Skip to content

Does Vinegar Kill Cockroaches? [Nah, BUT…]

Thankfully, our home contains several products, including baking soda and bleach, that are known to kill roaches somewhat.

However, these products are not ideal for a quick and effective solution against an infestation. Similarly, we may think does vinegar kill roaches?

Vinegar alone does not kill roaches, but when mixed with soap or shampoo, it will kill roaches with direct contact.

This is because when shampoo is added to vinegar, it lowers its surface tension and allows the solution to coagulate the respiratory openings of the roach.

Does vinegar kill Cockroaches?

Unlike humans, insects, including roaches, respire through the respiratory openings called spiracles located on each body segment.

The spiracles do not allow a liquid with higher surface tension to enter them. This prevents the vinegar from entering into spiracles to kill roaches effectively.

Tired of cockroaches? Invest in only these products and follow the guide to eliminate roaches!

Use these products, and you will be roach free in less than a week.

1. Advion Cockroach Gel Bait (Review)
2. Gentrol IGR Point Source (Review)

Other Products to try:

1. Combat Roach Traps (Easy than gel baits)
2. Hot Shot Foggers (To kill in masses – 95%)
3. Pet Safe Killers (Uses Essential Oils)
4. Ortho Defence Outdoor Roach Killer (Prevent Roaches)

Vinegar Alone Does Not Kill Roaches

A distilled vinegar has a pH of around 2.5, making it strong enough to clean surfaces. White vinegar is the diluted form that we usually keep in our kitchens.

The pungent smell keeps the roaches away until vinegar loses its smell. However, vinegar is not a strong acid; it does not kill roaches on contact unless it reaches the respiratory opening.

Therefore, vinegar alone is not effective at killing roaches. It’s better to use roach baits like combat roach trappers. Cockroach chalk is also a type of bait used to kill roaches.

Does killing a cockroach attract More? Read this interesting article to get your answers.

Can vinegar drive away cockroaches?

Cockroaches have a strong sense of smell to attract each other to mating (Reference). This feature comes in handy for repelling roaches. Several natural roach repellents can very effectively keep roaches at bay.

Thanks to the acetic acid, vinegar has a strong, pungent odor. This robust and pungent odor is known to drive away roaches effectively. However, it has two drawbacks,

  1. The smell will also drive you crazy and can give you sneeze
  2. The smell fades away once the vinegar dries

Therefore, I do not recommend vinegar for repelling roaches.

How to kill roaches with vinegar?

It’s midnight, and you can’t sleep with a cockroach in your room thinking about how to kill this moth** fuc*** with no insecticide sprays and traps at hand. Then you immediately think of vinegar sitting in your kitchen, lets try this. But to your surprise, it didn’t work.

Vinegar does not kill roaches alone. So let me tell you a hack about killing roaches with vinegar.

Step 1: Take one cup of white vinegar

The stronger the vinegar, the quickly it kills the roaches. Therefore, if available, use distilled vinegar. However, you can use any type of vinegar available on hand. Take the amount of vinegar needed, at least one cup.

Step 2: Pour down it into a spray Bottle

The spray bottle will help you reach the solution to your target. However, if you do not have a spray bottle, you can splash the solution.

Step 3: Add a few drops of shampoo

The next step is to add a few drops of shampoo. For example, one cup of vinegar needs ten drops of shampoo. Again, mix well before using it.

Step 4: Spray it directly on the roaches

Vinegar with added shampoo will only kill roaches if you directly apply it over the roaches. Do not expect it to work like insecticide spray.

Spray Vinegar on cockroaches to kill them

Step 5: Wait for the results.

The cockroach can live without oxygen for a few hours. Therefore you have to wait patiently before seeing the results.

Proper Method to Getting Rid of Roaches

Follow these three SIMPLE steps to get rid of roaches FOREVER.

Step 1: Use a bait

The first step is to use bait to get rid of roaches. Baits are better than sprays as baits will kill the entire colony.

You can get your hand on many baits, but these are my favorite ones. Use each of them according to the instructions on the pack.

Bengal Roach Killer is a dry spray bait, very easy to apply and use. (How to use guide)
– Advion Cockroach Gel Bait is the most effective gel you can buy.
– Hot Shot Liquid Cockroach Trapper and Killer is the best trap you can get for cockroaches.
– Combat Max 12-Month Roach Killing Bait is the best bait out on the market.

Step 2: Close all openings

The next step is closing all openings in your home; otherwise, stopping an infestation will be impossible.

Use Loctite Foam Sealent (Amazon Link) to close gaps and openings like a pro.

The most common spots are shared plumbing spots between apartments. Check your washrooms and kitchen plumbings.

Step 3: Use an IGR

Using an IGR is the last step to ensure the roach nymphs don’t grow into adults. An IGR alters the internal hormones of roaches to molt.

This way, the roaches can not become adults and reproduce. Gentrol Growth Regulator (Amazon Link) is the only and the best IGR device for roaches.

It’s very easy to use. Just purge one of them and place it in a hidden place inside every room of your house.


The market is flooded with efficient and economic roach-killing products. Unfortunately, vinegar is smelly, difficult to use, and not entirely effective at killing roaches if used alone.

However, in case of an emergency, you can use vinegar mixed with shampoo or soap to kill roaches when you don’t have anything at hand.

Additional Read!