Few bugs send a shiver down your back like a giant cockroach scuttling across your kitchen floor. And sure—they don’t bite or sting, but they’re really, really gross, infamous for spreading all sorts of germs and grime throughout our homes, right around our loved ones and pets. All of which is to say, if you have roaches, you need to get rid of them ASAP. Whether you’re currently struggling with roaches or just want to avoid them in the future, we have your back.
Here’s how to prevent and get rid of roaches naturally in just 3 steps:
Preventing roaches can save you lots of time, money, and effort. Here’s how to do it:
- Basic housekeeping and cleanliness is without question the most important element in roach control. The smallest amounts of food debris and drink spills can feed a roach population for weeks. Regularly dust, clean, and vacuum flooring, appliances, cabinetry, sinks, dishes, back splashes, moldings, trash cans and recycling bins, etc, paying special attention to kitchens, bathrooms, and food preparation areas.
- Trash cans are a buffet for roaches. To prevent and repel these pests, you’ll need to take out the trash often, daily if you’re already seeing roaches. Your trash cans and recycling bins should also remain firmly sealed when not in use.
- Unsealed food is a welcome invitation for roaches. Whether it’s leftovers, dry cereal, pet food, or your kitchen’s fruit bowl, seal all food in hard plastic Tupperware containers.
- Before recycling bottles and cans, rinse them to remove any residual sugar to avoid attracting additional roaches.
- Like most pests, roaches love clutter, using it to both breed and nest. Limiting all indoor and outdoor clutter will do wonders for helping prevent roaches, and is absolutely essential for controlling active roach problems. For outside, focus on wood piles, brush, yard clippings, moist mulch, and unused lawn equipment and furniture
- Roaches can go weeks without food, but need water almost every day. In other words, the less excess moisture in your home, the better. Avoid letting water sources sit out for prolonged periods of time, this includes pet bowls, dirty dishes, potted plants, leaky plumbing, and appliance drip trays. With serious roach problems, you might need to towel-dry showers and sinks after each use.
- If there are roaches in your area and your home offers easily accessible entry points, you’re almost surely going to get indoor roaches at some point. To avoid this fate, thoroughly check your home, both inside and outside, for potential entryways, such as cracks or holes in cabinets, weatherstripping, door & window seals, countertops, piping, walls, ceilings, attics, basements, crawl spaces, under sinks, floorboards, etc. For heavy roach problems, using stoppers to seal drains might also be necessary.
Making an effective and natural roach trap at home takes almost time at all. Start by baiting the bottom of a bottle with an attractant like sugar or bread and then ensure it’s easy to enter the trap but difficult to escape. This can be achieved by lining the walls of the bottle with something slippery like petroleum jelly. Then, position these traps wherever you’re experiencing the worst roach issues and leave them overnight. Check each trap in the morning and empty and replace as needed.
Natural DIY roach bait is another family-safe and effective approach. Fill shallow dishes with a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and sugar and place them near known trouble areas like countertops, flooring, or trash cans. Continue this method until your roach issue improves.
Bugs tend to lead to more bugs and this is particularly true of roaches, which frequently feed on dead, decaying organic matter, including other pests. To kill common household bugs like fleas, ants, mites, and more, spray them directly with family-safe Cedarcide Original. To help prevent bugs from coming back, spray known trouble spots and entry points weekly or more as needed.
And don’t worry, unlike old school, chemical-based bug sprays, plant-based Cedarcide Original is family and pet-safe, and won’t fill your home with poisonous chemicals.
For outdoors, spray your entire lawn and all shrubbery with PCO Choice monthly to both kill and repel unwanted bugs. For warmer regions, this should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in an area known for cold winters, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter sets in.
For additional pest prevention, spread Cedar Granules throughout your yard, especially along your home’s foundation and those areas with the most bug traffic.
No downtime required! Because PCO Choice is non-toxic, you, your family and pets can safely enjoy your lawn immediately after application.
