problem and a very large infestation. No, cockroaches aren’t something you want to see in your home at all.
Despite that fact, getting rid of roaches doesn’t have to be done by a professional exterminator or a powerful chemical spray. If you have pets or young children in your home, this is something you should try and avoid at all costs. A pet accidentally ingesting a cockroach killer spray or bait could make them extremely ill at the very least. Similarly, an inquisitive toddler crawling around the floor could easily get remnants of a spray on their hands, and then lick their fingers. Again, this could have serious consequences.
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So, if you want to learn about natural ways to kill roaches, without the need for heavy-duty chemicals, let’s explore your options.
Of course, it all comes down to what do roaches hate the most? This should give you some idea of where to begin your extermination endeavors. Many people ask what do cockroaches hate, and come up with a blank, because these are such unloved creatures that surely there’s nothing they don’t like? Well, there are plenty of things that they don’t take a fancy to, and that is where you need to focus your attention. The good news is that many of these things you probably already have in your home.
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A Sugar and Baking Soda Mixture
This is an easy one to start with, as most people have these two ingredients already in their kitchen cupboards, so no extra cost outlay is required. This is a simple mixture to create, but it has been shown to be very successful in killing cockroaches, provided you don’t have a huge infestation problem. We should point out that these natural methods are likely to only work if you have a mild to medium problem, and as soon as the issue gets out of hand, i.e., you see may cockroaches on a regular basis, you should be calling in the professionals to rid you of the problem in a much quicker and more effective way.
For now however, let’s focus on a mild problem with some baking soda and sugar.
For this method to work, you need to know where the roaches are living; you need to have identified the nest. This is where you are going to put the mixture for them to munch on and then eventually die, because the mixture will not work well with the roach’s natural stomach acids, and over time it will die out. The sugar doesn’t work in a deadly kind of way, it is simply a lure towards the mixture – roaches love sweet things. This is not a quick fix however.
- Mix baking soda and sugar together in equal parts – ¼ cup of each
- Leave the mixture sprinkled at the area you have seen the roaches appearing from
- Repeat the process on a regular basis
You probably won’t have boric acid sitting happily in your kitchen cupboard, but it is easily available in household stores. The plus point is that boric acid has been shown to be very successful in getting rid of roaches, as well as a variety of other insects too, so it works as a double whammy of effectiveness. The downside is that you do need to be careful that pets and children don’t come across the boric acid and touch it or consume it, as it is quite dangerous. For that reason, keep your application of the acid to places where your children or pets aren’t likely to go, keep them away from it, but also remember that it needs to be placed where the roaches have been seen roaming free.
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In order to use boric acid, simply sprinkle it where you have seen the roaches, but you will only need a small amount. Ironically, if you use too much, it won’t work as well! You also need to keep the boric acid powder dry, as it doesn’t work that effectively when it is wet or even damp.
Boric acid is extremely toxic to roaches. It works because they will walk through the powder and it will cling to any part of the body that comes into contact with it, such as the legs or antenna. During the process of washing themselves, which roaches do a lot, they will ingest the acid and die almost immediately.
Spray Roaches with Fabric Softener
Did you know that roaches really don’t like fabric softener, and that it can kill them? It’s true! This is one of the easiest and most accessible natural ways to kill roaches, because everyone has fabric softener in the house. The downside is that you do need to be quite active in your spraying, in order for it to work well. It’s no good just putting the softener down somewhere and hoping the roaches eat it – you need to actually spray them with it.
- Mix three parts of the fabric softener, with two parts tap water
- Pour into a spray bottle, one with a good spray action
- Shake well to combine
- Keep the bottle handy and spray every roach you see
The reason that fabric softener is so effective is because it literally suffocates the roach. Cockroaches don’t breathe through their nose, they breathe through their skin. If you spray the mixture onto their skin, the thickness of it will prevent air getting through to them and they will die as a result.
This is further proof that everyone likes coffee, because cockroaches like it as well. Your old coffee grounds can be used as an effective natural roach killing method, and all you need is a jar to store it in. The idea is that you’re luring the cockroach into the jar to taste the coffee, but once in there, they can’t get out again because the water you’re going to place inside will cause them to drown. Sounds harsh, but it works.
- Fill an empty jar with old coffee grounds
- Add water, enough to fully submerge a roach
- Smear the insides of the jar with Vaseline or other petroleum jelly product
- Check the jar every morning
The idea of smearing the inside of the jar with petroleum jelly is to stop the roach managing to get out. Roaches are hardy insects and can actually breathe under water for around 40 minutes, so they are bound to try their best to get out. The slippery surface will make that difficult.
You’ll need to repeat this process daily for a few weeks, but it should eventually rid you of your problem, provided the infestation hasn’t grown too large by that point.
Is it Possible to Scare Away Roaches?
We’ve talked about some useful and effective natural methods to kill roaches, but is it possible to actually prevent an infestation in the first place? There are a few ways you can scare roaches away from your home, but remember that keeping your home as clean as possible is a good start point, especially your kitchen. Don’t keep food scraps in the bin for too long, and always mop up any spills or splashes when you’ve been cooking.
In addition, it’s a good idea to regularly check for any holes in your skirting boards, doors, or windows, as this is where roaches love to hang out.
There are two other ways you can naturally keep roaches away from your home too.
A Bay Leaf Deterrent
What do roaches hate? The smell of bay leaves, that’s what. If you don’t have bay leaves in your home, you can easily find them in the supermarket, and it doesn’t matter where you leave them, because they aren’t poisonous to humans – a plus point if you have children; do be careful if you have other pets however.
All you need to do is crush the bay leaves down until they form a powder. Sprinkle the powder in common roach hang-out places, or anywhere you have seen them lurking in the past. The smell of it will keep them far away – they literally late it.
A Lemon-Scented Deterrent
Roaches don’t like bay leaves, but they hate lemons too. The smell, the juice, the peels, everything about lemons is repulsive to roaches. The handy thing is that you can easily use this to your advantage and keep roaches away from your house by using this as a deterrent!
There are many ways you can use lemons to keep roaches away. You can spray lemon juice around your home, especially where you think roaches might potentially be hiding. You can spray it along your doors and windows too. If you’ve seen the odd roach, grind up some lemon peel and place it where they were seen; as a result you probably won’t see them again. If you’ve seen roaches in your kitchen, why not use a lemon kitchen cleanser? The results will be sweet smelling, clean, and roach-free.
The Importance of Taking Action
It doesn’t matter which of the above methods you opt for, the most important thing is that you do something at the very least. Roaches multiply fast; a female roach can lay up to 50 eggs at any one time, and cockroaches like to have as many babies as possible. You can easily find yourself with a very severe infestation if you don’t take immediate action.
There is an old adage that suggests that if you see one cockroach, the chances are that there are 800 more somewhere not too far away. That’s a rather worrying thought, isn’t it? While 800 might not be the case, there are likely to be several, and several cockroaches together in one place is enough to make your skin crawl. Add to that the potential for uncleanliness and potential breathing problems for those who already have asthma or other breathing problems, and you’re looking at a situation that needs action.
We should point out that if you have tried the above measures and it’s simply not worked, or that you have noticed the infestation getting worse, it’s always a good idea to call the professionals and have the problem taken care of in a fast and effective way.