What Do Cockroaches Hate?

When it comes to what cockroaches eat, they are not picky. Though they have preferences, they will eat just about anything when they infest your home. Ranging from the foods you store in your kitchen to the leftovers. They will feed on anything they can find, contaminating your foods in the process. Cockroaches invade homes in search of shelter, food, warmth, and moisture. They are freeloaders known to eat the dead skin cells of humans.

Despite their undisputed reputation for eating anything they can find, there are certain things cockroaches hate. They include lavender, bay leaves, and essential oils. It repels them. In fact, they will pretty much stay away from your home.

With these substances and food sources, cockroaches will be the least of your worries. Knowing what cockroaches hate, will help you eliminate them, and keep your home free of them.

What do roaches hate?

With the consistent lurking nuisance cockroaches create, there is a growing need to get rid of them. Though this task has become more daunting due to the fast-breeding nature of these insects, knowing what they hate, would be a great step to eradicating them from your home for good.

They are natural repellents of cockroaches. They have been proven to deter roaches. They are either in the form of oils, vegetables, fruits, spices, or herbs.

The following is a list of things cockroaches hate;

1) Citrus.

what do cockroaches hate?

Cockroaches hate the smell of citrus. It repels them. You can use citrus-scented solutions to clean up areas in your kitchen or anywhere there’s an infestation. Also, you can place citrus peels at strategic places like entrances, windows, kitchen cabinets, and just about any place cockroaches hide when they invade your home.

With fresh citrus, roaches will stay away. You can repeat this at least twice a month. Place fresh citrus peels in those areas.

Don’t forget to use citrus-scented solutions when cleaning. The smell repels them. To get a more effective result, make sure you do a thorough clean-up with citrus-scented solutions. Citrus fruits include; lemon, oranges, lime, and grapefruits.

2) Pepper, Garlic, and Onion solution.

These ingredients are readily available in your kitchen. Having a mixture of these three items would most definitely get rid of roaches from your home.

These critters have a high sense of smell and tend to avoid any repelling smell. To get started on this solution, get a good amount of garlic clove and half the amount of onion, crush into a smooth paste. Pour into a bowl, then add pepper and mix with water.

When you are done with mixing the solution, proceed to apply in strategic corners using spray bottles. Places where you noticed any infestation. Garlic on its own has a strong smell that will lure roaches out of their hiding while pepper repels and kills them instantly.

You can spray an infestation of roaches, it kills them. You can also spray in areas where they often invade. Like your kitchen. Cockroaches can’t stand it. You can do this at night for a more effective result. Be sure to repeat the process to get an even better outcome.

3) Eucalyptus.

The smell of eucalyptus may be pleasant to a koala bear, but cockroaches detest the smell. It repels them and puts them off. You can plant eucalyptus flowers around your home or even as a houseplant in a flower vase in your home. It would prevent roaches from gaining access to your home. If they already have invaded, eucalyptus oils can be used to get rid of them. Just place them around infested areas and watch these roaches disappear.

4) Coffee grounds.

Fresh coffee grounds contain caffeine that is harmful to roaches. The smell of coffee ground doesn’t exactly repel cockroaches, it lures them out to kill them. Apply coffee grounds around your home. Mostly places where cockroaches are frequent. Ensure to do this frequently to completely get rid of them.

5) Listerine.

Listerine, Mouth, Wash

Listerine is a good mouthwash product that helps get rid of offensive mouth odor in humans. But it does more than that, it is a deterrent for roaches. Listerine contains menthol that is most effective for killing and repelling cockroaches. Cockroaches cannot stand the effect as it kills them naturally.

Here’s how to use it

  • Pour a cup of Listerine into a bowl of water (1 cup)
  • Add 3-4 drops of dishwashing liquid (for a more effective outcome)
  • Put the mixture in a spray container
  • Spray around the infested area

READ MORE: How Long Can Cockroaches Live Without Food?

