Cockroaches are a tough pest to control, as they are hardy and reproduce rapidly. Traditional roach-killing pesticides, such as sprays, bombs and powders, are highly toxic and dangerous to use around children and pets, as well as harmful in an edible or flower garden. Instead of taking the chemical route when killing the roaches, opt for more eco-friendly household products that you probably already have on hand. Not only are the products safer for your family and yard, they're easier on your wallet too.
Boric Acid and Flour Method
A boric acid and flour combination first paralyzes the pesky roaches, and then kills them. While the boric acid slowly dissolves insect exoskeletons, the flour is what attracts the pests to the poison. To make the solution, put on protective gloves, and then mix 1 cup of boric acid with 1 cup of flour and enough water to make the mixture into a liquid. Pour the solution into small bowls or even canning jar lids, and place them in the back of your kitchen cupboards, and under your stove and refrigerator. You can also set them around your garden to keep roaches away from your plants. Keep the solution out of the reach of children and pets, as the boric acid is a toxic substance.
Rubbing Alcohol Method
To create an easy and economical roach spray, mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 1 part water in a plastic spray bottle. Whenever you see roaches in your home, spray them with the solution, which suffocates them, as they breathe through a system of tubes called tracheae in their shells, but they can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. You could also substitute the rubbing alcohol with olive oil or distilled white vinegar, as these work in the same way.
Baking Soda and Sugar Method
Another eco-friendly way to kill roaches is with baking soda, which causes their stomachs to burst when ingested. Combine 1 part baking soda with 1 part sugar, which attracts the roaches to the solution. Again, sprinkle the mixture into small bowls or jar lids, and place them in the areas -- including kitchen cabinets and under the stove -- where you commonly see the insects. This offers a natural solution to kill roaches in your yard or garden as well. Set a small lid filled with water if they don't have access to it in the location, because after they ingest the solution, drinking water causes the baking soda to expand.
Petroleum Jelly Method
One creative and non-toxic way to capture and kill small roaches is by placing thick layers of petroleum jelly in small bowls. Sprinkle sugar, flour or other types of roach-attracting food over the jelly and place the bowls wherever you see the roaches. The food scents draw the insects to the bowls, and the jelly traps them until you dispose of them.