How to Get Rid of Roaches Naturally

Homemade Roach Killer

Two cockroaches by interior wall
Jan Stromme/Stone/Getty Images

Roaches are never welcome guests, but that doesn't mean you need to coat your home in pricey chemicals to get rid of them. Here's a homemade roach killer that will get the job done.

What You Need:

  • Borax
  • Sugar (granulated or powdered)

What You Do:

Mix borax and sugar together in equal parts. Then, apply it along the baseboards, in cracks, under cabinets, under sinks and anywhere else that you've seen roaches.

Reapply as needed until all the bugs are gone. If you prefer, you can put your roach killer out in little containers, instead of dusting the surfaces of your home with it. That'll mean less mess, and less chance of coming into contact with it.

Why This Works:

Roaches consume the mixture because they are attracted to the sugar. Once consumed, the borax damages both their digestive system and their outer skeleton, resulting in death. This works very much like the boric acid found in commercial pest control products, but costs a lot less.

Benefits of Using Borax to Kill Roaches

  • inexpensive
  • fume-free
  • environmentally-friendly
  • doesn't require a call to the exterminator
  • fast-acting


1. You can also mix the borax with syrup or jelly. Obviously, you'll want to put your roach killer in some sort of container, if you do.

2. Borax (sold under the name 20 Mule Team Borax) can be found in the laundry aisle at many grocery and big-box stores, since it is most commonly used as a laundry booster.

You may also find it at the hardware store.

3. Store any unused portions in an air-tight container to maintain freshness. Be sure to label it, so you don't forget what's inside, or confuse it with something else.

4. Depending on the size of the infestation, it may take a couple of weeks before you notice a significant decline in the population.

5. This same mixture can also be used to kill ants. More Ways to Kill Ants


1. Keep away from children, pets and food prep areas. Only bait areas that your family and pets won't come into contact with.

2. Avoid inhaling your roach killer mixture. Wear a mask when you apply it.

2. Borax loses some of its effectiveness when it gets wet, so replace it as needed

What is Borax Anyway?

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral, known as sodium tetraborate. It is an ingredient in many commercially-made cleaners, cosmetics and even some toothpastes. It is sold to consumers as a white powder for use around the house.

More Uses for Borax

Borax can also be used to make powdered laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent and a bunch of other household cleaners. Check out all of these uses for borax, so that box goes to good use once you buy it.