6) Cucumber

Cucumber is one fruit cockroaches would never be found eating. They hate cucumbers as much as humans love them. You may be wondering how cucumber can repel cockroaches as it doesn’t appear threatening but it can help you get rid of these pests. Just put cucumber peels in an aluminum can and place where there is an infestation. Usually, the smell of cucumber peels in the aluminum will suffocate the roaches and eventually kill them.

7) Bay leaves

The smell of bay leaves repels cockroaches and they hate it. If you place bay leaves around your house, cockroaches would avoid the places where these bay leaves are placed. To use this in repelling roaches, just place dried or crushed bay leaves around places where you noticed any infestation, or around your home generally. It would stop roaches from entering your home. This method is also good for repelling ants.

READ MORE: Termite Droppings: All the Information You Need.

8) Baking soda and sugar mix

Cockroaches are not attracted to baking soda. They do not even attempt to feed on it. However, baking soda can be used to get rid of them.

Just make a baking soda and sugar mix. Roaches are drawn to sugar. When you apply this mix, the sugar will lure roaches and the baking soda will eliminate them.

Baking soda has the same effect as boric acid on roaches. Just mix a fair amount of baking soda and sugar. Sprinkle around the infested area and let the baking soda do its magic.

9) Cinnamon 

cinnamon rolls

Cockroaches are not attracted to cinnamon because it possesses a strong scent that repels them. Before you attempt using cinnamon, know that it is not as effective as bay leaves or mint oil. What makes it more effective is mixing it with other herbs and spices.

For instance, if cinnamon is mixed with bay leaves, it would give a long-lasting smell capable of repelling cockroaches for good.

READ MORE: What Attracts Cockroaches To Your House?

10) Catnip Flowers.

what do roaches hate?

Cockroaches would very much scamper at the smell of catnip.

It contains nepetalactone that is a strong repellent of roaches. Catnip not only repels roaches, but it repels other bugs as well.

It is quite efficient for getting rid of pests. According to researchers at Iowa State University, catnip has been confirmed as a natural cockroach repellent.

11) Diatomaceous earth.

Cockroaches are known to avoid diatomaceous earth. It is a known repellent of these insects.

They would not be attracted by it under normal circumstances. To enable you to use this effectively, you can mix this substance with flour or cocoa powder.

The cocoa powder would attract roaches while diatomaceous earth would kill cockroaches. What it does is absorb the liquid from the exoskeleton of these roaches, drying them out. Just apply in areas where there’s an infestation in your home. Cockroaches will run away.

12) Mint plants and oil.

Mint plants and oil are natural substances efficient for getting rid of roaches. Research shows that it is toxic to at least two species of cockroaches, the American and the German cockroach.

Mint essential oils are good for eliminating cockroaches and are great DIY solutions. Just mix about 8 drops of cypress essential oils, with about 10 drops of peppermint essential oil, in a bowl with ½ cup of saltwater. After the mixture, turn into a spray can and apply to infected areas.

Other essential oils

Essential oils have been known for their ability to repel roaches. They emit a strong smell that is very unpleasant to these critters. Cockroaches on the other hand would not want to be found anywhere near these oils. They do not do well around them. Some of these essential oils include cedar oil, rosemary oil, and oregano oil. They repel and kill cockroaches.


lavender field

Cockroaches do not only hate the smell of lavender, but they also avoid them.

Growing lavender around your home will most definitely keep these pests at bay. The scent of lavender is a cockroach repellent.

Lavender oils as well, are can be used to get rid of these critters. You can use lavender-scented oils to clean your home and also have lavender plants outside your home, especially at entry points. Cockroaches would steer clear from your home.


Cockroaches are known as fast breeders. So seeing just a single cockroach in your home is evidence enough that there is an infestation. What cockroaches hate can be used to get rid of them. But a more effective approach is using the following solutions while maintaining a thorough consistent cleanup. Keep your house dry and clean always. It will keep roaches away.

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