How to get rid of oriental cockroaches.

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches Naturally (Home Remedies)

So, you need to get rid of oriental cockroaches that are freaking you out every time you switch on the kitchen lights.

They’re fast as lightning and scurry away in a flash.

They carry diseases like E. coli and salmonella (all over your kitchen utensils).

And they bite!

Why do they exist again?

In this guide, we’ll talk about:

  • How to identify an Oriental cockroach
  • Why you have them in your home and garden
  • What they eat
  • Where they’re hiding
  • What they’re attracted to
  • How to get rid of them naturally
  • Ways to keep oriental roaches out of your home for good
  • And more

Bookmark this guide for easy reference. It’s detailed and quite a read.

And feel free to ask me any questions you may have- just post a comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Sound good? Let’s get those cockroaches outta here so you can sleep restfully.

What’s an Oriental cockroach?

Oriental cockroach macro shot male vs. female.
These roaches are slightly smaller than American ones.

Oriental cockroaches, or Blatta orientalis, are a species of cockroaches that are commonly found in human dwellings throughout the US, England, Europe, Australia, South America, and even Israel.

They’re thought to have come from Russian or African origins.

Similar to American and German variants, oriental roaches are known to infest homes and contaminate food. They’re carriers of disease, pathogens, worms, and bacteria like e. Coli and salmonella and can transfer these diseases to humans.

Oriental roach vs. American/German

These are considered to be a large cockroach species, with males reaching up to 29mm and females up to 27mm.

They can squeeze through crack and crevices smaller than ⅛ of an inch, so these baddies will find their way into kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, garages, basements, and even your bed at night!

They’re often called water bugs because they like damp and dark places. You can commonly find oriental roaches in drains, sewers, basements, porches, bushes, mulch, and under leaf cover.

They can swim, scatter, and disappear in an instant.

By the time you reach for the bug spray, they’ll be gone into hiding.

These roaches are much smaller compared to other species and exhibit more color variations.

But that doesn’t mean they’re any easier to deal with. An infestation of these roaches provides to be annoying and difficult to handle.

But with patience and persistence, you can help reduce their numbers with DIY home remedies using natural means.

Other names

Oriental roaches have a host of other aliases:

  • Black beetle
  • Waterbug
  • “Small” roach
  • Black cockroach


Oriental roaches vary. The males and females exhibit sexual dimorphism which makes it easy to tell them apart.

Oriental roaches are also very different from American and German ones. They have a lot more color variation, habitat, and travel slower than their counterparts.

Male adults are about 20-25mm in length with long antennae and six legs. They have three quarter length wings with an exposed abdomen in the rear.

Their exoskeleton is shiny and lustrous with a dark red coloration. The legs are noticeably spiny with a pair of powerful hindquarters.

Females are slightly larger. They’re about 26-27mm in length at full size.

Females have no wings, but they do have wing pads over their first few body segments. This is one way you can tell the difference between male and female roaches.

Similar to the males, the female oriental roaches have dark red coloration with a shiny coat. They have rudimentary wings and they fold like a fan.

Although both males and females have wings, they can’t fly.

What do the baby roaches look like?

The nymphs are exactly the same as the adults, but miniature versions. They also don’t have fully developed wings, smaller antennae, and lighter colors.

Otherwise, they’ll complete multiple molts. Each molt makes them bigger and closer to color as an adult roach.

How to identify an Oriental roach

Oriental roaches are easy to identify and tell apart from their counterparts.

You can spot an oriental cockroach by color, size, environment, and luster.

They’re considered to be a large roach, but not as big as American roaches (which are up to 40mm in length).

You can tell the difference based on these characteristics:

  • Oriental roaches prefer wet, humid, and dark environments
  • They’re smaller than American roaches but bigger than German ones
  • They have a dark coloration with a red hue
  • Oriental cockroaches have a noticeable shine to their coat
  • They can’t fly or jump any distance

They rarely climb any surface and usually only stay on the first level of apartments, condos, townhouses, homes, or any other property

Some people are used to the giant palmetto bugs that when they see an oriental roach, they think of it as a “black cockroach looking bug” when in reality it is a roach.

What does Oriental cockroach poop look like?

Their feces look like any other roach poop.

Expect to see small, solid, cylinder-shaped feces. The size is about a small grain of rice. Larger roaches like American and oriental drop larger feces. Smaller roaches like germans drop speckles, which look like pepper bits.

The poop is always dark in color and may appear as smears or even stains. You may find oriental roach poop along your baseboards, cabinets, drawers, walls, tiles, and under sink cabinets.

To clean them, use a powerful disinfectant like half bleach half water, rubbing alcohol, or soap and water.

