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A Brief Overview of Natural Cockroach Repellents

Srikanth has been an online writer for over seven years. His articles focus on everything from medicine to DIY home projects.

This article will provide various options for getting rid of cockroaches.

This article will provide various options for getting rid of cockroaches.

Cockroaches are insects that predate dinosaurs by more than 150 million years. They are well-known for their ability to adapt to changes in their environment. There are more than 3,500 species of cockroaches worldwide.

Cockroaches eat feces, dead animals, sour beer, and even their young ones. There are not many species in the world as nasty as these creatures. Cockroaches snack on your food, damage your wallpaper, spoil your books, and bring dreadful diseases like gastroenteritis and salmonella. They are only next to dust mites when it comes to causing allergies.

A cockroach infestation is a major domestic problem. These nasty guests just check in, but do not check out. Many cockroach repellents are available in the market. Unfortunately, most of them are loaded with chemicals that may harm human beings.

Here is a brief overview of some effective cockroach repellents.

Natural Cockroach Repellents

  1. Catnip
  2. Borax
  3. Garlic
  4. Gecko
  5. Neem
  6. Diatomaceous Earth
  7. Heat Gun
  8. Soapy Water
  9. Ice Cream
  10. Hedge Apples
  11. Tea Tree Oil
  12. Lemon
  13. Mint
  14. Clove Oil
  15. Bay Leaves
  16. Citrus Hystrix Essential Oil
  17. Cucumber
  18. Eucalyptus Oil
  19. Vacuum Cleaner
  20. Beer-Soaked Bread

1. Catnip

Catnip is an effective and natural cockroach repellent. Research studies conducted at Iowa State University have confirmed that placing catnip around the house repels cockroaches.

2. Clovite

Clovite is a vitamin supplement used for horses. It is known to be very effective against cockroaches. In fact, it kills cockroaches. Place some clovite in a jar lid and set it in a location which is infested with cockroaches before you go to sleep at night. You will definitely find dead roaches the next morning. Cockroaches love to eat clovite. It is important to keep clovite out of reach of children and other pets.

3. Borax

It is advisable to place borax in a jar lid. You may also sprinkle the same at the back of cabinets. Borax dehydrates cockroaches’ body, thereby killing them. It damages their digestive system and outer skeleton.

4. Garlic

Garlic is immensely effective against cockroaches. It is advisable to sprinkle garlic powder in and around infested areas. Cockroaches hate the smell of garlic. It is important to replace the powder every month.

Sprinkling garlic around your home can help keep cockroaches away.

Sprinkling garlic around your home can help keep cockroaches away.

5. Gecko

The house gecko is a natural predator of cockroaches. No cockroach is too big for these lizards. Even if they can’t swallow huge cockroaches, they consume their head. A cockroach cannot survive for long without its head.

Geckos are a great way to get rid of cockroaches.

Geckos are a great way to get rid of cockroaches.

6. Neem

Neem is effective against cockroaches. It interferes with the insect’s hormones and stops them from breeding. Research has proved that neem bait affects cockroaches. Neem bait that was prepared with a neem seed extract killed young cockroaches and inhibited egg laying in grown up cockroaches.

Neem bait can also be quite effective in getting rid of roaches.

Neem bait can also be quite effective in getting rid of roaches.

Read More From Dengarden

7. Diatomaceous Earth

You need to entice cockroaches to eat diatomaceous earth. Cockroaches love cocoa powder and flour. It is advisable to mix them with diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle the mixture in and around the infested area. Diatomaceous earth in available in hardware stores.

8. Heat Gun

First you need to locate their colony. Cockroaches usually live in cracks in the walls and underneath cabinets. They prefer dark and moist locations. Angle the nozzle of your heat gun towards their colonies and blast away. Cockroaches die instantly due to dehydration, caused by extreme heat.

