How To Get Rid of Roaches Overnight: 3 Simple Ways To Kill Cockroaches Fast

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Pest Control | April 2, 2024

Man with a rolled up newspaper see cockroaches in his plant and wonders how to get rid of roaches and if there is a guide to cockroach removal methods, when to call an exterminator for roaches, and how to kill roaches in your home.

Are you trying to figure out how to get rid of roaches in your home?

If you have dealt with these notorious bugs before and want to finally put an end to their incessant attacks, then you know how tough it can be to eliminate roaches in the house.

Cockroaches may hide in your kitchen, attic, living room, bathroom, walls, floors and literally anywhere in your home, and what makes it even harder is the fact that they multiply so fast, easily getting out of hand.

This guide explains the most effective ways to get rid of roaches in your home, quickly, and explores when you should contact a professional to treat them.

Cockroach / Roach

(Blattodea / Blattella germanica (German Cockroach))

Image of a cockroach in a green oval frame.
  • Description: Generally the same size as a thumbnail, small head, flat dark-colored body, with massive compound eyes and flexible antennae
  • Natural Habitat: Tropical and subtropical forest ecosystems and deserts, but generally adaptive to various habitats
  • Locations: Dark, moist, and warm places (inside leaf litter, beneath barks, inside holes in stumps, under debris, in homes)

Roaches are not easy to kill. So, you will need some expert tips, all thanks to this guide: how to get rid of roaches overnight: 3 simple ways to kill cockroaches fast. Read on to learn the fastest and simplest ways to deal with roach infestation once and for all.

How To Get Rid of German Roaches Overnight in 3 Simple Steps

The German roaches are undoubtedly the most common bugs that you will find in the US, thriving in people’s homes.

They are a menace simply because of how fast they are able to reproduce, giving life to 6 generations in just a year.1 If you have dealt with them for so long, here are the three steps that will help you finally eradicate them.

Step 1: Identification

Did you know that you can easily misidentify a German Cockroach and actually end up repeatedly using the wrong method of treatment?

You have to know what the bug looks like first, but it helps that they are easy to tell apart with their dark brown or black color and flattened bodies measuring about ½ an inch long. The easiest way to spot them is by the parallel lines across their heads.

Step 2: Inspection

Once you are certain that you are indeed dealing with German roaches, it is now time to pinpoint the problem areas.

Since they love food, you may find them in the kitchen, in drawers, under the sink, and in between cracks. You can also tell their location by their droppings and eggshells.

Step 3: Treatment

After confirming the spots with the most activities, the next step is to start getting rid of them. You should begin by sanitizing the entire home, making sure that there are no food particles or standing water lying around. You will then use your preferred method, either natural or chemical, depending on the level of infestation.

You can even combine two methods, and if it is too overwhelming, call in an expert to help.

How To Get Rid of Cockroaches Using Natural Methods

Are you thinking about how to get rid of roaches without involving any chemicals?

Did you know that there are effective solutions that are purely homemade and natural?7 They will get the job done without affecting you, your kids, or your pets in the process.

Graphic showing different natural ways to eliminate cockroaches.

Here are some of the natural methods you can use to help eliminate roaches in your home.

Using Baking Soda

Starting off with items that you probably already have in your kitchen pantry, baking soda is one of the most effective natural ways to solve your roach problem. You can use it to make bait by simply sprinkling them on chopped onions. Does baking soda kill roaches? How does this work? When the roaches feast on this, the baking soda gasses up their digestive system and bursts them, killing them on the spot.

Using DE (Diatomaceous Earth)

With only a food-grade DE, you will have a natural insecticide that will kill off roaches overnight. When the roaches come into contact with the particles, it causes dehydration and ruins their exoskeletons. You can sprinkle it on a surface where you are sure the cockroaches will pass through.

Using Borax

One more solution that is effective in killing both adult and baby roaches is called borax, a simple laundry product. Dusting borax and sugar, in the same amounts, on a busy surface will work so effectively, killing instantly. That answers the question: does bleach kill roaches?

Using Boric Acid

One natural compound that is deadly to cockroaches is this one called boric acid, a mixture of boron and water. It kills the bugs in no time when they digest it and is another effective overnight solution.3 All you have to do is add some dusting on a piece of paper, place some peanut butter/ an orange peel in the middle, and that’s it.

