How to Get Rid of Roaches Without an Exterminator: 7 Effective Methods

If you’re one of the unfortunate people who have a roach problem, you know that they can be incredibly difficult to get rid of. Sometimes, hiring an exterminator may be expensive, not to mention the potentially harmful chemicals they use.

Several methods, such as using roach traps, essential oils, baking soda, boric acid, and diatomaceous earth, can effectively get rid of roaches without resorting to an exterminator.

However, one should take note that a roach infestation shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you see one cockroach on your floor.

You should always immediately take preventive and active measures to get rid of them as they may have already laid eggs in your home. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a full-blown infestation on your hands.

7 Effective Methods on How to Get Rid of Roaches Without an Exterminator

Getting rid of a cockroach problem doesn’t always have to end with hiring an exterminator. Here are seven methods that you can do yourself to get rid of roaches for good

Use Roach Traps

Roach traps work by luring roaches with bait, enticing them into a kill zone where they are trapped and ultimately eliminated.

Different roach trap products work in different ways, but they all have the same goal of getting rid of roaches. Some traps use a pheromone attractant to lure roaches, while others use a food-based bait.

dead cockroaches inside a roach trap

Once these roaches are trapped, they will eventually die of dehydration or starvation. Roach traps are one of the most effective ways to get rid of cockroaches without resorting to harsh chemicals or an exterminator.

Essential Oils

Certain essential oils have properties that can kill roaches and prevent them from coming back. Oils such as eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, and tea tree oil are all effective at getting rid of roaches.

Eucalyptus is especially effective because it contains a chemical called citronellal, which is known to be toxic to roaches. Peppermint, on the other hand, is a natural roach repellent.

This is because roaches hate the strong smell of peppermint. Other effective essential oils are lemon and tea tree oil.

These naturally occurring compounds have potent antibacterial, antifungal, and pesticide properties, making them an effective way to defend your home against these nasty pests.

To use essential oils, simply add a few drops of the oil onto a cotton ball or piece of cloth. Then, place it near areas where you’ve seen roaches or in places where they like to hide, such as under the sink or in cabinets.

Additionally, you may make your own cockroach repellant spray with these essential oils. All you need is a spray bottle, water, and your chosen essential oil. Add a few drops of the oil into the water and shake well.

You can also sprinkle a few drops of your chosen essential oil on door frames, windowsills, and other areas where roaches are likely to come into contact with.

Baking Soda

One way to get rid of roaches is by using baking soda. Baking soda is a natural roach killer and can be used in many different ways. One way to use baking soda is to mix it with sugar and flour. This mixture will bait the roaches and kill them when they eat it.

Another way to use baking soda is to make a paste out of it and water. This paste can be placed in strategic locations around your home, such as in cracks and crevices, to kill roaches that come into contact with it.

You can also sprinkle baking soda around your home, which will discourage roaches from entering in the first place.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is another effective roach killer. This white powder is actually a natural element that can be found in many household products such as laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. When used correctly, boric acid can be a very effective roach killer.

boric acid on a table

One way to use boric acid is to make bait out of it. To do this, mix boric acid with sugar and water to form a paste. This paste can then be placed in roach-infested areas or near where you’ve seen roaches.

The roaches will be attracted to the sweet bait and eat it, ultimately killing them. Another way to use boric acid is to simply sprinkle it in areas where roaches are likely to hide or travel. This will kill any roach that comes into contact with it.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance that is made up of the fossilized remains of algae. This powdery substance can be found in many household products such as pool filters and face masks.

Diatomaceous earth works by puncturing the exoskeleton of roaches, causing dehydration, which leads to their death.

To use diatomaceous earth, simply sprinkle it in areas where roaches are likely to hide or travel. This includes under appliances, in cabinets, and behind furniture.

You can also sprinkle it along baseboards and in doorways to keep roaches out of your home. Just be sure to vacuum up any excess powder after a few days to avoid breathing it in.