Be sure to wear all protective gear like gloves, goggles, and sleeves. Read all labels and exercise proper cleaning procedures.

Oriental cockroach life cycle

The lifecycle of the oriental cockroach proves to be basic and similar to any other roach.

After a male and female mate, the female’s eggs within her egg capsule (ootheca) are fertile.

Egg cases and depositing ootheca

A female can produce up to 8 egg cases throughout her entire lifetime.

Each capsule has approximately 16 eggs that are neatly organized in pairs. The egg case is carried by the female anywhere from 1-5 days depending on environmental conditions.

She then despots the ootheca in a warm area with high humidity and abandons it. The nymphs hatch and begin feeding.

Nymphs emerge and feed

They go through seven molts, each which makes them successively larger and changes their overall appearance. This takes about a year for them to fully mature to adult size.

Why do we attract cockroaches?

You attract roaches because they want three things:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter

As with most other pests, roaches will find their way into your home to seek out these needs.

Roaches have coexisted with humans for many, many years, and will continue to do so.

They’re experts at sneaking into homes and getting through cracks and crevices.

With their amazing sense of smell, they can detect the faintest scents stemming from your garbage can in your kitchen.

Human civilization provides them with everything they need to survive. Your home has thousands of potential hiding places for roaches to build a nest.

Your bathroom sinks, toilet, tubs, and humidity provides them with a source of water to keep them hydrated.

And your food particles, trash, and disposal provide them with an endless source of food. Why else wouldn’t they be attracted to your house?

Do Oriental cockroaches infest homes?

Like most other roach species, oriental roaches will definitely infest your home if given the chance.

They’re similar to American cockroaches which tend to hide out in areas that are cool, dark, and have a plentiful water source.

Their natural environment where they’re found is outside with plenty of cover (debris, sewers, drains, plant foliage, bark, wood, etc.).

But they exist where humans exist because homes offer them everything they need. We give them food from our table scraps. We give them water from our sinks and showers. And we give them a place to hide from predators and breed.

So it’s no surprise that once they get inside your house, they establish a nest and begin infesting it.

Oriental roaches will hide out in lower floors of apartments or the first story of homes. But they can still climb to the second floor, so you’re not really safe from them.

What do Oriental roaches eat?

Oriental roaches eating out of the sewer.
Oriental roaches eat sewage, debris, and detritus.

Oriental cockroaches aren’t picky and are scavengers. They’ll eat anything and everything that they can scour from your home- even the things you’d never expect.

Typically, decaying matter is their delicacy and this is what makes them dangerous. Because they hang out near organic matter that’s often littered with bacteria and viruses, they can transmit these to you and your family.

Some of the most common foods oriental roaches eat include garbage, sewage, waste products, leftover food, decaying matter, fungus, sugar, meats, sweets, starches, hair, books, paper, cardboard, dead bugs, soft leather, human fingernails, glue, bread, potatoes, pasta, wallpaper, glue, soap, cereals, grains, wheat, dry goods, soda, candy, fecal matter, urine, pet food, cat litter, coffee grounds, fruit, vegetables, eggs, cheese, grease, and even other roaches.

Pretty much ANYTHING they can eat, they will. And the same goes for liquids- they’ll drink water, alcohol, coffee, and everything in between.

When are they most active?

Cockroaches have a very predictable life cycle and emerge in huge numbers during the summer.

Their mating, egg-laying, and hatching times depending on environmental conditions- especially temperature.

When summertime heat comes around, it’s cockroach season.

You’ll see them out and about much more frequently than the rest of the year (even though roaches are still active in the fall, winter, and spring).

The summer brings more roaches out because they’re searching for water from the extreme heat.

And they start to infest your home because they’re seeking shelter somewhere cooler from the outside elements. This is why you often see oriental roaches during the summertime.

Where do Oriental roaches hide?

Oriental roaches aren’t picky about their nesting site and will hide anywhere that’s near a water source.

All they need is some kind of crack or crevice that makes them feel comfortable. These pests feel safe only when both their dorsal (top side) and ventral (bottom side) are touching a surface.

The roach by design is pretty much flat. They can squeeze right into tiny spaces even as small as ⅛ of an inch! Don’t be deceived by their size.

These things can and will squeeze their bodies to get into the smallest of cracks, drawers, and cabinets you never thought possible.

Don’t ever think a roach can’t get in there, because they probably can- and already have!

Here are some of the most common hiding places oriental roaches nest:

  • Toilets
  • Bathtubs
  • Sinks
  • Basements
  • Cellars
  • Garages
  • Attics
  • Kitchen cabinets and drawers and cupboards
  • Radiators
  • Around or under laundry machines or kitchen appliances
  • Plumbing
  • Recycle bins
  • Trash cans
  • Compost bins
  • Waste disposal
  • Service ducts
  • Crawl spaces
  • Vents
  • Between soil and home foundation
  • Under sidewalks

Are Oriental roaches bad?

