What Essential Oils Repel Roaches? (Explained for Beginners)

As the internet may tell you, you could use essential oils to repel roaches. Though, you may still be curious about which oils repel cockroaches. I am here to tell you all about which essential oils work best for repelling roaches.

Essential oils have been studied for their use in repelling roaches. Studies show that peppermint, oregano, eucalyptus, lavender, catnip, cedarwood, and rosemary essential oils can effectively repel or kill cockroaches.

Do you want to learn how and what essential oils can repel roaches? What about how they work to repel cockroaches? If so, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about essential oils and preventing roaches.

What Essential Oils Repel Roaches?

As mentioned earlier, many essential oils will repel roaches, though not all. Certain essential oils, such as peppermint or cedarwood, can effectively repel roaches.

Since a cockroach’s sense of smell is much keener than humans, essential oils can confuse or stagger them, making them stay clear of the smelly area. Let’s learn more about which essential oils will repel roaches.

Peppermint Oil

NaturoBliss Peppermint Essential Oil, 100% Pure and Natural, Premium Therapeutic Grade Peppermint Oil, Aromatherapy Essential Oil, 4 fl. oz. Essential Oil with Glass Dropper
  • 100% PURE, PREMIUM QUALITY, UNDILUTED, AROMATHERAPY ESSENTIAL OIL: 100% Pure Peppermint Essential Oil; Steam Distilled; Great for Aromatherapy and...
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Peppermint oil is the most common essential oil for deterring roaches. With its robust, distinct, and refreshing scent, this oil can not only repel roaches but is toxic to them and can kill them.

Any mint oils should work relatively well as a cockroach repellent. Due to peppermint and other mint oils containing Methone, a compound similar to Menthol, roaches will likely remain away from this scent.

Whether or not cockroaches stay away from this scent due to knowing it will kill them is still unclear. Although according to research, American and German cockroaches perished when they came in touch with this oil for an extended time. 

Rosemary Oil

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil for All Hair Types, 2 Ounce
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One essential oil that has been highly researched is rosemary oil. According to this research, it is one of the most effective oils for repelling and killing cockroaches. In this study, rosemary oil showed a 100% mortality rate at a concentration level range of 2.5% to 30%. It is a tasty herb in your kitchen and effectively kills and repels roaches.

Unlike most essential oils, this oil can be extremely diluted, down to 2%, and still offer the same results.

With its refreshing, slightly spicy aroma, rosemary oil can repel roaches while providing you and your family with aromatherapy.

Although, for this oil to kill, the cockroaches must come into direct contact with it. Apply this oil in every part of your home for the best results.   

Oregano Oil

Garden of Life Organics Oil of Oregano Seasonal Drops 1fl oz (30 mL) Liquid, Concentrated Plant Based Immune Support - Alcohol-Free, Organic, Non-GMO, Vegan & Gluten Free Herbal Supplements
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Although roaches do enjoy the smell of foody smells, that doesn’t include herbs. Cockroaches hate the smell of spices and herbs. Hence oregano oils work tremendously well in repelling them.

This herb’s earthy, slightly zesty, and minty aroma can provide a great scent for you that roaches will hate. The best part about using essential oregano oil as a roach repellent is that the smell lasts longer than any other essential oil! The scent of oregano will fill your home for up to a week after application; that’s four to five days longer than most oils!

For the best results, spray your oregano and water solution around your home every three to five days.

Catnip Oil

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Using catnip essential oil is risky to repel roaches if you have cats. As you may know, catnip oil can affect a cat’s “happy” receptors in its brain. This causes the cat to rub, purr, roll, “zone out,” and act sedated or playful.

If you use catnip oil to repel roaches with a cat, we want to warn you that it will affect your cat. Cats can develop “overexposure,” resulting in dulled effects, meaning your cat won’t respond to catnip the same way after long-term use.

You want to take precautions regarding how often you use the catnip oil. However, if you do not have a cat, you should have no problem using this oil.

You could add one part water and one part rubbing alcohol with a few drops of catnip and rosemary oil for the perfect concoction for repelling roaches.

Eucalyptus Oil

NaturoBliss 100% Pure Natural Undiluted Eucalyptus Essential Oil (4oz) Premium Therapeutic Grade Aromatherapy
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  • LIFETIME WARRANTY: If you are ever unsatisfied for any reason we will replace your product or refund your money.

An essential oil known for its soothing effects and fresh aroma, eucalyptus can be perfect for repelling roaches. Commonly used to induce sleep or relaxation, eucalyptus oil is ideal for use in your bedroom to not only repel cockroaches but help you sleep!

No one wants to wake up to a roach in their bed; the thought makes my skin crawl! Unfortunately, research shows this is one of the lesser effective oils in repelling roaches.

However, it is toxic to them once they come into contact, like many other essential oils. 

Lavender Oil

Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade, Aromatherapy Diffuser for Relaxation and Body Care, Healthy Skin and Hair, 10 mL (1/3 oz)
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  • Blends Well with Other Essential Oils: Such as Black Pepper, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clove, Clary Sage, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lemon, Neroli, Patchouli,...

Another essential oil to use to repel roaches is lavender oil. Lavender boosts the fresh fragrance and repels most insects, such as roaches, gnats, or flies.

Although studies show, it is still unknown whether lavender oil can or cannot kill cockroaches. Due to this, the lavender oil may be ineffective on its own. Combining lavender with lemon, rose, citronella, and basil can be the perfect way to use lavender as a roach deterrent.

As always, you should dilute the combination with water. Since this scent brings peace and calm, it can be perfect to use in your bedroom for repelling roaches and providing aromatherapy.

Though the effects of this oil are still unproven, many people state it is effective in repelling roaches from their homes. 

