The Best DIY Methods to Kill Roaches
When switching on the kitchen light produces a rapid scuttling across countertops, or the floor, as scratchy legs and long waving antennae run for cover, you have cockroaches!
For approximately 300 million years, these horrible little critters have been conquering the globe. They are able to withstand a variety of environments, from the freezing Arctic to tropical rainforests, and although the urban myth that they can survive a nuclear explosion is false, they can remain alive underwater for forty minutes, and can live for a week without their heads – yes, you did read that correctly!
They survive by eating anything, including dried pasta, cereals, and candies, and can thrive on starches such as wallpaper paste or book binding, or by eating nail clippings and hair!
Cockroaches, other than being almost invincible and giving us the heebie jeebies, can also transmit all sorts of nasties to us, by contaminating our food with bacteria. They can carry salmonella, staphylococcus and dysentery, exacerbate allergies, such as asthma and skin rashes.
Contrary to popular belief, anyone can experience an infestation of cockroaches, even if your house is spotlessly clean, and they can enter on boxes, bags, furniture or just migrate indoors through the tiniest cracks. However, thankfully they can be dealt with without resorting to expensive pest control companies.
Sugar and Baking Soda
This is my go-to method of getting rid of roaches, and it’s simple, effective and won’t break the bank.
First, you need to find out roughly where the little critters are hiding, so think about where you’ve seen them and where they run to. They love areas behind refrigerators, at the back of cupboards, or in piles of papers and cardboard, and can squeeze into the smallest crevices by flattening their bodies.
Mix equal parts of baking soda and sugar and sprinkle it in these areas. They will be attracted to the sugar, and as they eat it, the baking soda acts as a toxin. You’ll need to scatter the mixture regularly to ensure complete eradication.
Although boric acid is as effective at killing cockroaches as baking soda, it’s toxic for people and animals, so be careful if you do decide to use this method. Only a light sprinkle is required, and boric acid becomes ineffective if it gets wet.
The roaches will walk through the light dusting of boric acid, and the powder will adhere to their legs, antennae, and body. In cleaning themselves, it will be ingested and bingo – a dead cockroach!
This method works well, but can be tricky to use. Into a spray bottle, pour three parts softener to two parts water, for example ¾ cup of softener and ½ cup of water, and mix well.
Now comes the tricky part. Keep the bottle handy, and when you see a cockroach, spray it directly with the mixture. The thick liquid suffocates the roach as they breathe through their body. Going into the room at night and switching on the lights helps, as you’ve lulled them into a false sense of security, so your targets should be easier to squirt.
Cockroaches love coffee grounds, so why not use this to your advantage and make a trap?
Smear the inside of several jars with petroleum jelly. Remember, roaches can survive underwater for thirty plus minutes, and the jelly prevents them from escaping your trap. Pop coffee grounds and water into the jars, and place them in likely areas.
The cockroaches will, in trying to get the coffee, fall into the water, and unable to climb out, eventually drown.
If you just want to discourage cockroaches from invading your home, rather than kill them, dried bay leaves are a good option. Roaches hate the strong smelling leaves, and as they are not poisonous, you don’t need to worry about kids and pets.
Crush up the dried leaves as small as you can, scatter around the roach’s hiding places and they’ll soon be on their way.
Fresh lemon peel and cucumbers have the same repelling effect.
Once your chosen method has eradicated the horrible things, organize your store cupboard by keeping food products in storage boxes, ensuring any spillages are dealt with immediately, and regularly cleaning behind refrigerators and the back of cupboards. By tidying away clutter, the roach’s favourite dark hiding places are minimized, and you can relax!