Home PestsRoaches

What Smells Repel Cockroaches

Cockroach Looking Out

Cockroaches are among the most dangerous bugs to have around the house. They’re swift, can fit into tiny spaces, and like to cause havoc while we’re not watching or asleep.

Cockroaches are incredibly resourceful pests that can infiltrate your home in various ways, including crawling through small openings and fissures in the structure, traveling in bags, suitcases, backpacks, and other containers, and locating gaps around windows and doors.

Roaches enter your home looking for three things: shelter, food, and water. Cockroaches may be attracted to kitchen waste and oil on stovetops and worktops, and they may even get inside stored food products. Roaches may be tempted to decompose organic debris, exposed garbage or recycling, animal litter boxes, and dirty diapers.

They also have the skill to enter your home through the slightest of openings. They can enter through outside wall cracks, dryer vents, or even holes between floors and walls. Perform a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior and seal any entrance spots you find.


If you find cockroaches in your residence or apartment, your first goal should be eliminating them. For every roach you see, you can bet there are dozens, if not hundreds, more hidden in cracks around your house, eager for the lights to go out and the party to begin.

Roaches are challenging to eradicate since they are tiny, can climb almost any surface, and construct nests indoors if they discover a food source. Roaches also breed and increase. Thus, a few roaches can soon rise to a cockroach infestation.

Nature has endowed the roach with a great sense of smell, which makes it simple for them to discover food and mates. However, this very sense of smell could be used to repel cockroaches – there are certain scents that roaches cannot tolerate. Cockroaches dislike several smells, and you can employ them to repel them.

Regarding the home, there is no doubt that roaches should not be there! So, if you see these darting critters, you should not waste a moment getting the most potent natural remedy to repel them.

7 Smells That Repel Cockroaches

We’re all familiar with the noxious chemical odor linked with insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides. We’ve probably read the warning signs on such items and seen the big exclamation mark that catches our eye.

Using smells and scents to deter roaches provides a more natural and, in some instances, organic pest control method. Scents contain chemicals and elements found in nature, like limonene, a fragrance-repellant derived from citrus fruits.

You won’t have to be concerned about the home stinking like a chemical laboratory. Many odors and smells, such as peppermint, are pleasant to humans yet repulsive to roaches. Scents are an excellent solution for individuals who do not yet have a pest infestation.

If you notice one or two scurrying around, it’s time to use the following repellent smells.

1. Lavender

Lavender In The Backyard Garden Terrace

Cockroaches despise the scent of lavender, which is excellent news for you. If you enjoy growing lavender in your garden and yard, you are already halfway to having a roach-free house.

Planting lavender around our home can set a boundary that even the most challenging and determined cockroaches will be hesitant to breach. You can utilize lavender oil to repel current roaches and prevent new ones from entering your home by diluting the oil in a spray container and spraying areas where roaches have been a nuisance.

2. Citrus

Air Freshener And Window Cleaner And Lemon

Cockroaches despise the fresh scent of citrus. This means you can utilize citrus-scented cleaners in the bathroom and kitchen to eliminate any remaining roaches.

You can also place a couple of citrus peels strategically throughout your home. Cockroaches in the neighborhood will detect the scent of fresh citrus and will flee. You may need to reapply the smell once or twice monthly, but that is a minor cost for a roach-free house.

3. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus Or Silver Dollar Leaves On Rosemary Fragrant Herb Garden

Although koala bears enjoy the scent and taste of eucalyptus, cockroaches dislike it. If you’ve been seeking a reason to plant a eucalyptus tree in your yard or to spritz your house with fresh eucalyptus oil, this is your chance.

The eucalyptus scent can be used in various ways, from essential oils mixed with water and applied as a barrier around the house to plantings in the front garden and yard. Use your imagination – and the cockroach’s keen sense of smell – to combat pests.

4. Citronella

Citrosum Essence Oil In A Cup With A Candel Incence And Spray Bottle

Citronella candles do not work well at repelling cockroaches. However, citronella oil does. The candles are ineffective because, despite having wings, cockroaches rarely fly.

The candles are designed to kill flying insects such as mosquitoes and gnats. However, we can still employ citronella oil to repel cockroaches. You can make a spray with 10–15 droplets per cup of water.

Similarly, you can mix the oil and immerse a piece of paper towel or fabric in the mixture. Place these items around the cockroach breeding grounds to deter them. Another citronella smell you can utilize is citronellic acid, which is generated from lemongrass.

5. Pine

Pine Tree Essential Oil

Beta-pinene is found in pine trees, parsley, cedar trees, and various other plants and has an aroma comparable to hops and basil. Without getting too technical, beta-pinene is a terpene that has been shown to repel and, in some cases, exterminate cockroaches.

Mix a dozen drops into a water container, and you’re ready.

6. Thyme

Green Thyme In A Mug

Thyme includes a chemical known as carvacrol, which roaches appear to dislike. Like many of the smells on this list, thyme is available as an oil that may be diluted and sprayed.

You may also use thyme to deter cockroaches by planting it. This strategy is great if you don’t yet have a cockroach problem but are concerned about them entering your home. You may also use dried and smashed thyme in roach clusters to keep them away from specific places.

7. Basil

Organic Basil Plant In The Basket

Basil, which has a similar aroma, can be utilized to keep roaches away from your home. It includes linalool, a chemical that acts as a repellant in basil.

Basil, like thyme, is available as an essential oil that can be mixed into a sprayer, but you can also grow the herb around your home to deter roaches before they invade.


Many Cockroaches Inside The Apartment

When it comes to cockroaches, a natural approach is often the best option. These common pests pick their prey deliberately, so do everything you can to ensure your residence is the least appealing option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Do Cockroaches Come From?

According to many records, cockroaches are believed to have originated from fossil records that date back more than 300 million years ago, which makes them one of the oldest living insects on the planet.

Because of their makeup, they are known to be highly adaptable and resilient pests, able to survive in various temperatures and humidity levels and even without food and water for several weeks.

Records also state that they are native to tropical and subtropical regions but have since spread to every corner of the world, thriving in a variety of environments, both indoors and outdoors.

How Long Does a Cockroach Live?

Regarding domestic pests, the German cockroach is the most popular. Given the easy access to nourishment and water, the typical cockroach lifecycle is between twenty and thirty weeks.

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