Does Lysol Kill Roaches? The Facts And Results

Imagine getting up for a night snack, only to find out you’re not the only one that thought of food. The first thing I would do at the sight of roaches in the kitchen is grabbing Lysol from under the sink and spraying them until they stop wiggling. But does Lysol actually kill roaches?

In short, yes, it does, by suffocating them. Insects breathe through spiracles, opening on their back. When you spray Lysol on them, it gets into those openings and clogs them. This causes roaches to choke and die. 

It takes more than a paragraph to explain how this disinfectant spray aids in dealing with unwanted guests. To find out everything you need to know about this product that’s a staple in kitchens around the US, keep on reading.

How Does Lysol Actually Kill Roaches?

Roaches are pretty tough creatures. If any living thing could survive the nuclear apocalypse, it’s a roach. In fact, some early reports of the Hiroshima bombing aftermath claim that these insects were the only survivors. 

These tiny creatures have been around for 300 million years. Throughout that period, they gained some interesting skills.

Roaches can live without heads for a whole week, withstand whooping 32° F and even reproduce without male roaches! These facts are both fascinating and frightening at the same time. 

If Lysol is strong enough to kill the COVID-19 virus on hard surfaces, it has to be good against roaches too, right? It is, although not the way you might think. Here’s what I mean.

Most insecticides work by affecting the bug’s nervous system. When you spray roaches with such a product, it quickly gets absorbed into their bodies. As it reaches the brain, it causes them to lose control over their motion, which ultimately leads to death. 

Lysol consists of different substances that kill viruses, bacteria and fungi, but it doesn’t contain insecticides. So when you spray it on roaches, it doesn’t attack their brains. Instead, the sprayed content sticks to the insect’s body. 

As you already know, roaches breathe through openings on their back, like any other insect.

When you spray them with Lysol, the content gets inside those openings and causes roaches to choke. These bugs learned to adapt over the course of millions of years, but luckily for us, they’re still susceptible to such a simple chemical solution.

Will Other Brands Work Just As Well?

How well would a certain brand work against these pests depends on the ingredients. Both ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are Lysol’s rockstar chemicals when it comes to dealing with roaches.

In case of an infestation, any product with these ingredients will do as an emergency repellent. However, not every disinfectant will kill these persistent pests. 

For that, you need a product that, like Lysol, contains more than 70% alcohol. But, the compound that makes this product stick to the roach’s body is benzalkonium chloride. When combined, these ingredients kill insects on contact. 

Will Lysol Solve All Of My Roach-Related Problems?

By American-cockroach.jpg: Gary Alpertderivative work: B kimmel (talk) - American-cockroach.jpg, CC BY 2.5,

Here’s the thing. The key to roach control is a well-thought plan. No single approach is strong enough to deal with these annoying bugs once and for all. What you need is a three-step procedure:

Get A Rapid Kill Product

There’s nothing cute about these insects. The first thing you should do when you encounter a roach in your home is to kill it. While a slipper in a hand is a strong weapon, you don’t really want the insect’s internal organs smeared on your floor.

You need a different product that kills roaches on contact. Sprays like Lysol are great, as they allow you to deal with these bugs while keeping a safe distance. 

Dealing With A Hidden Colony

As a rule of thumb, seeing one roach in your house means there are many more of them you don’t see.

They like to hide in dark places like behind counters, inside kitchen appliances or under sinks. Since they usually come out to snack during the night, it might take a while before you realize your house is infested with these pests.

Since you can’t spray what you can’t see, how do you put an end to an infestation? For dealing with hidden foes, you need to place roach traps or baits around places where roaches are most likely to hang out.

Roach traps work on the same principle mouse traps do. They use either glue or a mechanism that catches the insects that happen to cross their path. 

Roach baits use an even more refined strategy. They use different slow active ingredients that kill these pests within 1 to 3 days. This delayed time of death is the ace up your sleeve, since these hungry omnivores don’t give their food source a second thought.

Cockroaches eat the bat and go on with their lives, oblivious to the fact that they’re going to die soon.

When a poisoned roach returns to the nest, it infects other roaches too. If you’re lucky, you can kill the whole colony with these baits.

Comeback Prevention

After you clear your house of these annoying pests, you need to make sure they don’t come back. The first thing you should do is make your house unappealing to them by cleaning it.

Your main focus should be on the kitchen. Wash your dishes, clean crumbs, wipe counters and keep the trash can closed at all times. Don’t make your home an all-you-can-eat buffet for these pests.

Roaches find their way in through cracks and gaps around your house. To deny them access, simply seal those holes. Use weatherstripping for doors and windows and caulks for cracks in walls and foundations.

Keep in mind that leaky pipes are also one of the main places roaches might lurk. The excess moisture is like music to their ears. Regularly inspect your faucets and sinks and fix issues as soon as possible.

Is Using Lysol More Cost-Effective Than Buying Regular Roach Treatment?

As I already mentioned, Lysol is great for killing roaches on contact. But, it also kills their eggs.

Thanks to alcohol, this product dries their eggs until there’s no moisture left. Needless to say, they can’t survive such treatment. 

Lysol also has such a strong smell that makes people hold their breath while spraying it around the house. But, as much as you might not like the odor, roaches hate it even more.

This scent overpowers other smelly things like your garbage can, leftover food or even standing water in your shower drain. 

Let’s not forget how the primary role of this product, which is disinfection, helps in dealing with these pests.

As you know, roaches aren’t picky eaters. They’ll consume anything that comes from once a living creature. Paper, leather, fruit, glue, hair, feces… If there’s nothing on the menu, one of their own kind will do.

Yes, these insects have cannibalistic tendencies. In a way, that’s practical: if they eat a couple of their “roommates,” there’s more food for everyone else. 

While searching your cat’s litter box or your garbage can in search of a snack, these bugs ingest much more than just nutritional ingredients. Their gut is rich in pathogens that cause diseases like typhoid fever, leprosy, dysentery and even plague. 

Roaches easily spread these germs by walking on our clean surfaces. But that’s not the only way they do it.

Just like these bugs don’t pick where they eat, they don’t mind doing the “number two” anywhere either. They’ll leave their droppings on your counters, in the pastry, on the table… Yikes. 

If you find roach feces on surfaces around your house, you’ll need a good disinfectant to kill all the germs that left their body. Lysol proves to be quite useful here, since it can be used on furniture, upholstery and even in nurseries. 

No product will do miracles by itself, and Lysol is not the exception. It will help you deal with roaches and droppings you see, but unless you spray every inch of your house, it won’t kill the roaches that are hiding from you. After all, they hang out in places we can’t really reach, like drains and pipes. 

But, it still does more than most roach treatments. It kills them on contact, repels them with a strong smell and it cleans surfaces after them. We can safely agree that this makes Lysol a cost-efficient roach exterminating weapon. 

Final Thoughts

When dealing with roaches, your house turns into a real battlefield. To win, you need to be persistent and fight with as many different roach treatments as possible.

One of your unexpected allies in extermination is the disinfectant you keep under the sink, Lysol.

This spray helps you deal with both adult roaches and eggs, and it kills all the pathogens they spread around your house. When used in conjunction with other methods, it promises good results. 

To learn more about getting rid of cockroaches check out the links below: 

Can Roaches Adapt to Boric Acid?

How To Get Rid Of CockRoaches

Do dead cockroaches attract more cockroaches?

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page

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