Reddish Cockroach with its antennae up.

What Smell Do Roaches Hate?

Roaches are the last guests anyone wants to entertain, those pesky little critters that scuttle around our homes. While there are various methods to keep them at bay, using scents is a natural and effective way to repel these unwelcome intruders.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some scents that roaches detest and discuss why using scents can be an excellent approach to keep these unwanted visitors away.

Key Pest Points:

•Roaches hate strong scents like citrus, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
•Other methods like sealing entry points, cleaning often, and traps can be effective in combination with odors to keep roaches away.

Types of Roaches

Before we delve into the scents that repel roaches, we must understand the different types of roaches commonly found in homes. The two most common species are the German cockroach and the American cockroach.

German Cockroach

The German cockroach is smaller, typically measuring about 1/2 to 5/8 inches long. They are light brown or tan and have two dark parallel stripes on their thorax. German cockroaches are notorious for their rapid reproduction and can infest homes quickly if not addressed promptly.

American cockroach

On the other hand, the American cockroach is larger, measuring around 1.4 – 1.6 inches in length. They are reddish-brown and have a distinctive yellowish pattern on their pronotum. While they prefer to live outdoors, they can make their way into homes for food and shelter.

Why Use Scents to Repel Roaches

Using scents to repel roaches offers several advantages. First and foremost, natural scents are a safe alternative to chemical pesticides, providing a more environmentally friendly solution. Additionally, scents can be easily incorporated into your daily routine without causing inconvenience or health risks to you or your loved ones. Below are the most common scents that roaches hate.

Fresh lavender flowers and bottle of oil on wooden background.


The delicate fragrance of lavender is a pleasant scent for humans, but roaches can’t stand it. To harness the roach-repelling powers of lavender, you can use lavender essential oil or dried lavender sachets. Place these sachets in areas where roaches are likely to frequent, such as kitchen cabinets, closets, or under sinks.


Roaches have a strong aversion to the sharp, tangy scent of citrus fruits. You can use lemon, orange, or grapefruit peels to create a natural roach deterrent. Place the oil or peels in areas where roaches congregate, such as near garbage bins, entry points, or cracks and crevices.

Bay laurel essential oil on white background.


The refreshing aroma of eucalyptus repels roaches and acts as a natural air freshener. You can create a homemade eucalyptus spray by diluting eucalyptus essential oil with water and spraying it around your home, focusing on areas prone to roach infestation. Eucalyptus leaves, or sachets, can also be placed strategically to enhance the effect.


Mint is a powerful deterrent for roaches due to its strong fragrance. Peppermint oil can be mixed with water and sprayed in areas where insects are likely to hide or enter, such as baseboards, windowsills, and doorways. Another option is to plant mint near entry points or keep dried mint leaves around your home.


The strong scent of pine needles or essential oil can help keep roaches at bay. Place pine sachets or scatter pine needles where cockroaches are commonly found, such as attics, basements, or dark corners. Pine-scented cleaning products can also contribute to repelling these unwanted pests.

Fresh and dried oregano herb on wooden background.


While oregano is a beloved herb in the kitchen, its pungent smell is a deterrent for roaches. You can sprinkle dried oregano near roach entry points or create a potent oregano spray by boiling oregano leaves in water and using the infused liquid as a natural repellent.


Chrysanthemums add a touch of beauty to your home and repel roaches. These flowers contain a natural insecticide called pyrethrum, often used in commercial pest control products. Planting chrysanthemums in your garden or placing potted plants indoors can help keep roaches away.


Surprisingly, cucumbers are not just a refreshing snack but can also act as a roach repellent. Place cucumber peels or slices in areas where roaches are likely to gather. The strong aroma of cucumbers will deter them from entering or remaining in those spaces.

These are just some of the smells roaches hate that can be an effective and natural approach to repel them from your home when dealing with roaches. Incorporating these scents into your daily routine can help keep these unwanted creatures away. Whether they are roaches or bugs that look like baby cockroaches, using natural scents and other methods like sealing entry points, cleaning often, and traps can help eliminate these tiny brown bugs.

Other Natural Roach Repellent Methods

In addition to using scents, there are other natural roach repellents. Here are a few tips to help keep these pests away:

• Keep your home clean and free from food debris. Roaches are attracted to crumbs and scraps, so cleaning up regularly can help prevent them from entering or staying in your home.

• Seal cracks and crevices around doors, windows, and other entry points to make it more difficult for roaches to get in.

• Make sure there is no standing water in the house – roaches need moisture to survive.

• Eliminate potential hiding places by removing cardboard boxes and clutter from your home.

With these tips and the right scents, you can keep these tiny black bugs out of your home and maintain a healthier environment for you and your family.


Do roaches hate bleach?

Yes, roaches do not like the smell of bleach and can be deterred by it. However, it does not kill them and is a harsh chemical, and should only be used as a last resort.

Do roaches hate vinegar?

Using vinegar alone will not kill or repel roaches, making it an ineffective method to get rid of them. However, using distilled vinegar to clean your kitchen will help reduce their food sources and make your kitchen less attractive.


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