A bacteria macro shot.
Cockroaches can transmit bacteria and viruses to humans.

Any roach is bad. Oriental roaches will hide in your home and infest it and establish a nest. They’ll scour your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and living room for food and water.

They’ll mate and lay eggs all over your house. And they’ll carry bacteria and viruses all over the surfaces in your house.

No matter what species you’re dealing with, you should NEVER ignore roach infestations. They proliferate and will breed if given the opportunity.

Once you notice an oriental roach, you likely have hundreds more. You need to assess the situation and think of a plan ASAP to get rid of them.

Do Oriental roaches bite?

Yes, oriental roaches bite. But it’s not the bite you should be worried about- it’s the chance of getting it infected.

Roaches are extremely dirty by nature and are often ridden with bacteria, viruses, germs, and other nasties you definitely do NOT want to get inside a bite. If you get bitten by an oriental roach, take the proper steps to disinfect and clean the wound.

The bite will usually produce a welt that’s reddish and goes away on its own over time.

But you need to properly clean and sanitize the wound as soon as you notice it. If you get bitten at night when you sleep, clean it out in the morning.

Are oriental cockroaches harmful?

Other than the possibility of being bitten, oriental roaches’ greatest threat is the spreading of germs through contact with food and surfaces.

These roaches foraging your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, garage, basement, and living room bring the possibility of bacterial or viral contamination.

Cockroaches have been observed to be carriers of different diseases, such as:

  • Salmonella
  • E. coli
  • Dysentery
  • Food poisoning

Can you imagine them crawling over your food utensils, plates, blender, coffee maker, and countertops?


Thus, you should get rid of them as soon as you notice them.

Oriental cockroaches aren’t as difficult to remove as German roaches, but you should still act quickly. Assess the situation.

Draw up a treatment plan to control and eradicate them from your property. And then set up barriers, traps, and repellents to keep them away forever.

We’ll cover all these critical details later in this guide.

Do Oriental roaches fly?

Cockroach in a small bowl killed by boric acid.
No, they can’t fly even though they have wings. (By gailhampshire, CC BY 2.0.)

Oriental cockroaches are NOT capable of flight.

Both males and females have a pair of wings, however, they’re not usable and this renders them land borne pests.

Although oriental cockroaches differ in appearance (from orange, black, brown, and silver) and have many different sizes and wingspans, they still can’t fly. If you spot a flying roach, it’s likely to be a German or American one.

Can Oriental cockroaches climb walls?

Oriental roaches are capable of climbing rough or jagged surfaces that allow them to use their tiny feet to climb.

Their small size and overall weight allow them to easily climb up any surfaces that allow them to get proper footing- this includes vertical walls and surfaces.

However, they can’t climb anything that’s smooth, like stainless steel, metal, or polished wood and furniture. This is why you need a smooth bed frame!

These roaches are smart and are fully aware of their poor climbing ability.

So they tend to avoid walls and ceilings because they can easily fall. With no ability to fly or climb, oriental roaches will run away and scamper.

Can Oriental cockroaches come out of toilets?

Oriental roaches will hang out in the toilet in search of feces or urine remnants to consume. They also feed off of the tiny spores of bacteria that may stick on the edge of the toilet bowl.

And they may drink the water in the toilet as a source of hydration.

Thus, it’s possible for a roach to come out of the toilet- especially when you’re on it and startle them. If you have a serious oriental roach problem, you should leave the toilet seat up to make sure they’re not hiding under it before you use it

Can Oriental cockroaches jump?

No, all cockroaches are not capable of jumping.

There is only one species that can “jump.” And even then, people doubt the “jump” is more than a “leap.” That’s why they call it the “leaproach” which has the ability to jump short distances.

However, American, German, and oriental roaches can’t jump.

They do have powerful arms and legs that allow them to scatter away in a jiffy when threatened or alarmed, but they can’t jump any amount of distance.

You’d think they can make great leaps with those legs that let them climb walls and even hang upside down on the ceiling and drop down with perfect landing. But thankfully, they can’t use them to jump.

Can Oriental cockroaches swim?

Some roaches can swim, but it’s not the “swimming” we’re used to.

Roaches rather “float” on the surface tension of water using their low-density bodies as a buoy. They can paddle themselves around bodies of water like your toilet, sink, bathtub, etc.

Don’t expect to drown a roach because they’ll float and can hold their breath for a very, very long time.

Roaches can even come up through drains, toilets, and showers to enter your property.

