What Do Cockroaches Hate

It is easy to get a cockroach problem in your home and a formidable challenge to get rid of them. You can find cockroach hotspots in certain areas, and the thought of using commercial cockroach repellent or smelly sprays to kill roaches isn’t an option.

While cockroaches can contaminate food, you may look for a natural alternative such as a natural pesticide to do the job.

However, many home remedies are floating around that rely on what smells repel cockroaches? There are many myths about the smells cockroaches find horrible, which often include human-pleasing scents like citrus deter roaches or aromatic essential oils.

Keep roaches away

In the kitchen, smells that attract us, such as cinnamon, crushed bay leaves, and coffee grounds, are all effective DIY solutions to repel roaches.

In our guide, we dive deeper into what do roaches hate and what you can use to deal with your roach problem. (Read Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches)

By the end, you’ll have enough information to use any scent repellent to get right to the roaches’ sense of smell and find the stuff what keep roaches away as your natural pest control method.

What Keeps House Roaches Away?

When looking for smells to repel cockroaches, there are several things you can find around the home or that are easy to get from the grocery store. Here are a handful of things you can use right away as a natural roach repellent.

Bleach: Cockroaches hate bleach, as do many other common pests. Using this is best for kitchen and bathroom use, and if the smell is too strong, it may deter cockroaches and be unpleasant to you.

Alcohol: Alcohol repels cockroaches and can quickly kill them. Spray roaches with alcohol and any area you think roaches hide.

Citrus: Lemon or other fresh citrus fruits are helpful in repelling roaches. Use lemon-scented detergents to mop floors, clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces, or spray lemon juice and water. You can even spread lemon peel around your home in areas cockroaches crawl and leave you with a pleasant smell.

Bay Leaves: The smell of bay leaves can repel cockroaches. The smell of crushed bay leaves won’t suffocate roaches, but it will make roaches walk away from areas you have these spread. Bay leaves are also effective deterrents for ants and other flying insects.

Citronella: Cockroaches hate citronella, as do many other insects. It is best to use the essential oil as it is more effective and safer than citronella candles.

How to get rid of roaches

First, place a few drops of citronella oil where you want to repel roaches to deter cockroaches from your home. The scent of this cockroach repellent confuses cockroaches looking for food, yet the citronella oil won’t kill roaches.

Eucalyptus: Cockroaches despise eucalyptus. Pour ten drops of eucalyptus essential oil into a cup of water and add to a spray bottle. Spray cockroaches wherever you see them, and though eucalyptus oil repels cockroaches, it doesn’t kill them.

Peppermint: Roaches hate the smell of peppermint extract. To repel cockroaches without using harsh chemicals, peppermint oil is effective. Peppermint essential oil can be added to a spray bottle with some vinegar. All you do is spray surfaces you wish to eliminate cockroaches or spray peppermint oil around entry holes into your home.

Lavender: Cockroaches don’t like the aroma of lavender. Many grow lavender around their homes or plant lavender in pots to keep in sunny kitchens.
Further, in the home, lavender oil is the best solution. Put a few drops on a cloth or make a spray and wipe surfaces where cockroaches travel. You will need to continue to apply your lavender oil pest control spray weekly, yet your home will smell nice.

Garlic: Fresh garlic or easier to use garlic powder can be enough to keep the insects away from what attract cockroaches to your home. Garlic presents a pungent taste along with a strong smell to repel roaches from inside cupboards or the pantry.
Extreme Temperature: Temperature isn’t a natural repellent, yet they don’t like the cold. It will be the earth that will attract roaches along with the possibility of food.

Oriental cockroaches prefer a cooler location, while German cockroaches overcome this by huddling to stay warm.

Tea Tree Oil: Cockroaches don’t like tea tree oil. All essential oils deliver a robust and fresh smell roaches find challenging to be around. To use tea tree oil as a natural roach repellent, mix vinegar with tea tree oil and add to a spray bottle. Use in food preparation areas to get rid of cockroaches naturally as it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.

Coffee: You can find fresh coffee grounds that will attract roaches and be harmful to them. Roaches will be drawn to fresh coffee grounds, yet there are toxic chemicals in the caffeine that can harm roaches. It can be worth using them as they are free. Spread them around your garden where other pests and cockroaches simply walk up, check them out, and if they die, they die. (Read What To Do About Bugs On Broccoli)

Moth balls: Moth balls come with a strong smell and can be overpowering for humans. Roaches may be repelled, yet you can get the same effect, which is less harmful to the family, by using citrus fruit peel.

How to Kill Cockroaches

Cockroaches can trigger allergies, but if you’ve kept your home clean, sealed up all entry points, and repaired all water leaks, don’t worry. You are not alone in this. Here are some more tips to keep roaches away or kill roaches and be done with your roach problem.

Boric Acid:

Borax is a fantastic home item. It’s a great cleaner, and it’s also precisely what you’ll need if you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of your roach infestation.

To make an appealing bait that cockroaches can’t resist, use either borax or boric acid. This bait effectively kills roaches on the spot and can even take care of a full remote nest. It will quickly eliminate roaches.

