Kill Roaches with Baking Soda and Sugar

Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated July 26, 2008)


Some people think that the only people who have roaches in their homes are those who live in squalor and filth. Such is far from the case. Every home has the potential to have a cockroach problem, and while you're sitting here reading this article, you may have a few roaches in the walls of your home without realizing it.

Just as with human beings and animals, cockroaches only need three things for survival—food, water, and shelter. Conveniently, you supply all of their needs in your home. If you didn't, they'd go elsewhere to live. Logic dictates that you need to stop supplying their needs, with the major one being shelter. Homes are warm, and have many hiding places—shelter—for roaches. Cluttered homes have the largest potential for a roach problem since the more stuff you have, the more hiding places you're supplying for roaches. Even a clean home can contain roaches if it is cluttered. Roaches can live underneath canned food labels, feeding on the label's glue, inside of paper bags, inside stacks of newspapers, kitchen cupboards, utensil drawers, and even your children's toy box.

If you're concerned about pesticides in your home because you have pets and children, you can use a simple solution of sugar and baking soda to kill them. Neither substance is harmful to humans or pets, but the solution is lethal for roaches. The sweet smell of sugar entices the roach out of hiding to eat it, as well as the baking soda. Then, when the roach drinks water, the baking soda reacts, creating gas inside of the roach which causes its stomach to burst, killing the roach. Since other roaches feed on dead roaches, they also acquire the fatal substance and subsequently die. Follow these steps to use sugar and baking soda to kill roaches in your home:

  1. Use a small dish or a gallon milk jug lid.
  2. Mix equal parts of sugar and baking soda into the dish or lid. This is your bait.
  3. Set another dish or lid close by, containing water.
  4. When you see dead roaches around the bait, replenish the bait and water.
  5. Set these bait and water dishes behind appliances, inside of cupboards and pantries, in the garage, and anywhere you might suspect roaches to live and breed.
Keep in mind that the process may take weeks before you realize the benefit. Since the sugar and baking soda are not pesticides, and merely bait, the products will not act as quickly as chemicals, but are much safer for your pets and family.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...


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What is six more than 5?

2023-12-31 02:18:34


Hi just wanted to ask when do I replace the baking soda/sugar mixture? Is it every once a month?

2020-11-06 15:05:29

Naomi Melvin

I just moved into an apartment and tried this method of baking sida and sugar... I mixed it in a blender and applied it around my baseboards...this morning I found 3 dead and am watching one die now ... next time I will be also using borax along with tbe soda and sugar... thank you

2019-07-26 11:36:40

Ed Matthews

I also heard of adding a bit of Powdered Yeast to the baking soda and sugar mix. Comments?

2019-05-07 04:43:59

Brenda Ramage

I live in Lanzarote. My garden this year is overrun with a beetle(?) It is dark brown with orangy/red stripes, it flies quite well. Never seen it before.

2019-03-08 20:34:16


what is in baking soda and sugar that can kill the roaches?

2019-03-08 20:28:39


can i use regular sugar?

2019-02-12 01:09:30


I rented out my house, when it was time for me to move back to my house, it was a disaster, cockroaches everywhere which I hated so much that I did not want ton eat anything, I tried everything and painted the house but still no solution, until one day that I got a tip from the internet to kill with baking soda mixed with Icing sugar, that Has taken me one month , and my problem has been solved for good and I'm so happy. Thank you

2018-09-16 11:58:03


It has to work I seen one going off under the heater where I'm used to seeing one run out and then run back in. I hate roaches so I had to make my own bait so that I feel a bit safer lbvs. I used equal amounts of baking soda + sugar then I put that in a little glass container then I put water right next to it & I used this recipe because I don't want to harm my little buddy tonton🐈😊. Anyways... to get to the point in my opinion sugar + baking soda + water is working for me... & like posts most say about those ingredients is that their safe for animals & they will not work in one day because it's not a pesticide but if you wait long enough & DO IT CORRECTLY IT SHOULD WORK FINE.👍🏽

2018-03-10 05:02:55


Adela if you can read this, I totally understand you wanting a humane way of getting rid of the little animals. The ones that need mental health are those that do not care about torture and cruelty

2018-01-30 02:11:24

Engis Relsnops

Killing cockroaches, will honey work? I don’t have sugar.

