Let’s start with a harsh truth: getting rid of roaches is a slow process if you want to do it naturally. However, while banishing roaches without toxic chemicals is time-consuming, it is well worth it. When you use insecticides, you see results right away. But your home is contaminated with harmful chemicals, and that comes with a high price tag. So, what you can do? Here are some tips to get rid of roaches in a natural way.
Cut off water sources
Cockroaches love a moist environment; they breed thanks to water. And while they can live for a month without food, they can’t survive more than few days without water. Find all the water leaks in your house, fix them, and cockroaches will die a natural and slow death. Without water, roaches will run into the baits you’ve put out for them.
Apparently, roaches do not like tuna. So while placing food outside of the fridge and letting it stay out for extended periods of time is not recommended, tuna is. You don’t need to leave out a full can of tuna; your tuna salad leftovers will do the trick.
Adhesive traps are among the best. They work like glue; once the cockroaches approach the traps, they get stuck. Now, the problem is, this method only traps them, but doesn’t eliminate the nesting problem. The roaches’ nest will remain unaffected.
Store-bought cockroach bait
Similar to adhesive-based traps, you can buy cockroach bait that is mixed with cockroach-attractive food. The trap works because roaches eat the poison and bring some of it back to the nest. Make sure to place these baits in an area where you know that cockroaches reside. The problem is that this method can take several weeks to fully eliminate the threat. The first generation will die, but then you have to wait for the next generation from the roach eggs.
There are several homemade cockroach baits, but we will start with one of the most effective. For this bait, you need one part powdered boric acid, one part white flour, and one part powdered white sugar. Mix the ingredients and sprinkle the powder on drawers and cabinets, under the stove, and wherever else you see them. Note: Make sure to apply this only in places that are not accessible to children and pets. While boric acid is not toxic, the solution is only for external use.
Another homemade recipe for eliminating roaches is mint oil. And all you need to do is spray it in sinks and the corners of the kitchen and bathroom. These are all places where cockroaches breed. You can even spray it directly at the pests. Remember, mint oil does not work as fast as other home remedies. However, this remedy is not toxic and keeps roaches away from your home.
Another very natural remedy is lemon juice. Simply add some lemon juice to water and mop the floor it. Use the solution for bathroom cabinets and kitchen tops as well. Lemon and its acidity will keep roaches away and repel those that have already infested your home.
One of the simplest, yet very effective, homemade traps for roaches are water jars. All you need to do is place a water jar next to a wall. Of course, you need to fill the jars with some bait. You can use coffee grounds and water, but it works with simple, plain old water as well. Especially if you live in a drier climate, a jar with water will work perfectly.
You can find bay leaves in every grocery store. And truth be told, these leaves are one of the most common ingredients in the kitchen. Aside from a cooking ingredient, bay leaves can be used as an effective remedy against roaches. Leave a bundle of leaves near the sink holes and other places where roaches nest, and you will see results in less than a week. You can even place some leaves in your cupboard to protect it from roaches.
Pepper, onion and garlic
This is one of the most potent remedies against cockroaches. You need one tablespoon of pepper, half an onion, and one clove of garlic. Mash them all together, and then add the solution to one liter (one quart) of water. Add liquid soap, and then sprinkle it in areas in the kitchen and bathroom where roaches nest. You can also use the water solution for moping the floor and countertops. Because roaches can’t stand the smell of this solution, they will run away from your home.
If all else fails
I know that getting rid of roaches with natural products can be painfully slow and exhausting. So, you might be tempted to call in the experts. That’s why I’m recommending insecticide spray if everything else fails. When buying an insecticide spray, look for Cyfluthrin and other insecticide-active ingredients. However, when you are spraying, keep children and pets out of the way. If you have baits placed around the house, do not spray around and near the bait.
Your last resort is to call in the experts. Exterminators are extremely effective, but they are also extremely expensive. Prices start at $100, and can go as high as $1,000, depending on the level of infestation. But, you’ll be sure that even the smallest nest is eradicated. If you can afford it, you can even call in a natural pest control company.
How to prevent cockroaches
As with any pest invasion in your home, the best way to get rid of roaches is to prevent them from infesting your home altogether. The question is, how do you do that? One of the reasons roaches find your home a great breeding ground is poor home hygiene. That being said, your main goal is to improve the hygiene of your home.
- Start by moving yard debris away from your home. Cockroaches breed in piles of wood. And once the weather becomes cold, they will move from the outside to the inside of your house. To prevent that, don’t leave “convenient hiding places” for roaches outside. You need to remove all piles of clippings, leaves and straw.
- Seal the house to make sure cockroaches have no entry path. Start by sealing cracks in the exterior wall, and then move on to sealing cracks everywhere inside your house. Next on the list: cracks inside cabinets in your kitchen, on the floors, on the door, on both sides of window moldings, and all openings around pipes in bathrooms.
- Cleaning is your best friend. Clean, then clean some more, and then clean again. One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes household pests. Grease is one of the roaches’ best friends when it comes to food residue. Make sure to wipe down counters, wash your dishes, wash the sink, clean the stovetop, sweep the floors, and everything else in between. If you clean on a regular basis, you’ll be able to do all this in 15 minutes before going to bed.
- Keep your home as cool as possible. I am not telling you should freeze inside, but high temperatures are a great breeding ground for roaches. They look for warm, hot places. In some way, heat improves their muscle function. And while you can’t control the weather, you can cool down your home with an air conditioner.
- Last, but not least, make sure to hide your food. Don’t leave food out for long periods of time, and do not leave dishes out overnight. Fruit on the countertop is also forbidden.