Using Citrus and Essential Oils

Do you have a lime tree in your yard? You love the smell of citrus, but did you know that roaches can’t stand it? Go ahead and spray it around busy surfaces where you are sure they will pass through, and let the fumes do the rest. You can also add some drops of lemon juice into a water bucket and use it to clean your counters and floors.

Using Soap and Water

One more affordable yet effective way to get rid of roaches is by spraying them with a soap and water solution. It kills them instantly, the same as dipping them inside a bucket filled with the solution. Are you wondering how does dish soap kill roaches? Soap dish kills roaches by suffocating them, causing them to die instantly.

How To Kill Roaches Using Chemicals / How To Get Rid of Roaches Overnight

Are you on the lookout for how to get rid of roaches in a more conventional and radical way, then you can also opt for chemical methods. Although these are not the most preferred methods, below are some proven effective ones.

Using Glue Traps

The traps tend to have a strong, attractive smell that lures in the roaches before they step on and get trapped. These glue strips are available in shops and remember to keep checking on them at least every couple of days so that you can change them because they will likely be full of dead roaches.

Using Bait Traps

The roaches are easily attracted to the bait. They eat them, go back to their hideouts and die, and when other cockroaches eat the carcass, the poison spreads to them as well. However, you have to be very careful with this method because of the dangers to kids and pets.

Using Insecticides/ Liquid Concentrates and a Roach Fogger

Such methods are carefully designed to be sprayed directly into the homes of roaches; this includes the cracks that they hide inside. Some chemical solutions are also created to allow you to clean with them, serving as the perfect deterrents for roaches.8

Using Insect Growth Regulators

Knowing how fast cockroaches reproduce, you will appreciate how the Insect Growth Regulators work.

These ones have one purpose: targeting the nymphs and eggs and inhibiting their growth and maturity, thereby limiting their population in your home. However, this method is best used together with other chemical methods that get rid of the adults.

Calling in Experts

Minor infestations are pretty easy to deal with, but there comes a time when you cannot do it all on your own.

Exterminators are professionals when it comes to dealing with massive infestations and know how to locate, fish out, and kill these bugs. Wondering how to get rid of palmetto bugs, cockroaches, or any other pest in your home? Then, you may want to consider hiring professionals.

How To Get Rid of Roaches in Car

Apart from homes, roaches also love the warmth in cars and easily make them their habitat. This is why you should know the most effective pest control for cars. Luckily, most of the treatment methods that work for the house also apply to cars, which means that you can just use the same solutions across the board. You will start by giving your car a good scrub, cleaning out everything to remove whatever is attracting them.

You will then pick your most preferred solution, whether using DE, borax/ boric acid, glue traps, IGR, baking soda, or whatever natural or chemical management solution and also remember that you can seek professional help from exterminators.9

How To Get Rid of Cockroaches in Kitchen: Preventive Measures

Even after dealing with a cockroach infestation, you should know that they can easily find their way back unless you put in place the following preventive measures.

  • Clean Up: Roaches love dirty places, dirty dishes, food scraps lying around, spills, etc. So, cleaning up and sanitizing gets rid of their source of food and water, so your home will not be ideal for their stay.
  • Make Sure There Is No Standing Water: Roaches will hang around wet sinks, leaking pipes and taps, and even in plant containers that are overwatered, so make sure that you don’t give them the satisfaction.
  • Store Food Better: You may have to rethink food storage, especially when it comes to cereals and leftovers. Always keep cereals closed with air-tight lids and store food, including bread and vegetables, in the fridge.2
  • Seal the Entry Points: Roaches live and breed in wall cracks and holes, so sealing them denies them what they call home.

The Dangers of Cockroach Infestation

First things first, what are cockroaches? And what dangers do they pose to you and the loved ones around you? These bugs are pretty hard to miss, with their flat, dark-colored bodies that are oval in shape and long legs and antennae. These omnivorous creatures will eat virtually anything they come across and are a menace to residents because of how fast they are able to reproduce, taking over a house in no time.