Sooo you might not want to hear this, but there are definitely bugs hiding in your home, whether you see them or not. Normally it’s no big deal, a few beneficial bug-eating spiders here or there. But sometimes you’re not so lucky, and your hidden bugs are a costly problem just waiting to happen. Food, water, and shelter—these are the reasons bugs move indoors, and because our homes provide all three, every household has at least a few critters crawling around somewhere.
But if we don’t see them, where could they be hiding? Here are some surprising but also common places bugs hide in our homes.
Three things bugs really like: moisture, warmth, and a dark place to hide. Whether it’s your basement or a designated closet, your hot water heater provides all three. Periodically check around and under your water heater tank for signs of millipedes, centipedes, pillbugs, silverfish, spiders, crickets, and ants. If you notice any leaks or unexpected moisture, clean it up immediately and correct the issue to avoid future problems.
Solution: To kill any bugs you find, give them a quick spray with Cedarcide Original. To repel future bugs, spray baseboards, shelving, and known trouble spots with Cedarcide Original every other week.
Bathrooms not only provide water but also warmth, and that added humidity really helps draw in the creepy crawlies. Thoroughly check your bathroom’s cabinetry and drains for signs of cockroaches, crickets, silverfish, and ants, and if you’re currently struggling with roaches or ants, make sure to dry both your bathroom and your shower’s flooring after each use. Entire populations of roaches and ants can often sustain themselves on just this water alone.
Solution: If you’re experiencing heavy pest traffic, hand drying your shower and sinks after each use may be necessary. For less severe problems, simply spray any bugs you spot with family-safe Cedarcide Original. Spray suspected entry points and known hangouts every other week to repel bugs from the area.
The next time you’re doing a deep clean, make sure to pull your appliances out from the wall. Not only does grime collect here that can cause pest issues later, but there’s a good chance bugs have already set up shop there. Crumbs, darkness, privacy, and often moisture are in great supply behind and under appliances like fridges and dishwashers, making them a common hideout for roaches, flies, ants, and other hungry insects.
Don’t be surprised if you find bugs inside your fridge, too—yep, you read that right: inside! It’s not uncommon for fruit flies and roaches to crawl inside your fridge, feast and breed for a few days, and then sneak out when you’re not looking.
Solution: Cleanliness is key. Periodically clean inside, outside, behind, and under your appliances to limit bug attractants like moisture, dirt, and food debris. A quick spray of non-toxic Cedarcide Original will take care of any bugs you come across in the process.
It should come as no surprise that trash and recycling bins are a popular gathering place for all sorts of bugs. The abundance of food and shelter brings not only expected visitors like flies, roaches, and ants, but also predatory bugs, such as spiders, sometimes even scorpions.
What might be more surprising, though, is that not only do bugs hang out in your garbage, they can thrive there, too. In other words, your trash and recycling might not just occasionally feed bugs, it could be the very source of your home’s pest problems, sustaining entire populations of hungry bugs hidden inside.
Solution: Taking your trash out often, switching to bins with sealable lids, and cleaning those bins weekly should take care of any trash or recycling-dwelling pests you might have.
You know what bugs enjoy almost as much as food and water? Clutter. And your junk drawer is crammed full of it. In addition to cleaning your junk drawers at least annually, check it periodically for signs of spiders, roaches, ants, silverfish, and other unwanted guests.
Solution: Do yourself a favor and just finally get around to cleaning out your junk drawers. Recycle or donate duplicate items and throw all those sauce packets and disposable utensils you should have dumped years ago. Keeping things organized and clean should do the trick.
Your dirty laundry and even clean piles of clothes could be concealing some unknown roommates. Carpet beetles, silverfish, firebrats, roaches, crickets, and moths commonly hide out in disorganized clothing and bedding. The scent of sweat, skin oils, spilled food and drinks attracts a wide array of interested insects, which can ultimately lead to hundreds of dollars of damage.
Solution: Stay up on your laundry and avoid piling clothes, bedding, and other textiles, even if they’re clean. Check fabrics for signs of bugs before storing them for the season and wash as needed. Using bags or bins with airtight seals should shield your clothing from pest damage during the offseason
Your electrical outlets and outlet covers might be hiding more than just wiring. Ants, several types of beetles, and more are known to take up residence in these surprising locations. Look for small wood shavings and other signs of subtle wall damage—these are common symptoms of infested outlets.
