Does Camphor Kill Cockroaches? | 3 Things You Need to Know

Does Camphor Kill Cockroaches

There’s no worse feeling than trying to enjoy a meal and discovering the disgusting antennae of a cockroach staring at you or hearing them moving around in the kitchen. Besides being gross to look at, cockroach infestations can also make you sick and contaminate your food. To make matters worse, cockroach infestations are difficult to exterminate without professional help. Does camphor kill cockroaches?

There is plenty of advice out there for home remedies to get rid of cockroaches, including using mothballs. So, are camphor balls for cockroaches really effective? Yes, camphor can kill cockroaches, but it is not the permanent solution to your infestation.

Here is what you need to know about camphor and cockroaches.

What is Camphor?

Camphor is a potent essential oil derived from several different plants, including camphor laurel trees and camphor basils. This phytochemical has a very strong scent that repels many insects. People use camphor oil extract and pesticides that include camphor to repel mosquitos, moths, pinworms, and other pests.

Nowadays, many mothballs use camphor as the main active ingredient, which is why some people call mothballs camphor balls instead. During the 20th century, the main ingredient in mothballs was naphthalene, but studies found that this pesticide was damaging to humans as well and many local governments banned it. Mothball manufacturers switched to camphor thanks to its insect-repelling properties.

Is Camphor Effective Against Cockroaches?

So, camphor can kill many pests, but is it effective against cockroaches? Cockroaches are famous for their hardiness, and many ordinary pesticides don’t work against them.

Initial studies show that camphor can repel and kill cockroaches. When cockroaches ingest camphor, it interacts with their respiratory system and eventually kills them. Cockroaches will avoid camphor once they sense it, and if they are in close contact with the chemical, will die.

Camphor is a great home remedy to keep cockroaches away and kill any that may wander into your home. However, studies are not clear about its effectiveness against many cockroaches. If you have a large infestation, call a professional exterminator instead of trying to kill all the cockroaches yourself.

Camphor will only kill cockroaches if the bug ingests a lot of it. That means that the roach needs to be in an enclosed space with the source of camphor. If it has a place to escape, it will get away from the fumes and won’t die.

How to Use Camphor to Kill Cockroaches

dead cockroach beside mothballs

Using camphor the right way against cockroaches will maximize its effectiveness and clear your home of bugs. You can get camphor in a few different forms, such as essential oils or pesticides that use camphor as an active ingredient. The most efficient way to use camphor against cockroaches is in the form of camphor balls or mothballs.

Before using camphor balls for cockroaches, double-check safety instructions. Most manufacturers don’t recommend using camphor balls near areas where you prepare food, so avoid using them in your kitchen. You also shouldn’t use camphor balls in a place where you or anyone in your household is likely to inhale the fumes.

Use camphor to keep roaches away from closed containers, such as sweaters, blankets, or other possessions packed away in storage. Pack your belongings in a tightly sealed container, making sure that no fumes can escape. If a roach somehow gets into the container, it will ingest the camphor and will die.

If you want to repel roaches but not kill them, spray camphor essential oil or a pesticide containing camphor around your home. Spraying it directly on a roach will kill it.

The Final Word: Does Camphor Kill Cockroaches?

Camphor can kill cockroaches, but only if the roach is in close contact with the chemical. Camphor can repel roaches, but for a permanent solution to a large infestation, you’ll have to call a professional.

dead cockroaches

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