Written by

David Floyd

David Floyd

Reviewed by

Brett Ehlert

Brett Ehlert

We Tested If Baking Soda Kills Roaches – Our Results By A Pest Control Technician

I spent twenty-plus years as a pest control technician, and I’ve killed hundreds of cockroach infestations in that time. Throughout my career, I’ve heard hundreds of DIY solutions for cockroaches, so I knew it was time to put them to the test!

In this article, we’ll be breaking down my test results when I used baking soda to kill cockroaches!

Does Baking Soda Kill Roaches?

In my testing, Baking soda can kill roaches, but 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. That being said roaches don’t generally eat just baking soda, so you have to get creative.

baking soda for roaches image

Overall, this home remedy does work, is relatively easy to set up, and can probably handle a minor cockroach problem, but I’d still suggest using a traditional insecticide if you have major roach issues because they can introduce disease into your home.

Video Version of This Article:

We’ve also created a video version of this article on YouTube if you’re interested in watching rather than reading:

Do Cockroaches Eat Baking Soda?

No, cockroaches don’t eat baking soda by itself. To these insects, the taste of baking soda is disgusting. The smell is also repugnant to them. When I tested simply placing out baking soda for them to eat, it went uneaten for days on end.

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.

To get cockroaches to eat baking soda to kill them, you need to mix it with things 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 sugary foods and starchy foods. So to make our baking soda bait, we’ll be using things and products that will attract the roaches to the baking soda mixture.

Sugar has a 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 things, 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 can baking soda kill cockroaches, let’s explain the ‘how’.

The general idea of how baking soda kills roaches is pretty simple. Once the insects ingest the baking soda bait mixture, the baking soda reacts with the acids in the roaches’ stomach, which creates carbon dioxide which eventually builds up pressure, killing the cockroaches.

Similar to ants and other bugs, using baking soda is a pretty effective home remedy, but it isn’t always as effective as an insecticide for a serious cockroach problem.

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. Several factors 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, 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).

How To Use Baking Soda For Killing Cockroaches?

Using baking soda to kill cockroaches is very simple. You first need to make a bait for the insects, I’d recommend mixing sugar with baking soda in a 50/50 mixture.

how to use baking soda for roaches

From there you need to place the mixture in an easy-to-reach area for the bugs such as on the floor in areas of high cockroach activity. Once you’ve placed this substance, you need to wait a few days and track any roach activity to ensure that they’re consuming the bait.

Once the roaches have started eating the bait, it will generally take a few days for the mixture to begin killing the roaches.

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.

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.

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!

Other Ways To Get Rid Of Cockroaches:

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_bicarbonate

https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef614

David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.