How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Kitchen Cabinets

The appearance of cockroaches in your home is enough to trigger a response to start spraying commercial products to get rid of them. However, the danger with commercial insecticides is the chemical ingredients used to make the product. Discovering how to get rid of cockroaches in kitchen cabinets without toxins is crucial for dealing with an infestation without filling your home with chemical smells.

Cockroaches in your house pose a health concern beyond the diseases they carry. An unsanitary nuisance in your kitchen, roaches are known disease carriers, and their presence could lead to dysentery, cholera, and salmonella infections. Cockroach waste and discarded body parts release allergens into the air, which may irritate the respiratory system of anyone with asthma or allergies.

Kitchens are a high-activity location for cockroaches due to the numerous food sources available and a reliable water source. If you find roaches in your kitchen or see signs of cockroach waste in your cabinets, utilize one of our suggestions to keep them out.

Tips to Prevent Cockroaches in the Kitchen


The kitchen provides many food sources for cockroaches and just as many hiding places. The bugs enjoy taking shelter in small crevices for safety; force them out of hiding with the proper home remedies for cockroaches.

Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

Once you spot cockroaches in your kitchen, one of the first steps to eliminating them is to empty and clean your kitchen cabinets. Moisture and the smell of food draw roaches to the kitchen; taking away any potential food source is essential to prevent cockroaches in the kitchen.

Remove any food containers from the cabinet and wipe food crumbs with a paper towel. Use a homemade cleaner made of warm water and dish soap to clean leftover debris. Dry the inside of your cabinets after washing them.

Caulk Openings to Block Cockroaches

A struggle homeowners face when tackling a cockroach infestation is avoiding the spread of roaches throughout the house. German cockroaches are the most widespread roaches worldwide, and these small pests can fit through holes around your home in search of food and a place to hide.

When inspecting your kitchen for roach activity, note any holes or gaps in your cabinets around your sink. When using a caulk gun to close gaps in your kitchen, use a water-resistant type of caulk.

Eliminate Sources of Moisture in Your Kitchen

Water is essential for German roach survival in your home, which is why you often find these pests in kitchens and bathrooms. When tackling a cockroach problem or if you need to get rid of kitchen gnats, addressing recurring issues with excess moisture is critical.

Common issues with excess moisture involve dripping pipes, spills, water in the sink, and even water in pet food bowls. To remove these water sources, try elevating your pet’s water bowls and cleaning your sink of dirty dishes, eliminating food debris and water from your sink.

Get Rid of Roaches with Borax Powder

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral with the ability to kill roaches. It is readily available in stores, and you may have used Borax around the house for laundry and cleaning sprays. When combined with an attractant like sugar, it’s an effective insecticide.

Mix Borax with powdered sugar in a container or a shaker and sprinkle it inside your cabinets after cleaning. The sugar attracts the roaches, and once they step into the mixture, Borax sticks to their legs.

Once cockroaches clean themselves, they ingest the powder, damaging their digestive system and poisoning them. Borax won’t kill roaches instantly, so you’re not likely to see dead roaches in the open.

Creating Borax Bait for Cockroaches

The main benefit of Borax is that it sticks to roaches, allowing them to ingest it later. Mix Borax with cooking ingredients to create bait balls to create a bait that cockroaches eat quickly. Flour or cornstarch helps make bait balls, and onion powder or cocoa powder draws the roaches to eat the Borax bait.

Mix the dry ingredients before slowly adding water to thicken the mixture to create small bait balls. Leave this bait in containers and place them around your kitchen cabinets to target roaches.

Note: Boric acid and milk are substitutes for Borax powder and water in this recipe.

Kill Roaches in the Kitchen with Diatomaceous Earth

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a safe white powder to spread around your house as a natural home remedy for roaches in the kitchen or as a home remedy for silverfish. Diatomaceous earth uses the fossilized bodies of sea creatures known as diatoms to work against insect pests.

To use diatomaceous earth for roaches, sprinkle the powder around your home in areas where you’ve spotted roach activity. Insects come in contact with the powder, and it cuts into their bodies, drying out their exoskeleton, and slowly killing them.

Boric Acid as a Home Remedy for Roaches in the Kitchen


Boric acid is a boron compound and a white powder in its natural form. As an antifungal and antiviral, it has long been used to treat infections and is used in commercial roach treatments.

As an insecticide, boric acid poisons roaches after they ingest it. The acid is available in powder form to sprinkle around your kitchen in areas that bugs often visit. Because the acid is harmful if ingested, wear gloves and a mask when applying it and avoid using it around dishes or utensils to prevent the risk of food poisoning.

Repel Roaches with Essential Oils

Peppermint is a scent that humans love and use in various products; however, it is among one of the most hated scents by roaches or a moth in kitchen cabinets. An essential oil spray made with peppermint oil is perfect to use around your kitchen to flush out cockroaches from their hiding places and keep your cabinets clear of pests.

Fill a 16-ounce bottle with water and add a dozen drops of peppermint oil. There is no danger in using this spray freely around your kitchen and cabinets where you’ve noticed roaches.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Kitchen Cabinets with Basil

Despite its pleasing smell and taste, basil contains a chemical compound that roaches hate. Linalool is a colorless oil and aroma compound found in many plants like basil. This compound finds works in fragrances, food additives, and insecticides.

