What Smells Keep Roaches Away?

Just like humans, cockroaches can be annoying and potentially dangerous.

If you’re having trouble ridding your home of these pests, consider smelling them up. Certain smells are more effective than others when it comes to eliminating them.

So, what smells keep roaches away? Human-pleasing fragrances, such as cyclamen, vanilla, and sandalwood, repel roaches.

Cockroaches abhor the smells of cinnamon, pelargonium, citronella, peppermint, or citrus. Choose vinegar or bleach (in water), mixed with equal parts of water.

Essential oils, such as eucalyptus or geraniol, may be sprayed on countertops, floors, and walls.

In the following part, I will share more information about the scents roaches hate.

Let’s start now.

What Smells Keep Roaches Away?

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil has a strong cockroach-repelling scent.

Roaches have been seen scuttling away from tea tree oil.

Combine tea tree oil with 1/2 cup of white vinegar and spray it around the cabinets, near the fridge, along the base of the stove, and in the kitchen.

Fill a spray (or empty spray bottle) with 2 cups of water, then add a few drops of tea tree essential oil.

You may spray the mixture (and cockroaches) around the house.

Because it is diluted, it will not cause any damage to the surface.

However, it is less prone to stain and potentially damage surfaces.

Ground coffee

If you look into all-natural cockroach repellents, cockroach powder is another option.

Sprinkle the coffee grounds in cockroach infested areas.

Kitchen cupboards, kitchen counters, restrooms, dens, closets, etc.

Coffee grinds are only one of the many natural substances that repel cockroaches.

Every week or so, dispose the coffee grounds and vacuum.

Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella candles do not work unless you were hoping they would.

However, citronella oil (or its synthetic counterpart) is a highly effective organic insecticide.

The candles are ineffective (though they do smell nice) because the smoke will not actually kill the roaches.

The candles are designed to (slowly) burn themselves out.

That’s okay since we can temporarily stop a roach infestation just by burning a citronella candle.

You may make a spray with 1 teaspoon of oil to 1 cup of water.

You may also dilute the oil in the 1:1 ratio, and mix in a few drops of dish washing liquid.

Place these objects near (but not on) the roaches, and wait for the roaches to enter the objects.


Garlic has a cockroach-repelling scent. For this method, use a garlic spray. A garlic spray is a combination of garlic and water.

Combine crushed garlic cloves and water in a bottle, and shake. You may dilute the mixture with an equal amount of water.

Spray the mixture on roaches, and they will run away. Combine crushed garlic cloves and water in a bottle, and shake.

To use garlic to repel roaches, bury it in soil, or place loose cloves around the house. Roaches will avoid the garlic. Try this method out if you have a larger infestation.

Peppermint Oil

If you want to get rid of roaches in your roach-infested home, peppermint oil is a good alternative.

Combine a few drops of peppermint oil with an equal part of water. Spray the mixture on roaches, and they will run away.

You may use a spray bottle, or pour the mixture in a dish. Place the mixture near roaches, and they will avoid both the smell and the substance.

Repeat the process every few hours.

It works best when combined with water and vinegar.

Spray tiny holes in the walls, around the drains, pipes, and sink.


Cockroaches are also arachnophobic, so the presence of eucalyptus, garlic, or cloves in your home can keep them at bay.

To produce your repellent, combine 10 drops (about two teaspoons) of eucalyptus essential oil with two tablespoons of water.

Cockroaches will not be killed by cockroach baits.

It is also a non-toxic cockroach control method.

Cypress Essential Oil

If you’ve ever wondered why landscapers use cypress (Juniperus sabina) in gardens and parks, this is why it keeps the deer away.

According to the notion, cypress oil can (sometimes) repel insects.

Combine a few drops of cypress oil with an equal part of water. Spray the mixture on roaches, and they will run away.

Cypress oil is a natural repellent, but it may also repel some animals. Add a few drops to water and spray roaches.

Some animals may also stay away from the mixture.

Cockroaches despise its aroma and shun it.

Although having cypress mulch inside your roach control program is a good idea, you should bear in mind that the oil has a relatively strong smell.


Cockroaches seem to dislike scents that are rich in cinnamon.

Cinnamon will not kill cockroaches, but it gets rid of their scent, making it impossible for them to find food.

By combining cinnamon powder with fresh herbs such as yarrow, garlic, lavender, and mint, you can make a scented mixture.

The Bay Leaf

Bay leaves are said to be cockroach repellents.

The fragrance of bay leaves is not strong (in fact, it is barely noticeable), but it is effective in getting rid of the roaches.

Because bay leaves are not hazardous to you or your cockroach problem, it’s safe to use them.

It’s up to you whether you want to crush the leaves, or leave them whole.

You may also mix the bay leaves with coffee grounds. Place them near your kitchen cabinets, sinks, and drains.

Roaches will avoid the scent. Repeat the process once a week.


Cockroaches dislike the fragrence of lavender.

People who produce lavender in their gardens (as it is a popular flower), often report that their gardens are free from cockroaches.

Plant lavender around your house as roach repellent.

Lavender essential oil is the cockroach repellent of choice.

Wipe down the surfaces you suspect roach activity, with the oil.

Pandan Leaf

You may not have heard of roach repellent made from pandan leaf.

Pandan leaves are utilized in a variety (and great abundance) in South East Asia.

Aside from adding a distinct flavor to any food, these (and many other) leaves are also utilized as a natural insect repellent.

They are often put in cabinets, (especially in the kitchen), to keep away moths.

Pandan leaves aren’t recognized to be the most efficient roach repellent, but, they can work.


Corn mint oil has been utilized as an effective insect repellent.

Essential oils are a much safer alternative to chemical pesticides.

As a result, you may extend your protection by sprinkling corn mint oil around your house.

Place 12-16 drops of maize mint (or peppermint) oil in about a foot of water, and, place the mixture in a spray bottle.

Fill a glass spray with water, and then, add the maize mint oil to it.

Spray the areas thoroughly once a week.

Reapply your spray at least 2 times a day if you are in an infested area.


Cockroaches despise the fragrance of citrus.

This means you may use citrus-scented cleansers to eliminate cockroaches from your home.

You may also keep a roach trap in your kitchen with a slice of lemon.

Cockroaches in the neighborhood will munch on the lemon, and, fall into the trap.

You may need to reapply the smell once or two times a day.

Mix a few drops of lemon or citrus oil with water. Spray the mixture on the roaches, and they will run away.

If you spray the mixture in open areas, roaches will stay away from the area. Cockroaches do not like the smell of lemon.

Place some lemon peels around the house, and the roaches will leave. The smell of lemon may discourage other insects (spiders, ants, etc.)