How To Get Rid Of Roaches Overnight

Cockroach peeking over the ledge
© Mr.Pattrawut Yamyeunyong/

Written by Brandi Allred

Updated: October 27, 2023

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How to get rid of roaches overnight is something just about everyone who’s ever seen a cockroach in their home has wished for. Luckily, there are many methods for taking care of and preventing cockroach infestations. 

Advion cockroach gel bait

Most people consider cockroaches to be pests.


Cockroaches, for many, are sources of instant disgust and revulsion, but, for others, they’re considered cute, and kept as pets. There are over 4,500 species of cockroach around the world, living on six continents—so it’s no wonder that a few of them make their way into our homes.

Unfortunately for these species, the diseases and pathogens that roaches carry with them are incompatible with human life. 

Here, we’ll learn how to get rid of roaches in the house fast. We’ll start by learning how to tell if the bug you’re looking at is actually a roach, or something else.

Then, we’ll go over the five best ways how to get rid of roaches. Finally, we’ll examine the best ways to keep cockroaches from moving back in once you’ve kicked them out.

roach infestation

You can tell that these are cockroaches by their antennae and spikey legs.


Is It A Cockroach, Or Something Else?

Cockroaches are ubiquitous in modern, urban life—which is why so many people want to get rid of roaches overnight. They enter our homes through sewage and plumbing pipes, open windows, or simply cracks in the walls.

But, they’re not the only bug to make their way inside; beetles, termites, and bed bugs are also indoor pests. They’re often confused for roaches, which look superficially similar.

The best way to determine whether the bug you’re looking at is a roach is to look at the antennae. Cockroaches have very long antennae and visible spikes on all of their six legs. 

Cockroaches can look a lot like other bugs. They are often confused with water bugs, beetles, and stinkbugs.

5 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches Overnight

Wondering how to get rid of cockroaches in your house fast? If you see even one cockroach in your home, it’s very important to take swift action.

Cockroaches are good at two things; eating, and breeding. If you don’t take care of the infestation quickly, it will morph into a much larger problem. 

Luckily, roaches aren’t a new problem in modern society; we’ve been fighting to eliminate them from our homes for a long time. Today, there are many methods to get rid of cockroaches.

Here, we’ll look at 5 of the easiest ways to get rid of cockroaches:

Baby Cockroach - Cockroach Egg

The best way to get rid of roaches overnight is to use insecticides like boric acid and roach traps

©Georgy Dzyura/

1. Boric Acid

Does Boric Acid Kill Cockroaches - Boric Acid

Boric acid is a popular method for killing cockroach infestations.


How to get rid of cockroaches overnight will always include some kind of insecticide or trap; boric acid is one of the most effective weapons against cockroaches. Boric acid is found in many household products; the powder form is most often used against roaches. 

Sprinkle boric acid in areas the roaches frequent; when they walk through it, it sticks to them. They later ingest the boric acid, which then kills them. When using boric acid, be sure to limit your exposure; don’t place it anywhere that children or pets might find it, as it’s toxic when ingested.

2. Borax

Borax works in much the same way as boric acid when it comes to how to get rid of cockroaches. Like boric acid, when the borax is ingested, it kills the roach by damaging its stomach. Borax can be purchased at any store and should be mixed with something sweet, like sugar, in equal parts, and then placed somewhere the cockroaches will find it.

Borax has a hidden weapon against roaches and one of the best ways to get rid of cockroaches, this one doesn’t require any ingestion. If cockroaches get enough borax on the outside of their bodies, it actually damages their exoskeletons. This causes them to rapidly dehydrate and die; a thick coating of borax will certainly get rid of roaches overnight.

What Do Cockroaches Eat-pest control

A pest control contractor getting rid of an infestation of cockroaches.


3. Diatomaceous Earth

It might sound like something more appropriate in a garden than in a home, but diatomaceous earth is actually an excellent way to get rid of cockroaches. It’s not poisonous, and cockroaches don’t ingest it. What they do, instead, is walk through the diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth is extremely abrasive (it’s made up of broken-down fossils) and destroys the waxy coating on the roach’s exoskeleton, which quickly kills it. Additionally, roaches track diatomaceous earth back to their nests, where it kills other cockroaches.

It’s a great option if you have children or pets, as it’s non-toxic to both.

4. Insecticide Spray

Types of Cockroaches - Brown Banded Cockroach

Cockroaches can be killed either through ingesting poison or being coated in substances like diatomaceous earth

©Freedom my wing/

Getting rid of roaches overnight can be accomplished by either taking on the challenge yourself or calling in a professional pest exterminator. Either way, insecticidal sprays are a great way to both kill roaches and repel them. If you hire a pest exterminator, they will likely use sprays for both.

If you choose to use insecticidal sprays, ensure that you buy high-quality, odorless, water-based sprays. Non-water-based sprays can stain furniture, floors, or walls. When administering the spray, take caution to ensure that you don’t inhale any, as it can be harmful when inhaled. 

5. Baited Traps

Another popular, and easy way to kill roaches overnight, is to use baited roach traps. These traps work by either trapping the roaches inside with glue or other substances or by providing them with poisoned food. When the cockroach ingests the poison, it then returns to its nest and dies. Then, other roaches eat the corpse and also ingest the poison.

Baited traps should be placed in areas that appeal to cockroaches, like the bases of walls, under sinks, behind appliances, and in dark, warm areas. The more baited traps you put out, the faster you’ll take care of your cockroach problem. Once all the roaches are dead, be sure to pick up the traps—you don’t want them drawing in a whole new batch of cockroaches.

Boric Acid And Cockroaches - Natural Pest Control Methods

This cockroach has been exterminated with boric acid.


What Will Kill Roaches Instantly?

baking soda

Baking soda will react with the inside of a roach’s stomach, creating gases that will cause it to burst.


Like the majority of people, when you see a roach, you prefer to not wait overnight and want them gone immediately. While it may seem as if roaches are indestructible and capable of withstanding any apocalypse, there are ways to banish them rather swiftly from your dwellings. There are a few additional methods you can use that may just get the job done – baking soda and bleach.

Baking soda will cause roaches’ stomachs to swell and eventually explode but in order to get them to ingest it, you will need to mix equal parts sugar with equal parts baking soda and put it in small, shallow dishes in areas they may congregate. If you prefer to use bleach, you need to exercise caution as this is a powerful chemical. Simply spray directly onto these pests and they should perish shortly after.

How to Keep Roaches From Coming Back

The best way to prevent future roach infestations is to clean up all food and waste promptly. Take out the garbage regularly, and ensure that all spilled or leftover food is taken care of. Additionally, try to declutter; roaches love places to hide.

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About the Author

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She holds degrees in English and Anthropology, and spends her free time writing horror, scifi, and fantasy stories.

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