Natural roach repellent

Cockroaches are stubborn survivors, they can withstand nuclear radiation for 33 days, live without food for a month and even live without their head for a week.

It may look that it is close to impossible to get rid of roaches. Especially if you don’t want to use aggressive chemicals.

Luckily, there are natural ways to get rid of roaches. In the next sections I’ll go through the best natural roach repellent.

Best Natural Repellents for Roaches

There are several natural repellents that I recommend using when you don’t have cockroaches living in your house, but there’s a possibility that they could come from a neighboring apartment or from the garden.

It’s also part of the clean-up strategy, where you use other cockroach killer home remedies,  followed by repellents to keep away the insects.

Catnip Spray

catnip for roaches

Catnip spray is one of the most effective home remedies to get rid of cockroaches. They despise its smell, and will probably leave the surfaces where they detect its presence.

Cats are also affected by catnip spray. So it’s not preferable to use this alternative if you have cat in the house.

It is quite easy to prepare catnip spray in a few steps.

First, bring some water to a boil, add a fair amount of catnip and let it simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, and leave the catnip brew to cool down.

When it’s cooled off sufficiently, pour into a spray bottle, and cover any suspect surfaces or cracks with it. Reapply frequently as you don’t want the scent to wear off.

Essential Oils

essential oil for roaches

Essential oils are versatile substances with many domestic uses. That’s why they’re usually available around the house.

You can also use essential oils for roaches as a natural repellent.

Peppermint oil tops the list, then there’s eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil. You can also use cypress oil in case you have it at home. It’s amazing why the critters are repelled by such nice smelling oils, but they are.

You don’t need to make a brew, just mix a few drops of essential oil with water, add a pinch of salt, and shake well.

Spray this aromatic solution around the house where you expect cockroaches to pass by, and especially at the entrances where they could sneak in.

Bay Leaves

bay leaves for roaches

Bay leaves are usually sold dried. They’re an integral part of the herbs and spices pantry. Bay leaves are also one of the best natural roach repellents.

They are best when applied as a powder. So you need to get a bunch of dried leaves and crush them with a mortar or grinder. You can even use your fingers if that’s easier.

Use the powder directly, you don’t need to brew it or mix it with anything. Just make sure you target strategic spots where roarches could nest or feed.


Ammonia is a potent repellent for roaches. It could also be used as a natural roach killer if you spray directly at them.

Mix one part of ammonia with one part of water. Pour into a sprayer and shake well. It’s now ready for work. Use the liquid to clean up all the surfaces and floors, spray it generously in the cracks and crevices, and apply it on the roaches, including their eggs.

Using this cocktail for two weeks should keep the cockroaches in check.

There’s one downside to using ammonia which is its strong smell. It’s not very pleasant, especially when it’s freshly applied.


mothball roaches

Mothballs are an ancient repellent for the little vermin that eats up wool clothes and upholstery. They were also found to be among the best natural roach repellents.

The best thing about mothballs is that they are easy to use. Just get a pack of them, and put one where cockroaches could build nests or hideouts.

The downside is their notable odor. They’re also not very suitable around food preparation or storage areas. Use them around walls or under counters.

Mothballs shouldn’t be used around children or pets. Otherwise, they’re pretty effective, easy, and usually available.

It is important to make sure you are not using illegal pesticides bought on the street or in a shady corner store. Using old-fashioned mothballs containing naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. They are banned in the European Union and illegal in the US due to negative effects on health.

When using mothballs (as any pesticide) always read use instructions.

Best Homemade Roach Killers

You might be asking now what kills cockroaches home remedies? You can use one or more of these cockroach killer home remedies to get rid of these unwanted guests.


Borax is one of the most effective natural ways to kill roaches. When the roach ingests borax it damages its internal systems and dehydrates it.

The best and easiest way to use it is by mixing it with sugar and dusting it around the roaches’ nest and in its common paths.

Dusting lightly is key, as these insects are pretty smart, and once they suspect foul play they’d refrain from stepping into a trap.

You could also make borax pellets by mixing it with flour, sugar, and just enough water to make it into a solid dough. Place these borax dough pellets inside the cabinets, under the sink, behind the fridge, or any suspected place.

Their effect is long term and usually potent.

Boric Acid

Boric acid

Boric acid and borax are sometimes used as one thing, but they aren’t. Boric acid is a white powder that’s proved to be a powerful natural roach killer.

