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Does Termite Treatment Kill Roaches?

If you are having a termite treatment performed, you may be hoping it will kill other types of pests in your home, such as roaches. 

Whether a termite treatment will kill roaches depends on the type of treatment you are having done. For example, the most commonly used gas in fumigations, sulfuryl fluoride, can kill roaches and other bugs. Termite baits, on the other hand, are unlikely to kill other pests. 

Will Termite Fumigation Kill Roaches? 

A house covered by a yellow tent to exterminate termites.

Termite fumigation can kill roaches. 

It can also eliminate: 

  • Borers 
  • Bed bugs 
  • Carpet beetles 
  • Certain types of moths 
  • Rodents 

The most common chemical in termite fumigations is sulfuryl fluoride, which is a rather strong compound. 

It is so strong, in fact, that only those with a license can use sulfuryl fluoride in the United States. 

Yet, if you want to ensure that the fumigation is enough to kill the roaches in your home, you need to speak with the pest company performing your treatment. 

Different pests require differing amounts of sulfuryl fluoride to kill them, so they may need to change the dosage to eliminate roaches as well. 

How Does Sulfuryl Fluoride Kill Pests?

Sulfuryl fluoride primarily kills pests by releasing large amounts of fluoride into their bodies. 

When too much fluoride is in the body, the metabolism can not produce energy in high enough quantities, leading to death. 

Do Termiticides Kill Roaches?

Yes, termiticides can kill roaches. 

It can also kill other pests depending on the active ingredients. 

So, let’s look at some of the most common chemicals in termiticides, what pests they can kill, and how they kill them. 


Arsenic is a well-known poison that can kill roaches and termites as well as rodents, ants, and snails. 

Arsenic is poisonous because it is pretty similar to its periodic neighbor phosphorous. 

You see, living organisms need phosphorous to carry out daily activities and sustain life. 

But, when arsenic enters the body, it can act as phosphorous, which ends up disrupting the body’s normal functions. 

In particular, arsenic disrupts the body’s ability to create energy. 

Without energy, an organism can not complete even simple tasks such as breathing. 


Bifenthrin is a chemical that comes from the chrysanthemum plant. 

You can use bifenthrin to kill termites and roaches as well as: 

  • Wasps 
  • Spiders
  • Ticks 
  • Millipedes 
  • Silverfish 
  • Pill bugs 
  • Mosquitos 

Bifenthrin kills insects by upsetting the central nervous system, leading to paralysis. 

And when bugs become paralyzed, they can’t move, meaning they can’t eat or even breathe. 

Bifenthrin is an excellent insecticide because it typically kills bugs within minutes and remains on surfaces for several months. 


Permethrin is another compound made from chrysanthemums. 

Permethrin will kill termites and roaches as well as: 

  • Flies 
  • Mosquitos 
  • Fleas 
  • Ticks 

Permethrin works like bifenthrin by disrupting the central nervous system. 


Fipronil is a powder insecticide used to kill: 

  • Ants 
  • Beetles 
  • Fleas 
  • Ticks 
  • Mole crickets 
  • Thrips 
  • Rootworms 
  • Weevils 

And, of course, it also kills termites and roaches. 

Fipronil also works on insects by disturbing the central nervous system. 


Imidacloprid mimics nicotine, which is toxic to many insects. 

This compound kills termites and roaches along with: 

  • Fleas 
  • Flies 
  • Bed bugs 
  • Ants 

Imidacloprid works by disrupting the signals in the central nervous system. 

And luckily, this chemical is pretty safe for home use because it affects insects much more than humans and other mammals. 

Will Termite Baits Kill Roaches?

A termite treatment is being applied to the grassy ground.

While many termite baits do contain chemicals that can kill roaches, these traps do not work well on them. 

You see, termite baits lure termites in with cellulose, which is what they need to eat to survive. 

Roaches can consume cellulose, but they much prefer sweet and greasy foods. 

Thus, the termite baits probably won’t attract many roaches. 

However, cockroaches who do take the bait will die and pass on the poison to other members of their colony. 

Overall, though, it is much better to buy cockroach baits because they do a better job of attracting roaches. 

Do Nematodes Kill Roaches?

Did you know you can use nematodes to kill termites?

These tiny organisms burrow inside the termite, where they release bacteria, which leads to death. 

You can also use nematodes to kill roaches in the same way. 

Yet, beneficial nematodes will only get rid of the American cockroach, German cockroach, and speckled roach. 

Nematodes also kill certain species of: 

  • Weevil 
  • Cricket 
  • Moth
  • Mosquito 
  • Beetle
  • Cutworm 
  • Leafworm 
  • Cankerworm 
  • Borer 
  • Fly 
  • Silkworm 
  • Grasshopper 
  • Aphid 
  • Maggot 
  • Caterpillar 
  • Ant 
  • Yellowjacket 

Will Essential Oils Kill Both Roaches and Termites?

A woman's hand holding a bottle of essential oil.

Yes, essential oils will kill both roaches and termites. 

But, you need to use different oils for each. 

For roaches, your best bet is to use rosemary, cedar, or eucalyptus oil. 

To kill off termites, you should try orange or neem oil. 

Will Boric Acid Kill Both Roaches and Termites?

Yes, you can use boric acid to kill both roaches and termites. 

Boric acid kills insects by poisoning their stomachs and disrupting their nervous systems. 

And it scratches up their bodies. 

Boric acid also kills silverfish, ants, and fleas. 

Additionally, when using boric acid, you should keep in mind that it can wilt plants. 

Thus, you don’t want to place this insecticide anywhere near your house plants or garden. 

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Roaches and Termites?

Photo of Diatomaceous earth in a plastic spoon and some on the wooden surface.

Yes, diatomaceous earth (DE) kills both roaches and termites. 

It also kills: 

  • Ants 
  • Lice 
  • Millipedes 
  • Earwigs 
  • Bed bugs 
  • Fleas 
  • Mites 
  • Beetles 
  • Grubs 
  • Crickets 
  • Pill bugs 

Diatomaceous earth kills bugs by drying out their exoskeletons. 

And since most insects need to retain some level of moisture to live, they won’t last very long after DE exposure. 

DE is a good choice for an insecticide because it will continue to work for years after application as long as it stays dry. 

Do Bug Bombs Kill Roaches and Termites?

Bug bombs, also called foggers, can kill roaches and termites. 

Unfortunately, though, they don’t usually eliminate them in significant numbers. 

You see, a fogger sprays an insecticide out into a room, where it lands on surfaces. 

The idea is that the insects will walk over the insecticide, which will kill them. 

But, the problem with foggers is that they only treat exposed surfaces. 

And since both termites and roaches like to hide, often in your walls, the bug bomb won’t eradicate the entire colony. 

Can You Smash Both Termites and Roaches?

A man wearing a pair of slides trying to walk on a cockroach.

Yes, you can smash both termites and roaches. 

However, termites are much easier to squish. 

Since termites have soft bodies, you can easily smush them between your fingers if you choose to do so. 

Roaches, on the other hand, are tough creatures that can often withstand the force of a person stepping on them. 

It is possible to smash roaches, though. 

The best way to smush roaches is to step down on them firmly and pivot your foot in one direction and then the other. 

In most cases, doing so will kill the roach. 

Will Termite and Roach Treatments Harm People?

How harmful a pest treatment is to people depends on the type of treatment. 

So, to be careful, you should always follow the instructions on the product to keep from harming yourself or others when applying insecticides. 

If a professional is performing the treatment, ask them about the possible dangers. 


In almost every case, termite treatment will kill roaches.