Borax Roach Bait

  • 2 tbsp Borax or boric acid
  • 2 tbsp white flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Gloves


  1. Mix up a batch of this simple roach killer for apartments, garages, the kitchen, or wherever else. Gather your supplies, put on your gloves, and get ready to work.
  2. To make a thick dough, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. If the dough has to be moistened and made flexible, add equal parts of water to the mixture.
  4. Place the bait around the house and at access points by cutting the dough into 1/2-inch pieces.

Roaches carry the boric acid natural insecticides back to the nest, so you can use them to get rid of your cockroach infestation quickly, no matter where they hide.

Baking Soda and Sugar as Roaches Repellent

Baking Soda and Sugar:

When baking soda comes into contact with liquid, it becomes effervescent and releases carbon dioxide. This is most likely what you’ve seen in DIY kitchen drain cleaners and scientific experiments in your school years.

This property can transform baking soda into a powerful bug killer. When a roach consumes the baking soda bait, it quickly produces carbon dioxide and leaves dead roaches.

Baking Soda Roach Killer

  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Shallow containers


  1. Allow the baking soda to keep its carbon dioxide by keeping the mixture dry.
  2. Fill small containers halfway with the sugar and baking soda mixture.
  3. Place the vessels in strategic locations throughout the house and at entry points.
  4. If the bait gets wet, replace it.


Clovite is a horse-specific vitamin supplement and is exceptionally efficient against cockroaches as it does kill cockroaches.

Before sleeping at night, put some clovite in a jar lid and place it in a cockroach-infested spot. The following day, you will undoubtedly discover dead roaches. Clovite is a favorite food of cockroaches. Clovite should be kept out of reach of children and other pets as it is potent and could be harmful if eaten.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE):

Diatomaceous earth is a powerful insecticide and cockroach killer. It’s made up of minute fossils and acts as an abrasive and a dehydrator. Diatomaceous earth breaks into the exoskeleton of roaches and other insects, causing them to dry out.

The roaches drag diatomaceous earth back to their nest, where it impacts the entire colony. Use it to eliminate cockroaches.

Diatomaceous Earth Roach Killer

  • Food-grade diatomaceous earth
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Safety glasses or goggles


  1. Put on the protective gear before using.
  2. Apply a layer of diatomaceous earth to the areas where roaches enter and exit your home.
  3. To keep the diatomaceous earth active and effective, reapply it from time to time.
  4. Liquid fabric softener can provide a similar effect, but diatomaceous earth is far more effective.

Jelly Roach Traps

When it comes to roaches, poison and dehydrating chemicals aren’t your only options. Petroleum jelly and a little sugar are all you need to construct great cockroach traps.

Like a handmade Roach Motel, the petroleum jelly captures the insects and won’t let them go. It’s a cost-effective and risk-free way to get rid of roaches.

Petroleum Jelly Roach Trap

  • 2 tbsp petroleum jelly per trap
  • 1 tsp sugar per trap
  • 1 piece of cardboard per roach trap


  1. Apply petroleum jelly to the cardboard, making sure you cover it completely.
  2. In the center of the smeared petroleum jelly, place one teaspoon of sugar.
  3. Place the cardboard in areas with a lot of cockroach foot activity.
  4. Check your roach trap regularly and remove any dead roaches or other insects.

Beer Soaked Bread

Cockroaches are killed by bread drenched in beer. Infested areas should have coffee cans stacked on their sides. Bread slices should be soaked in beer before being placed in these cans. Beer-soaked bread is a favorite food of cockroaches.

While the above is fatal for cockroaches, here are a couple of other solutions that cockroaches hate with a vengeance. (Read What Is Eating My Petunias)

Essential Oil Roach Repellent

Essential Oil Spray

Because mint leaves contain oils that roaches can’t stand, we included it in the last scent-based choice. You can make an excellent roach repellent spray by mixing essential oils with soapy water and garlic.

It’s the ideal roach spray for hard-to-reach locations and places that could benefit from a new scent.

Essential Oil Roach Repellent


  1. In a spray bottle, combine all of your ingredients and shake to incorporate.
  2. Spritz high-traffic areas, room corners, and doorways.
  3. Cockroaches hate the smell of this, yet you may need to increase the number of essential oils if roaches continue to visit. Once the aroma fades, reapply your spray. For clean and safe roach protection, place it where you keep food, such as in your pantry.

Cockroach Scent Repellent

As we saw earlier, there are many smells cockroaches hate you can use as natural roach repellents. Here, you can see how to make a potent insect repellant from fruits or leaves of aromatic plants that won’t harm any animals but will keep cockroaches at bay.

Roach Scent Repellent

  • Dried bay leaves
  • Coffee grounds
  • Mint leaves
  • Gloves


  1. Crush the bay leaves to powder,
  2. Shred the mint leaves into small pieces.
  3. Place the mint, bay leaves, and coffee grounds in the room’s corners, near any food sources, and near roach access sites.

The smells deliver a great way to keep roaches from your home. All you need to do is periodically replace the above once the smells fade. It is a simple form of cockroach pest control that can work with other insects as well.

What Do Cockroaches Hate

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