Natural Roach Repellents: 5 Herbs You Can Use to Keep the Cockroaches at Bay

Natural Roach Repellents:  5 Herbs You Can Use to Keep the Cockroaches at Bay

The cockroach is a relentless creature, so your best line of defense against these guys is to use a good offense.  The following is a list of 5 natural roach repellents - herbs - that you can use to stop them before they ever find a way into your home.

A word of note:   as these are repellents they don't kill roaches.  They just help keep the cockroaches from invading your home.  If you already have an infestation, you will need to take more drastic measures.

CATNIP

Studies have shown that cockroaches, specifically German cockroaches, do not like the chemical compound nepatalactone, which makes up about 80 percent of catnip flowers.  This particular compound was also found to be 100 times more effective than DEET.

HOW TO USE IT

With catnip, you actually have a few options of how to utilize it.

  1. You can simply plant some catnip around your home.
  2. You can place catnip in little sachets and place those in key areas such as under sinks, behind cabinets, etc.
  3. One of the most effective methods appears to be making a "tea" with the catnip flowers and spraying baseboards and any other areas that the roaches like to frequent. All you have to do is simmer the flowers in some hot water for a bit and after it cools pour it into a spray bottle.  Here's a recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce fresh or dried catnip
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups of hot water
  • Colander/Strainer
  • 1 clean, plastic spray bottle

Procedure:

  • Add the catnip to the water and allow it to steep for 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Using the colander or a fine mesh strainer, remove the catnip from the tea.
  • Allow the tea to cool and then pour it into the spray bottle.
  • Spray the catnip tea around baseboards, entryways, inside cabinets, under sinks, etc. and allow to dry.
  • Repeat the process every two to three days or as often as necessary.

BAY LEAVES

I found conflicting information on this herb, but thought I'd include it anyway.  (By the way, it does appear to work quite well for those moths that hitch a ride in flour.)  According to those who believe in it, cockroaches do not like the scent of the bay leaf; thus, they'll turn around and go the other way.

HOW TO USE IT:

With this herb, you also have a couple of ways to use it.

  1. Just take the whole leaf and place them in cabinets, under appliances, etc.
  2. The other method is to crush the bay leaves (either fresh or dried) and use the powder along baseboards and anywhere else you may have seen evidence of a roach.

GARLIC

So, maybe cockroaches are the original vampire – or – maybe the vampire is actually a cockroach instead of a bat.  I mean those flying cockroaches are as scary as a bat…

Anyhow, much like the thought that goes along with bay leaves, apparently cockroaches do not like the scent of garlic and fresh crushed garlic is more pungent so more effective.  However, it's also quite likely to repel even you from going into your home.  We all love garlic, but I'm not so sure about smelling it all the time.

HOW TO USE IT:

  1. Crush fresh garlic (or use the dried powdered stuff) and place along baseboards and other common roach hideouts.

ROSEMARY

Rosemary, like the others, is unloved by the roaches because of its strong scent.  Thankfully though, for us humans, it tends to be a nice pleasant fragrance.

HOW TO USE IT:

Again, you have your options.

  1. Place rosemary plants in and around your home.
  2. Just cut fresh rosemary into 2-3 inch sprigs and place anywhere and everywhere, in the cupboards, the closet, dresser drawers, under the sinks, in the trashcan, and on and on.
  3. Rosemary is another herb that can be turned into a tea.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce or dried rosemary
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups of hot water
  • Colander/Strainer
  • 1 clean, plastic spray bottle

Procedure:

  • Add the rosemary to the water and allow it to steep for 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Using the colander or a fine mesh strainer, remove the rosemary from the tea.
  • Allow the tea to cool and then pour it into the spray bottle.
  • Spray the rosemary tea around baseboards, entryways, inside cabinets, under sinks, etc. and allow to dry.
  • Repeat the process every two to three days or as often as necessary.

MINT

And now for a very pleasant fragrance that the roaches just do not like – mint.  And to top it off, your home will always have that minty-fresh feel.

HOW TO USE IT:

Use it just like you would the others above.  You can:

  1. Place mint plants in and around your home;
  2. Place cuttings in the key areas that roaches are fond of; and/or
  3. Make a mint "tea" and spray it around those areas. You can follow the recipe above, replacing the main ingredient with mint.

It essentially all boils down to the chemical compounds that give each of these herbs their characteristic scent.  Cockroaches just don't like the way the herbs smell.  And you use each of them in the same manners, but from what I have read, the "tea" sprays are more effective than the other options because the scent becomes more concentrated.  Let me bring to mind again, these are cockroach repellents.  They won't kill roaches; roaches just do not like the scent and will go around it.

CAUTIONS/DISCLAIMER

This information is provided for information only.  I am not a "professional" entomologist, herbalist, or any other "-ist."  You are responsible for whatever you do with this information.  REMEMBER, natural does not always mean, or infer, non-toxic, harmless, or suitable for all situations.  Be sure you know of any potential hazards for you, your pets, or your home.