What is the Most Effective Cockroach Repellent?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

When cockroaches appear in the home, most people begin to search for solutions that will repel the roaches and keep the home free of the pests. There are a number of options available today, each of them claiming to be an effective cockroach repellent. Here are some of the more common ideas on how to get rid of cockroaches quickly and effectively.

An American cockroach, also sometimes called a palmetto bug.
An American cockroach, also sometimes called a palmetto bug.

For people who prefer the natural approach, there is always the idea of preparing cockroach bait containing boric acid. This time-honored cockroach repellent involves creating small pellets from boric acid, flour, and water. Some recipes call for including cocoa as well, possibly serving as a way to entice cockroaches to approach and consume the pellets. The idea is that by consuming the pellets and feeding the pellets to their young, the infestation can quickly be brought under control and make the home cockroach free once again.

If you are leaving garbage outdoors, make sure the garbage bags are well wrapped and free of holes or tears.
If you are leaving garbage outdoors, make sure the garbage bags are well wrapped and free of holes or tears.

There is also the possibility of using one of the sprays that are said to repel cockroaches and also cause them to begin dying out. These sprays are readily available in supermarkets, home and garden shops and discount retail stores. Spraying the cockroach repellent into cracks around the home are said to aid in driving the cockroaches away. Some claim that the product work by adhering to the legs of the roaches as they travel through an area that has been sprayed, taking the toxic substance back to the main colony.

Commercial cockroach bait is an alternative to using sprays. Loaded with chemicals, these bait products function not only as a cockroach repellent but also as a means of killing off the pests. As with the homemade bait containing boric acid, these commercial products work by killing roaches after they consume the substance, effectively eliminating the problem.

The cockroach trap is considered one of the more popular forms of cockroach control. This option does not require sprays or pellets. Instead, these mass-produced cockroach repellent tools lure the cockroaches into the trap. Once trapped, they are unable to leave the confines of the trap and eventually die. The entire trap is then tossed into the trash, making cleanup a lot easier.

When all else fails, the best cockroach repellent may be to call an exterminator. A professional extermination service can determine the extent of your cockroach infestation and take steps to eliminate the current colony. At the same time, the exterminator can use industrial strength chemical compounds to minimize the chances for a recurrence of the infestation in the immediate future. It is not unusual for homeowners to contract with an exterminator to reapply the chemicals on a routine basis, such as once a month.

Home pest control can be a challenging process. In many cases, simple solutions for cockroach repellent will do the job in as short period of time. However, if home remedies and over-the-counter products don’t take care of the problem, do not hesitate to call in a professional who will know just how to apply the right cockroach repellent and restore your home to a bug-free state.

When other methods of dealing with cockroaches fail, the best option may be to call in an exterminator.
When other methods of dealing with cockroaches fail, the best option may be to call in an exterminator.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@fBoyle: Buy some diatomaceous earth. It's all natural and actually healthy for human consumption. I won't get into all of the health benefits (you can google it), but it's one of the best natural remedies for getting rid of hard shelled insects, like roaches, fleas, ants, and bedbugs, to name a few.


@fBoyle -- I've heard of animals getting sick by ingesting boric acid, but ysmina is right. Research it first before you use it. Frankly, I tried those roach traps before and got worried when my Boston/rat terrier mix decided to chew up a couple of them. She didn't get sick (the little dog is as tough as nails), but I got rid of those traps and called in a professional.


I think that a professional exterminator is the best way to get rid of cockroaches, especially if the cockroaches are German cockroaches. This type of cockroach is extremely hard to get rid of and most treatments do not work.

We had German cockroaches at our last apartment. I thought that if we kept the house clean enough that they would go away, but no it did not work. Neither did bug sprays and baits. Eventually, we had an exterminator come in and spray the entire apartment twice.

I think that having a professional come in is better than constantly using bug sprays around the house because those are only temporary treatments. If the cockroaches and their eggs are eliminated completely, that will be better. We actually left our apartment during both treatments so that we didn't have to inhale all the chemicals.


@fBoyle-- I think that boric acid is safe for pets, but double check on that. I do know that a relative used boric acid to kill cockroaches. She put it in cabinets and around where the cockroaches are and they were gone after several weeks.

The other option is diatomaceous earth which is probably the safest bug repellent/exterminator you will find. It is absolutely safe for pets, just make sure that you get the food grade one. Diatomaceous is made of super fine particles and will cause small cuts on bugs and eventually kill them.


@Melonlity-- I know, this is my problem as well. I have pets and small children in the house and I need a natural insect repellent that's safe for them. I haven't been able to find one yet. The infestation is not severe but I want to take care of it soon before the cockroach population gets out of control. I don't see them everywhere, just inside the kitchen cabinets under the sink, but it's enough to freak me out. Any ideas?


Be careful of those cockroach traps if you have animals living in your house. Dogs -- and some cats -- just love to fine those and pull them apart. While fatalities among animals that chew those apart are rare, an animal can get sick if it eats one of those traps.

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