Does Baking Soda Kill Roaches? – Repel Cockroaches?

does baking soda kill roaches

Roaches are one of the most disgusting pests you can find. The sight of them makes you cringe. If you want to kill them, there’s a few ways to do it, but which is the most effective? You may be asking yourself, ‘does baking soda kill roaches’? The answer is yes, baking soda can kill roaches. But is the most effective treatment option for your home?

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Using baking soda as your homemade cockroach killer can save you thousands of dollars on professional pest control. We’ll explain the process on how this works so you can use it yourself. Let’s get started with your burning questions about killing roaches.

Does Baking Soda Kill Roaches?

Baking soda can kill roaches, but in order to do so the roaches have to eat the baking soda mixture, and once they consume water the baking soda reacts with the water creating gas in their stomachs, which kills them.

Do Cockroaches Eat Baking Soda?

No, cockroaches don’t eat baking soda by itself. To these creatures, the taste of it is disgusting. The smell is also repugnant to them.

Baking soda is harmful to their bodies both inside and out. When the roaches come in contact with it, it will damage their exoskeleton and their internal organs. One thing to be aware of is that baking soda will need to be fresh, powdered, and straight.

In order to get cockroaches to eat baking soda to kill them, you need to mix it with something that they can’t resist, such as sugar or other foods.

You can mix baking soda with other foods that will be irresistible to roaches. Specifically, roaches love foods that are sugary. You can also use foods that are starchy.

Sugar has low water content. This will be ideal if you’re looking to mix something with baking soda. Plus, roaches won’t even notice the baking soda being mixed into the sugar.

If you mix the two together, this might be enough for the roaches to consume in a short amount of time. Unbeknownst to them, they’re eating their last meal. They will not eat baking soda alone, so mixing it with foods that a roach will say yes to will be even better.

How Does Baking Soda Kill Cockroaches?

Now that we’ve asked the question of ‘can baking soda kill cockroaches’, let’s explain the ‘how’. Simply put, once cockroaches come into contact with baking soda, their insides will be like a ticking time bomb. Before going further, they won’t explode and leave a huge mess.

The texture of the baking soda will cause the exoskeleton to crack with ease. Roaches are encased by it. It will not stretch or expand.

When the exoskeleton is breaking apart, their internal organs are getting crushed at the same time. A cockroach will have no chance of escaping their shell. Their fate is sealed and they’ll die within hours.

Baking soda will expand when it comes in contact with most liquids (including water). Sodium bicarbonate (the chemical name for baking soda) will create a carbonic acid reaction when mixed with water. Immediately, this creates a gas that will generate heat.

When the gas expands, it will build pressure on the cockroaches exoskeleton. It will be too overwhelming on the organs (thus explaining the ‘crushing’). As the gas increases in heat, the exoskeleton will soon crack due to the immense pressure.

Even if there is minimal damage, it’s enough to cause a cockroach to be immobile. They’ll lose their balance since their nervous system will be affected. They may flip on their back and remain in place (or in other words, paralyzed).

From there that’s all she wrote for these cockroaches and you’ll soon start to find their bodies dead around your home.

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If you’re looking for other more effective ways to kill cockroaches, check out our guide on how to get rid of roaches.

How Fast Can Baking Soda Kill Cockroaches?

Baking soda can kill cockroaches around 12 to 24 hours after initial consumption. There are several factors that will play a role. These include how hydrated the cockroach is, its proximity to water, how much baking soda it has consumed, and when it drinks water.

A well-hydrated cockroach will die faster. Therefore, the baking soda is not an instant roach killer. Even if it deals with a cracked exoskeleton, a cockroach may stay alive for an additional several hours (or even days).

At some point, it will die either by starvation or by predators. You don’t have to leave the roach where it lays. Taking it outside and placing it in an area where known cockroach eaters are around may be the best solution.

How To Use Baking Soda For Killing Cockroaches?

If you know where the cockroaches are, be sure to remember the location. At this point, you will need to find a cup or small jug. Next, mix baking soda together with sugar in equal parts.

You will need an additional dish that is filled with water. Place the containers near the area where the cockroaches are hanging out. Leave it there and be patient.

This is a process that will take weeks. But it’s worth the wait. You will notice the results as time goes on. Keep in mind that you will not be harming your pets or any members of your household. That’s because you’re using natural ingredients instead of pesticides or harmful chemicals.

If there is one safe way to kill cockroaches without the harmful chemicals, using baking soda and sugar might just be what you’re looking for. Plus, it won’t cost you a lot of money either. You’d be surprised what a low-budget cockroach killer can do for you.

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Can I Use Flour Instead of Sugar?

If you have flour, it will be a good alternative to use since roaches are attracted to starches as well. Even mixed with baking soda, it does kill cockroaches. The main issue here is that you can’t mix both with water.

Mix the baking soda with flour in a 2:1 ratio. Mix them with a spoon and sprinkle it in the areas where cockroaches are present. It will take two to three days before the results occur.

Mixing Baking Soda With Sweets

If you have any sweet foods such as soft candy or even donuts, you might try this method. You’ll want to cover the sweets with baking soda completely. The amount you use will depend on how bad the cockroach infestation is.

The timing for results will be the same compared to mixing baking soda with flour.

Mixing Baking Soda With Potatoes

Earlier, we mentioned that cockroaches like starch. The one food that contains it are potatoes. The smell is pleasant to a cockroach.

There is a specific way to prepare the potatoes themselves. You’ll want to cut them into small cubes. Next, you’ll want to boil them until they look semi-cooked.

Using tissue paper, tap dry the potato cubes. Once you know for sure that they are dry, add a liberal amount of making soda. Place them in areas where cockroaches are hanging around.

The timing of the results will take a couple of days at best. Again, patience is worth having. Eventually, you will be able to kill off the roaches using baking soda and the number of alternative methods you can come up with.

Preventative Measures Against Cockroaches

To avoid a cockroach infestation, you need to take preventative measures. These will apply if you want to prevent future infestations from happening. You will need to take the following steps:

  • Clean your dishes: After you have eaten, you’ll want to clean your dishes immediately. Resist the urge to leave them in the sink overnight. If there is one common cause for cockroach infestations, it’s not doing the dishes. If you have a dishwasher, load them up and let the machine do its work. 
  • Get rid of food crumbs: Cockroaches love nothing more than to feast on food crumbs. Get rid of them as soon as you’re done eating. Especially if you are in the kitchen. Sweep or vacuum any crumbs that are present. This includes crumbs from such sweet foods like cookies, donuts, or any baked goods.
  • Deal with your garbage: This includes preventing your trash cans from overflowing. You’ll want to use one that will have a lid so you can secure your garbage and prevent cockroaches from gaining access. Change the trash when it’s full enough. Find a place for full bags like the garage or a shed. Keep them there until it’s garbage pick up day. Never leave tied trash bags indoors like a basement.

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Final Thoughts On Baking Soda And Roaches

Baking soda can kill roaches. It’s not an instant killer like harmful chemicals. Yet, it’s worth putting to good use when they can kill those pests slowly, but surely.

Be sure to put baking soda to good use with other mixtures. Sugar and baking soda will be the perfect mixture to kill cockroaches. It would be insane for a cockroach to say no to something sweet like sugar.

While the timing is not instantaneous compared to professional pest control methods, doing this cockroach killing method is worth the wait. But don’t underestimate the science behind what specific household items can do to cockroaches after contact. 

Overall, I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on does baking soda kill roaches!

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About The Author:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. His main goal is to provide accurate and helpful DIY tips to keep your home pest-free and how to identify different types of household pests!