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Roaches are attracted to the smell of food, and will work their way into homes to find any traces of food. Once they hone in on a food source, they will invade the area. Cleaning and removing the food sources can help deter the pests. However, if they are still present even after cleaning consider using natural roach repellents. Many of the natural ingredients keep the roaches away without exposing any pets or family members to chemicals.
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Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the outside of your home. The dirt can also be used inside the home. It is not toxic to humans. However, each piece of diatomaceous earth has sharp edges that cut the roaches' bodies as they crawl over it, which causes them to die. Epsom salts and boric acid can also be sprinkled inside and outside the home if diatomaceous earth is not an option. Epsom salts are also nontoxic, but boric acid is toxic. It shouldn't be used where it will come in contact with people or pets.
Mix together one part baking soda and one part sugar to create your own powder roach repellent. Spread the powder around your home, inside cabinets and in other places roaches have been spotted without fear of poisoning your pets or family. Roaches cannot digest the mixture of baking soda and sugar.
Place bay leaves in the pantry, on counters, and in cupboards to repel roaches. Although roaches love the smell of many items found in the kitchen, this herb is not one of them. The smell will keep roaches from crawling around your cupboards.
Meredith Burgio began writing professionally in 2010. She has written for "VOX" magazine, "RELEVANT Magazine" and "Jefferson City Magazine." Burgio has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.