This question already has an answer here:

Is it possible to use dishwashing soap as an alternative insecticide? How would that and what are the components of the dishwashing soap that would kill the insect?


marked as duplicate by rg255, fileunderwater, AliceD, kmm, March Ho Feb 18 '16 at 11:42

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    $\begingroup$ please read the help pages before posting questions $\endgroup$ – rg255 Feb 17 '16 at 15:18

I'm not completely confident that the aforementioned post is a duplicate, because the question explicitly asks "Why do cockroaches burst from soapy water?" While this question explicitly asks "Can soap kill cockroaches and/or ants?"

The short answer to your question is yes.

According to this website:

The soapy water kills [cockroaches] by forming a thin film over the roach's breathing pores that stays in place due to surface tension, causing the roach to suffocate.

Ants are killed in a similar manner (see this archived Reddit post).

For a more scientific read, check out this paper: Behavioral Responses and Mortality in German Cockroaches (Blattodea: Blattellidae) After Exposure to Dishwashing Liquid.


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