Does Baking Soda Kill Roaches?

Roach infestations are a common and frustrating issue that many households face. These unwelcome pests can cause health issues, contaminate food, and damage property. One popular home remedy for dealing with roaches is using baking soda. In this guide, we will explore whether baking soda is an effective solution for killing roaches and discuss alternative control methods and preventive measures.

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white crystalline powder with a slightly alkaline taste. It is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO₃ and has various properties that make it useful for cleaning, deodorizing, and cooking.

Common uses of baking soda in household cleaning and maintenance include:

  • Removing stains and odors from surfaces
  • Unclogging drains
  • Neutralizing acidic substances
  • Acting as a leavening agent in baking

The Science Behind Baking Soda and Roaches

Baking soda affects the digestive system of roaches when ingested. The sodium bicarbonate reacts with the acids in the roach’s stomach, producing carbon dioxide gas. This gas buildup causes the roach’s exoskeleton to expand, eventually leading to the insect’s death.

Factors affecting the effectiveness of baking soda in killing roaches include:

  • The amount of baking soda ingested by the roach
  • The presence of other food sources may distract the roach from consuming the baking soda
  • The size and resilience of the roach species

How to Use Baking Soda to Kill Roaches

A. Preparing a baking soda and sugar mixture:

  1. Mix equal parts of baking soda and sugar in a bowl
  2. The sugar acts as bait, attracting roaches to consume the mixture

B. Placement of the mixture in strategic locations around the home:

  1. Identify areas where roaches are frequently seen or suspected to be nesting
  2. Place small containers or lids filled with the mixture in these areas
  3. Replace the mixture every few days to maintain its potency

C. Tips for maximizing the effectiveness of baking soda against roaches:

  1. Combine baking soda with other natural roach control methods, such as diatomaceous earth or boric acid
  2. Keep your living space clean and free of food scraps to encourage roaches to consume the baking soda mixture
  3. Seal any cracks or crevices that may serve as entry points for roaches

D. Safety precautions when using baking soda for roach control:

  1. Place the mixture in areas that are inaccessible to children and pets
  2. Avoid ingesting the mixture or getting it into your eyes
  3. Clean up any spills or residue to prevent accidental ingestion

The Pros and Cons of Using Baking Soda for Roach Control

A. Advantages of using baking soda:

  • Low cost: Baking soda is an inexpensive and readily available household item
  • Non-toxic to humans and pets: Unlike some chemical insecticides, baking soda is generally safe for use around humans and pets when used as directed
  • Easy to use: Preparing and applying the baking soda mixture requires minimal effort

B. Disadvantages of using baking soda:

  • Limited effectiveness: Baking soda may not be as effective as professional pest control methods or chemical insecticides
  • May not eliminate roach infestations completely: Roaches are resilient pests, and baking soda alone may not be enough to eradicate an infestation
  • Time-consuming: Applying and replacing the baking soda mixture regularly can be labor-intensive and may require repeated applications

Alternative Roach Control Methods

A. Natural roach control methods:

Diatomaceous Earth:

  • A naturally occurring sedimentary rock that is crushed into a fine powder
  • Kills roaches by damaging their exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate and die
  • Can be sprinkled around the home in areas where roaches are present

Boric Acid:

  • A low-toxicity substance derived from boron that is deadly to roaches when ingested
  • Can be used as a powder or mixed with sugar and water to create a bait
  • Must be used with caution, as it can be harmful to humans and pets if ingested in large quantities

Essential Oils:

  • Some essential oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus, have been found to repel roaches
  • Can be mixed with water and sprayed around the home as a natural repellent
  • Not as effective as other methods for killing roaches, but can help deter them from entering your living space

B. Chemical roach control methods:


  • Commercially available chemical products designed to kill or repel insects
  • Can be effective in controlling roach populations, but may pose risks to human health and the environment if not used properly
  • It’s important to read and follow the product instructions carefully

Roach Baits and Traps:

  • Devices that use chemical attractants or food to lure roaches and then kill or trap them
  • Can be purchased at most home improvement stores and placed around the home in areas where roaches are known to frequent
  • May require regular monitoring and replacement to maintain effectiveness

Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs):

  • Chemical substances that disrupt the growth and development of insects, preventing them from reproducing
  • Can be used alongside other roach control methods to reduce the overall population and prevent future infestations
  • Usually available in the form of baits or sprays

C. Professional pest control services:

  • Hiring a professional exterminator can be an effective way to eliminate a roach infestation
  • They have access to specialized tools, techniques, and chemicals that may not be available to the general public
  • Can be more expensive than DIY methods, but may provide more reliable and long-lasting results

Preventive Measures for Roach Infestations

A. Proper sanitation and cleanliness:

  • Regularly clean and sanitize your home, paying particular attention to the kitchen and bathroom
  • Store food in sealed containers and promptly clean up spills and crumbs
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and ensure trash cans have tight-fitting lids

B. Sealing cracks and crevices:

  • Inspect your home for potential entry points, such as cracks in walls or gaps around pipes
  • Seal these openings with caulk or other appropriate materials to prevent roaches from entering your living space

C. Regular inspections and monitoring for signs of infestation:

  • Keep an eye out for signs of roach activity, such as droppings, egg cases, or shed skins
  • Monitor your home regularly to catch infestations early and take action before they become a more significant problem


While baking soda can kill roaches, its effectiveness may be limited compared to other pest control methods. To effectively deal with a roach infestation, it’s important to consider a combination of control methods and preventative measures. By making informed decisions about which roach control methods are best suited for your situation, you can maintain a clean and healthy living space that is free from these unwelcome pests.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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