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One of the worst things to see when you walk into your house is a roach. They are dirty and gross and not pleasant. This pest multiplies quickly and some homeowners will use chemicals and pesticides to keep them at bay, but there are other alternatives that are safer for your family and four-legged friends. What smells keep roaches away? Spraying various essential oils, citrus fruits, and household spices will keep roaches away.

Let’s take a look at how to repel these unwanted pests!

Roaches and Scent

Roaches have a heightened sense of smell so if they smell danger, they will move away. They don’t have a nose to sniff with but instead use their antennae. The good news is that scents that are pleasing to humans often are not to roaches.

Let’s look at some of the natural ways to repel cockroaches and try to keep them out of your home.

Mint smell repels cockroaches.

What Are Scents to Repel Cockroaches?


Mint is always a great place to start. There are scientific studies that say that peppermint is a great pest repellent and people have success with it. Additionally, there are a few ways you can use it in the home.

  • Grow mint plants – The wonderful smell of the mint will freshen up a room quickly. It will also help deter any pests. Additionally, you can cook mint so you can add this incredible flavor to food.
  • Make mint oil – Make mint oil by mixing essential oils of spearmint, peppermint, and winter mint with water in a spray bottle. This will require about 10 drops per cup of water. Then, take the bottle and spray near the baseboards, doors, windows, and other areas these pests might come in. This will deter roaches as they don’t like the smell.

Essential Oils 

Essential oils are readily available and increasing in popularity to keep away pests such as cockroaches, spiders, ants, and mice. They are safe to have around children and pets and don’t take up a lot of storage in the home. You can also mix them and make all kinds of wonderful aromas while still making the cockroaches run in the other direction.

Here are some of the essential oils that have smells that keep roaches away:

  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Bergamot oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Cypress oil
  • Citrus fruits- grapefruit, orange, and lemon
Bay leaves are a great repellent to use.

Other Natural Repellents

Essential oils and mint are great ideas to repel cockroaches and other pests. There are also some plants and fresh produce that work as well. Let’s take a look.

Bay Leaves 

A lot of people have bay leaves as part of their spice rack. However, you can also buy the leaves and crush them up. Next, spread them around the kitchen. They have a strong aroma and the roaches do not like them and will stay away.


Cucumbers are another great repellent. There are chemicals in the cucumbers that roaches do not like. If you slice them or dice them up and leave them on the counter or near your outdoor picnic, they are very effective in repelling roaches.

Garlic cut up to repel roaches.


We all know that garlic has a strong odor. People joke that if you wear garlic around your neck, you will keep vampires away. Well, garlic is so strong that roaches avoid it too. Since the smell is so strong, it masks the scents these pests use to find food and shelter so they struggle to find what they need to survive when garlic is nearby.

Here are some ideas for how to use it as a repellent for roaches,

  • Garlic powder – use it in areas where you will find roaches
  • Cloves of fresh garlic– crush and place them strategically in various places in the kitchen but replace them 1-2 weeks so they don’t rot
  • Garlic oil or garlic-based spray – spray this around to keep roaches away
  • Cooking with garlic – this is usually very strong and will keep roaches from entering the kitchen

Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about what repels roaches, let’s take a look at other areas of maintenance. One of those is getting rid of flying termites. These can be really annoying pests and destructive so use cedar or rubber mulch, boric acid, or orange oil to name a few.

Another area is scorpions. Scorpions do live in Florida (amongst other states) and like to be under rocks or loose tree bark and leaf piles. They will sting you but not kill you.

Lastly, you can use glue traps for bed bugs. This is the last thing anyone wants to have in their home or hotel room. Using glue traps is a good idea if you notice a bite or rash forms on your skin or after a bed bug inspection.

When to Call a Professional

Roaches are not something to play with. They multiply quickly and can become a big problem in the home. Getting rid of them can be difficult so if you are noticing that your natural remedies are not working, it may be time to reach out to your local pest control company for help.


Unfortunately, if you see one roach, there are probably many more around. Contacting the local pest control company is a good idea to get them under control. Also being mindful that crumbs are cleaned up and the kitchen area is cleaned up after meals. You don’t want to give the roaches food sources so tidying up is a good idea to help keep them away. Reach out to Inside and Out Pest Services in Jacksonville, FL, and surrounding areas to get your pest inspection done today.

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