9. Soapy Water

Simple solution of soap and water can eliminate cockroaches effectively. Prepare a light solution of soap and water. Spray it or splash it on cockroaches. The solution should contact the head and the abdomen. The insects die in about one minute. This is because cockroaches breathe through their skin. Soapy water forms a thin film on the skin and impedes breathing, thereby suffocating the insect to death.

Soapy water is another effective method of killing cockroaches without using hazardous chemicals.

Soapy water is another effective method of killing cockroaches without using hazardous chemicals.

10. Ice Cream

Place a half-bucket full of ice cream in the infested area. When the ice cream melts, it will make an effective drowning pool for these nasty insects. After two days, you will find many dead cockroaches inside the bucket.

11. Hedge Apples

Cockroaches hate hedge apples. They are excellent cockroach repellents. Place them in and around infested locations. Very soon your home will be free of cockroaches. They are very effective against these nasty insects.

12. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is very effective against cockroaches. Mix a quarter cup tea tree oil and a quarter cup vinegar with two cups of water. Spray the mixture in and around the infested locations.

13. Lemon

Lemon is used for many culinary and non culinary purposes. Cut lemon into wedges. Place them in a small container. Place the container in the infested location. Cockroaches are repelled by the aroma of lemon.

Lemon helps repel cockroaches.

Lemon helps repel cockroaches.

14. Mint

Cockroaches hate mint. Mix eight drops of cypress essential oil and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil with half a cup of salt water. Spray the mixture in and around the infested areas.

15. Clove Oil

Clove oil works best against cockroaches with other essential oils like citrus oil or peppermint extract. Mix a few drops of these oils with one liter of water and spray the mixture in and around infested locations.

When mixed with other essential oils, clove oil can help repel cockroaches.

When mixed with other essential oils, clove oil can help repel cockroaches.

16. Bay Leaves

Bay leaves repel cockroaches effectively. It is advisable to crush these leaves and to spread them in and around infested areas. Cockroaches hate their scent and keep away from them.

17. Citrus Hystrix Essential Oil

Citrus hystrix essential oil is very effective against cockroaches. For best results, use therapeutic grade oils. If you natural cockroach repellent has to be effective, it is important that you use high quality oil.

18. Cucumber

According to experts, cockroaches do not eat cucumber because it gives them gas. It is advisable to make some slices of cucumber and to place them in and around infested locations.

Cucumber can help deter cockroaches.

Cucumber can help deter cockroaches.

19. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil and eucalyptus leaves repel cockroaches effectively. Add 10 drops of eucalyptus oil to three oz of water. Spray the mixture in and around the infested area. Your home will be free of cockroaches very soon.

Eucalyptus can be effective at keeping cockroaches at bay.

Eucalyptus can be effective at keeping cockroaches at bay.

20. Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuuming device can be modified to remove cockroaches. Place a narrow tube on the end of the vacuum hose to extract roaches from crevices and cracks. This is very effective and safe way to eliminate cockroaches.

Sometimes a vacuum cleaner can be the best way to kill cockroaches stuck in stubborn crevices.

Sometimes a vacuum cleaner can be the best way to kill cockroaches stuck in stubborn crevices.

21. Beer-Soaked Bread

Beer-soaked bread kills cockroaches. Place coffee cans on their side in and around infested locations. Saturate bread slices with beer and place the beer-soaked slices in these cans. Cockroaches love to eat beer-soaked bread.

Cockroaches are among nature’s disgusting critters. It is indeed a challenge to get rid of them. The above-mentioned natural cockroach repellents not only keep your home free from these nasty insects but are also environment friendly.


  • Cockroaches cause harmful diseases like typhoid and salmonella.
  • Your home can be made cockroach-free by using environment-friendly repellents like catnip and garlic.

Cockroach Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Beer-soaked bread kills cockroaches.
    • True.
    • False.
  2. Eucalyptus oil repels cockroaches.
    • True.
    • False.
  3. Cucumber is an excellent cockroach repellent.
    • True.
    • False.
  4. Cockroaches love mint.
    • True.
    • False.
  5. Neem interferes with cockroaches' hormones and stops them from breeding.
    • True.
    • False.

