Does Vinegar Kill Cockroaches? | 8 Simple Tips to Keep Roaches Away

For a long time, all-natural remedies for killing cockroaches have included the use of vinegar. After all, white vinegar is cheap, easy to find, and seems to have a million uses around the home, so why shouldn’t it be used to get rid of roaches?

Unfortunately, white vinegar will not kill cockroaches or other insects. Instead, vinegar can get rid of roaches by making sure your kitchen and other areas of your home are spotless so that nothing is there to attract these pests in the first place.

Vinegar keeps roaches away by keeping your house clean

Clean, dry houses do not attract cockroaches the way dirty homes do. Vinegar is a great way to clean and sanitize every room in your home where cockroaches love to stay, especially the kitchen.

The best line of defense against roaches in your home is a super-clean house, especially a clean kitchen. Certain things attract roaches to your home, including moisture, food, and even shelter.

Keep in mind that roaches eat just about anything, so even the crumbs found in your kitchen can be considered a meal to them. If you use the vinegar to keep the kitchen clean, roaches are less likely to visit you.

Keep your kitchen clean with dilute vinegar to keep roaches away.

Here are 8 easy ways you can keep roaches out of your home.

  1. Keep your kitchen counters cleaned and sanitized with vinegar.
  2. Keep your garbage tightly secured and take it out regularly.
  3. Keep your drains as clean as possible.
  4. Make sure all of your appliances are clean, including your toaster and microwave oven, so that crumbs don’t build up there.
  5. Make sure you keep all the food in your kitchen sealed in airtight containers.
  6. Never leave dirty dishes in the sink.
  7. Keep all pet food stored securely.
  8. Clean and sanitize the sink as well as all food preparation and cooking areas.

Vinegar is a great way to clean and sanitize. Experts say that if you spray undiluted vinegar onto the countertop, then leave it alone for 10 minutes. It can even kill salmonella, one of the many germs that roaches tend to bring into homes.

Extra strength vinegar is great for cleaning. Dilute it in a spray bottle and keep it in your kitchen.

Most germs can be killed quickly with undiluted vinegar, especially if the vinegar is used at room temperature, approximately 75 degrees Fahrenheit. With salmonella specifically, the germs can be killed in around one minute if the vinegar is warmed to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is easy to see why vinegar is so effective at keeping your home spotless.

Simple ways to kill cockroaches at home

So now that you know vinegar can’t kill roaches but can keep them away because it keeps your home clean and sanitized, let’s take a look at some of the simplest ways to kill cockroaches.

Most of the tips below require the use of boric acid. Boric acid is a simple and inexpensive item that has proven to be one of the most effective ways to get rid of roaches. Just follow these tips to begin living in a roach-free home:

Boric acid to kill cockroaches

Take boric acid and do one of two things with it: either sprinkle it along the walls behind all of your appliances, or blow it into cracks and crevices with a hair dryer that you have set on low.

When you do this, the boric acid clings to the feet of the roaches, and soon afterwards the roaches will ingest this powder. Boric acid then interferes with the roach’s metabolism, eventually killing it.

Set a trap made with boric acid to kill cockroaches

Combine equal parts of flour, boric acid, and sugar. Then, add enough milk to make a thick paste. Divide the mixture up and place it in small disposable containers in the back of your cupboards and behind all of your appliances.

The sugar is enough to lure the roaches into the trap, where they feel comfortable enough to eat the mixture, go back to their hiding places and then die. Roaches will also eat the roaches that are already dead or the poisoned droppings then die.

Mayo jar traps

Make your own traps with mayo jars. Take clear jars – mayo jars are perfect – and line them with a thin layer of petroleum jelly at the top. Place a small piece of banana peel into the jar, which lures in the roaches at night so they can eat it.

The roaches will then be unable to escape due to the petroleum jelly, so they essentially get stuck in the jar. In the morning, all you have to do is put a lid on the jar and throw it away.

Sugar and boric acid

Use sugar and boric acid. This is a simple recipe that works. Just mix equal parts of sugar and boric acid, and sprinkle the mixture along any area where you’ve noticed the roaches. Or, brush it into the cracks found inside and behind all of your cabinets.

The sugar lures the roaches in and the boric acid both poisons and desiccates them, causing them to dry out and die.

Boric acid is incredibly effective in killing roaches, and it’s also very easy to use. Roaches also have a very strong sense of smell, so you can fill a spray bottle with water and about 20 drops of certain essential oils, then spray behind your appliances and on your cabinets.

For the essential oil, use lavender, citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, or tea tree oil for the best results. It works like a charm!


White vinegar, especially when undiluted, works wonders in keeping your home much cleaner, which can help you get rid of cockroaches. A clean house is usually a roach-free house, so don’t count on the vinegar to kill your roaches. It is merely effective at keeping them away.

Make sure you use the vinegar to clean appliances, countertops, cupboards, and any place where you’ve seen roaches. Keep food away from any place where roaches can reach. You can also use ingredients such as boric acid, sugar, and even certain essential oils to kill roaches and keep them away for a very long time.