Cockroach(50664)Credit: by user 'mconnors' Roaches are nasty pests that pose health risks. If you’re unfortunate enough to have a roach problem and can’t afford to buy expensive roach control products or prefer a natural solution, then follow the instructions below and learn how to get rid of roaches cheaply and naturally. I learned this 2-step approach watching an episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Roe and Billy the Exterminator. In it they tackled a bad infestation by first spraying roaches with a spray (containing pyrethrin & piperonyl butoxide) to get the volume down and then used a gel bait (containing abamectin) to kill them all off over time, which is key. You may want to use the products Billy and Mike used if you have a serious infestation, they may be more powerful. Both of the products are naturally derived, as Billy explains in the video. The brand of pyrethrin spray Billy used is PI Aerosol and is sold at for $23. In place of the pyrethrin spray and abamectin bait I used cheap, easy-to-make homemade spray and homemade bait. It worked. The total amount I spent was about $5.

Homemade Roach Killer Spray RecipeRoach Spray

  • Spray bottle
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Soap
  • 1/2 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1/4 Cup Rubbing Alcohol

Add ingredients to a medium to large spray bottle with a good spray nozzle, shake well. This recipe kills roaches in a minute or so. If you feel the spray isn't killing fast enough, then add a little more soap, but not too much as it may clog up the spray nozzle. I eventually found that using liquid soap and water alone worked just as well. You may want to experiment.

Homemade Roach Killer Bait Recipe and Containers


  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Boric Acid (I bought a bottle of powdered boric acid at Wal-Mart for a few dollars). This is what kills the roaches.
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Bowl

Mix ingredients together except water in bowl with spoon. Add enough water to make a gooey paste, mix well.

Paste Containers

  • Roach Bait1-2 Manila file folders or light, sturdy cardboard that can easily be cut and folded
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tape

Measure and cut about 6 inch by 4 inch squares out of cardboard or manilla folders. Fold each square into a triangle, add a 1/8-1/4 teaspoon dab of paste to the center (safely away from edges where cat or dog can eat/lick it), tape top securely (see photo). The containers will house the paste so that you can use them freely throughout your home without worry that your pets will be able to eat it. Make as many containers as you think you'll need.

Two Step Instructions to Get Rid of Roaches

Step 1

At night-time, at infestation area, clean up all food and water from surfaces, turn off  lights, and leave area. Wait an hour or so to let roaches come out to feed. With spray in hand carefully and quietly go to infested area. Try not to step on any cockroaches in the dark or scare any away. Turn on the lights and start spraying clumps of roaches immediately. Go crazy. Spray as many as you can before they run and hide. Soak them enough to make sure they can't escape. They will die in a minute or so. Clean them up and go to bed. Repeat often until population is down. I did this about 4 nights in a row. Also, use spray during the day, if needed.

Step 2

Place baits or containers all over infested area in every room you have ever seen a roach, especially in high-traffic areas. Clean up infested area of food and water on surfaces before going bed. Place baits near openings and places where roaches live and hide, such as electrical plug holes, the stove, on back splashes, near vents, in nooks and crannies, near electronics, near sinks, and in cupboards. Also, cover electrical outlets where roaches frequent with tape. Roaches like warm areas. Unplug your micorowace if they took it over as their home. They will only resort to the fridge if there is a really bad infestation. Only place bait paste outside of containers if you are sure a pet won’t eat it or have access to the places you place the bait. It is toxic to pets if ingested. Save any left over paste in an air tight container and refrigerate. If bait paste hardens, replace with fresh paste from fridge. A downside to this homemade paste is that it hardens quickly. I learned that the paste MUST be soft in order for it to work. Roaches need to be able to track it back to their nests. Add water to fresh paste if a little dry. You may have to add new paste to the containers nightly. I did. Remove dried up paste as needed. Roaches will attract to the sugar and peanut butter in the bait and eat it. The roaches will track it around-this is why I think peanut butter is so great- and contaminate others it comes in contact with. According to Billy the Exterminator, the bait is the most important step because of its residual effects. Roaches will not immediately die off. Wait a few days to a week and you'll start to see dead ones. Leave the baits out as long as you need to make sure every single last one is GONE. This can take up to a few months. It will work if fresh paste (not hardened, but gooey) is constantly available as the roaches food source. They must be able to track it. This really works.

Update: I noticed recently that Combat sells covered gel baits called Source Kill that attract roaches and kill them off over time using the exact same idea Billy used. If you are not concerned about bringing chemicals into your home, this is a great buy. You wouldn't have to replinish the bait every night!


Spray an environmentally friendly pesticide outside and inside your home. Keep your house clean and free of clutter. Putting baits out is a great preventive measure.

Billy the Exterminator shows Mike Roe how to get rid of roaches.

Billy the Exterminator Gets Rid of Roaches on Dirty Jobs