How to Kill Bugs With Vinegar

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Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar

  • Washcloths

  • Large bowl


If you have serious roach problems that cannot be corrected by natural means, you may need to use poison. Do so very carefully, and if possible employ an expert exterminator to handle the problem for you.

Cockroaches and other pests love your drain pipes because food and water can collect in their turns, creating a reservoir of safety.

Vinegar does not actually kill all types of bugs, but it can serve as a serious deterrent to their enjoyment of your happy home. Even if you employ a regular pest-control service, you may find that after a few days the bugs magically appear as if they had not been driven out and--in theory--killed by the exterminator. One of the reasons that roaches, beetles and other pests are able to exhibit this seeming imperviousness to poison is that they retreat to the safely and comfort of your kitchen drain until the onslaught has worn off. In order to drive them away or kill them completely, you must eliminate this safe haven.

Step 1

Fill a large bowl with vinegar. Do not fill it to the brim, as you will be soaking the washcloths in it.

Step 2

Place the washcloths in the bowl and allow them to soak for at least 5 minutes. The cloths must be saturated or the bugs will crawl out from under them and escape.

Step 3

Place a vinegar-soaked washcloth over every drain in your house. You should do this on a day when you can open some windows, as your house will smell very strongly of vinegar.

Step 4

Pour at least one cup of vinegar through the washcloth. If possible, avoid using the sinks and drains you have treated for several hours. If you must use one of the sinks, replace the washcloth immediately and pour more vinegar through the pipes to make sure that the water did not dilute the treatment.

Step 5

Remove the washcloths after several hours. Do not rinse out the sinks, but wait for normal use to disperse the vinegar. This treatment will kill some bugs and drive others either outside or into areas of your house that have been treated by an exterminator. Either way, they should cease to be a problem for you.

Carole Ellis

Carole Ellis began writing in 2004 for the "UGA Research Magazine." Her work has appeared in Growing Edge, Medscape and Doctors' Guide publications. In addition to medical coverage, Carole publishes a real estate newsletter called REJournalOnline and is the news editor for the Bryan Ellis Real Estate Letter. She has a bachelor's degree in English and graduate work in creative writing and plant biology.