Organic and Natural Roach Killer and Repellent

There are plenty of commercial products in the market that can help reduce a roach infestation, but these products often contain ingredients that are harmful to you, your pet and your family.

In light of this situation, we would like to introduce some natural and organic methods that will also be effective in getting rid of these pesky pests. While some of these natural roach killers may require repeated use, they can surely help in getting your battle with roaches.

>> Table of all methods

Do You Have Roach Infestation at Home?

Before diving in, we thought it will be useful to provide a quick checklist on the signals to help detect roach infestation at home.

The following are a few signs to help detect a roach infestation:

  • Shell casings of hatched eggs of roaches are usually spotted.
  • Cockroach faeces resembling ground coffee or black pepper will be visible.
  • A serious infestation may cause a pungent, musty odour.
  • Dead cockroaches may be visible from time to time.
  • Roaches can be heard scurrying about at night.

1) Kaffir Lime Essential Oil

Commonly used to calm and soothe the nerves, the Kaffir lime oil is also effective repelling against roaches.

Kaffir lime essential oil is obtained via steam distillation of the leaves. Studies has shown that this essential oil showed the best results repelling against the American and German roach species.

How to use

  • Add 8 to 10 drops of kaffir oil to 2 cups of water.
  • Pour the contents into a spray bottle
  • Apply to areas where roaches are commonly sighted at home
  • Remaining solution can be used around drains and sinks
  • Repeat where needed

Side note: Other essential oils such as peppermint and tea tree also have insect repellent properties.

Pro-tip: Mint oil is another natural and non-toxic way of keeping roaches away over time. Using the same method, spray Mint oil directly at the pests or in sinks and corners of your kitchen and bathrooms where roaches are more likely to settle (Mint oil is a main ingredient in many non-poisonous roach sprays).

2) Fabric Softener

A common household product, the fabric softener is also a weapon against roaches.

As the roaches breathe through the skin, they are suffocated when the soapy solution comes into contact with their body.

How to use

  • Mix equal amounts of fabric softener and water
  • Pour mixture into a spray bottle
  • It is most effective when you spray the solution on the roaches directly
  • Repeat if needed

3) Ammonia Solution

Ammonia solution, although gives off strong pungent smell, is very useful in warding off roaches (precisely because of the smell).

It’s an ideal solution for eliminating cockroaches hiding in the sink and drain pipe areas.

How to use

  • Add a full cup of ammonia in a bucket of water
  • Flush mixture down the sinks to cleanse the pipes

4) Moth Balls

Moth balls are a common option to rid household pests.

How to use

  • Place a few in wardrobes and cupboards and possible areas of nesting. Keep these away from kids as they are potential health hazards.

[May & Judy: We always buy individual mothball packets and place them in the wardrobe. They work wonders in getting rid of pest commonly found these.]

5) Listerine

Listerine makes a surprise appearance in this list.

The antiseptic properties in Listerine make them a good roach repellent. However, this can also be used to prevent the appearance of cockroaches.

How to use

  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle and dilute with water and spray at potential nesting areas.

6) Cedar

Cedar (a common spice) comes in various forms such as balls, chips and blocks. Besides enhancing food flavours, cedar is used to line cupboards and wardrobes to keep the pests away.

Cedar has been used as a natural deterrent for bugs for many years. The oils in cedar wooden are a successful natural deterrent for a host of bugs.

Organic cedar oil formula has gained increasing popularity and respect in the pest control and organic farming communities.

7) Petroleum Jelly Trap

Petroleum jelly is given a new purpose as a trap for these pesky pests.

The whole idea of this trap is that the roaches will climb in for the food but will be trapped in, unable to escape because of the petroleum.

How to set up

  • Place bait (i.e. fruit peels, food crumbs) inside a wide mouthed jar
  • Rub the petroleum jelly around the inner edge of the jar
  • Leave the jar overnight at places accessible to roaches
  • Roaches will be attracted to the food bait and fall into the jar but will have trouble escaping because of the slippery petroleum jelly
  • Kill any captured roaches manually, and throw them in the dustbin

8) Bleach

Bleach is one of the most common disinfectants used in the house.

How to use

  • Mix bleach with water and pour it down sinks and toilets

The solution will prevent incoming roaches hiding in the comforts pipes, sinks and sewers.

9) Lemon

Adding on to the many useful properties that lemons boast, it’s natural anti-pathogenic properties keeps the pests at bay.

Roaches are repelled by the citrusy smell and you will be left with a fresh and clean smelling apartment.

How to use

  • Simply add lemon juice to the water and use it to mop the floors

10) Pepper, Garlic & Onion solution

Pepper, garlic and onions may seem like ordinary condiments but when mixed together, you get a potent powerful mixture to defend against pests.

How to prepare and use

  • Add one tablespoon of pepper, one clove of garlic and half an onion with a litre of water
  • Use water to mop the floors or clean countertops and cabinets

Tip: For better consistency, add some soap into the mixture.

11) Catnip

Non-toxic to humans and pets alike, the active ingredient present, nepetalactone gets rid of the pests.