Can you flush an Oriental cockroach?

Sure, you can flush a cockroach. But that probably won’t kill it.

Did you know that roaches can stay underwater for up to 40 minutes before they suffocate? This gives them plenty of time to crawl right back out of that toilet, especially if you have poor drainage or low flow toilets.

They can also escape leaky drainage and get right back to their nest. If you plan to flush the roach, make sure you killed it completely before you do so.

Should you squish a roach?

Oriental cockroach eating.
Don’t squish them. They leave behind a scent that attracts others. (By Matt Reinbold, CC BY 2.0.)

There’s a tale that if you crush a roach, it releases all the eggs from the ootheca (a bundle of eggs the female carries around).

And this will then produce more cockroaches, similar to how spiders release their eggs when threatened.

However, this is not always true. Squishing the roach will kill the carrier and the cockroach eggs when squashed.

Although oriental roaches deposit their eggs all over the home on various surfaces by sticking them onto them, they don’t release the eggs when squashed. So don’t be afraid to smash that thing with a shoe.

However, you should avoid crushing them because others will come feed on the fallen comrade.

Do Oriental cockroaches smell?

Oriental roaches have a very pungent and powerful aroma.

You can tell whether or not there’s roach activity just by smelling the musty, foul odor that they emit. This scent is one of the smelliest of all pest species you’ll ever encounter.

They smell like a sweet, musty odor that’s like soy sauce mixed with feces. It’s hard to describe, but once you smell a urine stench coming from your walls, then you can be sure it’s gotta be the roaches.

Are Oriental cockroaches hard to get rid of?

Oriental roaches are considered to be difficult to fully eliminate. Like any other cockroach species, if you see one, you have hundreds hiding somewhere on your property.

Oriental roaches have everything they need to survive in your home- which really just comes down to food, water, and shelter.

Since roaches have evolved to thrive in a variety of conditions, they’re really not picky and can live off scraps and droplets of water for many years.

These pests will require you to be extremely patient and consistent with your home remedy to fully get rid of them.

However, you may hit the nail on the head and find an effective natural technique that works right away and seemingly get rid of them overnight.

A single roach you find in your house is almost always a sure sign of an infestation that there are more roaches. This could be inside or outside your house.

Or somewhere nearby (neighbor, dumpster, waste disposal, sewer, community drain, etc.). Whatever the case, you need to take action and start a pest control plan.

How to get rid of Oriental cockroaches naturally

Oriental roach crawling on some wood.
These roaches can be controlled by various means. (By Katja Schulz, CC BY 2.0.)

Here are some DIY home remedies you can use to get rid of oriental roaches from your home and garden.

Try a few of them out. Not all of them will work 100% of the time. I suggest you use multiple simultaneously to see what works and what doesn’t.

The best way to get rid of them is to try out multiple techniques simultaneously (2-3). Combine a roach killer, roach trap, and roach repellent all running at the same time. Then swap out the ones that don’t work for something that does.

There is no single “best” solution. Try a few of them out. See what works for you until you find the combination that kills them all.

Most of them are natural, but even with organic approaches, you should still be careful with pets and people around the home.

Does vinegar kill oriental cockroaches?

Vinegar doesn’t kill oriental roaches. But it can make an excellent repellent. The strong, acidic odor from vinegar has a residual effect that lasts for days after you apply it.

So you can use it as a DIY cleaning agent to clean up your household surfaces that cockroaches have walked or climbed on.

Vinegar can kill a host of bacteria and viruses that roaches leave behind.

And it has the potential to keep them away after you spray it. You can even heat up vinegar to at least 130 degrees F, which then can even kill salmonella in under a minute.

Remember to use proper cleaning and disinfection techniques when you spray vinegar. Proper wiping, dwell time, and using “one and done” cleaning materials matter.

Does bleach kill cockroaches?

Yes, bleach can be used to kill oriental roaches.

Bleach is the universal disinfectant and can be used to make a DIY roach killer. The problem with using bleach is that it’s dangerous to go spraying around the home carelessly.

Bleach is dangerous and harmful to humans and pets by nature, so whether or not you should use it is up to your due diligence.

Note that roaches can escape the bleach solution and crawl into a crack until you leave. Now you have a roach running around leaving traces of bleach around your kitchen. That’s no good.

Bleach kills roaches by ingestion. This means they need to drink the solution for it to kill them.

Simply spraying it on the roach will only irritate it and force it to run away and take cover.

Using a ton of bleach will probably blind it and kill it, but that’s not practical in an everyday encounter with a roach.

You’re not going to grab a gallon of bleach and pour it on the roach without damaging the surrounding furniture, electronics, or wood. That’s just not a practical solution.

