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Can Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Roaches? (And Bugs?)

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Roaches? (And Bugs?)

Roaches are insects that live comfortably in dark and damp places. They are often drawn to filthy spaces around the home in search of food. They like to hide in hard-to-keep clean or far-reaching spots for an ordinary housekeeper.

But did you know that roach species are considered insects instead of pests? Well, harmless roaches like the wood cockroaches are nothing more than home invaders. However, other species like the brown-banded and the German cockroach are repulsive, unhygienic, and carry harmful bacteria on their bodies which can cause diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, and cholera.

So, you need to eliminate these persistent pests before they get out of hand. Most people will eliminate roaches with a few natural home remedies like hydrogen peroxide, boric acid, and Listerine.

But does hydrogen peroxide kill roaches? Here is a guide to help you understand more.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Roaches?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide will kill roaches if handled correctly. Remember that a concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution will dissolve the cockroach’s flexible pits on its exoskeleton and kill it within minutes. This is an effective technique to get rid of these stubborn home invaders.

Hydrogen peroxide is a light blue, highly reactive solution normally used as an antiseptic to prevent burns, minor cuts, and scrapes on the skin. It is also a versatile non-corrosive bleaching agent commonly used by homeowners.

The hydrogen peroxide will remove the skin cells on the roaches’ exoskeleton because of its acidic nature if a cockroach touches it.

Here is how you should use hydrogen peroxide:

1. Mix 3% of equal parts peroxide and water to make sure the hydrogen peroxide is effective

2. Spray the mixture along the roaches’ favorite hiding spots.

3. Leave the cockroach to touch the solution

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Bugs?

Yes! Hydrogen peroxide can be used to repel bugs. It can be used to kill plant bugs and bedbugs. However, you must be careful when spraying on consumable plant products. Also, hydrogen peroxide will kill bug larvae and eggs. That is why most homeowners use it as an alternative to chemical pesticides.

To make the solution right, mix one tablespoon of 3% peroxide with a gallon of water. Pour in a spray bottle and spray over potentially-infested bug spots and plants.

Tip: Only use food-grade hydrogen peroxide on plants to minimize food contamination and plant damage.

What Pests Will Hydrogen Peroxide Kill?

Although not proven as an insecticide for all insects, hydrogen peroxide will kill several pests like aphids, flies, spider mites, moths, worms, gnats, sap-sucking & other plant-destroying pests. Most of these bugs mentioned here eat and damage plant cover. Use 5% hydrogen peroxide for effective results.

Pest infestation normally causes severe damage to plant development. Most plants might experience stunted growth, rotting, or death in case of negligence. So, you should use an effective pesticide to stop the infestation or ensure steady plant health.

Using 5% hydrogen peroxide will kill adult insects, larvae, and eggs. Use hydrogen peroxide as a DIY pesticide to reduce the rate of pest infestation at home. Though, you should always use food-based peroxide on edible plants and fruits.

Does Listerine Kill Roaches?

Yes! Listerine will kill roaches. Though it should only be applied directly to the bugs – and if not, it will work as a repellent (which is, however, impractical). Listerine will drain all the cockroaches’ oil and leave them dehydrated. The dehydration will then kill the cockroach.

Listerine is a mouthwash with a high concentration of Methyl Salicylate, chlorhexidine & isopropyl Alcohol, and Eucalyptol used to deal with halitosis causing bad breath and gingivitis. These chemicals are toxic to several insects, including cockroaches.

Spraying Listerine around your home will repel roaches.

– Mix equal parts of water and Lysol.

– Add seven drops of liquid detergent and stir thoroughly

– Directly spray this solution on the roaches to instantly kill them

Does Spraying Bleach on Roaches Kill Them?

Yes. Spraying bleach will repel roaches and kill a few that get contaminated. It is a proven repellant. Bleach not only has a powerful odor that cockroaches find intolerable. It is manufactured with chlorine, water, and caustic soda to form a chemical with anti-microbial effects.

