7 Things That Cockroaches Hate

7 Things That Cockroaches Hate

What are things that cockroaches hate?

  1. Essential oils
  2. Mint
  3. Bay leaves
  4. Garlic
  5. Coffee grounds
  6. Citronella oil
  7. Citrus fruits


Cockroaches are the last thing you want to see in your home — they’re carriers of germs, quick to hide in extremely small spaces, and tend to do all their havoc-wreaking when we’re not looking. If you’re dealing with cockroaches, you may be wondering how to get rid of these pests.

The good thing is that they have an incredible sense of smell that they use to find scraps — which you can use to your advantage. Here are seven things cockroaches hate that you can use to repel them from your home.


Essential oils

Essential oils are used by many people for their potent yet pleasant scents. They may be relaxing or rejuvenating to us, but to cockroaches, their strong scent can be repulsive. Here are a few oils you can use around your home:

  • Tea tree oil — Combine your tea tree oil with some water and vinegar (go one-part vinegar, four parts water, and a few drops of tea tree oil). Put this mixture into a spray bottle and apply on corners and crevices where cockroaches may come from.
  • Eucalyptus oil — Dilute your eucalyptus oil with some water, and put it in a spray bottle. Be careful when doing so as this oil is very concentrated. Spray on the cockroaches’ possible entryways, nest areas, and hiding spots.
  • Lavender oil — Lavender has a scent that is great for driving all sorts of insects away, including cockroaches. Spray lavender oil lightly on areas you’ve caught cockroaches lurking. Or, pour into a small and shallow dish and leave in infested areas.




Mint plants smell refreshing and they’re great for cooking and cocktails, but they’re also one of the best natural insect repellent plants you can grow. Cockroaches in particular hate the scent, and using it may stop them in their tracks and make them avoid the area. Plus, mint is toxic to the American cockroach and German cockroach — the two kinds that are commonly found in the Philippines. So, add some fresh mint in dishes around your home, or plant some in your garden to deter these pests.


Bay leaves

Another thing that cockroaches hate is bay leaves. This is because they contain eucalyptol, which is an organic compound that many bugs hate. The scent of fresh bay leaves is strong enough to deter a few cockroaches, but probably won’t be as effective against a big infestation.

Leave a few fresh bay leaves in a bowl near the place you think cockroaches are entering from or hiding in. You could also place a bowl where you don’t want them to enter, such as your kitchen cupboards.




The pungent smell of garlic can also keep pesky cockroaches out of your kitchen. Cockroaches seem to dislike the scent and tend to avoid it. Try sprinkling some garlic powder in a small bowl, and placing it in specific areas to turn them away. The downside here is that you probably won’t enjoy using a lot of this deterrent, as its smell can fill up your whole house.


Coffee grounds

Some people also have success with using another thing: coffee grounds. Many insects hate the texture of coffee grounds and are largely deterred if you sprinkle some on your window sills or around your garden. Plus, cockroaches seem to dislike the smell of coffee. You could try adding some fresh grounds in shallow dishes or containers in your cabinets or rooms to keep cockroaches out of specific areas.


Citronella oil

Citronella oil

Citronella is a well-known insect repellant — many people will plant them in their gardens, or use citronella candles to ward off pests. But, these two types are more effective against flying pests, such as mosquitos and fruit flies.

To keep cockroaches from entering your home, citronella oil is a much more effective deterrent. Plus, it’s non-toxic and pet-safe, so you don’t have to worry about accidental poisoning. Apply some citronella oil on a paper towel, and wipe down surfaces or areas that you’ve seen cockroaches lurking around. This scent may just convince them to try looking for food elsewhere.


Citrus fruits

Last on our list of things cockroaches hate are citrus fruits. This tends to be the least effective based on many studies, but can be a good temporary solution while you wait for an exterminator or buy cockroach repellents.

If you have fruits like oranges, lemons, or limes lying at the back of the fridge, pull them out. Peel out their rinds and tuck the pieces into the crevices and cracks that you’ve seen cockroaches crawl out of. Replace these rinds at least once every week for them to be effective.


Key Takeaway

Using things that cockroaches hate is a great way to deter these pests — but these solutions only repel, and are temporary at best. These things don’t necessarily kill them, and they’ll continue to try and find new ways to enter your home.

The best way to get rid of a cockroach problem once and for all is by calling an exterminator like Topbest. Contact us today to learn more about our pest solutions, and how we can help you.