Can You Use Essential Oils To Kill Roaches?

Can-You-Use-Essential-Oils-To-Kill-RoachesRoaches are sewer-dwelling bugs that leave germs on everything they touch. They are a health hazard for you and your family by contaminating food, cooking equipment, and preparation places.

Things can get even more challenging if you’re allergic to insecticides. Luckily, essential oils are a safer alternative to these toxic chemicals to get rid of the roaches. They are best known for their soothing aroma that repels cockroaches but doesn’t kill these bugs.

It is important to understand that essential oils only work best when prepared in a certain way. Read on to explore how the relaxing scents of different essential oils are fascinating to you but unpleasant to roaches.

What Essential Oils Will Get Rid of Roaches?

Essential oils with a strong, pungent smell can drive roaches away from your home. They are super easy and safe to use. The most effective essential oils to repel cockroaches are:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Cedar oil
  • Rosemary oil

You can mix these essential oils with water having equal ratios and use it as an insect repellent spray. To make it more potent, you can add soap to this mixture.

Let’s discuss the 4 most effective essential oils in detail and how they can help prevent roaches:

Peppermint Oil

Medical research found that the essential oils derived from mint plants, such as peppermint oil, can be a powerful repellent to cockroaches.

Peppermint oil has a strong eye-watering, and highly potent smell that’s enough to keep the roach away wherever it is sprayed. It contains a large compound of a substance called ‘menthol’ that gives a cool sensation to humans but deters cockroaches.

Here is how you can make your insect repellent from peppermint oil:

  • First, create a 2:1 ratio mixture of the water and vinegar in the spray bottle. Vinegar is used to make the solution more robust.
  • Then, add ten drops of peppermint oil and shake the spray bottle.
  • Spray on the areas and corners of your home.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil has the most pungent fragrance among other oils. This oil is suggested to be used with a carrier oil as it can irritate and cause rashes on human skin. That’s how strong it is.

The high concentration of hydrocyanic acid in the eucalyptus acid makes it a strong repellent against roaches. A scientific study has shown that eucalyptus oil can repel insects, including ants, mosquitoes, and cockroaches, for more than 8 hours.

Here is a recipe to make a powerful eucalyptus pest control:

  • First, steam the eucalyptus oil for some time until it is boiling hot.
  • Next, add a few drops of hot eucalyptus oil to the water.
  • Spray them on the hotspots of the roaches.
  • Alternatively, dip cotton balls in this repellent and put them in different places.

Rosemary Oil

Another safer and soothing alternative to toxic pest chemicals is rosemary essential oil. According to a medical study, rosemary oil is a great essential oil to repel many species of roaches, especially the American and German cockroaches.

This essential oil contains an intense concentration, making it an extremely potent substitute for pest controls. In addition, research has shown a high concentration of rosemary oil can stay effective for up to 4 hours to repel cockroaches. Therefore, it can be an ideal all-natural option for your pests prevention plan.

Refer to the steps below to make your rosemary roach repellent:

  • First, fill the spray bottle with lukewarm water.
  • Then, add 15 drops of rosemary water into the bottle.
  • Finally, give it a good shake and spray it where you would keep the roaches out of reach.

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is an effective essential oil with the highest toxicity against roaches among mint plants. A medical study found oregano oil to have the highest repellent effect, which can leave a residual effect for almost one week. It also managed to repel 97% of roaches.

Oregano oil contains highly concentrated compounds, including terpenes, terpenoids, and phenols. These compounds have strong antioxidant properties, making oregano oil the most effective roach control.

Here is how you can use this essential oil to repel roaches:

  • First, pour oregano oil into a container and put it in a warm and sunny area.
  • Allow the oil to steep for 24 hours. Make sure to stir it once in a while.
  • Now, add tap water and one tablespoon of any washing soap in a spray bottle.
  • Shake it well to submerge the soap with water thoroughly. Then, add ten drops of steep oregano oil into it.
  • Finally, mix it up and spray it on the areas as needed.

You can use other essential oils in any of the ways to repel roaches from your home quickly.

What Scents Kill Roaches Instantly?

Roaches are often repelled by scents humans love, such as fruity smell, citrus, oils, etc. For household deterrents, cockroaches dislike the odor of bay leaves, peppermint, cinnamon, garlic, and onion skin.

