What Smell Repels Cockroaches?

by | Last updated Jun 28, 2023 | Roaches

It is so annoying and disgusting walking into your kitchen in the middle of the night, and the first thing you see is an intrusion of roaches walking all over your utensils.

The menace they create is unthinkable. Not only are they a nuisance, but they can also contaminate your food and working surfaces with deadly bacteria.

The fact that they are known to resist even the deadliest pesticides is even more petrifying. You shouldn’t be scared though, because for every problem there is always a solution.

Nature has always been there to save us, and this article takes you through some of the proven naturally occurring smells known to repel cockroaches.

You no longer need to put up with an intrusion of roaches. These dreaded pests invaded your space, and it is about time you get rid of them in totality. Better still, they won’t dare invade your house again.

The good smells you know as very therapeutic and good for your soul could be the most toxic weapon against roaches. Let us take a ride through the wild world of sweet fragrances therapeutic to humans but deadly to cockroaches.

What Smell Repels Cockroaches?

Lavender Oil

When cockroaches invade your space, they leave behind a trail of nauseating odor. One essential oil that has proved to repel roaches and leave your house with a sweet aroma is Lavender Oil. The oil is extracted from Lavender flower, which you can also grow around your home to keep roaches and other insects away.

To be more effective, mix a few drops of lavender oil and peppermint oil in a spray bottle and mix with willed vinegar and water. Spray the liquid around roach colonies and in spaces, they are bound to cross. This oil will repel the roaches away from your house, and with continued practice, they will never come back again.

One of the best lavender oil products available is the Cliganic USDA Organic Lavender Essential oil. This product is 100 percent pure and organic, which means no additives such as alcohol may degrade its effects.


Yes, that is right. Most of you associate it with your cat’s psychotic behavior and a great tea ingredient. But your cat’s favorite herb is also a powerful roach repellant. Unlike cats which enjoy the catnip fragrance, roaches find it highly toxic, and the only option is to run away. This herb could be the solution to your roach problem.

For effective results with catnip, purchase the Smartykat, Organic Catnip for Cats 100 percent pure and organic.

  • Add a spoonful into boiling water and let it simmer for several minutes.
  • Let it cool, and then pour it into a spray bottle
  • Spritz the product in areas with roach activity

Be cautious when using catnip for roaches, especially if you have cats. It might be good for them, but an overdose may cause diarrhea and severe psychotic behaviors. 

Related reading: How to Not Be Scared of Cockroaches

Cinnamon and Cinnamon Oil

Does cinnamon repel cockroaches? I understand most of you have been asking this question, but no precise answer comes your way. Cinnamon releases a potent but unique smell that makes it an excellent spice and food ingredient. But this edible spice is also a cockroach repellant. You can opt to use cinnamon oil or purely ground cinnamon to scare away roaches.

One way is to sprinkle the ground cinnamon around your apartment, especially in breeding areas and roach highways. The other option is to use cinnamon oil mixed with peppermint essential oil. A product I will recommend you to use is the Majestic Pure Cinnamon Essential Oil Pure and Natural, Therapeutic Grade cinnamon oil.

Add a few drops of the oil in water and pour it in a spray bottle and sprinkle around your kitchen and other suspected roach territories. You can also soak the oil in a piece of cloth and wipe your working areas. Not only will it scare away the roaches, but it also leaves a sweet fragrance around your house.


While citrus fruit might have fantastic health benefits to humans, its smell is certainly not welcomed by roaches. It repels cockroaches to a great extent, keeping them away from raking havoc. Therefore, it is advisable to add a few drops of citric to your cleaning water when mopping your house.

Citric acid is the active ingredient in lemon juice, and as most of you know, it is a household commodity whose acidity levels play make it great for cleaning. Use the mixture to clean your entire house, especially in roach territories, to keep them away. Citrus oil extracts also repel roaches in ways never seen before.


Most people love garlic because of the health benefits and the fact that it is a great spice. But very few people know that the smell from garlic is a strong cockroach repellant. It may not kill cockroaches, but they certainly can’t stand the pungent smell. Even though there is no scientific evidence to support this theory, many people have attested that garlic repels roach.

Using it is also quite simple. All you have to do is crush several garlic cloves and strategically place the paste in roach-dominated areas as deterrents. Not only will it scare away the roaches, but also any other insects around your house.

Oregano Oil

Of all the essential oils, oregano oil seems to stand out as a natural cockroach repellant. According to research, once you use oregano oil, its effects can last for up to one week. An example I would recommend for your use is the Artizen Oregano Essential Oil. It is 100 percent pure and natural, designed for your therapeutic needs, and also a helpful roach repellant.

To use this product, mix a few drops with water and pour in a spray bottle. Spritz generously in roach-infested areas and cracks and crevices in your walls. Don’t forget your kitchen and any other place that the dreaded roach might creep in.

Related reading: How to Mix Peppermint Oils for Roaches


What is a natural repellent for roaches?

A natural repellent occurs naturally as a plant or oil extract. An example of natural roach repellent is peppermint oil, catnip oil, lavender, citrus, and oregano oil, among many others.

What smell do roaches love?

Anything that smells like food can attract cockroaches. Some are attracted to sugar, starch, meat, and even cheese. Rotting fruits are also known to attract roaches.

Does vinegar kill roaches?

Vinegar does not kill roaches. However, it is a powerful ingredient when preparing natural roach repellents. It can be used with most essential oils to create more effective roach repellents.

Related reading: How to Get Rid of Roaches Using Essential Oils

Bottom Line

Naturally occurring smells from plants and oil extracts have for a while been used to repel roaches. While research might be inconclusive for some of them, most natural repellents have proved beyond doubt that they are effective. Therefore, you must try as much as possible to prevent a roach infestation by applying these fragrances.  

Does lavender repel cockroaches? If such questions bother you, then with this article, you can better answer them yourself. It is common knowledge that roaches can contaminate your working surfaces with bacteria causing infections. Of course, you don’t want to be sick; therefore, protecting yourself with these smells is the way to go.


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