To use basil against roaches, mix basil oil with water and spray it around your home. Since this is one of the best scents that repel roaches, another option is to crush or chop basil leaves and sprinkle them around your kitchen cabinets to steer roaches away.

How to Kill Roaches with Baking Soda

Baking soda is an accessible option for clearing infested areas of roaches, whether you are getting rid of roaches in an apartment or your house. You may have a box of baking soda in the refrigerator; if not, baking soda boxes are cheaply found in many stores. Unlike some other roach-killing methods that involve powder, baking soda is safe around pets and is a versatile tool for cleaning, air freshening, and killing roaches.

Mix some baking soda and sugar in a bowl and sprinkle it in areas roaches often travel. Sugar attracts cockroaches; after ingesting it, the baking soda reacts with the moisture in their bodies. This reaction creates a buildup of gas that causes their stomachs to burst.

Repurposing Coffee Grounds

The smell of coffee grounds and their acidity is what repels roaches. Because coffee grounds lose some acidity after use, you may need to test with fresh and used grounds to find what works best for you.

Sprinkle grounds in your cabinets and around your kitchen to deter roach activity. Since they avoid the smell of coffee grounds, there is little to no chance of them ingesting coffee grounds, which are not fatal to roaches.

Catch Roaches with Sticky Traps

Due to the small size of cockroaches, they are easy to catch in traps that use a sticky substance to limit their mobility. Cockroaches caught in these traps cannot escape and die due to a lack of food and water, or their limbs separate from their bodies as they try to escape, eventually killing them.

Using sugar makes it easy to draw roaches to your trap, and molasses is the perfect tool to create a sticky trap that won’t dry out like glue.

To make your own DIY roach trap, mix vinegar and molasses and distribute this mixture among several jars, using just enough to cover the bottom. Use a cotton swab to apply jelly to the jar’s rim before placing the jars in your kitchen under cabinets and near appliances.

Roaches attracted by the smell of the sugar climb the jar and fall into the sticky mixture. This organic cockroach killer with vinegar is quick and effective. The addition of jelly on the rim prevents the pests from climbing out.

How to Use Neem Against Roaches

Neem oil is a natural insecticide used to kill and deter insect activity in gardens. The cold-pressed oil from the neem tree has beneficial properties as an antifungal and insecticide due to its properties as an insect growth regulator (IGR).

IGRs are substances that affect the life cycle of insects. Insects treated with an IGR may become unable to mate and lay eggs or progress to the next stage in their life cycle.

To use neem oil on roaches, mix it with water and a small amount of dish soap. Another effective way to use neem against roaches is by sprinkling neem powder around your kitchen for cockroaches to walk through and ingest.

Homemade Roach Bait

Roaches seek out various food sources, including pet food, so if you want to create cockroach bait traps, numerous choices are available. To make effective roach traps using bait from your kitchen, mix your bait with a roach killer like Borax powder.

Sprinkle sugar onto a lid topped with Borax to kill any roaches that come to feed. To attract cockroaches, smear peanut butter into a bowl with Borax and leave raw egg yolk in a cup or bowl with Borax. Leave these baits inside cabinets or behind countertop appliances to catch roaches.

Using Gel Bait Around Your Kitchen

An effective home remedy for roaches in the kitchen is using gel bait to catch small cockroaches and larger bugs like the American cockroach.

Gel bait is effective at dealing with roaches because it not only poisons cockroaches that feed at the bait station, it attracts other roaches to feed. Another essential part of gel bait is that the pesticide spreads from roach to roach throughout the colony.

There are two types of bait – liquid gel and plastic bait stations. Apply liquid gel easily to small spaces and into cracks or holes in your kitchen cabinets. Bait stations are small enough to place around your kitchen, and they avoid any mess of cleaning up liquid bait.

Are Wet Borax Solutions Effective for Killing Roaches?

Despite the effectiveness of Borax as a roach killer, when trying different ways to treat roaches with Borax, some methods reduce the effectiveness of Borax powder. Combining Borax with water in a spray bottle cancels some of the dehydrating effects that make Borax a great weapon against roaches.

If roaches ingest Borax through a spray, it may still kill them. In general, liquid-based cockroach spray isn’t as effective because it slides off the roaches’ bodies, unlike powder that sticks to their legs.

Tips for Repelling and Killing Roaches

To get rid of cockroaches, it may seem best to use as many pest control methods as possible to handle the situation; however, this is counterproductive. Many effective cockroach pest control options involve using strong smells to ward off these pests. The point is to drive away roaches using things that they are sensitive to.

The goal when killing roaches is to draw them into a bait station to poison them. If you treat your cabinets with one of our roach repellents and lay a bait trap in the exact location, cockroaches are not likely to get close enough as the repellent deters them from visiting the area. For the best results, be selective about which pest control methods you use in certain areas of your kitchen.

While large-scale infestations may require professional assistance to get rid of cockroaches for good, if roaches are only a problem in the kitchen, using home remedies helps control their numbers.

Because the most effective pest control methods involve cockroaches ingesting a harmful substance, regularly treat your kitchen to kill newly hatched eggs.

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