Fun-fact: Catnip is a type of herb that is commonly used as a treat for cats as they find the scent and taste appealing and pleasurable – Hence it’s named, Catnip [source].

How to use

  • Put a few catnip leaves in small sachets or like an empty tea bag.
  • Place in areas where cockroaches are commonly sighted.
  • Replace with fresh leaves after a few days to a week.
  • Repeat if needed.


  • Simmer 1 tablespoon of catnip leaves in 2 cups of water for 5 min. Strain and allow to cool.
  • Spray solution on anywhere where roaches are likely to be active at night (i.e kitchen cabinets, behind counters).

12) EcoSMART Organic Ant and Roach Killer Spray

How the EcoSMART Roach Spray Works?

It uses a blend of essential plant oils blocks neural pathways in insects (known as Octopamine receptor), resulting in immediate “knock-down”.

Another feature of EcoSMART’s botanical formulas is the strong repellent characteristics that keeps new pests out of the treated area.

Mammals, birds and fish do not have receptors for Octopamine, hence the pesticides in this spray have no adverse effect on them.

  • 100% organic insecticide
  • Completely safe to use around children and pets
  • Non-toxic will not contaminate ground water supplies
  • Kills roaches, pill bugs, ants, silverfish & other pests
  • Safe for use inside the home
  • Strong and lasting smell that not everyone will like
  • Not strong enough for bigger roaches

13) Eco-Defense Organic Home Pest Control Spray

Similar to the EcoSMART spray, the Eco-Defense Roach Spray is also uses oil essential and hence can be quite strong in its scent.

  • Safe to use around children and pets
  • Contains Natural, Organic, and Non-Toxic ingredients so can be used as often as needed and wherever needed
  • 60 Day 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • Kills and repels common household bugs
  • Let off strong oil smell
  • Slightly over priced
  • Not strong enough for bigger roaches

Other Natural/Organic Methods

  • Baking Soda/Baking Powder
  • Borax and Sugar
  • Neem oil or powder
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Pandan Leaves & Bay Leaves
  • Cucumber

Do check out this pet safe roach killer methods article for details of these.

You can also try your hands on making your own roach trap or grab hold of one of these bad boys and have some fun out of this annoying pest situation…

Bug-A-Salt 2.0 Insect Eradication Gun

You can click here to read our in-depth: Bug-a-salt gun review

Basically, it’s an insect gun that shoots a spray of regular table salt and takes down roaches on contact.

The product was designed to shoot flies but works almost any pest you come across.

Be warned though…..

As soon as we took down the first fly, we can’t stop playing with it. At one point, we actually hoped more flies will come.

  • 80 Shots with each reload
  • No need for batteries
  • 90-day warranty (with proof of purchase authorised seller)
  • Texturized Handgrip for non-slip cocking
  • Item is not on really cheap
  • Doesn’t kill the pest on the spot
  • Once start, it’s difficult to stop (seriously)

Definitely a fun way to enjoy a disgusting task. Or simply get your kids to do it.

>> Read our in-depth Bug-a-salt gun review here

Also, check out this cheaper alternative:

After getting rid of the roaches, you might wish to try these natural roach repellent to keep them away:

Cut off Their Food Supply

The simplest and most straightforward way to get rid of roaches is to cut off their source of livelihood – their food supply. Cockroaches are not able to survive without food and water for more than a week.

It is hard to completely deprive them of food, but limiting the supply will make it definitely help make other methods succeed and prevent roaches to risk their lives in pursuit of food.

Here are a few ways:

  • Store edible items in sealed and airtight containers
  • Raw vegetables and fruits should be stored in the refrigerator
  • Dining tables, counters and stovetops should be kept clean and free of food crumbs
  • Be diligent in washing your dishes after meals (no dirty dishes overnight)
  • No open food should be left out overnight (including pet food)
  • Keep garbage bins covered (even in the garden)
  • Store your cooking pots upside down (dry them using a towel instead of leaving them to dry)
  • Keep cabinet shelves and drawers dry and closed when not in use

Keep Your House Clean

Make necessary efforts to keep your house clean to prevent the intruders from taking up residence (i.e kitchen and bathroom).

Here’s a quick checklist

  • Keep your kitchen and bathroom as dry as possible
  • Fix all the leaks in your bathroom and kitchen
  • Remove wood piles around the house (or place roach insecticides)
  • Clear out trash cans from your yard
  • Use dehumidifier in the house (especially if you seldom switch on the air conditions)
  • Install screens on the windows
  • Vacuum the house once a week (focus on cleaning around furniture and cabinets)
  • Remove clutter in the store room, from cabinets and other possible breeding places
  • Get rid of stacks of paper bags and cardboard boxes in open areas
  • Check insulation around motors and clean them regularly.
  • Always keep a trash can with a lid in the bathroom as well as garden area, and empty them daily.
  • Seal up any cracks in the walls, cupboards and cabinets.
  • Screen out or seal up sink outlets and pipes.
  • Vacuum, sweep or mop regularly.
  • Take out garbage trash & clear dustbins at the end of each day.
  • Cover trash cans with lids.

Over to You

Which of these methods have you personally tried? Which works for you or does not?

Feel free to share in the comment section yeah.