Does Rubbing Alcohol Kills Cockroaches?

If you want to use rubbing alcohol to remove the mess created by the large population of roaches in your house, then you must first know whether rubbing alcohol kills cockroaches or not.

In this column, I will tell you about the most effective methods to get rid of stubborn roaches. You will go through the proper use of rubbing alcohol and up-to-the-minute information.

I have been researching pest control methods, and my main concern is cockroaches, so I have tried different chemicals to find out their working and effectiveness.

So, you will find authentic and compelling details about rubbing alcohol and its effect on roaches. Now let’s get started!

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Cockroaches?

Rubbing alcohol is regular alcohol with some extra constituents and ingredients. You can use it as an insecticide spray for cockroaches and some other insects. It can kill cockroaches by blocking the entrance of air into their bodies which results in a reduction of oxygen supply to roach cells, tissues, and organs. However, the use of rubbing alcohol is not appreciated.

Using rubbing alcohol is a risky method as it is a chemical having constituents that make it easy to react with oxygen and can set the surroundings and your belongings on fire.

Rubbing alcohol can cause serious health issues and even death if inhaled mistakenly; it acts as a poison for humans; therefore, it is preferred to use other insecticides instead of rubbing alcohol.

What is Rubbing Alcohol?

You may be confused about the term alcohol and rubbing alcohol, but there is a well-defined difference between these products.

Regular alcohol, which is used for consumption, is also called isopropyl alcohol, and it is made only for drinking purposes; therefore, no other chemicals are added to it.

On the other hand, when I observed the ingredient details of rubbing alcohol, it cleared the concept in my mind; Rubbing alcohol is not made for drinking.

The main application of this chemical is to kill pathogens like bacteria and viruses, which contaminate our belongings and cause health issues by affecting particular organs.

It can be used on the skin to treat lesions and wounds and inhibit the growth of bacteria there, but it also contains some harsh chemicals that make it dangerous to treat internal injuries.

Rubbing alcohol contains pure alcohol, which makes up more than half of its composition; the presence of alcohol develops the risk of its consumption, especially by alcohol addicts.

So, to reduce this risk, some chemicals that produce foul smells and pungent tastes are also added to rubbing alcohol.

Moreover, you can also use rubbing alcohol to disinfect your kitchens, bathrooms, and room floor, as it has the ability to kill both pathogenic and food spoilage bacteria, molds, and yeast.

Composition of Rubbing Alcohol

Before moving to the effect of rubbing alcohol on cockroaches, you must know what rubbing alcohol is and what it contains.

As I have mentioned, the use and proper introduction of rubbing alcohol, so now let’s see its composition. This will help you to decide whether to use it or not.

1Pure alcohol70 %
2Caster oil2.5 %
3Methylated spirit95 %
4Methyl salicylate0.5 %
5Diethyl phthalate2 %

Are Roaches Attracted to Rubbing Alcohol?

I never suggest using insecticides that contain chemicals producing harsh smells or fragrances for killing cockroaches.

This is because roaches have a remarkable ability to smell, and they also have a portion of their brain that is specialized in storing the memory of different odors.

Roaches even detect their food by smelling it. Moreover, they can also perceive danger by smelling toxic odors.

In addition, roaches find some odors appealing while others are distracting and repelling them. The odors they love play a role in infestation while later helping to remove it.

Now, you will be desperate to know the category of rubbing alcohol, so let’s disclose this, actually rubbing alcohol is neither attractive nor repelling for roaches.

So roaches don’t bother the smell of rubbing alcohol; therefore, you can use it to kill them; however, if you want to keep roaches away by expecting it to act as a repellent, it will not work.

Mechanism of Cockroaches’ Death by Rubbing Alcohol

As I have discussed above, rubbing alcohol has the ability to kill roaches, but how is it possible, or what is the mechanism of death?

So, let’s discuss how rubbing alcohol can cause the death of a particular roach. The general mechanism is that it kills cockroaches by blocking the oxygen supply.

As you know that oxygen is essential for all living organisms to live but have you ever wondered why? If not, don’t worry, as I am here to provide you with details.

Every living body is composed of cells that need oxygen to survive; therefore, any hindrance or reduction in its supply can lead to cell death which results in the death of a particular organism.

So therefore, cockroaches also breathe, but they do so by small openings present on their body surface; when rubbing alcohol is sprayed on a roach, it covers these openings and blocks them.

So no air can pass through them, which reduces the availability of oxygen to roach cells, and they eventually die.

Does Alcohol Kill Cockroach Eggs?

The short answer to this question is no. You can also guess the reason if you have read the above-mentioned details carefully.

How does alcohol cause the death of cockroaches? Actually, the alcohol covers the spiracles on the roach body and cancels out the oxygen supply, so they die from a shortage of oxygen.

On the other hand, roach eggs do not have exposed breathing pores as they are enclosed inside a protective case called ootheca and come out after their development.

So spraying alcohol on roach eggs is not effective if you want to kill them because a hard proteinaceous covering protects them from any damage from the external environment.

Drawbacks of Using Rubber Alcohol

As I have stated above, the use of rubbing alcohol is not appreciated, but why? Now, I have listed some cons of using this chemical which will also help you to understand its effectiveness.