2017-10-11 14:22:24


Adela you are in serious need of mental health counseling! I've never heard of anyone being concerned about the well being of roaches! Your house must be a revolting , germ infested dump! Do you think roach birth control is going to get rid of them in your house??! You remind me of a woman who let her 12 dogs deficate in her house because she was afraid they would get hit cars if they went out.
Roaches would kill and eat YOU if they were large enough! GET HELP!

2017-02-16 12:10:21


Will sugar bring in ants for the sugar

2017-01-03 18:38:37


It works .but just put where water is like under the kitchen sink and bath room sink..where they go for water..ty ..kate

2016-12-24 04:14:36

D arm

Trying this now except I read use water in the mixture hope it still works and how will I know it worked I hardly ever see them except when I turn light on fast in middle of night

2016-10-27 08:50:19


I only used baking soda sprinkled around the baseboards and it worked fine. I only seem to get roaches if I buy an appliance in their cardboard container or something fairly large in a cardboard box. I sprinkle it behind appliances every 3 months. I rarely see a roach now

2016-10-22 08:38:35


To Donna from IL: Borax is poisonous and it is in several ant poison recipes mixed with things like jelly or honey. I've also seen it in remedies for fleas. It might work but the reason to use the baking soda is it's supposed to cause a reaction in the cockroach's gut to make it explode and kill it which might work quicker. The sugar is what they like to eat so it's what will draw them to it. You could try it and let us know how it worked for you.

2016-10-21 14:17:37

Donna from IL

A friend of mine told me about using baking soda and powdered sugar but said to add borax soap powder. Use all in equal parts and the roaches die quickly. Is that true?

2016-09-29 18:30:42


To ssrah: Baking powder will not work. It has to be baking soda because that's the active ingredient that kills them. Please do not use baking powder. Your way will just feed the cockroaches and make your problem worse!

2016-09-28 05:38:27


I don't have baking soda but I do have baking powder I will try this with making powder and sugar and water to see my sister bought me q frig from yard sale I been spraying raid and using bleach nothing yet killed some so I.m trying this .my brother comming over today to move the frig outside should I put some behind the frig and some inside


2016-09-13 09:31:07


This does not work at all infact it seems to be making the promblem even worse than it was before... Total BS

2016-09-11 17:47:38


I'm going to try this one and see If it works out.

2016-07-24 20:33:12


Pamela, the reason to add sugar is because that's what cockroaches eat. They won't eat plain baking soda. If you don't have sugar then just sprinkle baking soda on the floor where you've seen them and put out water because the baking soda and water make the chemical reaction to kill them. I do suggest you mix baking soda with sugar soon. Yes they will lick baking soda off their legs and when they drink water it should kill them but you want to encourage them to eat the baking soda so add sugar to kill them quicker.

2016-07-23 21:48:38


I'm going to try this...I see by other comments that just plain baking soda will work..I don't have sugar, but a sugar substitute...I'm using a cat dish with one side mixture the other water...I sure hope this works...thank you!

2016-07-04 19:43:07


This stuff works! I have cats, and doing chemicals was going to be last resort, but the last resort was going to be if the roach were going to charge ME rent in my OWN house. The first night, I concentrated on my kitchen,under the fridge, the stove, sink, etc.before the little yucks came out night. I didn't even go in my kitchen that night. The next day, I didn't see any dead yucks, yet after I freshened the baits that night, I did notice I wasn't seeing what I was use to seeing. I guess they were going off then die. OK--feeling all Wonder Woman, I up'd the bait, using Borax (40 mule Team--which was in my laundry cabinet) and the powdered sugar. With that combo, I guess that gets to them sooner, because I found dead bodies...I've never been so happy to see dead bugs. I read that roaches eat the dead ones, then die because of what was on/in the dead ones. Win-win.

2016-06-27 20:36:22



1 baking soda only, sprinkle it around kitchen and bathroom, maybe use a baster to do the job

2 mix baking soda and sugar, for bait, water if wish to count bodies. they gotta drink sometime.