Answer Key

  1. True.
  2. True.
  3. True.
  4. False.
  5. True.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: Why do you suggest to "entice cockroaches to eat Diotanceous earth?" What does it do to them?

Answer: Diotanceous earth is a natural cockroach killer.

Question: Is eucalyptus oil a good cockroach repellent?

Answer: Yes.

Question: I’m concerned about my cat getting into whatever I place around to get the roaches, any suggestions?

Answer: Cats don't like the taste or smell of citrus. Prepare a mixture of water and lemon. Spray it on whatever you are placing around to get the roaches.

Question: Can I use a eucalyptus candle to repel roaches?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Can a mixture of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and vinegar mixed in water work as a repellent to kill cockroaches?

Answer: When simpler solutions are available, why complicate?

Question: What about cayenne pepper as a natural cockroach repellent?

Answer: It also works.

Question: Can I mix multiple things from this list of natural cockroach repellents?

Answer: Avoid mixing.

Question: Will making catnip tea mixed with ground peppermint work as spray to repel roaches?

Answer: Roaches are sensitive to the chemical nepetalactone, which is the active ingredient in catnip. Also, roaches hate peppermint.

Question: Is cedar a natural cockroach deterrent?

Answer: Yes.

Question: How do I make neem bait?

Answer: Try spray instead.

Question: Will cucumber slices attract more roaches? Will they start to eat it?

Answer: Roaches do not eat cucumber because it gives them gas.

Question: Why do some cockroaches seem immune to the tea tree oil?

Answer: Try a mixture of quarter cup tea tree oil, quarter cup vinegar and two cups of water. This works well against most types of cockroaches.

Question: Roaches ate my peppermint plant leaves. I dont recall them being repulsed by it?

Answer: Try mixing two parts water with one part white vinegar and 10 drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle, and spritz it around the affected areas.

Question: Can we use lemongrass oil as a repellent?

Answer: Yes.

Question: For how long do I need to spray eucalyptus oil to keep cockroaches away?

Answer: Try for 10 days.


Srikanth R (author) on August 08, 2020:

I don't think so. Many people are using it worldwide.

Alexander Duncan on August 08, 2020:

I used the tea tree oil recipe given here and after two hours my spray gun - an empty bottle of Allen's vinegar and lavender cleaning solution - stopped working, so I replaced the nozzle with one from another bottle of Allen's and the same thing happened. Is it possible the tea tree oil is gumming up my sprayer?

Ilona Host on July 31, 2020:

I have lived in my house (new) for 7 years Never had Cockroaches in the last two weeks I have killed 8 to 10 of these big ugly things. I've done nothing different and wonder why ALL of a sudden I am getting these. they have wings and are big.. no food or dishes left out no crumbs on the floor. Why would I have them all of a sudden? I will try some of these natural things since I have 2 cats

Lilac on June 02, 2020:

I hate Cockroaches

Srikanth R (author) on August 19, 2019:

The one sold by the Santa Cruz Animal Health website.

Mikaila on August 19, 2019:

When you say Clovite, what form of clovite do you recommend?

Srikanth R (author) on July 23, 2019:

Various factors involved here. I suggest you consult an expert near you; someone who can examine your premises.

Srikanth R (author) on July 23, 2019:

There are many factors here. I suggest that you consult some expert who is neraby, who can visit you.

Srikanth R (author) on July 23, 2019:

As far as possible avoid mixing.

Debi on July 23, 2019:

Will Clovite really kill roaches? Our neighbor moved and the homeowner sent orkin out to spray... 2 weeks later, my house is infested. The man whom sprayed is a friend of mine, and he said the reason is all the roaches left and came to my house.

I own my home, and our houses are not that close, but close enough I guess.

My son has allergies real bad, and I can not have any chemicals in my home, but I do have a sister who owns a couple of mini horses that uses clovite. If it works, then I will try it. Please be truthful.