One of the most effective methods for getting rid of roaches without an exterminator is to use catnip. This naturally-occurring herb has been shown to be extremely effective at repelling roaches and other unwanted pests.

To use catnip to eliminate roaches, simply place a few dried leaves on baseboards, on floorboards, and in any cracks or crannies where these invasive insects might hide.

They will not be able to stand the pungent scent of this powerful herb and will quickly take their leave!

Additionally, the natural oils found in catnip have also been shown to kill roaches and can be used in conjunction with the dried leaves for even faster results.

Lemon Peels

Lemons are known for their strong smell and citrusy flavor. This fruit is also known for its ability to repel roaches. The strong smell of lemons confuses and disorients roaches, making them less likely to enter your home.

Roaches have a natural aversion to citrus, so lemon peels are an easy and effective way to eliminate these pests. Simply sprinkle some lemon juice around your home, or place lemon peels in strategic locations.

The strong scent of lemon will repel roaches and make your home less inviting to them. You can also make a roach-repelling spray by combining 1 cup of water with 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

This spray can be used on surfaces throughout your home, and it’s safe for use around children and pets.


Cloves have powerful aromatic properties that act as a natural repellent for cockroaches. Simply place several cloves in strategic locations around your home, such as in corners, under cabinets, and behind appliances where roaches are commonly found.

This will drive roaches away and help to keep them from coming back. Additionally, clove oil can be added to homemade sprays or deterrents to give them an extra boost.

When used consistently, clove oil is one of the most effective ways to get rid of roaches without having to call in an exterminator.


One simple and effective method is to combine equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, simply spray the mixture directly onto any roaches that you spot in your home.

The vinegar will act as an irritant, driving them out so that you can easily get rid of them without having to worry about toxic chemicals ending up on your skin or inhaled by your family.

vinegar and baking soda on a glass table

Other options include pouring a bit of straight vinegar down roach holes and cracks or leaving small bowls of vinegar out overnight in areas where they congregate.

No matter which method you choose, the result will be the same: roaches fleeing at the sight of this pungent liquid. So if you want a natural and chemical-free way to get rid of these unwanted visitors once and for all, try using some good old-fashioned vinegar!

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When Should You Call an Exterminator

If you suspect that you have a roach infestation in your home, it’s important to act quickly. Roaches are not only unsanitary and disease-carrying, but they can also cause significant damage to your home.

An invasion of roaches can cause structural damage due to their tendency to nest in the walls and crawl spaces of a building, as well as lead to contamination from their excrement and the saliva and urine they emit when foraging for food.

In addition, roaches can spread harmful bacteria via their droppings, increasing the risk of serious illness for anyone exposed.

Given these risks, it is essential to call an exterminator as soon as possible if you notice signs of a roach infestation.

A roach infestation can be easily determined when you see more than one roach in your home. Other signs of an infestation include the presence of egg casings, droppings, or a musty smell. If you see any of these signs, call an exterminator right away to get rid of the problem before it gets worse.

Skilled pest control specialists will be able to identify the causes of an infestation, determine the right course of treatment, and eliminate the threat safely and effectively.

Whether you need chemical treatments or non-chemical methods such as traps or other deterrents designed specifically for roach invasions, a professional exterminator will be able to customize a treatment plan that is right for your specific situation and needs.

While most of the DIY methods we’ve listed above are effective in helping get rid of a few roaches, dealing with an infestation is a different story.

If you suspect you have an infestation, your best bet is to call in a professional to get rid of them for good.

Final Thoughts

Boric acid, essential oils like peppermint, vinegar, baking soda, and diatomaceous earth are all great DIY methods for getting rid of roaches. These different methods can be used alone or in combination with each other for maximum effect.

Additionally, ensuring that your space is clean and clutter-free will go a long way in preventing roaches from taking up residence in your home in the first place.

If you have tried these methods and are still seeing roaches, it’s time to call an exterminator. Roach infestations can be difficult to handle on your own, and the sooner you get rid of them, the better.