The trick is they will ingest the baking soda and KABOOM.

2016-05-31 14:11:09

Tom Smith

No dead roaches and no signs of roaches. I am not sure if the baking soda and sugar is working.

2016-05-29 15:13:31


I am trying baking soda and sugar today.

2016-05-23 00:01:53


So do you mix it with water or what ??!

2016-04-08 03:53:45


Going to try what one person say on here and use food in some spots and sugar mix both baking soda and sugar plus borax will see how it works

2016-03-27 16:54:46


I would like to know if baking soda and sugar mix with water close by will also kill ants in the same way as Roaches

2015-09-30 13:12:21


how long does it take to kill cockroaches? could someone please answer this immediately, I'm going to use it in my research. ASAP guys!

2015-09-28 20:50:33


I used this method and and advion cockroach gel. The gel is pure cockroach Holocaust. Also keep the infested area CLEAN. That means roach turds and corpses too. The buggers feed of their dead.... and living.

2015-09-01 01:41:32


This doesn't work I have more cock roaches than before!!!

2015-08-25 16:09:44


Amazing idea....

I tried every possible option... decided to call the 'pest control' team. They were charging some real good money...
Then I found this info on the web.

Instead of sugar, I used some old milk biscuits my kids leftover. mixed with good quantity of baking soda, then sprinkled all thru my kitchen late in the night.....

Works awesomely.

Thanks everyone for confirmations and few recipe changes. :-)


2015-08-06 11:55:44


Just tried this today. Does anyone know how long until it actually kills a cockroach?

2015-07-24 08:28:48


Well. I never had this issue. But moving into this place, I am walking around with flashlights at night killing everything that moves. I can't use pesticides.Medical seizures.I have been using alcohol in a spray bottle on laminated and tiles, and also to kill fleas. I heard these bugs taste sugar not to be sweet but bitter and to instead mix half peanut butter to half baking soda. All this to attract something that plays in garbage. Either way,last night I Used it. This morning, those little black grains, bug poo, typically washed away by my spray alcohol is not there..Grateful. Thank You!..This area has them because there are little to no mice..Farrel Cats eat the mice before the mice eat the bugs...Then the cats transport the bugs from bush to bush..Thanks Again!!

2015-07-12 22:48:04


How long does it take for the baking soda and sugar to work I just put it in every room of my house but more in the kitchen..

2015-06-06 09:35:56

Anonomous Fan

I must truly say, that the baking soda and sugar do work, but I also want to say if you do have an infestation, please and do try combat gel along with this method. All you have to do is,put the gel in all of the most hard to reach places where the all seem to be, they like dark places to hide, and at the same time you can keep your family safe.And alongside with that,do the baking soda and water in the dish, I put them in visible place, so far I see baby roaches, and it is fewer, and I have an infestation in the building that I now live in. I also recamend to keep very clean as one may know any and all bugs love filth, vacum daily, and this will truly help, auger and baking soda pear genius. Thanks.

2015-05-19 03:43:13

supriya mehra

I am so much fed up before gel use to work but its been more then 5 years nothing work I want to get rid up thank you for your lovely tips and to all I wish it will work tonight I will try wish me good luck :-):-) it's like passing exam with flying colour Ty:-):-)

2015-04-07 05:22:18


Does anyone know how long does it take for the cockroach to die after ingesting baking soda?
And also, is it better to mix the baking soda and sugar with water prior to setting up the bait, or is it better to set the baking soda and water separately?

2015-01-06 00:38:00

brenda roy

hoping some of these tips work ,thanks

2014-12-30 05:24:40

hidayat hussain

how we can make our own attracting bait for killing the roaches.

2014-12-17 22:17:15


Baking soda and sugar does work I didn't believe it until I saw a good friend of mind doing it and now I'm sharing the word.

2014-12-16 11:33:15


I have been using baking soda for 20 years to kill roaches and yes it works great My home is and has been roach free since I first started using baking soda 20 years ago but I always just use the baking soda without mixing anything with it.

