Does Camphor kill Cockroaches?

Are you looking for an answer to the question: Does Camphor kill cockroaches? If it is so, then this blog post is for you.

I have discussed the effect of a renowned chemical, Camphor, on cockroaches; besides, you will also go through the correct method of its application in order to get desired results.

It is hard to get rid of roaches as they can adapt themselves according to the surrounding environment, so whether it is favorable or unfavorable, roaches always have a tough time.

Moreover, I have also mentioned the effect of camphor on some other insects so here you will also find some extra and productive information.

Furthermore, I have been writing reviews about different chemicals and products against roaches for a long time, so there is no need to worry about the validity of the data provided here.

Does Camphor Kill Cockroaches?

The short answer to this question is yes; camphor can kill cockroaches by interfering with the availability of oxygen and disturbing the exchange of gasses. The notable point is that camphor must be used in a proper way in order to kill cockroaches; there must be adequate and close exposure of roaches to the gasses released by Camphor.

Moreover, Camphor can be used both in solid and liquid form to kill cockroaches; in the solid state, it is available in white cubes, while in liquid, it is employed in oils.

Furthermore, camphor is proven to be more effective as roach repellent when compared to cockroach killer because of its pungent odor that is disliked by roaches.

Introduction to Camphor

Camphor is a chemical that has originated from plant sources; it is mainly derived from the tree named Camphor laurel.

The popularity and beneficial effects of camphor are responsible for its production through artificial methods and ingredients. So, besides organic sources, they can also be made synthetically.

Camphor obtained from natural sources is more commonly used in essential oils, which are used to keep roaches and other pests away, thanks to the intense fragrance of this compound.

Another use of this chemical is in the solid state; small balls are made that contain the main working ingredient, camphor; these are also known as mothballs.

Now, you can confuse the terms mothballs, camphor, and naphthalene balls; actually, mothballs are small balls either containing naphthalene or camphor as a significant chemical.

The use of camphor and naphthalene is the same, as both have the capability to keep roaches at a distance, but naphthalene has several damaging effects on humans.

Besides, camphor is believed to kill roaches; on the other hand, naphthalene balls can only be used as roach repellents.

Keeping these differences in view, naphthalene is replaced by camphor in most regions as an active ingredient in mothballs.

I hope you have got a clear concept, so let’s move forward.

Solubility of Camphor

As you have gone through a short introduction to camphor, now let’s discuss its chemical properties. 

It is essential to know about the solubility of camphor in different chemicals before attempting to use it with other compounds, so let’s have a look!

1Acetone-2500 g dm−3
2Acetic acid-2000 gdm−3
3Diethyl ether-2000 gdm−3
4Chloroform-1000 gdm−3
5Ethanol-1000 gdm−3

How to Use Camphor For Cockroaches?

Now, let’s discuss an appropriate method to use camphor or camphor balls. The mothballs containing camphor are known as camphor balls that can prevent the damage caused by roaches.

The method of application is more important than having an effective chemical product or chemical at hand, as the effect relies on the way you handle it.

I have tested camphor in both liquid as well as solid states, so I can provide methods that you can use to make both camphor oil and camphor balls effective.

  1. Camphor Balls

First of all, let’s see what the best and safe method to use camphor balls is.

  • First, read the label mentioned on the packaging of camphor balls, follow the instructions strictly, and don’t use it in restricted areas.
  • Take precautionary measures, and don’t leave camphor balls unchecked. The consumption of camphor balls can lead to serious health issues and can cause poisoning.
  • Place the item to be protected in a box or container that doesn’t allow air to enter inside. This will prevent the vapors of camphor from remaining inside.
  • Always use more than one camphor ball as it increases the odor and hence, enhances the effect by repelling the roaches even from a distance.
  • You can use camphor balls in places that are frequently visited by roaches, such as bathrooms, wall cracks, and under furniture.
  1. Camphor Essential Oil

As I have mentioned above, Camphor is also used in the form of essential oil as its primary origin is from plant sources, but how to use camphor essential oil?

