In addition to smelling awful, commercial roach sprays are full of harsh chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. Rather than taking the risk by using one of those sprays, eliminate roaches using a natural method — eucalyptus. Roaches dislike eucalyptus more than they like the environment inside your home. Eucalyptus leaves and oil also repel other pests.
How to Use It
Make your own roach repellent by adding 10 drops of eucalyptus oil to 3 oz. of water. Eucalyptus is available in natural food stores in the essential oils section. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it where you notice roach activity, such as along the baseboards in your bathroom or kitchen. The oil deters roaches from entering the area. Though eucalyptus is generally safe, keep your pets and children away from areas where you spray it.
Effects on Other Pests
Eucalyptus also repels moths and flies. Wrap eucalyptus leaves — which you can find near gardening supplies and herbs — in cheesecloth to deter moths. Apply three drops of eucalyptus oil to a piece of cloth and place it where you see the most flies.
There are alternatives to eucalyptus oil that actually kill roaches rather than simply repelling them. Diatomaceous earth, made of finely ground fossils, scratches roaches' exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate and die. Boric acid kills roaches within 10 days when applied in a thin layer on the ground. As with eucalyptus oil, keep pets and children away from these substances.
Since roaches like humid air, use a dehumidifier to make your home too dry for them to live. Never leave water standing, because this also attracts them. Keep floors and countertops clear of food crumbs and the roaches will find your home even less attractive.
Roach Health Hazards
Roaches are more than an annoyance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having roaches in your home increases the likelihood that someone in your household will develop asthma, as well as the potential severity of that asthma. A dehumidifier deters roaches and other allergens, such as dust mites and mold.
Bibiana da Silva
Bibiana da Silva has been writing professionally since 2009. Her credited and ghostwritten work appears in numerous publications, including eHow Money. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from Rice University.