2014-11-12 19:15:50


I used granulated sugar and baking soda. Will this work just put it down we will see please help I hate them. Also embarrassing when I have company the holidays are coming. Becka

2014-11-10 08:25:52


I am going to try this because my husband and I moved into this house and it has alot of bugs so I hope this works.

2014-09-27 07:19:49

no name

I have them everywhere when I move in my apt I had a lil bit then I let my sister and her man in then I got alot now I cant get rid of them in my bathroom and kitchen I hope the bakesoda and sugar work

2014-09-14 01:14:45


I will try it on roaches, baking soda worked on fleas I had them for 2 yrs, used baking soda and get ride of them in 3 wks

2014-09-13 01:54:38

Tamberly Gurley

I am going to go get some baking soda tomorrow to kill the reaches in my home they are just moltapling

2014-07-31 16:45:55


thank you all for the baking soda tip! It is working in my house. I never had roaches until now. My husband said its because we let people come live with us for a short time and they probably brought them in there items. He says they are like bed bugs they are hitch hikers. I hate to say anything to anyone that comes to visit to check there items such as purses, coats and regular clothes at the door! LOL!! I will just leave the baking soda out in all areas this way they will stay away or DIE!!!! One thing I hate is bugs!!! I have never understood why God created Cockroaches!! what the heck are they good for????

2014-07-09 15:20:14


we are getting rid off roaches behind are rechegearator so right now we are killing them i tld my mom ur trick just now

2014-06-22 21:31:32


Well I have tried everything on the net , and I just found out , after searching every b&%^#y shop that baking soda IS bicarbonate soda and that's why I couldn't find it. durrrrrrrr.
Anyway I never read about using the 2 ingrediants dry I made a sugar with water mixture then added bicarbonate soda into a lotion thickness ??? and put into lids in cupboards we'll see if that works if not will have to go to this dry mix and leave the poor little buggers a nice drink of water to wash it down LOL STUFF saving their sorry , dirty arses ,I'm for KILLING every last one of them..

2014-06-09 00:03:30


Would the baking soda work on keeping them out if I spread it outside on my patios ? I have a traumatic experience every time I have to sweep one up!

2014-01-04 14:03:48

Tanya hicks

I have just tried the Roach stuff to kill them and I really hope it works ....I will write if it works

2013-10-26 19:43:31


Good Grief This remedy works, but I laughed my arse off when I read about the poor living things. It never ceases to amaze me as I get older, there has to be someone saving something!!! Honest to goodness...Do people not have enough to do without saving the roaches and all of God's bug infestations. I eat meat, I control the weeds on my property, I kill roaches and I drive a 21 year old car. I won't live long enough to see anyone save the world and I really don't give a furry rat's behind either....rat's and rodents I don't like either.

2013-09-30 12:41:37


Sure it works! No reason why it wouldn't. Make sure the sugar you select is the powdered confectioner's type. I've mixed it about 1/3 sugar and the rest baking soda. Yes, water needs to be nearby.

Old enough to remember the little plastic submarines that came as cereal box premiums? They were made so that you'd fill them with baking soda via a little compartment with a snap lid. In the bathtub, the sub would emit bubbles that would cause the sub to 'propel itself'. Same idea, exactly the same principle. Worked in the 1950s and it works in a slightly different way today.

2013-09-21 03:26:52


Using the backing soda and sugar mixture. Can any one tell me if using this mixture attract ants or any other types of insect/critter? Thanks.

2013-09-20 00:53:51



2013-06-30 14:03:33


Can you please write that more clearly ? I didn't understand that at all.

2013-06-29 23:45:30


If you cut off the top of a soda bottle small one put about an inch of beer in it then replace the top upside down the roaches love beer and when they go in they will fall in and die. you will want to cut the bottle to just before it comes to full size so it doesn't fall in.

2013-06-05 10:29:44


Glad to hear this works.I Just mixed equal parts of baking soda and sugar then spread it around the kitchen. Lets see how it goes!

2013-04-28 13:56:49


Someone left a Squirt soda can on my lawn. I went and picked it up and found it was still filled with soda. When I poured it out, I found at least 10 large dead German roaches inside! What killed the roaches?