So the problem is that bleach needs to be drunk for the roach to die. You need to force the roach to drink it in the first place.

This means you need to mix the bleach with water to dilute it and hope that the roach will drink from it. It’s hard to make them fall for it because they’ll avoid the pungent chemical odor that naturally is bleach.

Plus, they may not be killed from it and then carry it all over your home. This is why I suggest avoiding bleach and looking for other natural and safer alternatives to get rid of oriental roaches.

If you decide to use it to kill them, wear PPE when making the bleach solution/spray- however you decide to use it.

You can spray bleach/water and hope they drink the droplets.

Or you can pour the solution into a bottle cap and let them drink from the cap. Whatever you do, protect yourself and keep pets and people out of the area. Use as directed. Read the label.

Sugar and baking soda

Baking soda and sugar roach killer.
Baking soda mixed with sugar can be a deadly remedy for oriental roaches.

Sugar and baking soda can be used together as a lethal combo to kill roaches. It’s a natural solution that can be used around food prep areas like your kitchen.

Mix equal parts sugar and baking soda and put it into a container like a small bottle cap. Place the trap where you suspect roaches to be active. The roaches are attracted to the sugar.

Once they eat it, the baking soda kills them by creating a chemical chain reaction. The baking soda produces a gas that has them explode inside out.

This doesn’t work all the time, but it’s worth a try if you want to use only natural means to get rid of the oriental cockroaches.

Soapy water

Soapy water can be an effective and cheap way to make your own DIY roach killer. Use 2 tablespoons of dish soap (Dawn or any generic brand) and mix it with a quart of water.

Stir until the suds form and pour the solution into a spray bottle. When you come across a roach, you can spray it down with the soap water, and eventually, it’ll drown.

This method does take a long time to actually kill the roach, so while it works, I wouldn’t recommend it unless the roach is trapped and you’re just afraid to smush it. If you try to spray down a running roach with soap water, you’ll have a tough time to kill it.

Rubbing alcohol

Out of all the different techniques on this entire list, I can personally say that rubbing alcohol kills cockroaches.

Let me tell you a story:

It’s one of the few sprays that kill roaches “instantly” but only after you spray enough.

I had an encounter with an American roach in my bathroom and all I had in my vicinity was a small spray bottle filled halfway with 70% rubbing alcohol. I quickly grabbed it while keeping vision on the roach- making sure it didn’t scurry behind the toilet or into the drawers.

Then I took the bottle, aimed, and went to town.

At first, the roach quickly reacted and ran the opposite direction- right into the bathroom’s edge of the tub. I continued unleashing the alcohol in quick triggers of a spritz flurry, which quickly filled the room with that familiar scent.

The roach was trapped against the tub and started to break down. At first, it didn’t seem to care and tried to escape.

But it got slower and slower like it was walking in quicksand. Then after about a dozen sprays, it really started to stay in place. I sprayed directly on top of the roach, then the sides. It was lying in a puddle of alcohol and finally keeled over about a few minutes in. then it went down the toilet.

I can personally attest that isopropyl alcohol can be used to kill roaches. But you’ll need a lot of it.

And it’s not always practical, just like bleach. Should you use rubbing alcohol as the first line of defense against oriental roaches? No.

But can you use it to kill them? Yes.

Make flour and boric acid (roach bait balls)

Flour can be combined with bait with boric acid to kill roaches.

You can make a “roach paste” that you can stick around your home and fill cracks/crevices to keep roaches out. The nice part about this is that it’s much safer than using chemical killers.

And the paste can be rolled into “roach balls” to place around the home.

Here’s how to make it.

What you’ll need:

  • Boric acid
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Small bowl
  • Stirrer

How to make it:

  • Mix equal parts boric acid and flour together and stir in the bowl.
  • Then add a bit of sugar to the mix to further attract roaches (use 1:4 the amount of flour).
  • After that, add the water until the mixture starts to become pasty. But stop right before it becomes runny. If you added too much water, add more flour and boric acid to even it out.
  • Let it dry out for a few minutes.

How to use it:

  • Roll the paste into “bait balls” to the desired size.
  • Place them in areas with roach activity (under appliances, within cracks/crevices, outside, under door gaps, behind wallpaper, in the kitchen and bathroom, behind furniture, cupboards and cabinets, drawers, etc.)
  • Check on the bait every now and then to see if they’re being eaten.
  • Make more when needed.
  • The bait balls work by luring the roaches to them. They eat the flour and boric acid, which then will kill them. The other roaches feed on the dead roach in the nest, which then eradicates the entire nest.
  • You can add onion to the mixture to enhance the attractiveness of the trap.
  • Keep the bait away from pets and people.
  • Wear PPE when making the bait balls.

Seal up your home to keep oriental roaches out

Caulk gun blocking off a roach entry point.
Caulk your home and block off pests from getting through your exterior.

As with any pest prevention measure, keeping your home sealed up against the outdoors is key to stopping further pests from coming in.

You need to do a thorough inspection of your property and check for areas with damage, openings, or other means for roaches to travel into your house.

Either replace, seal, or block potential entry points.

Because this is a detailed project, you may want to hire the help of a home inspector to catch anything you may miss. This also depends on how well maintained your house is overall.

Regardless, here are some common areas you’ll want to seal from bugs:

  • Seal up foundation cracks
  • Fix torn door screens
  • Replace peeling wallpaper
  • Block door gaps
  • Secure the balcony from pests
  • Caulk around plumbing outlets
  • Replace any damaged doors, dryer events, and windows
  • Caulk structural cracks
  • Seal or cap drain traps
  • Fix chimney damage
  • Fix roofing damage
  • Caulk sidewalk cracks and crevices
  • Block the entrance to water readers or meters

Does boric acid kill Oriental cockroaches?

Boric acid is the number one home remedy to get rid of roaches.

This stuff is a fine white powder that can be dusted around areas with high roach activity. The way it works is by dehydration.

When roaches contact the boric acid, the powder sticks to their fine legs, abdomen, and antenna (which they use to smell as their primary means of navigation).

Roaches “clean” themselves by grooming every few minutes. They clean their antenna because they’re critical for them to seek out potential food and danger.

When they clean themselves, they ingest the boric acid. Once inside their digestive tract, the fine crystals cut up their entrails and they leak out precious water.

Over time, the roach dehydrates and dies. When other roaches cannibalize dead ones, they also ingest the crystals. So it’s a cycle that works in your favor.

If you’ve read any guides online, you’ve probably seen boric acid mentioned a few times. This stuff works and is effective.

Plus, it’s much safer than spraying down your home with poisons that leave behind nasty residues- especially if you have pets and other people.

Boric acid can be purchased at your local hardware store for cheap.

You can get a box or bottle for a few bucks, which should be enough to treat your home multiple times over. Make sure it’s pure boric acid without additives.

The next step is to use a duster or bellows to dust your home. Use the boric acid and slowly dust your home in areas where the oriental cockroaches are active.

The KEY is to dust a VERY FINE amount of powder. You should barely be able to see it after you dust.

Avoid using lots of boric acid in any one area because this will have the opposite effect. The roach will learn to avoid it rather than walk through it.

Here are some common areas to dust with boric acid:

  • Baseboards
  • Under-sink cabinets
  • Drawers
  • Sinks
  • Showers
  • Around drains
  • Cupboards
  • Basements
  • Garages
  • Attics
  • The outside perimeter of your home
  • Around trash cans and litter boxes
  • Corners of rooms
  • Crawl spaces

Pretty much dust anywhere you see roaches. They’ll carry the powder back to the nest where they’ll eventually dehydrate and also kill the rest of nestmates.

After applying, monitor for pest activity. Roaches will leave behind a trace of themselves over the powder.

So you’ll be able to see a disturbed section of power, which can be confirmation that a roach walked through it. You can use boric acid to both kill and monitor for roaches naturally.

When applying, use PPE and a dust mask. Avoid contact and keep pets and people away from it.

Also, make sure that all food is stored in airtight containers so they don’t get contained with the boric acid in the kitchen. If you want to use it in a food prep area, you need to clean all food prep surfaces before using them every time.

So because of this, I’d suggest avoiding application there. Also, boric acid is useless when wet.

So you should keep it out of rain or water. Reapply after windy days or when saturated with water from humidity the rain or rooms with moisture (bathroom shower, sink, etc.)


A jar of borax ready for roaches.
Borax is a commonly used home remedy to kill cockroaches.

Borax can also be used as a substitute to boric acid if you don’t have any.

Borax is second rate to boric acid, but it can still be used in the same manner (dehydration) to kill roaches.

Boric acid is superior to borax since it contains the main ingredient that kills pests, but borax is more available and cheaper to buy in bulk.

You can find this fine powder in the laundry aisle at department stores. It’s commonly used as a cleaning agent or detergent booster for your clothes. A popular borax brand is 20 Mule Team which can be used to kill oriental roaches.

It works just like boric acid- the fine powder sticks to their body and the roaches are cut up with micro incisions that cut them up.

This will dehydrate them over time and kill them. If the roach brings the powder back to the nest, it can eradicate the entire colony of roaches.

Sprinkle borax around your home in areas where oriental roaches frequent. You can line rooms around the baseboards, cabinets, drawers, sinks, cupboards, garages, attics, and more.