If you are wondering why people are seriously looking into how to get rid of roaches, here are some reasons.

  • They Are Unsanitary: You already know how much roaches love dirt. You will find them crawling around dumpsters and waste matter, and of course, this dirt clings onto their bodies, enabling them to transfer it all over your house. Anything that these creatures touch immediately becomes contaminated, and that means that you cannot leave uncovered food lying around.
  • They Aggravate Asthma and Cause Allergies: Roaches are the last things to have in your space if you suffer from allergies or are asthmatic. Moreover, the saliva from these is also known to cause skin rashes, and the most affected in these cases are children and old people.
  • They Are Lethal Disease Carriers: Apart from being disgusting and scary, did you know that roaches are able to carry as many as 30 bacteria that cause so many illnesses, ranging from common to severe ones? Some of these illnesses include diarrhea, cholera, salmonella, listeria, and typhoid fever.

Identifying Common Types of Roaches

Interestingly, there are more than 4,500 different types of roaches on the planet, but out of that number, only 69 are present in the country, divided into domestic and peridomestic kinds.5 While the domestic roaches live full-time with humans in their homes, the peridomestic ones only invade residential areas when it gets too cold outside.

Knowing these tiny house bugs pictures and names gets you closer to learning how to deal with them. The following are the most common ones that you are likely to bump into.

1. German Cockroaches

German roaches are the most common infestation type of cockroaches in the United States, well known for their light brown bodies and double-striped backs.6 They measure less than an inch long and are some of the fastest reproducing kinds, with females able to breed a staggering 30,000 roaches in just a year.

Close up[ photo of a German Cockroach on a cemented floor.

(Image: Lmbuga10)

Top view of an American Cockroach.

(Image: Eugene Zelenko11)

2. American Cockroaches

These take a more reddish brown color and are generally larger, measuring over 2 inches long. They are more reddish and have interesting raccoon-like coloration going on in the parts of their heads.

3. Asian Cockroaches

You can easily confuse them with the German roaches, but the Asian species have longer and slimmer wings. Although they are native to Japan, they are pretty common to find in the US, especially in the South, moving towards the West.

Photo of an Asian Cockroach on a leaf.

(Image: Billjones9412)

Photo of the Brown-Banded Cockroach on a white background.

(Image: CrStN22413)

4. Brown-Banded Cockroaches

Measuring only ½ an inch long, the brown-banded roach is another common bug invading homes in the country. They find it so easy to hide in between the tiniest of places, like between furniture.

How Roaches Get Into Your Home

The very first step when finding out how to get rid of roaches is to know what attracts them to your home. Here are some reasons why you would end up having roaches in your home.

  • Poor sanitation is most likely the number one cause of roach infestation. The bugs are huge fans of open garbage bins and food scraps on dirty dishes. They will always go where there is food, so they will feast on whatever is lying around uncovered.
  • Do you have a leaking pipe somewhere in the house? Then that will definitely attract these bugs that love moisture. They are always on the lookout for standing water and wet areas in homes.
  • While searching for shelter from the cold, roaches will find their way inside, hiding in quiet, dark, safe spots around the house, even inside large electronic appliances.
  • Roaches also have a way of hitching rides from one place to another. They could get into your bag and, of course, find a new home wherever you go.

Knowing When Your Home Has Been Attacked By Roaches

One thing about roaches is that they are pretty good at hiding, only coming out in the dark at night. They are literally built to survive, fitting into tiny spots and staying away from plain sight. Makes you a little worried; how then will you be able to tell whether they have attacked your home?

The most obvious sign is when you physically see them because they scamper to safety when you turn on the light in a room at night. You will also probably see their droppings or eggshells in various places. They also tend to leave behind their skins and have a certain foul smell.4 And lastly, if you happen to run into a dead roach, that’s a sign that there are more hiding around the house.

When To Call an Exterminator for Roaches

Sharing the same space with roaches just makes your skin crawl, and you want to do anything and everything in your power to make sure that that doesn’t happen, no matter the cost. You can even opt for exterminator services; if you are considering it, you may have one question in mind: is it really worth it?

While you can handle minor instances on your own, using either DIY or mild chemicals, there are cases where you have to call an exterminator.

