Does Listerine kill Roaches?

Are you looking for some DIY methods that can help you to kick roaches out of your house? If it is so, then you are at the right place as in this article, I will discuss the following: Does Listerine kill roaches?

Roaches are responsible for carrying various disease-causing pathogens, including salmonella, typhi bacteria, and many others, so it is essential to get rid of them.

I will guide you about a complete method through which you can use Listerine to kill roaches and also discuss its efficacy, so you will know everything you need to know about this mouthwash.

Moreover, I have been doing research on the efficacy and composition of several detergents and products against pests, so you will definitely be satisfied by the details provided in this blog.

Now, let’s get started, as there is much more to disclose.

Does Listerine Kill Roaches?

The short answer to this question is yes, listerine is capable of leading troublesome and annoying roaches to death. Listerine is a brand name for an antimicrobial mouthwash that kills bacteria present in our mouth and is responsible for bad breath. The composition of listerine makes it effective against cockroaches as it contains essential oils and alcohol that can kill roaches.

The essential oils, menthol, thymol, and methyl salicylate have different effects on roaches; these components can kill roaches either by suffocating or dehydrating them.

Moreover, listerine gives off a pungent odor that can even keep roaches at bay. Furthermore, it is essential to spray an adequate amount of listerine to kill them.

Introduction to Listerine

Before heading towards the working and killing mechanism of listerine, you must first have to know about what listerine is; therefore, I have started a short introduction, so let’s see.

Listerine is not designed to kill roaches as it is neither an insecticide nor a pesticide; instead, it is a mouthwash that can kill pathogens and inhibit their growth in our mouths.

Listerine is used to prevent several mouth diseases, including sores; it also kills microorganisms that are the culprits of smelly breath. It was first introduced in 1914 in the United States.

The alcohol and oils in the composition of listerine can directly act on the cellular structure of some bacteria and kill them while stopping the growth of others.

The effect of listerine mouthwash on microorganisms also makes it reliable for killing roaches as it produces the same lethal effects on roaches when they come into direct contact.

Composition of Listerine

As I have stated above, the active ingredients in listerine make it not only an excellent mouthwash but also a potential killer of roaches.

You must be desperate to know about the ingredients that make listerine reliable for killing roaches, so let’s raise the curtain and disclose its composition.

3Methyl salicylate0.06%
5Sodium Fluoride0.02%
6Alcohol21.6% v/v

I have listed active ingredients and their amounts present in listerine that produce devastating effects on roaches and lead them to death, so read the table carefully to take a gist.

How Alcohol in Listerine Kill Roaches?

As I have stated earlier, it is the composition of listerine that affects roaches’ internal systems and kills them, so now I will discuss each active ingredient and its effect on roaches.

Let’s start with alcohol, as from the above table; it is clear that listerine offers 21.6% alcohol of its total composition, which is for killing the germs and microorganisms present in the mouth.

But how does it affect cockroaches? I have gone through research that stated the effect of alcohol on the basis of the species to which a roach belongs.

On exposure to alcohol, some roaches lose their muscle movements and undergo paralysis, while others experience drying of body fluids and die of dehydration.

Effect of Eucalyptol on Roaches

Now let’s talk about eucalyptol; it is one of the most effective essential oils that can keep roaches at bay because of its harsh odor. Moreover, it can also kill roaches and their newly born babies.

The thing I would like to mention is that the concentration of eucalyptol matters; it must be in large amounts to kill roaches, but unfortunately, listerine contains small concentrations.

Therefore, eucalyptol is not an active ingredient to kill roaches, but still, it is the chief element that repels cockroaches.

However, you can use eucalyptol separately if you want to get rid of cockroaches and their nymphs. I will advise you to use it at a concentration of 5-30 %.

Effect of Thymol on Roaches

Just like eucalyptol, thymol is also a plant-based essential oil that can repel and even kill roaches when appropriately sprayed. 

I studied the effect of thymol on roaches and concluded that it could attack their central nervous system and cause damage to brain cells; as a result, the transmission of signals gets affected.

CNS plays a vital role in controlling muscle movements; any damage can lead to muscle paralysis, which can result in death which happens when roaches are exposed to thymol.

Listerine contains 0.064% of thymol, hence proving that listerine can cause paralysis in roaches because of the concentration of thymol present in it.

Does Menthol in Listerine Kill Roaches?

As you have gone through the effect of the active ingredients of listerine, so now let’s discuss the second last oil that is present in small quantities but still considered an active ingredient.

Yes, you have guessed right; I am talking about menthol, which is obtained during the distillation process of mint. You will be pleased to know menthol also has a devastating effect on roaches.

The notable point is that it cannot kill roaches unless they become submerged in menthol solution, which means that a high quantity of menthol is required to kill roaches.

Unfortunately, listerine does not contain menthol in enough quantity to kill roaches, but it can keep roaches away and make listerine a good repellent.

Effect of Methyl Salicylate on Roaches

Listerine contains about 0.06 % of methyl salicylate, so let’s discuss what it is and whether it kills roaches or not. Methyl salicylate is obtained from salicylic acid.

