Cockroaches are gross, and when you find them in your chicken coop, it’s normal to panic. 

Getting rid of them isn’t too hard, and it’s not that big of a deal. 

After all, chickens can eat cockroaches with no problem. 

But if you find a lot of them or their “dirt” affects the food, I don’t blame you for wanting to take steps. 

This is why I balanced our experience, asked the experts, and researched to find these ways to get rid of cockroaches in the chicken coop. 

roaches in chicken coop

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a perfect way to get rid of roaches in your chicken coop.

It’s non-toxic for chickens, other animals, and people too! But it’s excellent at killing insects.

It does so by destroying their exoskeletons.

Diatomaceous earth is essentially a white powder made from the remains of little organisms.

Specifically, these are fossilized remains.

To us, this is a soft powder.

To the insects, it’s abrasive.

By absorbing the oils and fats they need to survive, it destroys the insects’ exoskeletons, killing them.

Purchase Food Grade DE, which is completely safe. 

Some farmers add it to the bedding too. This acts as a deterrent to all insects and prevents infestation in the first place.

Also, consider adding it to the bedding as a deterrent to prevent insects from moving in. 

Boric Acid

Boric acid is another common chemical used for killing cockroaches.

This makes it another great option to use around your chicken coop.

Though it looks similar to DE as a white powder, it’s not made of the same thing.

Boric acid comes from a compound found in plants and fruits to deter bugs.

It is a combination of baron and water. 

This compound sticks to the bugs, making the insects need to clean themselves to be free.

When they lick themselves (called preening), they swallow the acid.

To the insects, this is fatal.

It attacks their digestive and nervous systems.

While not immediately deadly to chickens in small amounts, it can still hurt them.

If you use it, make sure it’s somewhere the chickens won’t get at it.

Another issue is that chickens will eat roaches, and you don’t want your chickens eating a roach covered in boric acid. 

Baking Soda and Sugar

As a home remedy, baking soda and sugar do a nice job of killing roaches and getting them out of your coops.

Combine equal parts baking soda, sugar, and water.

The sugar attracts the roaches like moths to a flame.

(Can I use another bug reference? Oh well, I’m going for it!)

The baking soda gets eaten along with the sugar.

The soda reacts to the digestive juices, causing gas buidup, which makes the roach’s internal systems burst.

Gross, right? But effective!

This isn’t dangerous to chickens in small amounts, but you’ll still want to limit their exposure.

Make sure that you place it somewhere they can’t get to it. 

Cockroach Chemical Killer (Make Sure It’s Safe for Pets)

Of course, chemical roach killers are always an option.

One such option is the chemical pyrethrin.

Get it as a spray or a powder. Either one kills the insects when touched.

This chemical is ideal in terms of safety.

The chemical is rendered inactive by our larger creature bodies.

But the roaches are susceptible.

It is safe for chickens and people, as it can be inactivated by avian and mammal bodies. 

It comes in the form of a spray or a powder, killing roaches on contact. 

It is safe for chickens and people, as it can be inactivated by avian and mammal bodies. 

However, roaches cannot escape it. 

You can dust the coop with the powder or spray it with the spray. 

Make sure to get the corners and dark hiding spots. 

I’ve used this Raid spray with some success; check it out on Amazon.

Essential Oils

There are essential oils that are effective at deterring or killing roaches, but they won’t harm your chickens. 

They offer another opportunity to avoid using pesticides in the chicken coop. 

Certain essential oils are excellent options, including eucalyptus, peppermint, and mint. 

Eucalyptus oil has a fragrance that confuses roaches and deters them from the coop. 

You can use tea tree oil and mix it with water and vinegar. 

Place it in a spray bottle, and spray the entire chicken coop as well as the chicken run. 

Rosemary oil has a 100% success rate for killing roaches. 

Mix it with water and spray the coop. 

Essential oils also have health benefits for your chickens, but it is important to make sure that you choose essential oils that are easy to use and good for chickens. 

They can also be used to clean your coop, and they will deter all kinds of pests and keep them away from your coop. 

Ice Cream

cockroaches in chicken coop

Ice cream is a magnet for roaches. 

If you have them in your coop, you can place a bucket half full of ice cream in the center of the coop. 

The roaches won’t resist it, and they will climb in the bucket and start eating. 

When the ice cream melts, the roaches will drown. 

If you use this method, make sure that your chickens can’t get to the ice cream because they love it. 

They will eat it all before the roaches have a chance. 

Although they love it, it isn’t good for them. 

Ice cream is full of sugar. 

You also need to make sure that you remove it soon after it melts because the melted ice cream will attract all kinds of predators, including wasps, other insects, and rodents. 


Use garlic to get rid of roaches in your chicken coop. 

Roaches hate the smell of garlic, as do other parasites such as lice and mites. 

Sprinkle garlic powder in the areas that are infested with roaches. 

People have been feeding garlic to chickens for various reasons for centuries, but you need to keep the amounts low. 

If your chickens eat a lot of garlic, you may be able to taste it in the eggs. 


Another natural way to prevent roaches from moving into your chicken coop is by placing catnip around the outside. 

Catnip is not dangerous or toxic to your chickens. 

It contains a compound called nepetalactone, and it confuses roaches and throws them off balance. 

Hang it in little bags around the coop, or you can make a tea out of it and spray it around the coop. 

It won’t kill them, but it will keep them away. 

Fruit Juice

Fruit juices are another way to get rid of roaches in your chicken coop. 

Some juices, such as apple juice, are sweet and attract roaches. 

They can’t resist the sugar. 

Take a container and fill it halfway with the juice. 

The roaches will be drawn to it and climb up the side of the container and fall inside and drown. 

Citrus juices have the opposite effect. Roaches are repelled by citrus. 

Take lemon juice, mix it with water, and then spray it around your coop. 

It contains limonene, which is a natural roach repellent. 

Consider placing lemon peels around the coop. 

Your chickens are unlikely to eat them, and they will keep the roaches away. 

Let the Chickens Eat Them!

Chickens love to eat insects. 

When they see a roach, they will chase after it until one catches it. 

Then, the chicken will proudly walk around and show it to the others before eating it. 

Roaches contain nutrients that are good for chickens, and you can let them eat them. 

If you only have the occasional roach in your coop, your chickens will take care of it. 

The problem comes when you have a full infestation. 

As long as you keep your coop clean, you may not have to worry about a roach infestation. 

However, you will want to take care of it if you do. 

In addition to the nutrients, roaches can also carry parasites and some diseases. 

If you see a roach once in a while, you can let your chickens take care of it. 

If you see them crawling all over the coop, you need to use one of the other methods. 

Speaking of bugs, check out our article on if chickens eat stink bugs.

Commonly Asked Questions

Do Chickens Attract Cockroaches?

Chickens don’t attract roaches, but their coops can. 

It depends on several factors. 

First of all, cleaning your coop regularly will help to prevent roaches from moving in. 

Roaches are drawn to the scraps, the chicken feed, and the dirty bedding. 

Prevent a roach infestation by keeping your coop clean and making sure that you clean up any food scraps lying around. 

Do Chickens Eat Cockroaches?

Chickens love to eat cockroaches. 

They are a source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and chickens will get very excited when they see one. 

They will run after it, grab it, and show it off before eating it. 

As long as your coop only has the occasional roach, it is fine to let your chickens eat it.