How to Get Rid of Roaches in Apartment Naturally – My Results

If you’re reading this article then you’re probably like me. Living in an apartment and have had the unfortunate bad luck of having a cockroach infestation.

What I want you to know is that you are not alone and you are not the first person to tackle this.

Not only that, if you are like me. You want to avoid using chemical products if at all possible and find a natural more long term sustainable solution.

That’s where this article comes in to help you out.

Last summer I had the same issue in my 3rd story 2 bed apartment in downtown Manhattan.

Being a nerd for statistics and an avid fan of myth busters. I went about trying every possible documented natural solution for repelling roaches and other pests in apartments.

But if you’re in a rush, here’s what worked for me: How Do You Repellent Cockroaches In Apartments Naturally? The easiest solution involves making a solution of boric acid and sugar which will lure the roaches and then kill them without being toxic to pets or animals. In addition to using this natural repellent, you can also clean thoroughly and repair any and all leaks which may let the pests pack into your place. 

I highly recommend reading the entirety of this article because the approach that eventually worked great for me, might not be totally suitable for your circumstances and I share multiple techniques that work best for a variety of situations.

So lets dig in and give you some hope…

What Is a Natural Repellent?

natural cockroach repellent for apartment

Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal descriptor for natural repellents so you may find some variation in definitions. In general, people consider natural repellents to be compounds or substances that are found in nature. For example, when it comes to bug spray, plant extracts are commonly used to deter them. This is in contrast to synthetic chemicals which have to be manufactured. 

Another area to consider is the safety of what’s contained in the repellent. Many insect and roach repellents contain chemicals which, while toxic to roaches, may also be harmful to humans or pets. For anyone who is concerned about their health long-term, they may want to limit use of these chemicals in a home.

When it comes to natural repellents, they are generally materials that are non-toxic to pets and humans. This does not mean that they come without any risk though. Some natural ingredients may be harmful to humans or irritating. 

When it comes to boric, some people might think that this is not a natural repellent. However, boric acid or sassolite is a compound that can be found in nature. It is also non-toxic although the compound may be slightly irritating to skin for prolonged exposure.

It has a long history of being used for cleaning, food preservation, and other methods. This does not mean that it’s the only option for a natural repellent, but comes highly recommended for its effectiveness. 

Proven Natural Methods to Repel Cockroaches

If you’re not interested in using boric acid or want to try another method, then there are additional options available. Keep in mind that some may be more effective than others so you may have to try more than one of these options to get rid of roaches. 

Catnip is a surprisingly effective way to repel cockroaches naturally. Studies performed at Iowa State University confirmed that placing catnip around a house worked to naturally get rid of the pest.

The only downside is that your cats may be overly attracted to the catnip so this may not be your best option if you have cats. Replace the catnip periodically as it may lose its effectiveness over time. 

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural and non-toxic substance that will get rid of roaches naturally. Roaches will eat the earth if they are attracted to it. Although diatomaceous earth is not naturally attractive to roaches, it will be effective if mixed with cocoa powder or flour.

Sprinkle the mixture around infested areas or places where you’ve seen roaches before. Hardware stores sell this material or it can be purchased online as well. 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural repellent to roaches as they do not like the odor. Mix a quarter cup of the essential oil with a quarter cup of vinegar and two cups of water. Mix and then place in a spray bottle.

Spray the mixture around the infested locations and you’ll get rid of roaches naturally. This mixture also will act as a natural disinfectant and many people like the scent of tea tree oil. Do this every few days to be effective. 

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus is effective as a natural roach repellent and the scent is also a good one to have in your apartment. You can use the leaves or plants around your apartment or purchase eucalyptus oil for an easy solution. Add just 10 drops to a water bottle and then spray in the affected area. Your home will soon be free of roaches. 

Does Cycling Through Natural Roach Repellents Work?

does cycling through repellents work?

This is a common question that many people have. If you’re using a method of roach repellent that is showing good results, then you likely won’t have any additional benefit from adding another method.

Changing to another method may even hurt your efforts if it’s not as effective for your roach population. If you notice that you’ve gotten rid of roaches with using boric acid or another method, there’s no indication to try something else.

However, if you find that your method isn’t producing the desired effects, then you may want consider trying something else. After all, there are different types of roaches and some may be more resistant to the natural methods mentioned here.

When you find that your roach population is staying intact, it’s time to try another solution. When this happens, cycle through a natural repellent until you find one that is effective. Make sure that you allow at least seven days for each method to determine its effectiveness before moving on. 

How Long To Use Repellent?

Although you can use these methods indefinitely, you may not want to have to take the time and effort for an extended period. In most cases, you should use a natural repellent for at least a month in order to kill all of the roaches in your apartment.

While your first try could repel the roaches in about a week, there may be more roaches left behind. Some species of roaches lay eggs which can take weeks or months to hatch. This means that you should continue with the repellents for a period of time after you stop seeing roaches or the evidence of them being present. 