Bleach will kill roaches in two ways:

1. Spraying bleach on the roaches’ will corrode their bodies and eventually die.

2. The bleach will destroy roaches’ internal organs if they consume or are submerged in the solution.

Although bleach is an excellent roach repellent, it is difficult to eliminate all roaches. It is not as effective as other household insecticides or pyrethrum-made commercial pesticides.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches?

Yes. Rubbing alcohol will kill roaches by suffocating them. Remember that all cockroaches absorb and excrete oxygen & carbon dioxide through their spiracles. So, these tiny openings in their bodies or outer shell will clog if you spray rubbing alcohol on them. Hence they will not breathe and eventually die.

Unfortunately, rubbing alcohol will not eliminate the entire infestation because when roaches smell rubbing alcohol, they tend to disappear for a while. So, you should first capture them before spraying rubbing alcohol on their bodies.

Note that rubbing alcohol evaporates fast – meaning that when the roaches run away from the smell of rubbing alcohol, it will disappear, causing insignificant damage.

As you know, alcohol is an explosive compound. Thus, you should always avoid using rubbing alcohol in confined spaces or close to a fire risk zone. Trap the roaches and spray them directly in open areas or outdoors.

What Smell do Cockroaches Hate the Most?

Roaches do not like spices, herbs, and scented plants. A few scents roaches do not like include lemon, bay leaves, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus. So, you can use these products as natural repellents. Moreover, you can mix a few ingredients with water or essential oils to form the repellants.

Scented lemon: Roaches do not like the scent of squeezed lemon. So, most homeowners use lemon to disinfect roaches-infested spots around the house.

Bay leaves: Bay leaves have a pungent smell that roaches hate. Roaches will keep off an area with bay leaves. So, you should scatter bay leaves around confined spots like behind cupboards, inside the drawers, and other locations you might have noticed traces of cockroaches.

Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil is not only essential oil that will repel roaches but other pests and insects around your home. Insects find the scent strong to bear. You can dilute peppermint oil with water or other essential oil more effectively.

Eucalyptus oil: Crushed eucalyptus release a strong scent. So, cockroaches and other pests will keep off an area with a eucalyptus scent. Pour enough eucalyptus oil around your home to repel stubborn roaches.

Lavender oil: Like eucalyptus, roaches find lavender oil unbearable. Mix lavender oil with any essential oil to repel insects and keep your home smelling fresh at the same time.

Garlic: Garlic has a pungent and overpowering smell that most insects do not like, including roaches. It is a natural home remedy to repel a cockroach-infested home.

Crush garlic cloves and spread them on roach-infested spots.

Other natural remedies that will also repel roaches

You can repel bugs in two straightforward ways. (1) By killing them or (2) by repelling them.

Using natural home remedies guarantees a safe environment for your family and pets.

Here are a few other effective natural solutions you should always try to eliminate roaches from your house.

A mixture of sugar and baking soda

This is an effective but slow home remedy to eliminate roaches.

Mix equal parts of the two ingredients and sprinkle them in high-infested spots. The sugar will act as bait to attract the roaches, whereas the baking soda will kill them slowly after ingestion. The baking soda kills cockroaches within 12-24 hours.

Coffee grounds

Mix coffee grounds and water in an empty jar. Apply enough petroleum jelly inside the corners of the jar. The coffee ground will attract the roaches into the jar.

When roaches enter the jar, the petroleum jelly prevents them from climbing and drowning. Note that cockroaches can survive underwater for about 30 minutes.

Fabric softener

Mix two parts fabric softener and 1 part water and spray this mixture on the roaches’ bodies.

Because roaches breathe through their skin, this solution blocks their respiratory pores and suffocates them.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a soft and naturally occurring sedimentary rock that pierces through the exoskeleton of roaches and kills them instantly. Sprinkle enough crystals on cockroach hideouts (depending on the level of infestation)


Using natural home remedies to deal with roaches at home will not only guarantee effective results. It is a safe method of dealing with a roach infestation.

Alternatively, use any mentioned techniques in this article for improved performance. Follow the steps provided and enjoy a roach-free environment.