Solution: Remove any covers you suspect might be hiding pests, carefully clean out the space, and repair or replace parts as needed
Before bringing home any new plant babies, inspect them for signs of bugs, like webbing, eggs, larva, and of course any adult insects. Surprisingly, houseplants are a common avenue for bugs to enter our homes. It’s a smart practice to quarantine any new houseplant additions apart from your other plants for at least a month after bringing them home. Not only will this save your other plants in case the new one contains damaging bugs, but it will also make it easier to monitor it for any hidden pests.
Solution: Check out these quick reads on killing and repelling common houseplant pests:
This one gives us chills. Who would have thought that the cute stuffed animals we grew up sleeping and cuddling with might have been host to a whole range of yucky critters? Carpet beetles, silverfish, firebrats, roaches, crickets, spiders, moths—any of these could be hiding inside or on the outside of your favorite teddy bear.
Solution: Wash frequently used stuffed animals at least once every few weeks and apply family-safe Cedarcide Original repellent as needed.
New and old cardboard is a huge attractant for countless insects, arachnids, and other crawling things, including scorpions, crickets, silverfish, and roaches.
Solution: Make the switch to sealable plastic boxes or bins and you should be covered.
Emerging from eggs laid on clothing, furniture, and carpet, carpet beetle larvae can ruin a closetful of clothes in no time, especially natural items like wool, fur, mohair and more.
What to look for: Small beetles for adults (most commonly black or brown, sometimes multicolored), and small caterpillar-like larvae (usually brownish red, covered in fine hairs).
Infamous for leaving holes in clothing, moth larvae feed on wool, flannel, fur, and almost any other textile that’s dirty or recently used (sweat, food, skin oils, etc are all appetizing to these destructive pests).
What to look for: Whitish worm-like larvae with a hard outer shell, and very small white or gold-colored moths for adults.
Silverfish and Firebrats
These close relatives are both expert clothing destroyers, preferring starched items, natural fibers like rayon, silk, and cotton, and those stained with sugary food and drink.
What to look for: Silver wingless insects with carrot-shaped bodies about ¼ inch long.
While they don’t usually eat clothing on purpose, roaches are attracted to the sweat, and food spills that end up on our clothing. When consuming these items, they often create holes and stain fabrics with excrement.
Like roaches, crickets eat clothing stains not clothing itself. Small holes and tears, not to mention cricket poop, can easily lead to hundreds of dollars in damage in only a few weeks.
That means freshly cleaned, starch-free, and in a cool, dry place in tightly sealed containers or nylon bags (leather and fur items require breathable bags, such as cotton).
Regularly cleaning and vacuuming rugs, carpets, draperies, baseboards, furniture, and storage closets substantially lowers your risk of clothes-eating pests by removing eggs, larvae, and the debris they need to survive. Dispose of the bag when finished.
Hang freshly dried lavender or Cedar Granules inside of a stocking in your chosen storage area to protect against damaging bugs. A cedar-based spray like Cedarcide Original can also be used throughout the space to kill and repel.
For already infested items: try washing & drying them, freezing them for 48 hours, or treating them with a fabric-safe insecticide like Cedarcide Original.
Of all the pests people hate to see in their homes, cockroaches are right at the very top—and for good reason. While they don’t regularly bite or sting like other household pests—such as bed bugs, ants or fleas—roaches can be extremely bad for your health. In addition to worsening symptoms in asthma sufferers, roaches are known to carry over 50 different pathogens, including pneumonia, meningitis, salmonella, staphylococcus (staph infection) and streptococcus (strep throat). In other words, if you have roaches, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Roaches, however, can be very difficult to eliminate. It’s no accident they’ve existed for over 300 million years, predating even dinosaurs. Their unique ability to hide and to live off nearly any food source—from feces to glue to other dead roaches—has made roaches one of our planet’s most durable organisms. If you have a roach infestation, don’t worry, there’s no reason to panic. With patience, consistent effort and a little know-how, you can send these disgusting insects packing. Here are 10 ways to get rid of roaches naturally
The smallest crumbs and spills can feed a roach for weeks, even months. Cleanliness needs to be a top priority. Floors, counter tops, flooring, appliances, cabinetry, sinks, dishes, back splashes—your entire house needs to be clean and free of food debris at all times (don’t forget to clean behind appliances!). We find natural disinfecting wipes help speed up the cleaning process.
