Send Roaches Packing With This Popular Cleaning Product

There's a long-running joke that cockroaches could survive the apocalypse, as getting rid of unwanted roaches is difficult if you have an infestation. But if you want to kill them on contact, all you need to do is reach for your handy bottle of Pine-Sol! Considered a "contact insecticide," it kills them quickly. This is because roaches actually breathe through their stomachs and their throats through holes called "spiracles" (via Iowa State University), not their mouths, and so when they get into an environment that has a surface coated in an oil-based cleaner — like Pine-Sol — or other toxic chemicals, they will suffocate.

It doesn't matter if you use the original Pine-Sol or one of the other three scents: lemon fresh, lavender clean, or refreshing clean. The ingredients in the cleaner are all the same and that's what keeps roaches from creeping around your home. You can either use it at full strength when cleaning or apply it directly on the critters with a spray bottle. With the spray method, dilute it to a ratio of half water and half cleaner, and spray them dead on contact. Plus you'll make your floors and cabinets smell good!

It's a cheap and easy method to keep roaches at bay

You can find Pine-Sol in pretty much any grocery store, and you can get a small bottle for under $3 or a large bottle for under $10. If you use the Pine-Sol method, you can either spray roaches or clean the surfaces in your house or kitchen with it. But you don't want to wipe the surface completely clean and dry. Leaving a slight damp residue of Pine-Sol on the counter will deter them, as they will avoid the area. However, if you have a severe infestation, Pine-Sol might not be the best solution. 

While the affected roaches will die on contact, unlike other bait traps, they die before taking any poison back to the rest of the roach nest. So the problem can persist, but at least, Pine Sol will keep them at bay and encourage them to go elsewhere. With this in mind, if you spray it along places that you see them entering your home — cracks in the wall, under the stove, door jams, etc. — this can similarly discourage them from coming in.

There are similar hacks that also repel roaches

Not everyone loves the smell of pine or lemony pine in their house. Fortunately, there are similar hacks that will also help repel roaches. Cedarwood, like you would use in your closet to repel moths, also tends to repel roaches. Like Pine-Sol, cedar has a strong smell and a natural level of oils that help keep pests at bay. The wood is fairly easy to purchase, so you can toss a couple of boards in a closet. You can also wipe down surfaces with cedar oil. However, while natural and non-toxic, cedar oil can be pricey, running anywhere from $24 for a small spray bottle to $80 or more, depending on the size of the container. 

You can also use a bleach solution to spray roaches, but if you have pets in the home, this might not be the safest alternative. Similarly, a cleaning spray like Lysol or 409 should kill them on contact. However, if you really want them gone for good, you can try using traps that cause roaches to take the bait back to the nest, or it might be worth investing in an exterminator to fumigate your home. But spraying or wiping your house with oil-based cleaners — especially with something like Pine-Sol — is a great first step to getting rid of the nasty critters.