It damages the exoskeleton of roaches, and usually, they take back some of it to their colonies, so they spread it around effectively.

You can sprinkle it lightly around hideouts and entry points. It’s best to put it where it wouldn’t be wiped off by constant movement. Under the furniture and behind cabinets are usually the best locations.

Baking Soda

baking soda for roaches

Most households have baking soda in their pantry, that’s why it’s great that we can add it to our home remedies to kill roaches.

Mix baking soda with sugar and leave it where the cockroaches can find it. The sugar is usually included as an appetizer, and once they take a bite of the soda, it reacts with the acids in their digestive systems and creates so much internal gas that they can’t tolerate.

Baking soda is safe to use, you’d just need to collect and clean up the dead roaches.

Fabric Softener Spray

The availability of fabric softener is its biggest plus as a home remedy for roaches. The good smell doesn’t hurt much either, using it leaves your house smelling clean and fresh.

Mix 3 parts fabric softener and two parts water, pour in a sprayer and zap the creepy crawlers. Roaches breathe through their exoskeleton and the solution clogs their breathing pores. They wouldn’t die right away, so you might want to look for them a little later for cleaning up.

This method is a direct way to kill roaches. You can’t spray this solution to control an infestation or repel insects.

Diatomaceous Earth

diatomaceous earch for roaches

This is not exactly a household item, but it’s a natural way to kill roaches, and you can easily get a hold of a pack at the supermarket or online.

Diatomaceous earth is an interesting substance that comes from the remains of an organism that used to live in oceans millions of years ago. The powdered form of that creature is capable of killing roaches as soon as it comes in contact with the insects.

It’s safe to use around the house, so just sprinkle it in the insects’ favorite spots. Diatomaceous earth becomes useless when it’s humid, so try to use it away from sinks or water pipes. Reapply when it rains, and as often as you need to get rid of the pests.

Why Should You Use Natural Roach Repellent?

You might be wondering how to get rid of cockroaches with home remedies. They’re readily available around your house, or you can buy them off the shelf from any store. They’re also less costly than commercial roach control products.

This makes them attractive alternatives, but that’s not the most important reason why we favor a natural way to kill roaches over chemical insecticides.

Repeated use of industrial pest control substances might control the cockroach infestation, but it also affects your health. They’re also a high-risk option if you have kids or pets. In case you absolutely need to use chemicals you can still find pet safe cockroach killers.

does bleach kill roaches

Chemicals are complex substances that usually have some heavy effects on the environment. This isn’t the case with home remedies, which do their job without harming nature.

Insects survive by adapting to the adverse conditions they’re subjected to, so they develop a resistance to insecticides over time, and that’s why we notice that they become less effective over time, and newer strains of roaches are more difficult to exterminate.

Simple is always better; we don’t need a sledgehammer to drive a screw, right? The detrimental factor is knowing how to use home remedies for cockroaches correctly.

Do Home Remedies Work for Roach Control?

Home remedies are efficient when they’re applied correctly, for a sufficient amount of time, and when other steps are taken to keep the roaches at bay.

There are basically three approaches to pest control: home remedies to kill roaches, spraying commercial insecticides, using mechanical devices, or calling the exterminators.

You can opt for any one of these alternatives depending on the size of the infestation, available resources, and personal preference. We don’t prefer using chemicals unless you have a seriously large infestation.

Professional exterminators looks like a good idea, however, in practice there are several accounts of limited success and recurrent waves of critters returning back to the house. Their services often don’t come cheap, and the substances they use are usually toxic.

For small to medium infestations, going for cockroach killer home remedies might be the best choice. It’s easy, budget-friendly, and non-toxic.

The best strategy for using natural remedies for roaches is to use a combination of them simultaneously. Some of these roach remedies work best in cracks, under cabinets, dusted on the floors, or sprayed directly at the insects.

That’s why a comprehensive plan with multiple roach trap points is most effective. It’s also advisable to use repellents where cockroaches might get in or make their nests.

As a final step, the whole house should get a spring-cleaning. Cockroaches are notorious for sensing a single bread crumb or rotting scraps of vegetables, and they’ll swarm around it for days, set up camp, and start a family!

Final Words

Getting rid of one cockroach is easy, but they never come in alone. You need various roaches remedies to get rid of them, and then find an effective way to keep them at bay.

Home remedies to get rid of cockroaches are easy to use, non-toxic, budget-friendly, and readily available around the house.