Myth Busting: DIY Cockroach Control

diy cockroach control

Cockroaches can be a big concern for homeowners and businesses alike! Not only are these crawling insects synonymous with dirt and filth, but they can also spread a range of diseases, as well as trigger asthma and other allergies!

cockroach diseases

click here to learn about the diseases spread by cockroaches

More often than not, the first sign of cockroaches leads people to try a handful of do it yourself roach control options to exterminate these pests from their property. The issue is, that although they may seem to work, many of the popular home remedies for cockroaches have a limited effect and often result in the infestation returning.

Home remedies for cockroaches

There are many DIY cockroach control options which are believed to exterminate roaches, as well as a handful of natural cockroach repellents.

But how successful are these home remedies?

Fabric softener

Fabric softener is believed to be an effective DIY cockroach killer. It is believed that fabric softener can exterminate cockroaches by blocking the pores in their skin, causing them to suffocate.

The method behind this home remedy for cockroaches is to mix 3 parts fabric softener with 2 parts water and spray the solution to the popular cockroach hotspots such as drains and bins.

Unfortunately, this method isn’t an effective home remedy for cockroaches. This because the success of this DIY control options relies on applying it directly to the crawling insect. The issue with this is that cockroaches often operate out of human sight, so applying it to them can be difficult. To add this, the home remedy will only affect the cockroaches it is applied to and won’t fully exterminate an infestation.

Coffee grounds

There are a couple of options when using coffee grounds as a DIY solution for cockroaches. One is to make a trap using a jar, water, and coffee grounds in order to drown them, whilst another is to sprinkle coffee around your home to repel them.

The issue with using coffee as a DIY cockroach control option is that the multiple methods of using this commonly found household product contradict one another. One the one hand it is used to attract cockroaches whilst on the other, it is used to repel them.

The fact of the matter is, cockroaches have no opinion of coffee. They neither love it or hate it. No matter which option you choose, you’ll find that coffee, in any shape or form, is not an effective natural cockroach repellent or DIY solution for roaches.

Bay leaves

Bay leaves are believed to be another natural cockroach repellent. This DIY solution requires a handful of bay leaves to be pulverized into a powder and sprinkled around the cockroach hotspots in your home.

The idea behind this home remedy for cockroaches is that roaches can’t stand the scent of the essential oils released when bay leaves are crushed. However, this is, in fact, a myth.

The scent produced by bay leaves isn’t powerful enough to repel cockroaches, I mean if they will quite happily tuck into a dinner consisting of animal faces then the smell of bay leaves would be no problem.  For this natural repellent for cockroaches to work you’d pretty much have to create a jungle of bay leaves in your home.


Like with most DIY solutions for insects, lemon is thought to be an effective method for cockroaches.

The idea behind this do it yourself roach control option is to clean your home using a solution of water and lemon juice, as cockroaches can’t stand the scent of lemon.

Although this home remedy for cockroaches works, it is not due to the scent of lemon (this actually has no effect on cockroaches), but rather the act of cleaning itself!


Cucumber is also thought to be a successful DIY cockroach control option. This home remedy consists of placing slices or peels of cucumber out overnight around sinks, kitchen counters, and cabinets.

It is thought that this home remedy for cockroaches work as a natural repellent, as roaches hate the smell of cucumber. This is actually a myth. In fact, you’re more likely to attract these crawling insects than repel them but offering them a free dinner!

Soap and water

Soap and water are regarded as a successful home remedy for cockroaches as it works in the same way fabric softener does.

Like with fabric softener, this DIY cockroach control option consists of creating a solution of soap and water and applying it to live cockroaches. The soap will block the pores in their skin and cause them to suffocate.

However, like fabric softener, this home remedy is also a myth as it relies on applying it to live cockroaches and will not fully remove an infestation from your property.

The best way to get rid of cockroaches yourself

The best way to deal with cockroaches in your home is with a mop and bucket!

You can help reduce the potential for a cockroach infestation by making your home less appealing. This can be done by:

  • Cleaning floors, counters and work surfaces
  • Emptying bins on a regular basis
  • Storing food in airtight containers
  • Clearing up spillages and crumbs.
how to get rid of cockroaches

click here to find out how to get rid of cockroaches in 4 steps

Professional cockroach control

The best way to exterminate cockroaches is with the help of a pest control professional.

The main issue with DIY solutions is that although they may seem to work, they don’t fully remove cockroaches from your property. This is because cockroaches often operate within dark areas, away from human sight. To the untrained eye they may seem to have packed their bags and moved on, but more often than not they are just hiding in a different area.

A pest control professional can:

  • Identify a cockroach problem
  • Offer prevention advice
  • Provide professional solutions to fully exterminate cockroaches
  • Ensure the infestation doesn’t return.

Have a cockroach problem? Get in contact with Rentokil today!

diy pest control

Want to know more about the common myths around DIY pest control? Click here.