Cedar or Cedarwood Oil

Cliganic Organic Cedarwood Essential Oil - 100% Pure Natural Undiluted, for Aromatherapy Diffuser | Non-GMO Verified
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Cedar is a tree commonly found in various climates or environments. You may see cedar trees in the humid forests of the southeast parts of the United States. You may find them in the deserts of the southwest United States.

Cedarwood is also very popular in storage areas, like chests or closets. The oil from these trees, cedarwood oil, can be very beneficial in repelling roaches.

Due to this wood being a natural insecticide, it kills any insects that come into contact with it. That is also why cedar trees never have insect problems in their habitats. Mix one to three drops of cedarwood oil with one part water and one part alcohol for an effective all-natural insecticide!

What Is the Best Oil to Repel Roaches?

Out of the many options on this list, peppermint oil, along with any variation of mint, is the best oil to repel roaches. Most mint oils contain Methone, a compound similar to Menthol. Due to this and its strong scent, peppermint is highly effective in repelling roaches.

The second best essential oil for repelling cockroaches is rosemary oil. With extensive research showing 100% mortality rates, this can also be an effective roach repellent.

However, I think rosemary and peppermint oil do not smell great together. You can try the combo for an effective repellent, though I did not find the aroma pleasant.

How Do Essential Oils Repel Roaches?

The first question you may have about essential oils repelling roaches is: How do essential oils repel cockroaches? Many essential oils can be toxic to roaches; they could just hate the smell or both.

Many scientists believe cockroaches may be aware of the toxicity of the oils, so they choose to steer clear of certain ones. The scientific evidence to back up these claims is still limited.

Although, the few studies that have been done conclude that this could very well be the cause.

Another commonly believed reason essential oils repel roaches is due to the strong scent confusing or alarming the cockroach. Cockroaches have a stronger sense of smell than people.

Confusing cockroaches can ultimately deter them from coming into your home.

Why Use Essential Oils to Repel Roaches?

Essential oils can be a simple and inexpensive method to repel roaches from invading your home. It can also be a much safer, more natural option than pesticides.

There are several reasons why you would use essential oils to repel roaches.    

Reasons to try using essential oils to repel roaches can include: 

  • Essential oils can be easy to find and buy. 
  • Oils are much less expensive than pesticides. 
  • The oil not only smells better than pesticides but can provide aromatherapy simultaneously. 
  • They’re natural and easy to apply in places that are hard to reach. 

With so many reasons to use essential oils as a cockroach repellent, why wouldn’t you try them? 

Will All Essential Oils Work on all Roaches?

To repel roaches, you must know which smells attract and repel them; not every essential oil can deter or kill roaches. Only some scents will avert the pests.

Cockroaches don’t mind smells of foods like sugar, meats, or other foody fragrances; these smells can attract roaches to your home. Thus, you should never use food-smelling oils to repel cockroaches.

However, this doesn’t include herb and citrus smells, like oregano or lemon oil. Cockroaches despise the scent of citrus, mint, and other herbs.

How Many Roaches Will Essential Oils Kill or Repel?

Essential oils are best used to prevent roaches instead of eradicating an existing problem. Essential oils can be a practical way to kill and/or repel roaches.

However, suppose you have a bigger problem with cockroaches, such as an infestation or a nest. In that case, it may be better to try the pesticide route. Using essential oils to kill or repel cockroaches is only for a few bugs, around five to ten at most.

If you have an infestation or a roach nest, try using an insecticide or call an exterminator. Though there is evidence that some essential oils can kill roaches, a problem with numerous cockroaches will need more than just essential oils. 

How to Use Essential Oils to Repel Roaches

You can use essential oils to prevent roaches in a few different ways. You can dilute the oil with water in a spray bottle, diffuse the oil, or place three to four drops on a cotton ball to repel roaches.

Spray Bottle1. Mix about thirty ounces of hot water with ten to fifteen drops of your preferred essential oil. 
2. Gently mix your combination together by gently swishing the bottle. 
3. Let the blend cool. 
4. Spray in the suspected problem areas of your home. 
5. Repeat as necessary. 
Diffuse with a Diffuser1. Fill your diffuser with the proper amount of water. Most diffusers contain around 200 ml. 
2. For 200 ml of water, place around nine to ten drops of your preferred essential oil in the water. 
3. Set your diffuser’s top in place.
4. Turn on your diffuser; I like to have mine on the alternating setting. It diffuses for a few minutes, then turns off for a few minutes. You can do what you prefer. 
5. Repeat as necessary. 
Use Cotton Balls1. Place two to four drops of your desired essential oil on numerous cotton balls. 
2. Scatter the cotton balls throughout your home, especially in your suspected problem areas. 
3. Refresh your cotton balls with a few more drops of essential oil every two to three days. 
4. You can replace the cotton balls with new ones roughly once a week.

What Doesn’t Prevent Roaches?

Several things do not prevent and will only attract roaches, like food left out. Keep all food put away and do not leave it out, as that will introduce a cockroach problem. Smells from cheese, meat, grease, sugar, or starch can attract cockroaches. 

There are a few essential oils that are not effective in repelling roaches; they could include: 

  • Floral essential oils such as rose, Ylang Ylang, or Geranium. 
  • Pine and the alike scented essential oils are less effective in preventing roaches. 
  • Although tea tree essential oil has a similar aroma to eucalyptus or mint, it is ineffective in preventing roaches. 
  • Berry and other fruity scents don’t work well to repel roaches, either. 

In Summary

We hope you learned everything you wanted to know about using essential oils to repel roaches. Feel free to share this helpful information with your friends and family, especially if they have a roach problem!

We strive to provide you and others with the best and most factual information. Thank you for taking the time to check out this article; check out our website for more!

Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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