A single roach or two is not a big deal, but when you see multiple of them, it means that they are rapidly reproducing and forming generations right in your home, so you have to do something about them fast. If your house starts smelling weird and kind of musty, and there are droppings and skins from the roaches in various places in the house, it may be the perfect time to hire some extra help.

Sicknesses, rashes, and allergies are also clear signs that you need a more effective solution and that you may not be able to single-handedly deal with the attack.

Factors To Consider When Hiring Extermination Pest Control For Roaches

Not everybody knows how to get rid of roaches. It takes a special group of professionals to get the job done perfectly, so you have to be very careful when choosing your exterminator.

Here are some questions that will help you find only the best in your region.

Have You Conducted Thorough Research on Them?

You cannot afford to assume this part, where you conduct thorough research on the various companies in the region before you finally settle for just one.

You may have to check their website, the reviews, what people are saying about them, and the likes. One more thing that you cannot ignore is that the company has to be licensed and, of course, show the highest level of professionalism.

What Are Their Skill Levels, and What Experience Do They Have?

If this is your very first time hiring a professional exterminator, one thing will guide you, the level of experience.

You want to entrust such an important job only to the people who know what they are doing, preferably those have been in the business for a really long time.

Which Types of Chemicals Are Being Used?

Even though the exterminators are experts at what they do and know what are the most effective solutions to various infestations, you should also be notified of all these methods.

You need to ask them what they are going to use and whether you need to be on the lookout for any risks involved.

What Are Their Prices?

This is easily one of the very first questions that homeowners ask because you have to budget for the service, which, as you know, doesn’t always come cheap. The quotation also helps because at least you will be able to make comparisons with other companies before making the final decision.

Virtually everybody hates the sight of roaches in their space. It is worse because it is only a matter of time before you see an entire population of them crawling all over your home, leaving their eggs and droppings in random places. You need a solution, and fast, because you know that these pests are also disease carriers, so your health is also on the line here.

They are also notorious for reproducing extremely rapidly, so it is literally a race against time.

If this is your very first time dealing with a roach attack, hopefully, this guide has been of help. You are now aware of all the available treatment methods, both natural and chemical, which you can use to kill these pestering bugs.

If it is only a recent and minor attack, you can handle it all on your own using DIY methods, but if it is getting out of hand and there are so many of them to deal with, you have no other choice but to contact exterminators who know how to get rid of roaches using various methods.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Get Rid of Roaches

What Do Cockroaches Look Like?

Although there are thousands of roaches distributed all over the planet, they seem to have some common features that tell them apart. For instance, most of them have flattened bodies with long legs and a pair of antennae. Also, depending on the species, many have dark-colored bodies, with some having unique markings.

What Damages Do Cockroaches Cause?

Cockroaches are the most unsanitary pests to invade your home. They also cause a lot of harm, especially to your health. They carry diseases in their bodies, transferring them all over the house, contaminating food and surfaces, and they also escalate respiratory issues like asthma.

How To Get Rid of Roaches (How To Get Rid of German Roaches)?

There are three main steps that will help you finally get rid of the common German roaches. First, know how to identify one; that way, you will only use the proper and most effective treatment method. Second, you will have to conduct an inspection, find out where these pests are hiding and why they are so attracted to your home, and finally, apply the most relevant and effective treatment solution. You can either go for homemade or chemical solutions or even hire an exterminator, for that matter.

How Effective Is a Homemade Roach Killer?

If you are dealing with a minor infestation, then a homemade roach killer will be the perfect remedy. On the other hand, say there are generations of roaches living in various parts of your house, then these homemade solutions may not be that effective. What you will need is a foolproof chemical method that will deal with all the bugs at once, and if possible, maybe consider hiring an exterminator to get the job done.


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10File:Blattodea. Cascuda. Santiago de Compostela 1.jpg Photo by Lmbuga. (2009, 21 May) / CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from <>

11File:Periplaneta americana-1.jpg Photo by Eugene Zelenko. (2016, 13 November) / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from <>

12File:An Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai; possibly).jpg Photo by Billjones94. (2022, 15 June) / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from <>

13File:Supella-longipalpa.png Photo by CrStN224. (2015, 20 September) / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from <>