How Long Does it Take for Lysol to Kill Roaches?

Cockroaches are notoriously difficult to eliminate, so finding an effective method is crucial.

The question that arises, though, is whether the use of Lysol is effective for this purpose and, if so, how long does it take to kill roaches?

Lysol is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, which makes it a favorite choice for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in households. Although it might not be specifically designed for pest control, anecdotal evidence suggests that it might help in getting rid of roaches to some extent.

Lysol’s primary purpose is to eradicate germs and bacteria, but its effect on insects like roaches can vary depending on factors such as the species and the level of infestation.

How Lysol Kills Roaches

Active Ingredients

Lysol contains ethanol and isopropyl alcohol as the primary active ingredients. Both alcohols are efficient at killing various pathogens, including roaches. Additionally, Lysol features benzalkonium chloride, an alkyl compound, which is known for its disinfecting properties.

Contact and Suffocation

When Lysol comes into contact with roaches, the ethanol and isopropyl alcohol in the formula work to penetrate the insects’ exoskeleton. This leads to a breakdown of the exoskeleton, making the roaches more susceptible to other active ingredients in Lysol.

Moreover, Lysol affects the roaches’ nervous system, further hindering their ability to survive.

An alternative mechanism through which Lysol kills roaches is by suffocation. When sprayed, Lysol may block the cockroaches’ spiracles, which are the tiny openings through which they inhale. With their respiratory system obstructed, the roaches eventually suffocate and die.

Remember, while Lysol is effective at killing roaches, it is primarily designed as a disinfectant and may not be meant for pest control. Always consult with a professional exterminator for advice on the best methods to eliminate a roach infestation.

Effectiveness of Lysol vs. Insecticides

When dealing with a roach infestation, it’s important to consider various methods of roach control to determine which is the most effective. Lysol is a popular disinfectant and sanitizer, but how does it compare to insecticides specifically designed to kill roaches?

Let’s analyze the effectiveness of Lysol in combating roach infestations compared to roach baits and roach traps, two common insecticide-based methods.

Roach Baits

Hot Shot Liquid Roach Bait, Roach Killer, 1 Pack, 6-Count

Roach baits are a widely used method for roach control, designed to attract and kill roaches. These baits contain insecticides, which are more potent and targeted than Lysol. The effectiveness of roach baits can be further increased when combined with other roach control methods.

  • Insecticides in baits: Insecticides in roach baits are specifically formulated to target roaches, making them more effective than Lysol in controlling roach infestations.
  • Coverage: Roach baits can be placed in multiple locations throughout the infested areas, allowing for better coverage and control.
  • Slow-acting: Many roach baits use slow-acting insecticides, which allows the roaches to bring the bait back to their nests, killing more roaches in the process.

Roach Traps

Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait, Small Roach Bait Station, Child-Resistant, 18 Count

Roach traps are another effective method of roach control that often contain insecticides. These traps are designed to capture roaches, which then come into contact with the insecticide inside the trap, effectively killing them.

  • Targeted approach: Roach traps use insecticides that are specifically designed to eliminate roaches, making them more effective than Lysol in controlling roach infestations.
  • Reduced pesticide exposure: Traps limit the amount of insecticide exposure to humans and pets, unlike Lysol, which is a general disinfectant and sanitizer that may not specifically target roaches.
  • Monitoring effectiveness: Roach traps allow you to monitor the number of roaches caught and adjust your roach control strategy accordingly.

Safety and Precautions

For Pets and Children

If you choose to use Lysol as a method for controlling a roach infestation, it’s important to take specific precautions to ensure the safety of both pets and children in your household. Lysol, as a disinfectant spray, contains chemicals that can be harmful if ingested, inhaled, or if there is prolonged skin contact.

  • Keep Lysol out of reach: Store Lysol in a high, locked cabinet to prevent children and pets from accessing it.
  • Avoid spraying near pets and children: Make sure they are not present in the room when you’re using Lysol to kill roaches. Allow the area to ventilate after spraying and secure the room until it is safe for them to reenter.
  • Clean up spills and residue: If Lysol is accidentally spilled or leaves a residue, promptly clean it up with soap and water to reduce the risks of accidental ingestion or contact.

