How to Get Rid of Cockroaches Using Diatomaceous Earth

updated Dec 9, 2022
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Credit: Melanie Rieders

Cockroaches in the kitchen! Few things top them on the list of Least Welcome Visitors. Actually, nothing tops them. They are not wanted. No thank you. (We hate them so much, we opted to just show a picture of a pretty kitchen instead of those creepy little buggers. The kitchen featured above does not have roaches.) If you’re here because you’re looking for a way to get rid of cockroaches without using toxic chemicals, we can help. But first, we’re going to take a quick look on how you can prevent them from the get go. Here goes.

How to Prevent Cockroaches

In order to prevent cockroaches, you have to keep your kitchen clean — don’t leave crumbs or food out in the open. Cockroaches love flour, especially, so take it out of the bag and seal it in a plastic container. They also love bread crumbs and other wheat-based goods, so store them in plastic — you can put the cardboard boxes in zip-top bags, for example.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches With Diatomaceous Earth

If you already have cockroaches, there are several things you can do. Observe the cockroaches and try to figure out where they are coming from, and seal the openings with clear caulk when you find them. Cockroaches are flat and can get through very small openings, so keep an eye out.

In addition to flour, cockroaches also love cocoa powder, so mix equal parts of cocoa powder or flour with diatomaceous earth (found in hardware stores and online) and sprinkle it near cockroach entryways or in places where you’ve seen the cockroaches. Note that cocoa powder can stain light-colored carpets.

Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic to pets and humans, but it kills insects by destroying their exoskeletons. The roaches will take the “bait” back to their nest and feed it to the other roaches, who will also die. You can use borax powder (found in the laundry soap aisle of most supermarkets) in place of diatomaceous earth if you like.

More on Pests

Have you had roaches in your kitchen? What’d you do?