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Getting Rid of Roaches in Kitchen Cabinets: Tips That Work

How to Get Rid of Roaches in Kitchen Cabinets

Discovering roaches in your kitchen cabinets can be a nightmare and make you feel like you need a shower. Well known for being extremely resilient and causing concern, roaches in your home can feel like a violation of your space. Even though it can be unnerving, there are effective methods you can use to get rid of roaches in your home. To help you take back your home, I’ve collected tips that actually work for getting rid of the roaches in your kitchen cabinets.

So, how do you get roaches out of kitchen cabinets? From different scents to sprays, to barricades – there are many ways to get rid of roaches; the trick is finding the one that works best for you. No one wants to deal with roaches in their kitchen cabinets, but if you ever have to, use some of these tips to get rid of them:

  • Borax Powder
  • Bay Leaves
  • Water and Dish Soap
  • Eliminate Food Sources
  • Block Entry Points
  • Remove Water Sources


These simple home remedies can help drive out cockroaches and help you prevent them from coming back in the future. To help you understand why each of these methods is useful, keep reading.

Borax Powder

Borax is a well-known cleaning agent that has the added benefit of effectively killing insects by targeting their stomachs and nervous systems. When using it to get rid of roaches in your kitchen cabinets, clean out your cabinets with it and sprinkle it inside them. If any roaches come in contact with it, they will die.

Handling borax can be delicate as there are some risks associated with it. To make sure you and your family are safe, follow these precautions when handling borax:

  • Wear gloves
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using borax
  • Change and wash your clothes if borax comes in contact with them


These precautions often accompanying other cleaning products as well and are there to help minimize any health risks. If for some reason you have been exposed to borax, you may experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, it can irritate eyes and skin and overexposure may cause headaches and/or lightheadedness.

All of this information is not to scare you away from using borax when getting rid of roaches in your kitchen cabinets, but merely to make sure you stay safe and protect yourself, as well as your home!

Bay Leaves

The scent of bay leaves is a strong, natural roach repellant. It is not fatal to them, but the smell alone will deter roaches from the area where they are placed. Easy to find at your local grocery store, pick up some bay leaves and stick them in your cabinets – they can be dry or fresh. You will soon find your cabinets to be free of roaches.

A bonus of using bay leaves is that they will help your cabinets smell fresh! If you’re still having problems, make sure to replace the leaves as their scent fades – otherwise, they will no longer be effective.

Water and Dish Soap

Surprisingly, something as simple as water and dish soap will dry up and kill roaches. It’s clean, safe, and inexpensive. Just mix equal parts of water and soap in a spray bottle and spray the cabinets.

You’ll likely have to use the mixture a few times to see the large majority of roaches die off. The soap in the mixture covers the roaches’ breathing pores, suffocating them and effectively ridding them of their home in your kitchen cabinets.

Though this method will kill the roaches, it is not great at preventing them from entering your home. To kill them and keep them from coming back, you will have to implement a couple of different methods.

Eliminate Food Sources

Get Rid of CockroachesInfestations and large populations of insects will be in a specific area because of the access to a food source. Because roaches are resilient little pests, it can be a little more challenging to get rid of their food source.

After eating and cooking, be sure to clean up – getting rid of crumbs and packaging leftovers securely.

If you use your cabinets as a pantry, think about getting containers that close or have a strong suction as a barrier to the roaches.

It’s fairly easy to control their access to your food, but other food sources for roaches are more of a challenge.

Roaches typically prefer sweets, starches, and meats but some other food sources they will look for include: books, decaying matter, hair, other insects, etc.

To help reduce their access to these unusual food items, be sure to keep your kitchen clutter-free. If you have any cookbooks, move them or place them in areas where cockroaches will not cluster. Regularly wipe down the counters and vacuum the area – you should see an improvement in their population.

Block Entry Points

It’s not enough to simply kill a few roaches, you need to find a way to keep them from coming back, as well as making sure any eggs are killed as well. Ensuring there are barriers, both at access points to your house as well as your kitchen cabinets themselves will help prevent roaches from establishing their home.

Seal any cracks between doors and windows, make sure everything closes properly, limit the amount of moisture that can collect in your home, use caulk to seal gaps between walls and cabinets, etc. Roaches are small and creative and will do their best to find a way inside your home; doing as much as you can to close gaps in your home is the best way to make sure they can’t get in and won’t come back.

Remove Water Sources

Just like when you got rid of their food sources, get rid of any access to water as well. Make sure there are no leaks under your sink or on the faucet, under the refrigerator, or in the cabinets. Taking out the water and moisture will starve the roaches and they will either die or need to find a new place to call home.

Though killing them is difficult when just limiting their access to water, you can implement other methods at the same time. As soon as you get rid of their water source, use a gel-based roach killer, either in cabinets or on counters. The gel will attract them because the water is not available and they will die from its contents.

The Challenge of Getting Rid of Roaches

Once you discover roaches in your home and your kitchen cabinets, you may freak out a little. This in no way means that you are dirty or your home is dirty. It simply means that roaches were able to gain access to your home and have found a safe shelter with a good food source.

Implementing any of the mentioned methods will effectively get rid of the roaches in your home – bonus if you do a couple at the same time. While these tips do work, the best way at getting rid of roaches and ensuring they won’t come back is having a professional come out and do a treatment.

Professionals are experts and have encountered problems like roaches before. If for any reason you think the methods aren’t working, or they aren’t working fast enough for your comfort, calling an exterminator can give you peace of mind.

Take back your home and safe place and feel comfortable again. Having a professional come out to do seasonal treatments, as well as using these methods to prevent roaches from coming back, can help you love your home again.

Related Questions

What Attracts Roaches to Your Home?

Other than searching for food, shelter, and water, roaches have a keen sense of location, know how to search out and find water, and are experts at hiding. You can have roaches outside your house in your yard that eventually find their way inside – especially if the food and shelter are more desirable than the outdoors.

Because they are versatile and small, they will find ways to crawl in through even through the smallest openings in your home. Taking care of not only the inside of your house but also the yard and landscaping will help you control any roach populations near your home.

How Do I Ensure Roaches and Their Eggs Are Gone?

When dealing with insects, it is often not enough to simply get rid of the adults – you must also take care of their eggs. Diatomaceous earth is an extremely effective way of dehydrating eggs, adults, and everything in between.

You can find it at your local retailer. It’s inexpensive and not harmful to your family or pets. It’s also a good idea to call a professional after dealing with roaches – they can ensure the problem is gone and do any other treatments they think might be helpful or necessary.

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.