HomeCockroachDoes Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches? The Truth Revealed

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches? The Truth Revealed

Roaches are one of the most common and persistent pests that can invade your home. They can spread diseases, spoil your food, and ruin your belongings. You may want to use alcohol as a natural way to get rid of them, but is it really a good idea?

In this article, Pestweek will answer the question: does alcohol kill roaches and how to use alcohol to kill cockroaches? 

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches
Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches? The Truth Revealed

Do roaches hate alcohol?

According to some sources, roaches do not hate the smell of alcohol, but they can be killed by it. Alcohol is a type of chemical that can suffocate and dehydrate roaches by blocking their breathing pores and drying out their bodies.

However, alcohol is not very effective in repelling roaches or preventing them from infesting your property. Roaches can adapt to the smell of alcohol and become immune to it over time

Does alcohol kill roaches?

Yes, rubbing alcohol can kill roaches by suffocating them. Roaches breathe through small holes in their shells called spiracles. When rubbing alcohol is sprayed on their body, the spiracles get blocked, preventing them from breathing.

However, rubbing alcohol is not a very effective or safe method to control roaches. It is highly flammable and can cause fire hazards if sprayed near sources of ignition. It can also cause health problems if inhaled in large quantities.

You may want to explore another effective approach for managing cockroaches, which involves using kerosene. Read more about it here: “Can Kerosene Kill Cockroaches and Is It Worth the Risk?”

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches

How Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches? 

Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, serves as an effective roach-killing agent due to its multifaceted approach. When roaches come into contact with rubbing alcohol, it initiates a process of dehydration by swiftly evaporating the moisture from their bodies.

This results in the breakdown of their protective outer layer, potentially leading to harm. Moreover, the alcohol infiltrates their spiracles, disrupting their respiratory functions and inducing respiratory distress.

The solvent properties of rubbing alcohol further contribute to its effectiveness by dismantling the insects’ waxy outer layer and causing fat dissolution. This holistic attack on the roaches’ physiological systems can induce paralysis and, eventually, demise.

However, it’s vital to acknowledge that while rubbing alcohol can offer immediate results, it might not be a comprehensive solution for managing an infestation entirely or preventing its recurrence. Therefore, for a more thorough approach to roach control, integrating rubbing alcohol with other strategic pest management methods is strongly advisable.

How to use alcohol to kill cockroaches?

Alcohol makes a suitable solution for removing fewer roaches earlier in the infestation before multiplying into a vast herd. Killing cockroaches with rubbing alcohol is pretty straightforward. You only need 70 percent concentrated isopropyl alcohol and a sprayer.

Here’s how to kill roaches using isopropyl alcohol:

Select a sprayer and pour the alcohol into it

The best sprayer to use is one that hasn’t contained another liquid before. It would help if you bought a new sprayer online or in nearby garden stores. The spray bottle must have a tight nozzle for applying the product at one point without spreading to untargeted areas.

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After ensuring you have selected the right spray bottle, measure enough rubbing alcohol and transfer it into the sprayer. Fasten the nozzle tightly.

Spray the rubbing alcohol on the roaches’ shells

Spot the roaches with your sprayer ready at hand. It’s crucial to ensure the roach isn’t moving, so you don’t spend hours chasing them all over. A good idea would be to trap the roaches to prevent them from moving.

Firmly holding the sprayer, mist the rubbing alcohol directly on the roaches’ shells, and soak each thoroughly with the rubbing alcohol. The product would steadily block the roaches’ spiracles and suffocate them within minutes. After two to three hours, you should see dead cockroaches on the surfaces.

Get rid of the roaches’ carcasses

Remove the dead roaches from the surfaces after killing them. Roaches love dirt and even feed on dead bodies of their kind.

Also, clear dirt from surfaces to prevent remaining roaches from feeding on them.

Target the roaches body and not surfaces

You might think it’s okay to spray alcohol on the surfaces the roaches live or contact so they’ll die when they come to those places. But that is not practical and advisable. Rubbing alcohol kills roaches by blocking their spiracles.

You must direct the alcohol at their bodies and not on surfaces. The cockroaches cannot die when they step on those surfaces because their spiracles will be open for breathing.

Furthermore, spraying rubbing alcohol on countertops, furniture, and finishes damages them.

Is it Safe to Use Alcohol to Kill Roaches?

No, it is not safe to use alcohol to kill roaches. As mentioned before, alcohol is highly flammable and can cause fire hazards if sprayed near sources of ignition.

It can also cause health problems if inhaled in large quantities.

Therefore, it is better to use other natural remedies, such as baking soda, diatomaceous earth, boric acid and clove oil kill roaches. These methods are safer, cheaper, and more effective than alcohol. 

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches


Alcohol is a valuable substance in our homes, yet any little mismanagement can be dangerous and cause havoc. Using this product in your home requires a unique handle and care.

You want to observe the precautions below when killing roaches with alcohol to ensure your property’s safety.

Put off all flames

Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable and can quickly spark a fire if used near flames. When killing roaches from your property, put off all flames. Turn off electrical appliances and cover sockets to prevent roaches from running and hiding in them after treatment, resulting in fire.

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Don’t mix rubbing alcohol with other products

You might get tempted to mix rubbing alcohol with other home products like borax to make it more powerful when killing roaches. But these combinations will only do more harm than good. When borax and rubbing alcohol combine, they form chloroform which is more toxic and corrosive.

Accidental contact with chloroform irritates the skin and causes dizziness and nausea. Don’t mix rubbing alcohol with other substances. But, you can add clean water to concentrated rubbing alcohol to make it less concentrated. The mixture will still drown roaches to death.

Always ventilate the area

Rubbing alcohol is highly volatile; it evaporates quickly in a couple of minutes to form fumes of gases in the atmosphere. When you use rubbing alcohol in a room with no ventilation, the toxic fumes collect and cause breathing difficulties and throat dryness.

If no fresh air is provided, the fumes might suffocate you. Always open windows and doors for free air circulation when removing roaches using alcohol.

Wear protective clothing

Rubbing alcohol irritates and corrodes the skin when it contacts it. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, google, and heavy-duty hand gloves to prevent rubbing alcohol from contacting your skin.

Alternatively, you can avoid corrosion by mixing it with water. Hot water kills roaches and mixing it with rubbing alcohol is a great advantage when getting rid of roaches at home. This will also help in reducing the dangers of inhaling pure rubbing alcohol.

Restrict movement into treated spaces

After killing the roaches, keep kids and pets away from the treated areas. This is because the kids or pets can easily touch treated areas resulting in skin irritation or corrosion. Let the rooms sit for hours before allowing the kids and pets to access them.

In addition to alcohol, you can explore other safer and equally effective natural methods. Find more information here: How To Get Rid Of Roaches Without An Exterminator?

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches


Alcohol kill roaches by suffocating them, but it is not a safe or effective method to control them. Alcohol is highly flammable and can cause fire hazards and health problems. There are other natural remedies that are safer, cheaper, and more effective than alcohol, such as baking soda, diatomaceous earth, or boric acid.

If you want to learn more about how to get rid of roaches and other pests, check out our blog at Pestweek.

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