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How to get rid of roaches with household items

Updated February 21, 2017

Roaches, or cockroaches, are repulsive to many people. Even worse, roaches are capable of transmitting disease organisms, including bacteria which cause food poisoning and allergies. Roaches live in large groups; thus, if you spot a single roach, chances are good that there are more hiding in your home. Hiring an exterminator to get rid of the roaches can be expensive, so before you pick up the phone, try to get rid of these home invaders with household items yourself.

Make your home less habitable to cockroaches. Cockroaches prefer areas with food, warmth and moisture. While there isn't too much you can do about warmth unless you want to live in the cold, you can reduce moisture level by opening your home's windows and running a dehumidifier. Additionally, clean up any food spills as they happen and seal open food containers, such as bags of chips.

Fill a glass jar with coffee grounds and a little bit of water and place the jar against the wall. Roaches will be attracted to the scent of the coffee grounds and once they fall in the jar, the water and glass surface will prevent them from climbing out.

Spray an insecticide around your home. Many people have a form of insecticide, which comes in aerosol-powered spray cans, in their homes. Insecticide will kill roaches on contact. To use, either spray the roaches directly or spray a surface and wait for the roaches to crawl over it. Keep in mind that insecticides are toxic and can be harmful to pets and humans.

Spray the roaches with boric acid, an acid found in borax, as well as in some insecticides, cosmetics and laundry detergents (check the ingredients list). Boric acid will abrade a roach's exoskeleton and cause it to dehydrate and die.

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About the Author

Thomas King is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he served as managing editor of the "Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law." He currently lives in Aberdeen, Washington where he writes and practices law.