Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Roaches?
If you want to use a natural pesticide to remove your cockroach problem, then you might consider rubbing alcohol. However, despite its immense popularity online, you actually shouldn't use rubbing alcohol against cockroaches as a pesticide. There are numerous reasons for this, as well as numerous reasons why the myth got spread around.
Yes, rubbing alcohol kills roaches, but it is very picky about when it does so. Every single cockroach has a shell that also doubles as a way they can breathe. If you spray the isopropyl alcohol onto the roach enough times, then it will kill it. However, you need to spray the roach directly and coat it with enough alcohol to suffocate it.
It doesn't kill on contact, and if the cockroach is a moving target, you are just spreading a compound that is toxic to humans everywhere!
Why You Shouldn't Use Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can be dangerous if it's sprayed around and the fumes get into the air. Exposure to rubbing alcohol can cause a rash, dryness, and a headache. Inhalation can also cause dry mouth and irritation of the nose and throat. Overexposure to it can even lead to unconsciousness and death.
Additionally, alcohol is very flammable, and it can easily cause some problems if you spray it in the wrong place and spark a fire. This can even happen if the rubbing alcohol-coated cockroach wandered into an electrical environment and started a fire!
It also requires you to get close to the roach and attempt to spray it enough times to suffocate it. Unless you managed to trap it somewhere beforehand, then you won't be able to catch it enough times to kill it. There are faster and less intensive bug slaying methods out there! So if you are asking, 'does rubbing alcohol deter roaches' we will say no.
Do Roaches Like the Smell Of Rubbing Alcohol?
Cockroaches are wholly indifferent to the smell of rubbing alcohol. It will not repel them, but it doesn't seem to attract them either. You can spray this all around the windows and doors, but it won't do a thing for you.
How Do You Kill Them With Sprays?
Thankfully, sprays are not completely ineffective against cockroaches, and you can easily whip up a DIY spray to prevent cockroach problems. One of the easiest things you can do is use dish soap and water. You can mix it and then spray it onto the cockroaches, and it is much more effective at causing them to suffocate and die.
Additionally, you can use baking soda inside of a sugar mixture as bait. The cockroaches will come to eat the mixture and look for the sugar inside; the baking soda inside their stomachs will expand and kill them from the inside out.
If you want to repel the cockroaches, mix water with peppermint essential oil and spray it outside of any windows, doors, cracks, and crevices. The peppermint oil will repel the roaches and prevent them from crossing the threshold to enter your home. One study from Auburn university demonstrated that peppermint oil is up to 100% effective at repelling American cockroaches.
Other Natural Remedies
You can also make a tea out of catnip and spray that tea around areas where the cockroaches will enter your home. Obviously, don't do this if you have a cat, but the catnip contains something called nepetalactone, an element that can drive cockroaches nuts and make them run in the other direction.
Cayenne pepper is also something that most cockroaches hate, and you can combine garlic and onion to make a spray that will repel them all.
We also recommend boric acid with roach bait as an effective strategy for getting rid of a roach infestation.
Use Rubbing Alcohol As A Last Resort
If you find yourself out of options and needing to kill a cockroach fast, then rubbing alcohol will do if you can catch it first. However, if you are going up against a cockroach without any proper plan or a way to immobilize it, you might as well not bother with it.
There are plenty of other ways to kill cockroaches and make sure they stay dead instead of fumbling with rubbing alcohol and hoping for the best. Give those other repellents and cockroach killers a try first, and you'll be able to make sure that all the roaches are out of your house for good. If the infestation in your home is out of control, we recommend getting in touch with a pest control professional as soon as possible.