How to Make a Homemade Roach Killer

hand holding a roach

A good roach killer can be particularly hard to find. Anyone who’s ever had problems with cockroaches will know that it’s difficult, sometimes almost impossible, to get rid of them completely. You can hire an exterminator, but they tend to be incredibly expensive. It's also hard to determine exactly what's in the sprays that they use. They also need to return for repeated treatments to be truly effective, which can lead to further expense.

There is a cheaper way to rid yourself of these awful pests. Just use a homemade roach killer. Several different preparation methods shall be discussed, which are all safe for humans, plants, and animals. The following methods work very effectively and are cheap to make using readily obtainable ingredients.

The Problem With Roaches

Roaches breed rapidly—a female roach hatches between 14 and 36 eggs at a time, meaning you can soon be overrun. The only effective way to eliminate them is by killing the eggs before they hatch. This usually requires something that the roaches take back to their nests, such as a homemade roach killer.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is one of the most organic and environmentally friendly ways to kill roach eggs before they hatch. You can find it in most home improvement and health food stores and you can find it online.

diatomaceous earth in bowl and spoon

Since diatomaceous earth is a fine rock powder with abrasive and absorbent properties, it cuts into the cockroach’s exoskeleton and then absorbs water from the pest’s body, causing the roach to die of dehydration. To ensure it's efficiency, spread the powder in areas in your home where roaches travel through frequently.

Boric Acid Paste

Although boric acid has been classed as an insecticide since 1948, the government says it’s no more dangerous to humans than table salt. To make a roach killing paste, combine three teaspoons of boric acid with three teaspoons of sugar and three teaspoons of water. Mix the ingredients into a paste. Then apply your homemade roach killer in areas where you’ve spotted roaches.

When the roaches crawl through the paste, it gets all over them, sticking to their legs and arms. When the cockroach cleans itself, it ingests the sticky paste. If the cockroach doesn’t clean itself, its body will naturally absorb the substance of the paste anyway. Once the acid is inside the cockroach, it makes its way into the nervous and digestive systems, causing death. The paste should eliminate your roaches within two weeks. If it doesn’t, make more and reapply it.

boric acid in powder and paste form

Baking Soda Paste

Most people have baking soda in their kitchens. It has many different uses and one of them is to kill cockroaches. You can make a paste just as you would with boric acid, mixing the baking soda, sugar, and water in equal parts. Apply the homemade roach killer in cabinets, under the sink, and around the stove areas that cockroaches love.

baking soda in powder and paste form

The baking soda poisons the roaches, but not immediately. They will take it back to the nest on their feet and that will kill the other roaches. Again, it takes a little while to be fully effective and you might need to reapply the paste once or twice to get rid of all the roaches.

Soap and Water

Something as simple as soap and water can be a very effective killer of cockroaches, although it won’t eliminate the nest. This just kills the roaches it reaches. Pour a cup of water into a spray bottle then add one teaspoon of liquid soap. When you see a roach, spray the mixture on it. It clogs the roach’s pores so it can't breathe and eventually dies.

bar of soap with bubbles

Water can work for killing roaches, too. Simply put a jar of it in corners where you often spot the invaders. They’ll climb in but can’t get out again, and will eventually drown in the jar. Again, this doesn’t kill the nest but it’s an easy way to eliminate some of your roaches.