Roaches use clutter—especially stacks of paper—to both hide and breed. Every instance of clutter is a roach nest just waiting to happen. If you’re experiencing a roach infestation, you need to keep your home as clean and free of clutter as possible. As far as outside, wood piles, brush, yard clippings, moist mulch, lawn equipment and furniture are all possible roach homes, and should also be removed.
Leaving unsealed food out in the open is an easy way to invite roaches over for a meal. From leftovers to dry items like cereal, all the food in your home needs to be sealed. If you have an active roach infestation, this includes unexpected things like pet food and fruit bowls, too. Ziplock bags work, but hard plastic Tupperware-like containers are even better. Make sure the outside of your sealed containers are free of sticky residues and food debris, too. And always thoroughly wash and rinse bottles and cans before recycling them—roaches are attracted to any residual sugar, no matter how small the amount.
While roaches can sometimes go weeks to months without food, they can only go a few days without water. A single drop of water can sustain a roach for several days. So, successfully ridding your home of excess moisture is essential to eliminating a roach infestation. Never let water sit for prolonged periods of time, such as in sinks, potted plants, and pet dishes.
It’s also important to address the following areas of concern: leaking plumbing, sinks, bathtubs, basements, crawl spaces, A/C units, appliance drip trays, and attics. In the case of severe infestations, you might need to wipe down your shower and sinks regularly to avoid even the smallest sources of moisture (damp rags, towels and sponges should not be left out, either).
Trash cans are a buffet for roaches. To prevent and repel these pests, you’ll need to take out the trash daily. Trashcans should also remain firmly sealed at all times, and be cleaned regularly to limit food debris and other residues.
While necessary, weatherstripping windows and doors only goes so far. When it comes to roaches, you have to be diligent, and go even further—no crack, crevice or hole can go unsealed. In this regard, caulk is your best friend.
Indoors: fill any cracks/holes in cabinets, pantries, counter tops, piping, walls, ceilings, attics, crawl spaces, basements, under sinks, floorboards, and anywhere else roaches could enter your home. Outside: fill any cracks in foundations, roofing, and the exterior walls of your home. It’s advisable to use plugs or stoppers to seal drains, sinks and bathtubs when not in use, too.
A mixture of 30% peppermint oil to 70% water makes for a natural, non-toxic indoor roach repellent. Spray floors, counter tops, cabinets, window sills, doorways, and other problem areas to deter roaches. Cedar oil works, too.
Have catnip lying around? If so, you’re in luck: catnip is another natural roach repellent. In 1999, Researchers at Iowa State University discovered that catnip—specifically a chemical in catnip called nepetalactone—successfully repels roaches.
There are several easy but highly effective roach traps you can make at home. They all work on the same basic premise: (1) bait the bottom of a container (like a bottle) with something that will attract roaches (like sugar, fruit or bread), and (2) make sure to build the trap in such a way that roaches can easily enter the container, but not escape. This last feature can be done by lining the walls of the container with something slippery like petroleum jelly, or by creating a funnel at the top of the container. Place these traps in high traffic roach areas and leave them overnight. Continue this approach until you no longer capture additional roaches.
Many experts advocate using a boric acid mixture to bait and kill roaches. While this approach is effective, it also poses health risks to pets and children. To avoid these risks, we advise using a 50/50 natural mixture of baking soda and sugar. Thoroughly mix the two ingredients and sprinkle the bait around roach problem areas and suspected entrance points—like windowsills, baseboards and doorways. Continue using this method until your roach infestation disappears.