The active ingredient camphor is capable of killing cockroaches, but this depends on the extent to which the roach is exposed to it.

Therefore, I prefer trapping a roach before attacking it as they are good runners and can readily escape the situation; there are glue traps available in markets that contain sticky material.

Fill the oil in a spray bottle and shake it gently before use; target the roach’s exoskeleton and spray the oil 2 to 3 times.

Following the above method can kill roaches and reduce your headache by getting rid of them; the notable point is that camphor is only effective against a small population of roaches.

So, if you are facing a significant infestation, camphor may repel them but is not capable of killing them all; therefore, use an alternative method or call a professional pest eliminator.

How Camphor Kill Cockroaches?

You have become aware of the fact that camphor can kill roaches but can deal with small numbers, but what is the mechanism that causes the death of roaches through these mothballs or essential oil?

Before explaining in detail, I would like to clarify that camphor kills roaches by the exact mechanism in both solid and liquid states by affecting their respiratory system.

When we talk about the respiratory system, the first term that comes to our mind is oxygen. Yes, you have guessed right. Roaches, when exposed to camphor, undergo breathing problems and die.

Roaches have breathing pores instead of lungs that help them exchange gasses through which they get and transport oxygen to their cells and organs.

The pores are located in the thorax and abdomen region; spraying the essential oil in such a way that the spiracles become covered and blocked suffocate and kill roaches.

Therefore it is always advised to spray adequately as this will minimize the chance of survival because roaches are stubborn insects that can even adapt themselves to survive suffocation.

Camphor balls that are also known as moth balls, are solid balls or flat tablets that can release poisonous gasses; these can also lead roaches to death by suffocation.

Moreover, if a roach ingests camphor balls, it can minimize the oxygen availability to its cells which causes cell death, and hence the roach eventually dies.

Efficacy of Camphor:

Now let’s talk about the effectiveness of camphor. You have gone through what camphor is and how it performs its action against roaches, but is it practical or highly recommended?

As you know, there are various products that claim to fight against roaches, so it is hard to decide what to use or what to leave. Worry not, as I can guide you well in this matter.

Camphor is an excellent repellent and can not only keep roaches away but also inhibit the attack of other pests, thanks to its solid and pungent odor that can distress any pest.

Moreover, camphor essential oils are highly recommended for this purpose as this form is safest when compared to solid camphor balls.

In addition, camphor has a sweet odor that doesn’t irritate humans and is only unbearable for pests, so you can use it anywhere without worrying about making your house smell bad.

You can spray the oil at any desirable place, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms, which are among the most frequently visited places by roaches for the sake of food and moisture.

Besides you can also make an insecticidal spray on your own by using ingredients that are cheap and can be found in your kitchen cabinets with greater ease.

If you are interested and don’t want to spend some extra money, then I can also provide a method to prepare this effective solution.

  • First, decide the quantity you need.
  • Add vinegar ⅓ of the quantity decided.
  • Next, add water, almost half of the amount of vinegar added.
  • Now add 3 to 4 drops of camphor.
  • Mix the ingredients well.

Apart from spraying the oil, you can also use it as a disinfectant to clean the kitchen shelves and floors; this will not only provide a pleasant smell but also distract pests from these places.

  • Take a small piece of cotton or you can also use a cleaning cloth.
  • Dip it in the camphor oil or the solution you have prepared yourself.
  • Clean the surfaces thoroughly.
  • Pay special attention to dark corners that meet the wall while cleaning.
  • Don’t forget to clean electrical appliances such as microwave ovens, as these are favorite places for roaches to hide in warm temperatures.

If you want to use a solid camphor ball for killing roaches, make sure that roaches ingest the balls or come in close contact with them.

This is rarely possible as roaches mostly tend to avoid these because of the putrid smell; therefore, camphor is a more appreciated compound when used as a repellent.

  • Experimented Conducted to Test the Efficacy of Camphor Balls

While going through detailed research on camphor balls, I found a research-based experiment named as Lewis and Clark test to check the effectiveness of camphor balls.

