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Best Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches Around The Home

From the human perspective, your house seems like a terrible place for cockroaches to take up residence. To the American, German, and brown-banded cockroaches that require shelter and sustenance, however, few settings could possibly be preferable to your home. Depending on where it’s located and how it’s maintained, the average house or apartment may provide shelter, food, and plenty of moisture.

With so many compelling reasons to invade your home, it’s easy to see why cockroaches are often so difficult to avoid. As with all areas of pest control, however, the best defense is a great offense. If you know why they find your house appealing, which types are most likely to strike, and how they get in, you can limit the potential for infestation. To help, we’ve identified several of the most effective tactics below, as well as a few approaches worth avoiding.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

While preventative methods are always preferable to a reactive approach, this does you little good when you already have an infestation underway. If you’ve observed signs of cockroaches in your home, you’ll want to address the problem swiftly before you worry too much about prevention. These products and home remedies might help:

Stay Away Ants & Cockroaches Deterrent

Stay Away Ants & Cockroaches pouch sitting next to stairs

If you’re on the hunt for an effective, botanical deterrent, look no further than Stay Away® Ants & Cockroaches. Composed of plant-derived essential oils, these pouches are uniquely easy to use. Simply place them in areas where you’ve noticed insect activity like droppings or smears. The pouches will produce a smell that humans find pleasant — and that cockroaches will be eager to avoid.

This approach uses scents to deter both ants and roaches without poisoning or killing the insects.


Citrus smells have long been a go-to for dealing with many types of insect problems. Some people rely on lemon juice when cleaning the kitchen, while others are simply content to keep a few wedges in a jar. Ostensibly, the mere scent of lemons could drive cockroaches away. Often, however, this strategy is not particularly effective when an infestation is already underway and could produce inconsistent results.

Essential Oils

Certain essential oils are believed to repel cockroaches. Your mileage will vary considerably, however, depending on which essential oils you use and where. For example: research suggests that rosemary oil can be an effective option for dealing with the brown-banded cockroach. Oregano oil has also been identified as a possible repellent.

Unfortunately, most essential oils are not accompanied by specific directions for dealing with insects. As a result, you may inadvertently use too much or too little, thereby limiting the efficacy of these methods.

Bay Leaves

When pulverized, bay leaves can be a moderately effective repellent. Fresh leaves tend to be the most potent, but dry bay leaves may have some impact. As with essential oils, however, the effect is often muted — and it can be difficult to know exactly how much to use, where to use, and when to replace.

Diatomaceous Earth

Often recommended as a pest control solution due to its non-toxic nature, diatomaceous earth offers a few compelling benefits. It’s easy to use and is often effective not only for deterring roaches, but also, ants and other insects. Simply sprinkle a little around problem areas and especially near identified entry points. Consisting of fossilized algae dust, the diatomaceous earth should destroy insects’ exoskeletons which could eventually lead to the death of the insect.

Many insects are beneficial to the ecosystem so products that kill rather than deter could harm nature’s delicate balance. Skeptics are especially fearful of the negative impact this product could have on honeybees if not used properly.

Baking Soda and Sugar

A tried-and-tested mitigation strategy, the baking soda plus sugar approach allows you to address your cockroach problem while using ingredients already available in your kitchen. The cockroaches will be attracted to the sugar, but the baking soda should prove lethal. If your goal is to prevent — but not kill roaches — this will probably not be your preferred strategy.

Boric Acid

A common solution for pest control, boric acid is available in many convenient forms. Some homeowners rely on gels, but dusts and powders are typically preferred. The electrostatic charge allows the boric acid to cling to the insects, and, eventually, attacks the nervous system. Again, this is not an ideal solution if you hope to avoid killing cockroaches.

How to Keep Cockroaches Away

The cliche about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure feels tailor-made for cockroach mitigation. Yes, the solutions highlighted above can make a world of difference when you’re already dealing with these pests in your home, but they ultimately should be paired with long-term strategies to keep them from coming back.

How you proceed once these pests are gone will determine the likelihood of the problem returning. Here are some tips on how to prevent them from returning.

  • Person using spray bottle and cloth to clean floorsMaintain a Clean Home –It can be tough to stay motivated for the monumental task of cleaning your home, but it becomes a lot easier when you recognize the connection between clutter and cockroaches. When you’re not in the mood for a deep clean, remember: there’s more to cleaning than pure aesthetics. It’s a crucial element of insect control, as multiple types of pests (including cockroaches) thrive in messy environments. After all, these tend to provide an abundance of food sources. A few minutes a day can go a long way towards making your home more hospitable for humans and less inviting to pests. At minimum, clean up countertops and avoid keeping dirty dishes in your sink.
  • Keep an Eye Out for Water Sources –As you adopt a better cleaning routine, look carefully for signs of standing water in your home. Leaky pipes, dripping faucets and spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Cockroaches are attracted to high-moisture areas in general. If an easy-to-access source of water is available, they can sustain large populations in seemingly inhospitable environments.
  • Clean the Outside of Your Home –Don’t limit your new cleaning regimen to your home’s interior. Outside cleaning is just as important. At minimum, plan to keep garbage cans and brush piles as far from your home as possible, as these will attract cockroaches to the area. Look for standing water in containers or puddles as well; gutters and downspouts are a common source of concern.
  • Find And Seal Entry Points –No matter how clean your home’s interior and exterior are, it will remain a welcoming place for many pests if it’s not properly sealed. As such, it’s important to identify potential entry points and seal them. These are most commonly situated in foundation cracks, gaps near windows, basements, and holes in siding.
  • Use Stay Away® Ants & Cockroaches for Future Prevention – These pouches provide 30+ days of continuous protection against these pests. Not only do they help with getting rid of the problem, they also help prevent future infestations from occurring.

Control Methods We Don’t Recommend

In all likelihood, you’re familiar with several of the cockroach control and mitigation strategies we’ve outlined above. Unfortunately, you’ve probably also come across plenty of other methods that may seem effective in the short-term but could actually exacerbate your problem over time. Or, solutions that are accompanied by possible environmental concerns.

If your goal is to get rid of cockroaches in the safest and most sustainable manner possible, avoid these common methods at all costs:

  • Cockroach stuck in a sticky trap Sticky traps
  • Spray pesticides
  • Bait stations

These are accompanied by a myriad of problems, like potentially killing unintended insects. Also, unfortunately, many of these products sometimes contain harmful chemicals that could potentially harm other animals or even people.

Keep Your Home Pest Free

If your initial impulse after spotting a cockroach is to call a professional exterminator, think again. These services can be helpful in some situations, but they shouldn’t always serve as the go-to solution for your roach problem. Not only are exterminators prohibitively expensive for many homeowners and apartment dwellers, they don’t always prove as effective as their clients anticipate.

Once you discover you have a cockroach problem, you also shouldn’t be complacent; this will cause the problem to get far worse. Without proper mitigation strategies, you could be vulnerable to structural damage and a whole host of health issues.

Enter EarthKind. We are proud to offer a plant-based deterrent product meant for addressing both ants and cockroaches. Stay Away® Ants & Cockroaches provides a Naturally Smarter® alternative to other harmful mitigation strategies outlined above. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of Stay Away® — or to discover our other pest control products.

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