  • Roaches don’t appear in groups, so you can spray on one roach at a time; therefore, it is not effective against large infestations.
  • Cockroaches are intelligent species that can detect danger, and their brain can generate a fear response which results in the rapid escape of roaches.
  • To kill roaches, the rubbing alcohol must cover the breathing pores adequately, but roaches can move fast, which will not let this happen, making this method less effective.
  • Rubbing alcohol is a liquid that can be converted into vapors, just like perfumes, so it must be appropriately sprayed in one try, which is tough, and this also reduces its effectiveness.
  • Besides, this chemical also contains chemicals that are reactive and set fire; therefore, it is not preferred to use, especially inside the house.
  • Roaches can survive the reduction of oxygen for 45 minutes; therefore, it is a slow process.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Use Rubbing Alcohol

As I have stated the harms and drawbacks of using rubbing alcohol so now you will understand why this method is not preferable.

But if you can’t use an alternative method and rubbing alcohol is the only option, don’t worry, as I will guide you on how to use it safely and effectively. So let’s have a look.


Choose a Good Quality Spray Bottle

Rubbing alcohol is a liquid, as discussed above, so the only method of application is to spray it on the particular cockroach. For this, you first need a spray bottle.

Rubbing alcohol is a sensitive chemical containing reactive constituents; therefore, always use a new spray bottle that doesn’t contain particles from other liquids.

Moreover, check the cap of your bottle, which is called a spraying lid; it must be tight enough to prevent leakage. 

Now take a measured quantity of rubbing alcohol and pour it into the bottle.

Close the lid tightly without wasting time, as the liquid can be converted into vapors.


Target the Cockroach to be Sprayed

The characteristic of cockroaches that I found the most interesting is their ability to run fast; they can move their muscles even faster than the most renowned animals for running.

But this capability of roaches can cause trouble when it’s time to spray rubbing alcohol on them, so I will suggest you first trap the roach so that it can’t escape.

For trapping, you can use glue traps that contain adhesive material; after this, target the outer covering of roaches that contain breathing openings and spray the liquid.

For effective results, spray it more than one time. This will adequately block the airway openings and cause death in 2 to 3 hours, as roaches can survive this condition for about 45 minutes.


Remove the Dead Bodies of Cockroaches.

You will be amazed to know that dead bodies of cockroaches are even more health-threatening than living ones as they release a secretion on death that contains harmful pathogens.

Moreover, dead bodies of cockroaches can also attract other roaches because the secretion contains a strong smell that sends signals to the other roaches.

Cockroaches can smell this material and trace the odor to reach the dead body. On reaching, they may feed on them and send messages to their fellows for the presence of food.

So I will suggest you remove the dead body of the roaches after the process to avoid the above-mentioned scenarios.


Prevent the Interaction of Rubbing Alcohol with Other Things

As discussed earlier, rubbing alcohol is harmful to humans and even other commodities like furniture because it contains reactive chemicals in it.

The rubbing alcohol is only effective if adequately sprayed on the body surface of a cockroach, so don’t spray it on other things like their hiding places, wardrobes, etc.

This is because the constituents of rubbing alcohol can even react with wood and cause damage to its structure. Moreover, it can set anything on fire.

Preventive Measures to Take Before Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is treacherous; it can be converted into vapors and can enter your body through inhalation; it can cause a poisoning effect on your biological system and can even lead to death.

But there is no need to worry as I have listed some precautionary measures. By following these methods, you can protect yourself from the adverse effect of rubbing alcohol.

So let’s have a look.

  • Rubbing alcohol can set your house on fire as it contains chemicals that react with oxygen and electric current so turn off the electronic appliances before spraying it.
  • Don’t spray rubbing alcohol near other burning flames, as this also increases the risk of setting the house on fire.
  • Make sure that cockroaches can’t escape during the treatment as they can hide, use electronics to hide, and can reside behind stoves which will set nearby things on fire.
  • Use rubbing alcohol alone as it contains chemicals that react with others and can produce harmful and poisonous by-products such as chloroform.
  • If you have kids in your house, block their access to the place of application during as well as after the process. Wait until the drops of rubbing alcohol have evaporated.
  • Avoid direct interaction with rubbing alcohol by wearing lab glasses as it can cause irritation in the eyes; also, wear gloves as it can also cause a burning sensation on the skin.
  • Wear a lab coat to avoid the contact of rubbing alcohol with your clothes.
  • Always carry out the process in an open place or room having ventilators and windows, as the chemical can be converted into toxic vapors that can cause breathing difficulties.

Concluding Lines:

In this column, we have found the answer to the question: Does rubbing alcohol kill cockroaches? So rubbing alcohol has the ability to kill roaches, but it has some limitations.

In my opinion, it is risky to use rubbing alcohol to kill cockroaches, so I advise you to use some other methods that are easy to use and less threatening.

I have also mentioned the protective measures and the best method to carry out this process, so if you have no option, you can follow the above-mentioned methods to avoid any mishap.


Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Insects?

Yes, the isopropyl alcohol present in rubbing alcohol is capable of killing insects by damaging their cells as it can be absorbed by their skin.

What Liquid Can Kill a Cockroach?

Using boric acid to kill a cockroach is a more effective and easy-to-use method that attacks the nervous system of roaches and can lead to death.

Can 70 % Alcohol Kill Bugs?

Studies have shown that 70 % alcohol-containing liquid like rubbing alcohol can kill half of the actual bugs exposed to the chemical.

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