Alternatives to Lysol

If you’re concerned about the safety of using Lysol around pets and children, you might consider some safer alternatives for controlling roaches:

  • Essential oils: Use a mixture of peppermint oil and water as a natural repellant. Spray around potential entry points and areas where you’ve seen roaches.
  • Boric acid: This can be used as a long-lasting roach killer. Lightly dust it in cracks, crevices, and behind appliances where roaches may hide. Be cautious, as excessive amounts can cause irritation in pets and children.
  • Diatomaceous earth: A non-toxic powder that can be applied to areas where roaches may hide. It works by causing desiccation of the roach’s exoskeleton. Ensure that you use food-grade diatomaceous earth for safety.

Application and Tips

Surface Cleaning

To effectively use Lysol for killing roaches, it’s crucial to clean the surfaces where an infestation is present. Begin by removing all food particles, dirt, and debris from countertops, tables, and other surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, and other affected areas. Once the surfaces are clean, generously spray Lysol on them.

Pay close attention to corners, cracks, and crevices where roaches tend to hide. Allow the solution to sit on the surfaces for a few minutes before wiping away with a clean cloth, ensuring all germs and bacteria are removed.

Household Remedies

While Lysol is an effective tool against roaches, you can also try incorporating some household remedies to enhance the solution’s effectiveness. Here are some ideas:

  • Boric Acid: Mix a small amount of boric acid with sugar and place it in corners, cracks, and crevices where roaches can easily access. This mixture will attract them, and the boric acid will act as a slow-acting poison that will eventually kill them.
  • Diatomaceous Earth: Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth around the kitchen and bathroom areas where roaches are likely to come into contact with it. This substance, made from fossilized algae, damages the insects’ exoskeletons and causes them to dehydrate and die.
  • Traps: Make homemade traps using a small container, such as a jar or yogurt cup, baited with sweet, sticky food. Create an entry ramp using a strip of card or paper. Once inside, roaches will be unable to climb back out and will eventually die. Check and empty the traps regularly.

Remember to keep these remedies away from children and pets, as they may pose a risk if ingested or improperly handled.

By using Lysol and these household remedies, you can effectively reduce and eliminate roach infestations, keeping your home clean and safe from unwanted pests.

Prevention and Maintenance

Sealing Entry Points

One of the most effective ways to prevent cockroaches is by sealing entry points. Roaches can enter your home through cracks, crevices, and gaps in windows, doors, or pipes.

Use caulking or weather stripping to seal spaces, preventing roaches from invading your home. Keep an eye out for potential nesting spots, especially if you’ve had a previous infestation, as some species exhibit cannibalistic tendencies.


Sanitation plays an important role in minimizing the chance of a roach infestation. Be diligent in cleaning up any food spills or crumbs, as they can attract not only single roaches but also entire colonies. Store food in tightly sealed containers, and take out your garbage regularly to avoid providing a food source for these pests.

Regularly clean your home to eliminate roach droppings. Roach droppings can contain eggs, and by removing them, you reduce the likelihood of a new generation hatching. Even the smallest mess can attract roaches, so it’s crucial to maintain cleanliness and minimize clutter.

While resilient pests, there are common household remedies that can help keep roaches at bay.

Some of these include:

  • Baking soda and sugar: Mix equal parts baking soda and sugar, then place the mixture in small containers around your home. Roaches are attracted to the sugar and will ingest the mixture, which can be fatal.
  • Diatomaceous earth: This natural powder can help eradicate roaches by damaging their exoskeletons. Sprinkle it near suspected entry points and in high-traffic areas for roaches.


Lysol is a popular cleaning and disinfecting product that many people turn to for various household needs. Its effectiveness in killing roaches, however, is an essential point of consideration. While Lysol can kill roaches on contact, it should not be relied upon as a primary method of extermination.

To ensure a thorough and effective roach extermination process, it is best to utilize an integrated pest management approach. This can include:

  • Prevention: Taking steps to make your home less attractive to roaches, such as sealing gaps and cracks, keeping food in sealed containers, and maintaining proper sanitation.
  • Baits: Using gel or solid bait stations to attract and kill roaches.
  • Insecticides: Applying chemical treatments, preferably by a professional, for a more significant impact on the roach population.

In summary, while Lysol may provide a temporary solution for killing individual roaches, it should not be considered a long-term or comprehensive approach. Employing a combination of prevention and targeted treatments will yield the best results in managing a roach infestation effectively.

Remember to always read product labels and follow instructions to ensure safety when using any pest control products.

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