Depending on where you live, you may also need to keep repellents in place long-term. While you can control the cleanliness and condition of your own apartment, your neighbors or other people in the building may not be taking the same measures.

Having an apartment complex that is pest-free is not common. Many people don’t take the appropriate steps to get rid of their roach problem. While keeping your own apartment clean and tidy will reduce the incidence of roaches, they may still try to get into your spaces. 

Is the Natural Approach Actually That Effective?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t a simple yes or no. Natural repellents can be used successfully but they generally involve taking other steps as well. Even an effective repellent won’t be a good option if you don’t use it for a period of time or you don’t ensure that you’ve created an inhospitable environment for roaches.

A pest management approach to roach treatment and prevention generally involves multiple factors. However, if you use the natural approach and also follow recommendations to prevent them from returning, you have a good chance of being successful.

Other factors which may affect your success include the apartment complex itself and the degree of infestation. 

How To Make Your Apartment Unattractive

clean apartments deter cockroaches

If you make the environment less desirable to roaches, it won’t eliminate them entirely. However, it will make them less likely to return when you’ve gotten rid of them. These are a few ways that you can avoid a future roach problem. 

  • Clean thoroughly and regularly- Cockroaches are attracted to food residue especially to grease. When you cook, always clean thoroughly afterwards. Since roaches come out at night, it’s also a good idea to wipe down countertops and the stove each night so they don’t attract pests. 
  • Seal up any cracks and holes- look for any spots in the pantry, around the baseboards, and between countertops and the wall where roaches could get through. Roaches can surprisingly fit in a number of areas so it’s important that you seal any entries into the apartment. Use a caulking gun and a tube of caulking for an easy solution.
  • Have any water leaks repaired- roaches are attracted to moisture and water so any damp areas of the home are going to bring them in. This is why you often find them under sinks. Most roaches can only live a few days without water but even longer without food. Ask your maintenance team at the apartment to repair even small leaks. Don’t let water stand in your sink or have other standing water in the apartment for the best results. 
  • Keep your apartment cold- cockroaches are going to be more active in warm weather but they tend to avoid cold places. If you don’t mind keeping your thermostat on the colder side, this step makes your apartment less attractive to roaches. It won’t prevent them entirely but they’ll be more likely to seek out a warmer spot. 

When To Consider Alternatives

If you’ve tried these methods and are still struggling with roaches, then it may be time to try another method. Some roach infestations are too aggressive and large to be dealt with using natural methods.

You may also find that you don’t have the time to follow the steps here to completely eliminate pests. You may want to set up a timeline in order to stay on top of the roach problem but also have a backup plan.

Most people find that if they don’t see good results within a few weeks or at least a month, then it’s time to request an expert exterminator to evaluate and get rid of the roaches. People who have young children may find that this timeline is too long for them to wait out so decide on what you’re comfortable. 

You probably also want to call in the experts if you notice your roach problem becoming worse. Each cockroach can lay dozens of eggs so it’s easy for a small problem to turn into a large one.

If you notice that you go from seeing the occasional roach to seeing dozens of them a day, even while using these solutions, then it’s probably time to try something else. Keep an eye on the roach population to get an idea of what you’re handling. 

Keep in mind that just because you use a professional pest management specialist, that doesn’t mean you have to use harsh chemicals and solutions. When the specialist comes to evaluate your apartment, discuss any concerns with the expert.

They are experts in getting rid of roaches but also understand that some people are concerned and want to use a more natural method. They may be able to suggest solutions that will limit chemicals in your apartment or use a different method. 

Re-Evaluate Your Area Frequently

Regardless of which method you use and its effectiveness, your home is only going to stay pest-free if you remain vigilant. Roaches are not going away completely and are extremely persistent pests.

Even with good management, you may still occasionally find them in your apartment. If you notice any of them in your apartment, re-evaluate the situation. Look for any sources of infestations, keeping track of any possible entryways on a frequent basis. 

You may also want to move repellents as you may be missing areas where the roaches are entering. It’s not usually possible to eliminate all points of entry so moving your repellents around periodically isn’t a bad idea. Make sure that you have enough in place as well. 

Finally, consider where the roaches may be entering your apartment that isn’t necessarily obvious. For example, it’s not uncommon for roaches to enter your apartment with groceries. Always check your purchases and change grocery stores or markets if you ever find any pests hiding.

They also like to hide in cardboard boxes so inspect boxes or don’t bring them into your place if you can. Frequently, roaches enter from a neighbor’s apartment so let your complex know so they can evaluate the source thoroughly. 

Keeping Roaches Away From Your Apartment

Ok, that’s pretty much all my findings when it comes to keeping cockroaches out of your apartment naturally.

With enough experimentation you will succeed. So hang in there, try out a few options and be patient. You’ve got this!

If you enjoyed this article and want to know how to keep roaches permenantly away from your apartment check out my article on:

How I STOPPED My Neighbors Roaches Invading My Apartment!


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All the best


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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