Thank you

Wes Turner on July 23, 2019:

I see this is a bit dated, but would mixing multiple oils listed be even more effective? Say, citrus, tea tree and clove? If not, what mixtures would be best? Thanks.

Srikanth R (author) on January 28, 2019:

Depends on various other factors at your home.

Aishia on January 28, 2019:

If you use eucalyptus oil. How long does it take to get rid of roaches

Srikanth R (author) on November 22, 2018:


Srikanth R (author) on November 21, 2018:


john phillip jardeleza on November 20, 2018:

can madrede cacao leaf extract repel cockroaches too?

--Plsss.. answer sir for my thesis

Srikanth R (author) on November 09, 2018:

Yes. Tea tree oil.

K on November 09, 2018:

Tea oil work ?

Srikanth R (author) on October 12, 2018:

I will not recommend it because after the leaves dry up, they could become a food source for cockroaches and other pests.

Benjie on October 11, 2018:

Can pandan leaf repel cockroach?

Srikanth R (author) on October 07, 2018:

That will definitely work.

Valerie on October 07, 2018:

If I mix eucalyptus oil and water fifty fifty will it be more effective than the ten drops of oil with 3 ounces of water?

Srikanth R (author) on October 05, 2018:

Yes, beer soaked bread kills cockroaches.

Diann on October 04, 2018:

How does beer soaked bread kill cockroaches and how long does it take for them to die???

Srikanth R (author) on February 15, 2018:

Yes. Cockroach hates lemongrass, to the best of my knowledge.

Srikanth R (author) on February 15, 2018:

Yes. Cockroach hates lemongrass.

Honeyvier on February 15, 2018:

Can I use lemon grass essential oil, oinion, and baking soda as a cockroach killer?

Srikanth R (author) on February 01, 2018:

Cockroaches hate black pepper. Its spiciness drives them nuts.

jehan on February 01, 2018:

why cockroaches hates black pepper?

Srikanth R (author) on October 16, 2017:

Roaches are tough.

Kiera on October 16, 2017:

Is oregano also helpful in killing cockroaches?

Srikanth R (author) on October 11, 2017:

Yes. You may also try catnip.

Pink Stripes on October 11, 2017:

Can I use Chili Pepper as Cockroach Killer?

Garlic Master on September 02, 2017:

If you currently have a cockroach problem cook with garlic everyday for a month and once a week after that month to keep cockroaches uninterested


Boil a pot with a tablespoon of minced garlic and the scent will ride the vapor around the kitchen with the same effect.

Srikanth R (author) on September 01, 2017:

People even use it to remove grease and grime around cook tops.

Stephanie on August 31, 2017:

Is eucalyptus oil and water spray safe to use in the kitchen?

Srikanth R (author) on August 14, 2017:


Siyara on August 14, 2017:

are oregano leaves also useful or effective in repelling cockroaches?

Srikanth R (author) on August 09, 2017:


Sonya Fallaw on August 09, 2017:

Thanks for the info. Enjoyed learning about natural resources.

Srikanth R (author) on July 26, 2017:


Barbie on July 26, 2017:

Thanks you :)

Srikanth R (author) on June 02, 2017:


Irma on June 02, 2017:

This was very informative. Thank you!

Srikanth R (author) on August 07, 2016:

These reptiles are smart, but if you have children and pets at home, don't use borax. It's toxic.

Lisa Delgado on August 07, 2016:

would the borox kill Gecko's. I don't want to harm them or the lizards that roam in my yard.

Srikanth R (author) on May 27, 2016:

Gecko is an excellent natural remedy for roaches.

imbri33 on May 27, 2016:

I live in a house that is on blocks - not on a foundation. What can I throw under the house to help? Anyone? We use moth balls for the snakes. What about for the roaches that go outside when we treat the inside???


Priest on January 08, 2015:

The pucasrhes I make are entirely based on these articles.

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