How Quickly Does Baking Soda Kill Roaches {Does It Even Work?}

Do you recently notice roaches scurrying around? Are you thinking of using baking soda to kill them?

Are you wondering how quickly baking soda kill roaches? Does it even work at all?

Are you looking for home remedies you can use to eliminate these filthy pests? If you answered these questions with a yes or maybe, you’ve come to the right place.

Can You Use Baking Soda and Vinegar to Kill Roaches?

No. Try baking soda with sugar before attempting to combine baking soda with vinegar. The problem lies in the mixture bubbling up rapidly and becoming ineffective in a matter of seconds.

If you able to create this volcanic eruption of mixing baking soda and vinegar directly on a cockroach, it would work, but preparing this mix beforehand will not.

Use sugar instead of vinegar to invite the cockroach in. The smell of vinegar will repel the cockroach and the baking soda will be wasted. You are not trying to deter the cockroach to hide somewhere else in your home, you want to get rid of them with the baking soda on contact.

How Quickly Does Baking Soda Kill Cockroaches?

Baking soda will take between 2 and 7 days to kill a cockroach.

The baking soda will cause roaches to become bloated which will put pressure on their abdomens which then lead to death within a week.

Does Baking Soda Kill Cockroaches?

Yes. Baking soda can be used to kill cockroaches. When they eat the baking soda, it will cause them to become bloated which will lead to their death.

Baking soda is often used as an alternative for boric acid. Boric acid, although effective, is highly toxic to human beings and pets. Therefore, a combination of baking soda and sugar is much more feasible in a family household.

Can Baking Soda Kill Cockroaches

Baking soda, when ingested by a cockroach, bloats its digestive system which kills the pest. Sugar is used in combination with baking soda to attract cockroaches and to give them incentive to eat.

Pros & Cons Of Using Baking Soda As Repellent

Here are some pros and cons of using baking soda as a cockroach repellent:


  • Readily Available : Baking soda is something that every household has. Just like salt. So, it helps buy you time by being a very efficient temporary solution while you look for long-term treatment.
  • Helps Confirm Suspicions : If you’ve seen signs like brown, irregular staining in bathrooms, pellet like or coffee ground like feces, shed skin and egg capsules there’s a good chance you have unwanted nightly guests. Using baking soda is a good way to confirm suspicions and kill these roaches.
  • Easy to Prepare : All you need to do is make a simple solution with sugar and baking soda as mentioned in the next question. It’s a quick, easy temporary fix.
  • Nontoxic : Our favorite pro is the fact that it is not toxic to pets or children (unless consumed in large amounts). Since you’ll only be using a little bit, it’s one of the safest home remedies out there.


  • Time Consuming : For this method to show results, the process must be repeated over a few days/for a week. Since nobody knows all the hiding places of roaches in a house, some may not even be visible to the naked eye, giving it time to work is of the utmost importance.
  • Superficial Treatment : Baking soda is not the ideal way to treat a large infestation. It’ll kill the cockroaches that are visible but if a colony has already established itself, it is quite difficult to eliminate it without professional help and stronger chemical concoctions.
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Can Onion and Baking Soda Kill Cockroaches?

Yes. The problem is that onions are more effective in repelling cockroaches rather than killing them. The cockroach will not enjoy the scent of onions and may keep its distance.

If you want to attract a cockroach to the killing nature of baking soda, use sugar instead. If you intend to use onions with baking soda, you can use frozen onions or onions that have lost their pungent smell.

If you want to deter cockroaches, onions are a great choice.

How To Apply Baking Soda to Kill Cockroaches

Baking soda by itself tends to repel roaches. This is why it is always used in combination with bait. Here are a few ways to use baking soda as a homemade insecticide:

Sugar Solution

  1. Combine equal parts of sugar and baking soda. Mix it well.
  2. Sprinkle this over cracks and holes on the kitchen floors, anywhere that gives cockroaches easy access to the solution.
  3. Leave it overnight and clear it out the next morning.
  4. You may or may not see dead cockroaches, but we assure you this way 100% works.


  1. Chop up the onion into thick slices.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on top of these slices
  3. Leave these slices around corners and any cracks you see around the house.
  4. Leave them for 2-3 days and then repeat it with fresh onions.
  5. Please keep in mind this is not a good option for people who have pets as onions are toxic to dogs as well as cats.

In both these cases, it is important to keep repeating and replenishing the baking soda solutions as one time use is not effective. The more often you use these methods, the more cockroaches you kill.

Can You Pour Baking Powder Down The Drain To Kill Roaches?

Yes and no. While this works as a temporary fix or to get rid of that occasional cockroach, some people also claim baking soda could harm the pipework.

To use this, make a solution using equal parts of baking soda and distilled vinegar. Use a smaller amount first so you do not damage your pipes.

  • We recommend half a cup each. Pour this solution down the drain and wait for about five minutes. After this pour lukewarm or boiling water down the drain several times.
  • Baking soda is often used as an alternative to pouring bleach down the drain. Although it is no doubt that bleach will kill all living pests it encounters, it is so corrosive that it destroys piping below any sinks. This is why its use is widely discouraged.

After clearing your drains with baking powder and vinegar, there is an extra precaution you can take to prevent these pests from coming back.

What attracts roaches towards kitchen drains is food residue stuck in pipes and the odours produced as a consequence.

After clearing out your drains, add 10 drops of a strong essential oil like peppermint to 1.5 litres of tap water. Pour this down the drain. This strong smell will repel cockroaches and prevent future infestations if done regularly.

Why Does Baking Soda Kill Roaches?

In a very simple sentence, baking soda causes a cockroach to explode from the inside. How does this happen? Here is a step-by-step explanation of what happens to a cockroach after it ingests baking soda:


When baking soda encounters water, an intense chemical reaction takes place. The soda expands rapidly, generating gas as well as heat which causes the roaches stomach to explode.


Cockroach anatomy involves an exoskeleton.

Unlike humans, whose skeleton is on the inside and covered by flesh and skin, a cockroach’s skeleton is on the outside. This means they have very rigid bodies and are unable to stretch like we can.

Thus, when their stomach starts to expand, it exerts a lot of pressure on the organs within the exoskeleton.

Along with damaging the organs, the exoskeleton can also crack under the immense pressure.

This results in the roach becoming paralyzed. Thus, it can look dead but can still survive a few hours after the exoskeleton gives in. Once paralyzed, the cockroach either starves to death or is eaten by a predator.

How Fast Does Baking Soda Kill Cockroaches?

Depending on a few factors, it all boils down to an average of 15 hours. (According to a study published in the International Journal of Advanced Research). The time it takes for a cockroach to die after ingesting baking soda depends on:

  • How much water the cockroach has retained in its body
  • When it will drink water again
  • The quantity of baking soda it ingested

For baking soda to be able to kill a cockroach, it needs to react with water. If the cockroach is not well hydrated or has not consumed water after eating the baking soda, it may take longer for the roach to die.

If the baking soda is just lying in the stomach no reaction is going to take place.

If the cockroach drinks water after the baking soda has been partially digested, the reaction won’t be as powerful, and it will not damage the cockroach enough to paralyze it but will still compromise its bodily function. If this happens the cockroach might take up to 24 hours to die.


Thanks for visiting for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable. 

Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable