Herbs That Repel Cockroaches

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Some herbs and plants can help in getting rid of cockroaches.

Cockroaches are believed to be among the oldest insects on earth and are mostly found in dark and damp areas around the house. There are many chemical-based cockroach repellents available in the market; however, homemakers may prefer to use natural insect repellents as they are comparatively more child-friendly and cost-effective. Some herbs found in a regular kitchen can be used to repel cockroaches.

Bay Leaves

Place a few fresh bay leaves around the kitchen, especially in flour and sugar containers. They have insect repelling compounds like eucalyptol, and will keep the insects away from food. Replace the leaves every few weeks to keep their aroma fresh. Mix some chopped bay leaves with a handful of cucumber skins in a dish and place it near any cracks around the house to keep it free of roaches and other insects. You can also keep bay laurel plants in the windows or outside the main door as their scent is loathed by many insects.


Cut a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, about 3 inches long. Put them inside kitchen cabinets and under the sink area in the toilets. Fresh rosemary is said to keep away cockroaches from anywhere around the house. Stick some sprigs in the sewage pipes, and under the washing machine and fridge. Replace the rosemary leaves every month to keep the cockroaches away for good.


Boil some fresh mint leaves in a cup of water until the water turns greenish and acquires a minty smell. Let the scented water cool for a few hours. Pour in a spray bottle and spray around the house, in the corners, nooks and crannies -- anywhere cockroaches may lurk. Mint has antiseptic properties and is considered to be a good insect repellent. It can also be sprayed on countertops and kitchen cabinets.

Osage Orange

Osage orange is a tree found in North America, also known as hedge apple. It produces a large-sized, inedible orange-colored fruit that is believed to have cockroach-repelling compounds. Extract the oil from the fruit by crushing it and dilute it with water; pour this insect spray in a spray bottle and spray outside the house to block cockroach entry ways.