It is much associated with aspirin and has some medicinal effects. It can stop the growth of microorganisms that aggregate wounds and skin injuries, providing relief.

Methyl salicylate can also act as a painkiller and reduce pain in joints and nerves, so let’s come to the point and see its effect on cockroaches.

While researching this topic, I came to know about a study that published the effect of methyl salicylate on German and American roaches.

Studies have shown that this essential oil can kill roaches within 24 hours if applied to a targeted part of their body in the correct concentrations.

Mechanism Through Which Listerine Kills Roaches

As you have gone through the effect of each and every ingredient on cockroaches in listerine, let’s conclude the primary mechanism through which listerine kills roaches.

The above-mentioned details prove that alcohol is a chief and active ingredient of listerine that kills roaches by dehydrating them and acting on their central nervous system.

While other essential oils can only repel cockroaches, they can also lead roaches to death when used independently in large concentrations.

Therefore, it is essential to flood the roaches with listerine and to ensure direct contact in order to make cockroaches susceptible to the solution.

Moreover, roaches can also die if they consume a significant amount of listerine; however, it is rarely possible because roaches hate the smell of listerine and don’t come near it.

Method to Use Listerine for Killing Roaches

Listerine is a mouthwash that is used by pouring the solution into the mouth and gurgling. What if you are using it for roaches; will you use the same method?

Absolutely not! I have mentioned some steps to use listerine and kill roaches productively. So let’s have a look.

  • Take a bottle with a spraying nozzle.  
  • Fill it with the listerine mouthwash.
  • Revolve the snout in a way that the particles of solution do not spread out and directly target the roaches’ outer skeleton with pressure.
  • Target a roach and spray the solution until it becomes fully covered in the solution.
  • Repeat the process until the death of the roach confirms.
  • Remove the dead body and clean the site of action.

How to Make Listerine More Effective?

Although listerine can kill roaches, it is not as effective as a particular insecticidal spray that is specifically designed to kill cockroaches and remove the infestation.

If you don’t spray the solution directly on the roach or if it runs away after experiencing 2 to 3 sprays, it will not die. So proper and adequate spray is mandatory. 

Moreover, I have a tip to share with you guys if you want to make listerine an effective roach killer follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • Take a spray bottle with a tight nozzle.
  • Fill ¾ of the bottle with listerine mouthwash.
  • Add some amount of water for the dilution of the solution; a quarter amount is recommended.
  • Take peppermint oil and pour 5 to 6 drops into a bottle.
  • Shake the solution gently to mix it well.

Congratulations, you have prepared a more effective solution to kill roaches, as peppermint oil is an essential oil that is known to have repellent properties.

Some Tips to Know

If you have nothing to kill an irritating roach in your house but want to get rid of it immediately, then listerine can help you out to some extent.

I have mentioned some tips to ensure the death of a roach, so read them carefully and consider following them if you don’t want the roach to escape unaffected.

  1. Target the Roach to be Killed

The effective spray is complex with more pressure and direction. Roaches are perfect runners and can also be experts in detecting danger. Therefore, I will prefer to trap the cockroach first.

Moreover, use a spray bottle that has a tight nozzle and adjust it in a day so that the particles are not sprayed widely; they should be direct and at a point.

Furthermore, make sure to cover the exoskeleton and respiratory pores of the roach’s body with listerine spray; this will inhibit the entrance of air and suffocate them.

  1. Ensure the Reduction in Oxygen Supply

As you have gone through the mechanism and know that listerine kills roaches by dehydrating and suffocating them, both situations require a correct application.

Roaches will not dehydrate until the listerine solution becomes absorbed into the exoskeleton, so submerge the cockroach into the solution and use high quantities.

Similarly, to block the oxygen supply, the spiracles must be adequately exposed to the solution.

  1. Follow Safety Measures

Listerine contains chemicals along with essential oils that can cause irritation on the skin and can affect the interior of the nostrils, so wear a mask.

Moreover, use protective glasses to prevent the spray from reaching your eyes, as it can cause redness, excessive tearing, and burning.

Winding Up:

In this article, I have provided an explanation for the question: Does listerine kill roaches? So yes, listerine can kill roaches because of the essential oil and alcohol present in its composition.

Alcohol can cause dehydration and can attack the nervous system leading to paralysis. Moreover, if the solution is applied directly and adequately, it can cause suffocation.

However, listerine cannot deal with large infestations, and if not appropriately used, roaches don’t die so. I have listed some tips and correct methods to use listerine, so read the entire article carefully.


Can Toothpaste Kill Roaches?

Yes, toothpaste can subject roaches to death as it contains boric acid that attacks CNS and causes severe damage to roaches’ stomachs, which ultimately results in death.

Does Vaseline Stop Roaches?

Vaseline, when stuck to the legs of roaches, reduces their grip and causes shaky movement; if a roach climbs up to the vaseline container, it can face difficulty in coming back.

Do Roaches Hate Lemon?

Roaches don’t like the odor of lemon, so it can keep roaches at a distance. The smell of lemon is toxic for roaches and some other pests.

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