2013-04-22 02:45:02


Update on the previous post regarding use of baking soda thinly dusted USING A HAIR DRYER on all surfaces. Reason why this works is that the baking soda causes gas to form inside the critters. Since they cannot burp or pass wind they eventually die.

What happens is that they walk on the floor or surface thinly covered with dust of baking soda which sticks to their feet. When they return to their nest they groom themselves by eating the soda stuck to their feet. The soda then reacts with the acid in the stomach to form gas which eventually leads to death as they cannot expel the gas.

Great thing about this method is that it costs only a few dollars and they cannot develop a resistance to it.

If the infestation is very strong then you can dust the baking soda USING A HAIR DRYER on all the floors in the house even on the carpet. Leave for a week and then vacuum. By then the problem should be solved.

If anyone has success please leave feedback.

2013-04-22 01:58:44


The best way to get rid of them fast is to use baking soda, lightly dusted on all surfaces where they are seen like kitchen table tops, inside cupboards, the floor behind and under the fridges etc. Best to leave a layer of the dust about 6 inches from walls when cleaning up.

How to dust the baking soda? Best is to use a hair dryer to blow them around from say a table spoon.

Worked for me. Had armies of them. After week I started to miss them. No further infestation for at least 6 months.

Advantages: Its safe to both children and pets and does not cake up as baking powder or mixture of baking soda and sugar does.

If everyone does this we will be free from the menace in a short time.


2013-04-11 21:47:53


i just moved into my great aunts house cause he son who lives with her just got locked up. well it didnt take long for me to notice that there were other tenets living with us, and im not talkin about the 2 dogs. these nasty cockroaches where in everyroom and whats worse is they dont seem to care. my great aunt is like 80 and elderly so there is not much she can do.

what i founbd that works the best,i found on accident..i went to bed one night wit ha glas of kool aid in a high glass. well i let it sit for 2 days and when i picked it up to throw it out i saw 1 big 1 medium and like 8 little baby cockroachs. and it instantly i tried it with pop and it worked just as well, so not i have glasses around the house 1/4 filled with a pop or koolaid type drink that i check everyother day and everytime i check it i find at least 7+ roaches in each glass.

i dont know when it works so well, i dont know if they fall in and cdant get out or idf they fall in and drown or if its something to do wit hthe pop or fruit punch. eitherway it works and it works well this week alone ive propably killed mnore then 50roaches with the technique. im going to continue this method in each room until there are no more..but i think i will be mixing in some baking soda just in case some get out of the cup

2013-02-22 10:45:55


My pest control says this is false because they love to eat so it will not control the insects can u please tell me if this works on all pests

2012-10-18 09:20:44

Denise Thomson

Roach bait works great with or without the water

2012-10-18 00:50:04


Adela, you are a nutcase and if you feel so bad for these disgusting creatures then you deserve to live with them. Cockroaches carry many nasty diseases and if you or a family member got deathly ill you wouldn't be so forgiving.

This tip works because I told a friend about it and it worked for him even after an exterminator had came by and he still saw roaches. It took about 2 weeks and they were gone.

2012-09-17 09:55:42


Thanks for the info. I'm looking for a control that's not so cruel to the poor insect roaches as to have their stomachs explode...I read Gentrol works to neutralize their hormones so they won't reproduce. What do you think about it? Thank you.

P.S. To those who may laugh, well, they are still living beings who can suffer. They have the same necessities as we do and if anyone is angry about's Nature who created them isn't it? :o)

2012-08-20 19:29:59

Denise Thomson

Thanks great tip on sugar bait.i am doing it know
One roach down .oh will this bait work for other
Bugs ?
Sincerely Denise

2012-04-29 08:23:56


I was very concerned about using this mixture and having toddlers in my home. I am glad to know it is safe to use. What I did not know (was the use of water). That is the clincher.

Thank you so much and now to kill those dang things.

2012-01-09 12:21:19


The soda sugar bait is effective and safe.
Thank you for the tip most welcome in my home, I am ever so grateful for reading tips that help safeguard the health of family and friends who enter my home.
Thank you, the Grace Whanau