Does Salt Kill Roaches? – Using Salt To Deter Cockroaches

You may be familiar with various home remedies for getting rid of cockroaches, such as using salt as a means to kill them. It is believed that salt can dehydrate, poison, and immobilize cockroaches in a safe way that does not put your family or pets at risk. This guide will discuss the effectiveness of salt in killing roaches and provide you with important information about using salt against these pests.

You may have also heard the same about other innocuous household substances such as baking soda, vinegar, and coffee grounds, and then found out, after trying these remedies in real life, that they don’t fix your cockroach problem at all.

This might have you wondering if salt can kill roaches or if it is just another urban DIY myth.

Does Salt Kill Roaches?

The answer is a hard no. Salt does not kill cockroaches.

does salt kill roaches

The hard truth is that only repeated treatments with toxic fumigation methods tend to exterminate them for good. The most salt can do, like many other remedies, is repel cockroaches, but even that result is not guaranteed.

We do offer other natural methods to kill roaches.

Use Epsom Salt to Repel Cockroaches

Cockroaches are not likely to be repelled by ordinary table salt. They are used to consuming high levels of sodium when you leave potato chips, pretzels, and salty crumbs on the table.

Instead, use Epsom salts to repel roaches. Epsom salt consists of magnesium sulfate crystals, which, in solution form, abrades the cockroach’s exoskeleton.

This may not necessarily kill the cockroach immediately, but it might maim it so that it dies eventually.

How Does Epsom Salt Kill Cockroaches?

Epsom salt can kill roaches if you apply a watery solution of it in a bottle with a sprayer.  Shoot the salty water at the bug with your nozzle as if you were shooting it dead with a gun.

Epsom salt has the potential to kill roaches because it has a needle-shaped crystal formation that can hook into the bug’s shell.

This means it is not likely to work on an older adult cockroach only bugs with softer bodies, such as baby roaches or brown cockroaches.

The salts also contain ammonium nitrate and ammonium chloride, which serve to dry out the bug’s body from the inside out, especially if you manage to drench its body with the deadly solution.

If you squirt an Epsom salt solution several times on a cockroach, it might drown in the salt solution, as its hull is filled with tiny breathing holes.

How to Make An Epsom Salt Solution to Repel Roaches

To make a Salt Solution to kill roaches, mix one part Epsom salts with four parts hot water in a bottle with a sprayer.

Shake the solution vigorously and adjust the spray bottle’s nozzle to narrow so it can aim a targeted stream at your cockroaches.

You can try spraying an area with the salt solution, but Epsom salt is not that effective at destroying infestations in this way.

Variations on Epsom Salt Killer to Make It More Effective

If you don’t mind the toxic effects or odors caused by additives that make Epsom salt more of a killer solution, you might want to try the following suggestions.

Epsom Salt and Boric Acid

Add a few tablespoons of boric acid to your spray bottle filled with salt to make it more effective at killing roaches. Boric acid works by breaking down the tough roach body, disturbing the digestive system, and like Epsom salt. It also dehydrates the bug’s body.

Cockroaches eat salt residue, not knowing it is toxic with boric acid, carrying it back to the nest to poison others.

Any cockroaches that eat the salt-ridden body of a cockroach dead from boric acid poison will also die.

Boric acid and borax can be effective against cockroaches on its own, and can be a good solution in a pinch.

Salt Crystals and Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkling hard Epsom salt crystals and diatomaceous earth in cockroach-infested areas may damage their exoskeletons enough to kill them.

Diatomaceous earth is a rough chalk that can sever the legs of roaches, leaving them stuck to die in the magnesium sulfate fumes emanating from the Epsom salts.

Epsom Salt And Essential Oils

Add about twenty drops of any type of mint essential oil, such as peppermint, wintergreen, or spearmint, to your salt and hot water roach killer to increase its power.

A study confirms that roaches are disgusted by the odor of mint plants and that when drenched in these essential oils, they are likely to die from neurotoxicity.

This type of roach spray can also be sprayed directly into roach colonies. If the mint and salt spray does not kill them, you are still likely to see fewer roaches and maybe an end to roach infestation.

Other Household Roach Solutions:

Final Thoughts On Killing Roaches With Salt

The best that Epsom salt can do for your cockroach infestation is possibly drive away individual cockroaches one by one.

To kill a cockroach, you shoot them hard enough with a salty stream of liquid from a sprayer so that they roll over and cannot run away from being drenched in toxic magnesium sulfate.

One of the great things about this cockroach deterrent is that it does not stain floors and is non-toxic to pets and children.


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