Can You Really Use Aluminum Foil To Get A Handle On Roaches?

No one wants cockroaches in their home — so when we see them, we might be willing to try anything to make them go away. Unfortunately, some common hacks that claim to get rid of cockroaches don't hold up. One, in particular, is more myth than fact: the idea that aluminum foil repels roaches.

The thoughts surrounding this concept stem from the belief that cockroaches possess an inherent aversion to aluminum foil. According to this school of thought, the shiny surface of the foil will either frighten the roaches by casting a sudden spark of light or unsettle them by reflecting their image. 

Those who believe this myth even advocate for wrapping food in the popular kitchen item to ward them off. However, cockroaches aren't actually afraid of aluminum foil, and leaving it around your home will not deter them. In fact, these adaptable insects will happily coexist with the foil completely unfazed.

Why aluminum foil doesn't repel roaches

The truth is there is no scientific literature that reveals any evidence that aluminum foil repels cockroaches. Though this hack likely spread anecdotally, most pest control experts on roach behavior and control focus on conventional methods. These include traps, baits, and insecticides.

One reason why aluminum foil won't work is that roaches can't see theirreflections, so there is no way the foil will cause them to become disoriented or bewildered. It won't deter them from walking right over the foil. Roaches also tend to lurk in dark places where no light would be reflected from the foil.

In addition, if there is food inside aluminum foil, roaches will happily chew right through it. They won't consume enough of it to cause harm. Instead, they will chew through it and get to what's inside. It's also important to note that roaches are highly adaptable and innate survivors. They can quickly become accustomed to new environments and stimuli, including aluminum foil, especially since it poses no proven threat or deterrent.

Proven ways to deter cockroaches

Using aluminum foil to get rid of roaches is not only unlikely to be effective, but it could be a waste of time and resources. If you're dealing with a roach infestation, it's best to rely on tried and true methods of pest control, such as sealing entry points, eliminating food sources, and using proven insecticides. These methods may require more effort and dedication, but they are backed by scientific evidence and are much more likely to be effective in the long run.

Another way to effectively manage roach infestations is to make sure you stick to cleaning rituals and food storage rules in your home and make sure all family members adhere to them. Don't leave food out or allow crumbs or dropped food to stay on counters or the floor. Clean up as soon as you are done cooking and wipe up spills right away. Also, don't allow clutter to build, which can also attract roaches.

Some easy home remedies to deter roaches include baking soda, diatomaceous earth, borax and sugar, cayenne, garlic, onion powder, and tea tree oil. If you experience a severe infestation, your best bet is to call a professional pest management company to exterminate the insects from your home in one large sweep.