Plants to Keep Roaches Away

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Roaches are thought of as disgusting, dirty pests that carry diseases that can harm humans. Roaches are also tough to control once they invade a space. One way to rid your dwelling of roaches is to use certain plants as weapons to deter the critters.


Catnip, a plant from the mint family, carries an aroma loved by felines throughout the world. The aroma is also hated by roaches. Catnip is non-toxic for humans and household pets. The perennial grows up to 5 feet tall and produces Nepetlactone, a chemical that does the trick by repelling roaches. The chemical is also known for repelling mosquitoes.

Osage Orange

Osage orange is a North American tree that produces a smell that's disliked by roaches. Chemical compounds in osage orange oil are natural roach repellents. After growing the tree, the fruit can be picked and crushed to extract the oil. The oil, when diluted with water, can be applied to areas that seem to be entry and exit ways for roaches. The tree also produces an inedible orange fruit.


Garlic is an essential ingredient in many dishes. Its potent smell is, however, hated by roaches. Fresh cloves in the roaches' entry and exit areas can repel the insects, but the smell can be somewhat overwhelming. Sprinkling garlic powder in those areas can also do the trick of keeping roaches out of your home.

Bay Laurel

Bay laurel is a mild-scented plant used in cooking and disliked by roaches. The plant leaves contain chemicals, including eucalyptol, which is an ingredient in insecticides. The leaves also contain oils that are used in insect repellents. Keeping leaves of this plant in storage areas and places where roaches come and go will deter the pests.


Brendan O'Brien

Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his career of more than 15 years. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.