How to Get Rid of Roaches: Non-Toxic Approaches for Your Home

Living in a home free of pests is integral to our wellbeing and safety, and the method to achieve this does not always need to include toxic or harmful elements. With the rise of environmental awareness, many homeowners are opting for non-toxic strategies to tackle pests, specifically roaches.

In this article by pest control experts, we’ll detail a range of non-toxic pest control methods and explore how to get rid of roaches in a natural way.

Seal any roach entry points

First and foremost, it’s pivotal to pinpoint and block all potential roach entry points. Scientific research shows that roaches, due to their flexible exoskeleton and ability to compress their bodies, can squeeze through gaps as thin as one-sixteenth of an inch. These minuscule spaces include tiny cracks in the walls, loose window frames, drain pipes, and gaps where utility pipes enter the house.

Using a high-quality caulk to seal these gaps can effectively prevent roach intrusion. This non-toxic preventative measure, though often overlooked in lieu of more immediate solutions, is a fundamental step of how you get rid of roaches.

Eliminate food and moisture sources

Roaches are survival experts. They can live off nearly anything edible, including glue and soap, and can survive for a month without food. Hence, any natural pest control approach should start by eliminating easy food and moisture sources.

Store food in sealed containers, keep your kitchen and dining area clean, fix any leaky pipes, and ensure your home is well-ventilated. Depriving roaches of sustenance and moisture can make your home less inviting to these persistent pests.

Use baiting

Baiting is a strategy that is non-toxic to humans and pets, but nonetheless effective in combating roaches. It’s also used all the time in pest control services. Commercially available roach baits come in various forms, one of which is a gel applied via syringe. This method of bait application allows for coverage of a wide variety of hard-to-reach areas, thus increasing the likelihood of roaches encountering the bait.

Pest exterminators recommend applying small dots of gel in areas where roaches are likely to forage or move in and out, such as corners, under cabinets, behind fridges, and near cracks and edges. Applying smaller dots across many areas is more beneficial than large globs in a few areas, as it increases the bait’s exposure.

These baiting products typically consist of a food attractant mixed with a slow-acting insecticide. Roaches are drawn to the bait, consume it, and then carry the lethal substance back to their nest, spreading it among the colony. The slow-acting nature of the poison allows for this spread, as roaches can take one to three days to die, potentially infecting other roaches in the meantime.

The primary advantage of this method is that it can significantly decrease the population without the use of harmful sprays. Pest control services often incorporate this method in their natural pest control efforts due to its efficacy and reach.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth, an all-natural substance composed of fossilised diatoms, offers an effective, non-toxic solution against roach infestations. This harmless-to-humans, powdery substance is lethal to roaches. Its silica particles possess sharp edges, which slice through the roach’s exoskeleton, causing rapid dehydration and eventual death.

Due to its non-toxicity and effectiveness, diatomaceous earth is a favourite in the natural pest control arsenal. Experts recommend dusting it in roach-prone areas, such as corners and near potential entry points. Provided it stays dry, diatomaceous earth remains potent, ensuring long-term protection against these pests.

Implement baking soda

A readily accessible, non-toxic substance in most households, baking soda can be the best answer to your question “How to get rid of roaches”. When combined with sugar, it forms an enticing bait for roaches. The sugar acts as a lure, drawing the roaches towards it, while the baking soda, once consumed, instigates a fatal reaction inside the roaches.

Here’s what happens explained scientifically:

  • When the roaches ingest baking soda and subsequently consume water, a reaction occurs, causing their insides to bloat and expand, leading to their demise.
  • The efficacy of baking soda alone can be enhanced when combined with boric acid. A study revealed that pellets formed from a combination of three parts boric acid and one part baking soda were particularly potent at killing roaches, with the average time to death being five hours post-ingestion.

Therefore, while baking soda can be effective on its own, its potency increases when used alongside boric acid. Despite this, it’s crucial to replace the bait regularly to preserve its freshness and effectiveness, ensuring that roaches continue to be drawn to it.

Try boric acid

Boric acid, previously touched upon, offers another non-toxic yet potent alternative for roach control. Often found in antiseptic eye wash solutions, this compound operates similarly to diatomaceous earth. It targets the roaches’ exoskeleton, causing disruption and subsequent dehydration, which proves fatal to the pests.

While boric acid is a low-toxicity substance, it is not entirely harmless. Its use should be carefully regulated, and it should be kept out of reach of children and pets. Large amounts, if ingested, can pose health risks. Therefore, when utilising boric acid for pest control, knowledge and care should be exercised to maintain a safe environment.

Use citrus and essential oils as a repellent

Natural roach repellents created from citrus fruits and specific essential oils can serve as a refreshing, non-toxic alternative to traditional insecticides. Key ingredients such as peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus are not just aromatic additions to your home but also pose as deterrents to roaches. Here are some fascinating facts about these ingredients:

  1. Citrus – Studies have shown that citrus peels, particularly those from oranges and lemons, contain compounds called limonene and linalool, both of which have been found to be repellent to roaches.
  2. Peppermint Oil – Aside from its pleasant, invigorating scent, peppermint oil is an excellent natural insect repellent. This is because most insects, including roaches, dislike the strong smell of peppermint.
  3. Lavender and Eucalyptus – Much like peppermint, these essential oils are known for their strong, distinctive fragrances which are repellent to many pests. Moreover, they also have the added advantage of possessing antimicrobial properties.

Creating a homemade spray from water mixed with these oils or citrus juice serves a dual purpose – it not only keeps the roaches at bay but also contributes to a fresher, more pleasant aroma in your home. For the best results, regularly spray this concoction around areas where roach activity has been noted. This non-toxic approach will not only repel the roaches but also prevent their return.

Hire pest control experts

Even though home remedies can be effective to a certain degree, extensive infestations often necessitate the intervention of professional pest exterminators. Enlisting pest control experts who utilise non-toxic methods can be a strategic approach. They can accurately determine the extent of the infestation, seal entry points, eliminate food sources, and apply non-toxic extermination strategies if possible. The additional guidance they provide on preventing future infestations further underscores the value of their service.


Managing roach infestations in your home through non-toxic methods entails a sequence of strategic steps – sealing all possible entry points, eradicating potential food and water sources, and deploying various non-harmful substances for baiting and extermination purposes.

For health-risk posing and overwhelming infestations, consider engaging pest control professionals who can also employ non-toxic methodologies. By implementing these tactics, not only do you create a healthier and safer living space, but you also take steps towards environmental responsibility, all while ensuring a roach-free home.