If you are looking for a potent repellant, incorporate vinegar or bleach with the essential oil. According to the Journal of Experimental Biology, insects like cockroaches and mosquitoes have a strong sense of smell, making it hard for them to withstand different scents.

Most essential oils are plant-based. They are known for providing instant protection against insects like roaches.

However, it depends on how these essential oils are applied as roach deterrents. For example, an essential oil mixture can be sprayed, sprinkled, smeared, or diffused depending on the area.

Why Should You Use Essential Oils to Repel Roaches?

The essential oils described above are not guaranteed to kill the roaches. However, they are great for driving off the bugs from never revisiting your home.

Here are some reasons why you should use essential oils as pesticides instead of other chemical options:

  • Readily Available. Essential oils, such as oregano oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, etc., are extremely easy to find. You can buy them from your nearest grocery store for a reasonable price.
  • Safe to Use. Unlike chemical repellents, essential oils are safer to use. Chemical pest control repellents can cause health concerns, such as respiratory irritation, skin allergies, and coughing. Hence, using essential oil is a great option.
  • No Strict Handling Instructions. You don’t have to wear a mask or gloves when using the essential oils. You can spray them in corners, diffuse them with water, or smear them anywhere without any danger.
  • A Relaxing Smell. Roach chemical poison contains an overwhelming and pungent odor. It makes your home smell like a chemical factory. Using essential oils can give off a pleasant and relaxing scent.

Tips to Use Essential Oils as Roach Repellent

There is no doubt that natural oils are a great alternative to toxic insecticides. However, there are some factors to consider when using essential oils to repel roaches, including:

  • Keep Away From Pets. Ensure to keep your pets away from the area where you have sprayed, smeared, or sprinkled the essential oil as roach repellent. Your cat or dog can lick it off the wall, leading to some challenges. So essential oils are only effective for external use.
  • Research Before Buying. Do your thorough research when purchasing essential oil to repel roaches. Some essential oils contain the highest toxicity and pungent smell, triggering skin irritation or allergies.
  • Keep Applying the Oil. Infestation through natural products is primarily hard to manage. You may need to reapply or re-spray the essential oil after every hour. However, how frequently you apply the essential oil depends on how strong your natural repellent is and how many roaches are present in your home.
  • Be Patient. Lastly, essential oil won’t eliminate the roach community from your home in a blink. They are effective but require patience and consistency.


Do Roaches Like Essential Oil?

No, roaches do not like the smell of essential oils. They hate the pungent odor of these oils and prefer to stay away from such places.

What Scents Kills Cockroaches Instantly?

Strong minty and citrusy scents can repel roaches but never kill them. In fact, no scent can kill roaches alone. However, roaches have a strong sense of smell, so they may die if you suffocate them with a highly-intoxicating essential oil. Some scents that can repel roaches are coffee grounds, garlic, essential oils (peppermint oil, Cyprus oil, rosemary oil, etc.), and citrus peels.

Does Lavender Essential Oil Repel Roaches?

Yes, lavender can repel roaches as it is known for its soothing properties. However, it can be an effective repellent to kill cockroaches, gnats, and flies. According to a study, preparing a repellent by combining a few drops of lavender, rose, citronella, and basil oils with water can kill the roaches.

Will Diffusing the Peppermint Oil Keep Roaches Away?

Yes, diffusing 3 to 5 drops of peppermint oil in the diffuser can keep the roaches away. People enjoy the sensational smell of peppermint oil, but it is an extreme disgust to the cockroaches. Bugs tend to go away from the oil’s scent. It is because the roaches can not smell its pheromones, which disturbs them.


No one likes finding roaches in their space. Worry no more if you are tired of investing your time and money into purchasing expensive chemical pesticides. Essential oils can be safer and a great alternative to repelling roaches and preventing them from returning. Some of them are:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Cedar oil
  • Rosemary oil

But if your house already has a massive infestation, you may need an insecticide or the help of a professional pest exterminator.

You can even choose the essential oil you like and use it as an insect repellent. To conclude, here are some last steps to take once you have applied the essential oil in your home:

  • Deep cleanse your home
  • Do a disinfection
  • Empty and clean the roaches hotspots