Does Vinegar Kill Roaches?

Vinegar can kill roaches, but only if you drown them in it. However, both white and apple cider vinegar can repel roaches. They have a stinging smell that bugs do not find attractive. 

You can kill roaches by mixing equal parts of vinegar and distilled water. Heat the mixture on a stove until it boils. Then pour it directly on the roaches and ensure there is enough contact. Spraying pure apple cider or white vinegar on any surface can also repel roaches.

Vinegar is an ordinary cleaner you can spray in your home, including on countertops and floors, to deter bugs. Whipping a surface with vinegar will repel and disinfect it from roaches’ bacterial and fungal infections.

Does Vinegar Kill Roaches?
Does Vinegar Kill Roaches?

Vinegar may not affect some cockroach species since its acid is not strong. So, on its own, it may not be an effective solution. Alternatively, create a working home repellent against roaches by mixing vinegar with essential oils such as cedar or tea tree oil.

Can white vinegar kill roaches?

White vinegar cannot kill roaches by itself since its acetic acid content is four to seven percent. Although the natural remedy is usually claimed to help kill roaches, it is more useful as a cleaning solution. White vinegar will not eliminate a cockroach infestation, but will kill the kitchen’s germs and deter cockroaches.

Having a clean house, including the kitchen, provides the proper defense against potential attacks by roaches and other bugs. Ensure your home does not have favorable conditions, such as food and moisture, attracting unwanted pests and insects in and outside your house.

Keep your kitchen clean and sanitized, drains clear, tightly seal your garbage and empty it frequently. Securely store food for pets. In addition, always pack your food in airtight containers, and do not leave dirty dishes and leftovers in or near the sink.

Even if distilled vinegar or white vinegar makes less or no food sources available, roaches can eat almost anything within your home to survive. Other cockroaches can go for months without eating until they eventually find what to eat. As a result, using white vinegar to kill roaches may not be that helpful. 

Can apple cider vinegar kill roaches?

Apple cider cannot kill roaches by itself. With its 5-6 percent acetic acid, this vinegar is also an excellent cleaning solution for repelling and not killing cockroaches.

Because apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are unreliable, you can try out other effective roach exterminators. For instance, use roach traps and roach spray to eliminate them from potential areas for nesting and contact a pest control professional.

Does the smell of vinegar keep cockroaches away?

The smell of vinegar can keep cockroaches away. Vinegar has a strong scent that the insects may not find pleasing. Still, vinegar may not be the best deterrent for cockroaches.

The use of odors is not a reliable means of keeping roaches away. Generally, when cockroaches are active during the night, they cover much ground inside your home, making it challenging to apply a vinegar odor.

When vinegar is not mixed or used with other ingredients, roaches may not be affected by the vinegar smell. Mixing vinegar with other ingredients like essential oils may significantly improve its power as a repellant. 

How to kill roaches with vinegar

You can kill roaches with vinegar by following the procedure below:

1. Take a cup of vinegar

Take a cup of any type of vinegar you can access at home, whether white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Vinegar that is more powerful has a higher chance of scaring off or killing cockroaches. For that reason, if possible, use distilled vinegar.

2. Have a spray bottle

Use the spray bottle to hold the amount of vinegar that you need. If you do not find a bottle for spraying, you will be forced to splash the mixture created.

3. Add dish soap

Add a couple of drops of dish soap into the bottle or container with vinegar. About 5 teaspoons should e enough in a cup of vinegar and water. Before using the solution, mix the content properly.

4. Spray the roaches 

Once you have the vinegar solution and shampoo, spray or splash it directly on the bugs infesting your home. Do not expect the mixture to have the effect of an insecticide spray.

Unlike most organisms, cockroaches can survive for at least 45 minutes without oxygen or breathing. Therefore, patiently wait a couple of hours to see the vinegar results. This is also one of the best ways to eliminate roaches in dishwashers, microwaves, or refrigerators.

What can I mix with vinegar to kill roaches?

You can mix hot water with vinegar to kill roaches. Mix the exact amounts of vinegar and hot water and leave the mixture lying around in bowls or containers. If a cockroach drinks the solution, its digestive system will be badly hurt, leading to death.

Mixing hot water and vinegar may be excellent for controlling an infestation. Once you know where the eggs of roaches are located, break them open and spray them with the solution. Alternatively, dip the eggs in a mixture of hot water and soap.

Hot water and vinegar can be more useful at home for cleaning surfaces in the kitchen and pouring down your drains to deter cockroaches from crawling all over your living space.

You can also mix liquid soaps or shampoo with vinegar to kill roaches. Once you have your homemade treatment, apply it directly to the bugs or on the surfaces used by the insects.

If cockroaches are on plants, avoid using soapy water to try and kill them. The solution can damage and kill the plant and its leaves. 

Does vinegar and dish soap kill roaches?

Vinegar and dish soap kill roaches. The mixture can be effective since it can melt away the outer covering of cockroaches and congest breathing pores, known as spiracles. As a result, the cockroaches will die since they cannot breathe normally.

Either spray the mixture on the roaches or use the solution to drown them.

Since roaches can eat almost anything, they can also eat your soap as it contains fat. The soap alone will not kill insects. The combination of soap with water and or vinegar will result in their deaths since the breathing pores are blocked.

A female cockroach is more adapted to survive when exposed to soapy water. Since females lay eggs to deliver future generations, they may have become hardy by nature to resist strategies of eliminating them. 

Does hot water and vinegar kill roaches?

Mixing hot water and vinegar to get rid of roaches works. If your drainage pipes have many cockroaches coming out of them, pour hot water inside to get rid of the bugs. With the addition of vinegar, you have a solution that kills even germs invading your space, pipes, and drains.

If you do not have vinegar, use baking soda or boric acid. Hot water kills roaches on contact, and mixing it with pure distilled vinegar is even better because it will kill the bugs and disinfect the infected area as well.

Since hiring a pest control service or exterminator may be expensive, commit to understanding the existing solutions for controlling and getting rid of roaches. The best approach is to rely on different remedies. For example, close gaps enabling the entrance of the bugs, constantly eliminate food sources, and do away with water sources, like leaking pipes. 

In conclusion, once you have controlled and killed roaches, frequently monitor your home to ensure cockroaches do not return, especially in large numbers, to cause problems.

References: University of Florida: Do-it-yourself insect traps and University of California: Integrated pest management


  • Felix Odi

    Hi, I’m an experienced author and content creator with over 18 years of experience as a publisher. Growing up in rural areas of Bristol, FL, I developed an interest in pest control, fish farming, and poultry keeping. Farming is a main activity in the area, and pests are always part of our major setbacks. I had to learn how to get rid of them with simple DIYs.