Do Bay Leaves Repel Roaches?

The bark of the bay leaf repels cockroaches.

It also has a slight cooling effect when rubbed on the skin. Some people get an itchy rash from the chemical content of the leaf.

So, do bay leaves repel roaches? No, bay leaves do not repel roaches.

In fact, bay leaves are attractive to roaches. If you leave bay leaves lying around your kitchen, roaches will run towards them when they are looking for food.

The smell of bay leaves also attracts roaches, which is why they leave their droppings near bay leaves.

So, if you do have problems with roaches, don’t leave bay leaves lying around your house.

What Exactly Are Bay Leaves?

Bay leaves are herbs that have a distinctive odor and flavor with a camphor-like smell that is derived from a chemical called methyl salicylate, also found in aspirin and wintergreen oil.

This aromatic leaf, also known as laurel or sweet bay tree, is used as flavoring in stews and soups, to season meats and poultry dishes, and even added to herbal teas.

The famed fragrant leaf comes from a tree that is hardy enough to grow in tropical areas as well as Mediterranean climates, where summers are hot and sunny with occasional rain or humidity.

However, it is occasionally used in some cold-climate gardens as a landscape plant because of its attractive evergreen foliage and bushy growth habit.

Still, there is one uncommon use for the bay leaf – as an insecticide.

What Do Bay Leaves Do To Roaches?

Bay leaves are a natural way to keep bugs away, and they may keep cockroaches from moving into areas of your home where they might find food sources, like crumbs or spilled food.

You may use bay leaves in either their fresh form or the dried form to fight off these unwanted pests in your home, but make sure you use the dried variety to avoid having a bad reaction to the chemicals in the leaves that may cause skin irritation for some people.

Fresh bay leaves repel roaches, but the pungent scent may discourage you from using the leaves as an insect repellent because of the strong odor they leave behind even after you discard the leaves.

The idea is to keep the leaves fresh by putting them in an airtight container and keeping them in the fridge until they are needed.

Do Bay Leaves Repel Roaches?

When bay leaves are crushed, they release the oils that make the leaves smell good to humans but bad to insects like cockroaches.

These three chemicals can only choke and suffocate the roach; they cannot kill it instantly because the roach has to breathe first before it dies.

Fresh bay will discourage roaches but will still attract them.

Killing roaches with bay will be slow because as the roach moves around with its food, it will pick up more scent of the bay and leaves that it will bring into its nest to feed its offspring.

Is It Safe to Use Bay Leaves for Repelling Roaches?

Because bay leaves are not toxic to people, they are safe to use around the house or in food.

When using them inside, be sure to keep them out of the reach of children and pets, who may be attracted to the pleasant aroma of the dried leaves.

Even when cooked, bay leaves do contain small amounts of these oils and may cause stomach upset if eaten in large quantities.

When using bay leaves to repel roaches, you only need to place a few in a dish and place it in the kitchen where the roaches are known to hang out.

Bay leaves may also be used outdoors to keep ants and other crawling insects like spiders from coming into your home through the doors or windows.

How Do You Use Bay Leaves to Get Rid of Roaches?

It is as simple as gathering some fresh basil leaves and placing them in a shallow bowl or plate in the kitchen where you know the roaches congregate.

Place bay leaves on the counter after cooking dishes containing garlic or onions, since the smell of these two foods attracts roaches.

If your home is plagued on a regular basis by roaches, make a solution of water and vinegar and sprinkle it on the baseboards, behind the stove, and under the refrigerator, where other food crumbs may be hiding out to attract pests.

Leaving filthy dishes in the sink overnight will attract more pests than you can count, so wipe them down and put them away every night before going to bed.

When roaches are hungry, they will come out of their hiding places at night in search of food.

You must keep the home and kitchen clean all the time. So, wash all surfaces with soapy water often and use a vacuum cleaner to clean the floors well every day to keep the number of pests under control.

Roaches despise bay leaves, which you place near the areas where you usually see them.

Roaches hide in clothing, and any natural repellant can be placed in them to keep them away from your house.

Ground bay leaf powder may also be sprinkled in areas where you think they may be hiding to keep them away.

Can Bay Leaves Kill Roaches?

No, you should not use this method to kill a roach infestation in your home because it would take too long and they might not die after consuming the leaves.

Bay leaves may be used as a repellent to keep them away from areas.

Leaves have nothing in common with insecticides, so using the two together would not kill the cockroaches but would keep them away for a while.

Even if a cockroach eats a few bay leaves, it won’t die right away because bay leaves don’t have any chemicals in them that kill insects.

The stronger bitter fragrance of bay leaves is what repels the insects but will not kill them.

The only way bay leaves can kill roaches is when you crush them up and mix them with water, then spray the solution on surfaces where you see the bugs to hide them and later vacuum them up together with the dead ones to get rid of them.

So, if you suffocate roaches with hot water or chemicals, they will eventually die.

Also Read: What Smell Do Roaches Hate?

Final Words

As we have seen, bay leaves kill roaches quickly.

However, bay leaves can be tricky to use. First, there is the problem of safety.

Roaches carry many diseases, so killing roaches with bay leaves can be dangerous. Also, bay leaves can stain floors and counters.

Furthermore, bay leaves can be messy to use, as roaches have a habit of hiding in tight spaces such as cabinets and drawers. Finally, bay leaves only kill roaches that are already inside the home.

Roaches that hide outside or that enter through other doors won’t be killed. For these reasons, bay leaves are dangerous to use.

However, while they are dangerous, bay leaves are still an effective way to kill roaches quickly.