Borax can be used outdoors in your yard also. Sprinkle some in a perimeter around your home and garden.

Again, you’ll want to use a fine application of it. Lightly dust so that it’s barely visible so roaches will unknowingly crawl over it.

Don’t overdo it. Borax is generally safe, but you should still use PPE when applying. Keep pets and people away from it.

Read all warnings and use them as directed, as with any other application on this page.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth DIY pest repellent.
Diatomaceous earth is an awesome pest killer and repellent.

Diatomaceous earth is a safer alternative to kill roaches. This is another dehydrating powder that cuts up their exoskeleton.

Oriental roaches crawl across the DE and carry it back to their nest which then destroys any other roach that comes into contact with the carrier.

There’s diatomaceous earth that’s labeled as “food grade” and can be used around food prep areas.

Make sure it’s completely pure and has no additives if you plan to use it in your kitchen or anywhere that you’ll frequently touch. There are organic diatomaceous earth products for those that want to be extra careful.

Do NOT use the diatomaceous earth used for pools. This has chemical additives and is not safe for dusting around the kitchen.

After you buy a pack, get a bellows, or just sprinkle it.

Apply the DE where you suspect the oriental roaches to be hiding. You can also toss some into cracks and crevices that you can’t reach.

Don’t forget to sprinkle some under appliances like your fridge, radiator, water heater, laundry machines, etc.

Diatomaceous earth is considered to be safe for people and pets when used correctly.

Remember to use FOOD GRADE, PURE DE. You should still wear PPE when dusting it though just to be safe from getting powder all over your skin, eyes, and clothes.

Reapply as needed. Rain and wind will ruin the application. UV light from the sun may also make it less effective against oriental roaches.

Use catnip dip

Catnip can be used as a natural home remedy to keep cockroaches away.

Catnip has been reported to be an effective repellent to roaches and is easy to make at home. If you have cats, you probably already have a few plants lying around.

If not, you can buy catnip from seed, at the nursery, or at a pet store. Remember that catnip is a live plant.

Don’t get the processed stuff- no oils, sprays, etc.

Here’s how to make some catnip cockroach killer:

  • Get a pot large enough to hold around 2 liters of water.
  • Pour the water into the pot and heat it up.
  • While it’s heating, cut up the catnip into small pieces to keep it fresh.
  • After the water boils, dump the pieces into the water.
  • Let boil for 10 minutes. The catnip will start to emit a minty scent.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle.

How to use it:

Spray the solution around areas where roaches frequent. The scent of catnip keeps them away.

Catnip is safe to use around most surfaces, but if you have sensitive furnishings, test it on a small area first.

Keep pets and people away to avoid disturbance. Reapply as needed. This can be used outside in your yard or inside your house.

Hire an exterminator

When you can’t handle the roach infestation yourself, hire a licensed professional to do it for you.

Oriental roaches are difficult to fully eliminate by nature, so an inexperienced novice to DIY pest control may be overwhelmed. Do some research and read some reviews.

Compare quotes and hire the best rep you can find. Many will offer pest guarantees to fully eliminate the problem or else they’ll re-treat your home for free.

Ask about alternative, natural solutions to keep your home safe from pesticides and residual compounds.

What smells keep roaches away?

A bunch of scents that roaches hate.
There are many home solutions that roaches hate.

When it comes to using scents to repel roaches, there are just a few natural solutions you can use.

Thankfully, most of them are cheap and you probably already have lying around the house.


Vinegar’s acidic nature helps keep roaches out of the kitchen and bathroom.

Use it indoors because outside light from the sun will dilute the effect. You can use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean as well as set up a repellent.


Cinnamon keeps bugs off patio sets.
Don’t overlook the power of cinnamon as a natural pest repellent.

Cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder can be used around the house to repel roaches.

For some reason, they hate the scent of spice. And cinnamon is full of it. You can sprinkle powder under door gaps or within damp areas where they like to hide.

Pandan leaves

Pandan is a lesser known plant, but it has a strong aroma that can be used as a roach deterrent. The leaves are extremely fragrant and can be bunched together and stuffed somewhere that roaches frequent.

You can also crush the leaves and put the bits into a nylon sock to contain them.

Essential oils

Essential oils can help naturally keep roaches away. These oils are one of the best home remedies to get rid of oriental roaches.

Combine using boric acid balls and essential oil treatments and you have a double whammy roach trap. The boric acid kills them and the essential oils keep them away.

There are some particular oils that are disruptive to their scent detectors (antenna) which then makes hunting for food more difficult. Some oils are even powerful enough to kill them upon ingestion.

