Do Bay Leaves Repel Roaches?

Do-Bay-Leaves-Repel-RoachesIf you have dealt with a roach infestation, you know the importance of natural ingredients resting in your pantry. Cockroaches love to invade your pantry in search of food, but little do these bugs know this place consists of several ingredients they hate. One of them is bay leaves.

Bay leaves have a strong smell that roaches find irritating, so they stay away. Thus, you can use this ingredient several ways to keep your house pest free.

Remember that bay leaves don’t kill roaches but only deter them. So if your home already has a massive infestation, using bay leaves won’t yield effective results. Also, these leaves are pretty challenging to clean off after use.

Therefore, you should know how to use bay leaves correctly. This post will help you use bay leaves to repel roaches like a pro, so let’s get started!

How Do Roaches React To Bay Leaves?

Bay leaves have a strong fragrance that cockroaches can’t stand for long. This ingredient releases its odor in both fresh and powdered form, but it is more noticeable when crushed. Whenever roaches sense bay leaves nearby, they change their direction and prefer staying away.

Using bay leaves to repel roaches is a natural method to keep your home bug free. You can either sprinkle the powdered bay leaves on high roach traffic areas or put fresh ones close to such places.

However, you must keep a few things in mind when using this roach-repellent:

  • Cockroaches won’t repel bay leaves if the ingredient has lost its odor
  • Bay leaves won’t work if your home has a huge roach infestation
  • Whether you use fresh bay leaves or dried ones, keep their fragrance intact to get quicker and more effective results

If you forget to ensure any of the above points, your efforts will likely be in vain.

How To Use Bay Leaves To Repel Roaches?

As you know, bay leaves effectively repel roaches and multiple bugs in both powdered and fresh forms. But you must use them correctly to get your desired results as quickly as possible.

Roaches multiply within minutes, so you can’t afford to waste even a minute. Just as you see one or two cockroaches roaming inside or outside your home, use bay leaves in any of these four ways:

Scattering the Leaves

If you have just got fresh bay leaves, scatter them in the areas where you noticed high roach traffic. Since they are not poisonous, you can use them on your kitchen countertops, food preparation areas, bathrooms, and every place.

It is the easiest way to keep roaches from infecting your food items and the overall home.

Sprinkling the Powder

You can grind fresh bay leaves into a powdered form and sprinkle them in all the nooks and crevices of your home. But before grinding, dry bay leaves entirely, or else they may cause trouble.

Powdered bay leaves work wonders in repelling roaches from the tiniest gaps of your home.

Putting Bowls

Take multiple bowls and open containers and fill them with fresh bay leaves. Then, put them in high roach-infested areas, such as the sink, garbage can, cupboard, pantry, and even your vehicles.

These bowls will prevent roaches from entering and infecting your belongings for a long time.

Essential Oil

You can also use bay leaf essential oils to repel roaches and insects. It’s the safest way of using bay leaves as a roach-repellent.

Note: No matter what method you choose, don’t forget to switch old bay leaves with fresh ones every few months.

Do Bay Leaves Kill Cockroaches?

Bay leaves only repel cockroaches; it doesn’t kill them. Roaches typically stay away from bay leaves, but some daring ones go close to the ingredient, eat it, and survive. That’s because bay leaves are not poisonous to these bugs.

But there is one way you can kill cockroaches with bay leaves. It is by putting these bugs in a container and using freshly-crushed bay leaf vapors to suffocate them.

Powdered bay leaves release chemical components that can suffocate the roaches when exposed in closed airtight containers. However, this procedure may take a lot of time and is not a permanent solution.

So it’s better to opt for other alternatives to killing roaches quickly, such as boric acid or diatomaceous earth (DE).

Are Bay Leaves Safe to Use?

It’s entirely safe to use bay leaves to get rid of roaches and multiple other insects. Since bay leaves are a natural ingredient, they are not toxic or poisonous to humans and pets.

However, consider a few precautionary measures when using bay leaves indoors. Some of them are:

  • Chop the Leaves. If you opt for fresh bay leaves, it’s better to chop them into smaller pieces when repelling cockroaches indoors. That’s because bay leaves don’t soften up easily. If your pets engulf whole leaves, they may choke due to their slippery surfaces.
  • Target the Infested Areas. Always place bay leaves in places with a high roach infestation. If you throw them around loosely, your pet or kid may try to swallow them.

So although bay leaves don’t release any toxic chemicals, they can still cause choking hazards to your pets.

Do Bay Leaves Repel Household Insects?

Like roaches, bay leaves can repel many household insects, including weevils and ants. You can place bay leaves inside your cupboards or flours and rice canisters to keep roaches away.

If you suspect multiple beetles or weevils in your cupboard, you can fold bay leaves into clothing and use them as a repellent.

You can also combat ants and household insects by placing a bowl of bay leaves and rice at your home’s entry points. Not only that, but you can also use bay leaves in your garden to deter insects from entering your home.

Bay leaves also work wonders in repelling mosquitoes. They have a tangy aroma that mosquitoes hate, so crush a few bay leaves and sprinkle them in these areas.

Overall, bay leaves are an excellent mosquito, roach, beetle, and insect repeller.


Do Bay Leaves Repel Roaches?

Yes, bay leaves’ strong odor repels roaches. Whether crushed or dried, bay leaves release a sharp scent to keep cockroaches and multiple insects away from your home.

Will Roaches Eat Bay Leaves?

Some daring roaches can eat bay leaves but survive because this ingredient is not poisonous.

How Do Bay Leaves Kill Roaches?

Bay leaves can kill roaches if you put crushed leaves in an air-tight container with cockroaches. Soon, bay leaves’ vapors will suffocate the roaches to death.


Bay leaves are a readily-available natural ingredient that works amazingly in repelling roaches and numerous insects. It has a strong odor that these bugs hate, so they prefer staying away from these places.

You can use bay leaves in the following ways:

  • Drying out leaves and scattering them in high roach traffic areas
  • Crushing the leaves into a powdered form and sprinkling it in every nooks and crevice of your home
  • Putting fresh bay leaves in a bowl and placing them in your home’s different entry points
  • Bay leaves can kill roaches if you put crushed leaves and cockroaches in an air-tight container. The powdered bay leaves will turn into vapors and suffocate the bugs till death.
  • Using bay leaves indoors and outdoors is safe, but ensure your pets and kids stay away from them. Whole bay leaves can cause a choking hazard to them.