This experiment was conducted under the observation of karoshi Okemgbo. The experiment was performed on a group of roaches that were first trapped in a closed box.

The box used in this experiment was not fully closed, and a hole was created so that air could quickly enter inside. 

The hole was created because the main goal was to test the effect of camphor balls on roaches rather than killing them by suffocation.

The activity of roaches was observed by researchers before placing the camphor balls inside, then they introduced these balls inside the boxes and observed the situation for about 11 hours.

The observer noticed a significant reduction in the movement of roaches with the passage of time; eventually, after 11 hours, the movement completely stopped, and the roaches died.

The researchers concluded from the above-mentioned experiment that camphor balls could release toxic gasses that can lead roaches to death even in the presence of oxygen in minute quantities.

Moreover, they also observed that roaches tried to find an escape route; this was probably because of the strong odor of balls.

Does Camphor Kill Other Insects?

As you have gone through the working and effectiveness of camphor, now, at this point, a question may have arisen in your mind about the use of camphor for other insects.

So let’s find out whether you can use camphor as an insecticide or not. Camphor was first applied on moths; moths are included in a group of insects that are capable of flying as they have wings.

They have a remarkable resemblance to butterflies but are much different from them. The significant difference through which you can identify is their color.

One of the renowned species of moths is cloth moths; as the name implies, these insects are mainly associated with clothes and cause potential damage to them.

They produce a tiny immature insect that feeds on woolen and fabric clothes; therefore, camphor balls were first used to protect clothes from cloth moths, and they performed well.

You will be amazed to know that camphor can also protect you from malaria by repelling malaria-causing mosquitoes.

So, spraying camphor oil is good for your health as well and provides 97 % protection against malaria. Moreover, it can also repel 80 % of the house mosquito.

Hence, camphor can provide protection against diseases that are spread by mosquitoes, including dengue fever and malaria.

Can Camphor Act as a Fumigant?

Do you know that apart from a potential roach repellent and killer, camphor can also be used as a fumigant? If not, then don’t worry, as I am here to explain this in detail.

The properties and characteristics of camphor make it a perfect air cleanser that can detoxify air containing microorganisms and dust particles.

Moreover, it can also purify the air from carcinogenic elements; these properties were first identified during the bubonic plague pandemic when millions of people died.

Bubonic plague is a disease that can cause swelling of lymph nodes present at joints; it can cause high fever and, if left untreated, can also cause death in severe conditions.

The time when this disease was raised on the curtain was termed the black death era; this was the time when services of camphor were first employed to minimize the transmission of the disease.

Since then, camphor has been used as a fumigant, so it is safe and beneficial for use as compared to naphthalene balls that can cause hypoxia and cell death.

Apart from benefits, camphor must be used under observation to prevent any toxic effects as its ingestion can cause toxic effects.

Final Thoughts:

The urge to get rid of roaches forces one to think about various chemicals in order to find the best. In this blog, I have discussed an answer to the question: Does camphor kill cockroaches?

Camphor has not only the ability to repel roaches, but if used correctly, it can also lead them to death. It is essential to adopt an appropriate method while using camphor balls and oil.

It has proved to be effective against malaria-causing mosquitoes and cloth moths; I have mentioned its efficacy in detail, so read it carefully.

Moreover, camphor balls can cause severe damage to the internal organs of humans, causing poisonous effects on them.

So, always use them in an airtight container in order to minimize the hazardous effect and misuse; Furthermore, keep the camphor balls away from children and pets.

I hope this article has proved to be helpful for you.


Can Camphor Kill Insects?

Camphor is an effective insecticide that can repel mosquitoes, flies, and cockroaches by its pungent odor and can also kill some insects when they come in close contact.

Do Roaches Like Heat or Cold?

Roaches are known to survive under a wide variety of temperatures, but they are sensitive to extreme cold and hot temperatures; the optimum range is 25 to 30 degrees Celsius.

Where Do Roaches Go During the Day?

Roaches are known to have nocturnal behavior, and they prefer staying at a hidden place during the daytime; they are more active at night and stay hidden in dark corners during the day.

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