Does Bed Bug Spray Kill Roaches?

Does Bed Bug Spray Kill Roaches?

Yes, bed bug spray can kill roaches. The active ingredients in bed bug spray, pyrethrins and pyrethroids, which are derived from chrysanthemum flowers, are also effective in killing roaches.

Although bed bug spray can kill roaches, it is not the best option in getting rid of a household infestation.

In this article we will discuss how to spot a roach infestation and how to properly take care of it. If you are having this problem in your house, then keep on reading

Signs of a cockroach infestation

The first step in determining if you have a cockroach infestation in your home is to know exactly what signs to watch out for.

Live cockroaches

The most obvious sign of an infestation is seeing actual live cockroaches crawling around your home.

Roaches come out at night. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to grab  a glass of water from the kitchen, keep an eye out for them the moment you flick the light switch. Roaches do not like light so their tendency is to run and hide when exposed to light.

Oriental cockroaches prefer cool and damp places, which makes them frequent places like basements and drains. They do not have sticky foot pads, so they can only really scale textured walls, like brick. German cockroaches, on the other hand, like humidity and warmth. This is why they are most often seen in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. They have sticky foot pads that allow them to scale smooth surfaces like tile.

Roach feces

Cockroach poop looks a lot like black pepper or ground coffee. They are around 1mm wide. If you find these droppings around your house, make sure to not touch them with your bare hands. Use a broom or vacuum to clean them up. Roaches are notorious for consuming just about anything to survive, including literal waste and garbage. The germs on what they ate can still be found in their poop because they survive the roach’s digestive system. Diseases can still be spread through the handling of roach droppings.

Roach eggs

Roach eggs are encased in a capsule, or oothecae, that roaches lay. Different species of roach have different numbers of segments in their ootheca. Most roaches lay these capsules immediately, but the German cockroach carries it around with them until it is just about to hatch.

When these capsules hatch, they release around 30 baby roaches, or nymphs.

Roach eggs can be found near places with things adult roaches like, such as cardboard, water, and food. The kitchen is a go-to place for roaches, while the bathroom has condensation which makes water easy for the roaches to find.

Smear marks

Roaches produce dark and asymmetrical smear marks when they crawl on surfaces. These are most commonly found on light-colored walls and wall-floor junctions.

Shed skin

Roaches will shed their skin as they grow bigger and mature. They will go through several life stages until they become mature adult roaches. They will shed their skin five to eight times throughout their life. Seeing these shed skins will tell you that the roaches in your home have begun to effectively reproduce since there are roaches of all ages present.

Distinct smell

Roach poop releases a pheromone that helps attract other roaches to that area. It will smell musty and unpleasant to our noses. Because more roaches means more poop, the stronger the unpleasant smell will become over time. This smell will stick to your room as well as to your belongings.

Property damage

Because roaches can survive on anything as food, they will bite and chew through your belongings. You can be able to spot these bite marks on food storage containers. Roaches can even eat their way through your leather goods and books.

Will bed bug spray kill roaches?

Most bed bug sprays have the chemicals pyrethrin and piperonyl butoxide which are the active ingredients. These chemicals were formulated to effectively attack an insect’s central nervous system. Bed bugs and roaches are anatomically similar enough for them to both be affected by these chemicals the same way. Bed bug spray has these chemicals at 0.25% concentration which makes its effectiveness against roaches realistic.

Unfortunately, these same sprays may not kill the roach’s eggs. The ootheca protects the eggs inside it from the chemicals.

So, while bed bug spray may kill roaches, they are ineffective to roach eggs, thus not recommended when trying to completely eradicate roaches from your home.

How do I use bed bug spray on roaches?

The most effective formulation of bed bug spray to use on roaches is the aerosol spray, and the best way to make sure it kills roaches is to spray it directly on the roaches. Simply spraying it around your home hoping a mist or fume will kill the roach, is ineffective. If the spray does not have any contact with the roach, the roach will not be killed.

Using the bed bug spray with roach bait is the most effective combination. The roach bait trap will lure the roaches into it and trap them in the glue. Once the roaches can no longer escape, that is when you spray them with the bed bug spray.

You may have to use the bed bug spray several times to completely rid your home of them.

Be sure you only spray in areas that are away from your food and eating utensils. Keep your children and pets out of the room while using the spray.


Yes, bed bug spray can kill roaches because they will also die from the same active ingredients that kill bed bugs. The spray can only kill nymphs and adult roaches but they cannot kill roach eggs. The eggs are encased in a capsule, or ootheca, which helps keep the eggs inside safe from the spray. This means, by itself, bed bug spray cannot stop roach infestations in your home.

If you want to use bed bug spray on roaches, make sure you spray it on the roach directly because it needs to touch the roach to be effective. Use roach bait to trap the roaches, and then spray them with the bed bug spray to kill them.

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