DIY Cockroach Control Doesn’t Work. Here’s Why.

Cockroaches can be a lot of fun to smash. (Trust us, we know.) But while chasing down and dancing La Cucaracha on a cockroach might sound like a good time in theory, the reality is that homegrown approaches to eliminating a cockroach infestation simply aren’t effective. Here’s why each of the most well-known methods for DIY cockroach control don’t work, and what to do instead.

“Natural” remedies (bay leaf, lemon, baking soda, etc.)

The so-called “natural” remedies that the internet has made popular, like sprinkling bay leaves or lemons where you know cockroaches might be, are admirable in that they’re safe for you. The problem is, they don’t get rid of cockroaches, they just repel them. The scent from bay leaves is one that cockroaches find repugnant. But if you want an idea of the effectiveness, think of it like a “rain coat” that’s water repellent versus actually waterproof. Do you wind up dry at the end of the day?

The same goes for the baking soda (or baking soda+sugar) approach. The cockroaches are repelled by the baking soda, but not treated—and now you have baking soda in every corner of your home. How’s that going to look when you want to have guests over?

If you have a major infestation, repelling the bugs is a lot different than getting rid of them safely and in a way that allows you to live well.

The “fabric softener” approach

Using fabric softener to kill cockroaches technically works. The fabric softener spray closes the pores of the cockroaches and suffocates them. The issue is that this method only works when you apply it directly to the roaches. Chasing around cockroaches with a spray bottle sounds like a decent way to spend an afternoon, but it isn’t much better than the stomping method, and it certainly doesn’t treat the core of the problem, which is how to reach cockroaches where they are and destroy their living arrangements—permanently.

Boric acid

OK, now we’re pulling out the big guns. Boric acid DOES kill cockroaches. It also is good at killing roaches at the source, as it gloms onto the roach’s body as it travels back to the nest. You can mix it with sugar to make it sweeter and even more effective.

The problem is, boric acid isn’t just toxic to roaches—it’s toxic to pets and humans, as well. If you have pets or small children around, it simply isn’t safe to have a film of boric acid sprayed on the floor where it can licked up, or wind up on someone’s palms (and eventually, mouth) as they crawl around.

A “clean home”

Most of the reasons why roaches infest homes are obvious: it’s all the dirty dishes, food, and moisture you’ve got lying around. Some people try to treat this issue by making their house sparkling clean. But depending on how you live (and whom you live with), not only will that probably become a full-time job, it may be impossible. Moisture accumulates where we can’t see. Crumbs fall into cracks, or get swept under the fridge accidentally. And cockroaches, well, they’re a year-round problem. If there are cockroaches in your area, it’s simply not possible to keep a place clean enough to keep them away.

The only method that works is a coordinated, comprehensive, safe, and professional extermination plan. Reach out to us at (360) 935-4200 or contact us online to get professional roach control help from GoodMonsters ASAP!