The best essential oils to use against oriental roaches are the pungent ones with strong aromas:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Neem oil
  • Basil oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Cypress oil
  • Mint oil

You can buy essential oils online or at local specialty stores. Get pure, concentrated oil for the best results.

Use as directed. Most will have you diluting the oil (a few drops per container of water).

Then you’ll spray the oil around areas you want to keep roaches away from.

Or you can soak a cotton ball with essential oils and toss the ball wherever you suspect them to be.

You can also stuff cotton balls soaked with oil directly into cracks to keep them from coming into your property (or leaving).

This is one way to get rid of oriental roaches in your house and one of the best repellents for cockroaches.

How to get rid of oriental cockroaches outside

An overhead view of a home with a garden that has oriental roaches.
Cockroaches commonly enter your property from the yard.

If you have oriental roaches outside your home, there are some things you can do to kill them and keep them out. It really doesn’t differ from the indoor household remedies.

You’ll want to practice basic techniques such as the following:

  • Set up boric acid traps around the perimeter of your home
  • Use sugar/baking soda as a roach poison
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around cracks and entry points
  • Keep plants pruned and remove leaf litter
  • Don’t let foliage touch your home’s exteriors
  • Put a perimeter of borax around your garden
  • Keep your yard absolutely moisture-free
  • Don’t over-fertilize
  • Remove all sources of food
  • Secure your trash and recycle bins
  • Spray essential oils around entry points
  • Watch electrical outlets, windows, doors, and other common areas for roach activity
  • Keep your home maintained
  • Seal up cracks, crevices, and plumbing
  • Block off crawl spaces
  • Don’t keep pet food out overnight
  • Store bird feed, grains, or other dry storage securely
  • Set up various traps and repellent outlined in this guide

Since having oriental roaches crawling around your backyard is disgusting and allows them entry into your home, do an assessment, and create a plan.

There’s no single method that works best.

You’ll often find that a combination of different techniques works a lot more effectively compared to relying on just one.

Further reading

Here are some resources you may find useful:

Did you get rid of the oriental roaches?

A grass field free of roaches.
No more freaking out at night when you flip on the lights.

That’s all I have for you. Did you learn a thing or two.

By now, you should have a solid foundation to control, manage, and eradicate oriental roaches from your home and garden.

You now have a bunch of natural home remedies to kill and repel them- everything from boric acid to essential oils can help you get rid of these pests.

They can be scary to see scurrying around in the middle of the night. But you need to start doing something about them.

Now that you’re armed and knowledgeable about what makes these roaches tick, you can kill them and keep them out of your property!

If you have any questions, drop me a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Or if you’ve dealt with oriental cockroaches before, share your advice for other readers.

If you have any feedback, or just found this guide to be held up, please let me know! Consider telling a neighbor- they may have the same pest problem you do!

Thanks for reading.

4 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches Naturally (Home Remedies)”

  1. There is a common household liquid cleaner called Krud Kutter that kills them almost instantly, even if diluted. And it’s biodegradable.
    There is also another household liquid cleaner called Greased Lightning that will also kill them instantly. But since the bottle recommends rinsing after use as a cleaner, it’s probably safer to use it only in areas pets can’t get to (spray in cracks and crevices outside). I have used both.

  2. There is a common household liquid cleaner called Krud Kutter that kills them almost instantly, even if diluted. And it’s biodegradable.
    There is also another household liquid cleaner called Greased Lightning that will also kill them instantly. But since the bottle recommends rinsing after use as a cleaner, it’s probably safer to use it only in areas pets can’t get to (spray in cracks and crevices outside). I have used both.
    This paragraph is a follow-up to the above paragraph. About an hour after writing the above paragraph I tried your suggestion of isopropyl rubbing alcohol. The alcohol I have is 99% and it kills those black cockroaches even faster than anything I have ever tried ever!!

  3. Aw, this was an extremely good post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get anything done.

  4. Hi, I have an issue regarding a roach in my house.

    I’m contacting because this has not been the first time I have seen a roach of this size in my house. I’m renting an old apartment made with mostly wood in Barcelona city and there is no central disposal system in the building for there to be many roach issues. Lately its been raining in the summer. it is August now however the first roach was a dead American one, and now I believe I have a female Oriental roach in my room.

    I don’t know if there are different species that look similar and reach that size. I am sick at the moment and cannot smell my room to know whether the smell of such a roach is more prominent in one area or not. I saw it crawl away from me the second I’d walked towards the door to my room, which is located near the entry to my house and a locked room opposite to my own.

    The roach could have cane from the locked room, which we do not clean and cannot clean as we do not have permission to enter this room.

    I don’t have a strategy on how to solve this issue because usually we have other animals to eat such insects in the philippines.

    Can you help?

    thanks for your time

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *