When it comes to household pests, cockroaches are some of the most widely feared and notoriously difficult to get rid of. Once cockroaches make their way into your home, getting rid of them can be extremely challenging, making cockroach prevention so important.

Before using chemical solutions, many people prefer to try more natural and eco-friendly methods to keep cockroaches away. One such method has been using certain smells, which are known to keep cockroaches away.

Here are eleven scents that are known to get rid of cockroaches, as well as some tips to properly disperse them throughout your home.

What Smells Keep Cockroaches Away

1. Lavender

Lavender is a scent that relaxes us but seems to have the opposite effect on cockroaches.

Lavender can be used in various ways to keep cockroaches away, either by keeping potted lavender plants in your home or by using it in essential oil form. Lavender essential oil can either be diffused or diluted with water and used to wipe down countertops to keep cockroaches at bay.

2. Citronella

Mosquitoes aren’t the only bugs that hate the smell of citronella. This plant has been known to deter cockroaches due to its overpowering scent, and you can use it to your advantage when trying to keep insects out of your home. Burning citronella candles is a great way to utilize this scent, as well as growing the plant in your backyard garden.

3. Catnip

Cats are known to be excellent pest predators, but did you know that catnip can also effectively eliminate cockroaches from your home? Cockroaches are thought to hate the smell of catnip plants, so keeping a pot on your kitchen windowsill may deter any unwelcome visitors.

4. Mint

Like lavender, mint is another scent that is typically pleasant to humans but not cockroaches. To try using mint to keep cockroaches away, switch to mint-scented cleaning products or grow fresh mint in your garden and see if you notice fewer roaches in or around your home.

5. Pine

Pine is another strong smell that cockroaches seem to dislike. Using cleaning supplies like Pine-Sol may be effective in keeping these bugs at bay, as well as burning pine-scented candles around your home.

6. Citrus

Citrus is one of the scents cockroaches are most known to hate, notably lemon and orange. Keeping a dish of lemon juice on your kitchen counter can deter these pests, as well as placing lemon peels around the home to discourage cockroaches from coming out of hiding. You can also try diffusing citrus scents in rooms where cockroaches are the most active, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

7. Garlic

Garlic isn’t just effective at keeping vampires away–cockroaches are known to hate the root vegetable, too! Cooking with garlic is an effortless way to repel cockroaches from your home, but you could also try crushing cloves of garlic and placing them in areas of your home where cockroaches are most active to deter these insects.

8. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are beautiful flowers that complement any home or garden, and cockroaches are known to despise them, making them excellent pest deterrents! Growing these flowers or keeping pots of them around your home can be effective at warding off cockroaches.

9. Oregano

Regarding cockroach deterrents, oregano is one of the most powerful scents. Adding a few drops of oregano oil to a spray bottle with water can prevent cockroaches from invading your space, so try this solution if you’re dealing with an infestation.

10. Cucumbers

It is said that cockroaches dislike the smell of cucumbers, so keeping a bowl of cucumber peels in your kitchen may be effective at keeping these insects at bay.

11. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is another scent that cockroaches are known to hate, and this plant can be used to deter pests in various ways. Hanging fresh eucalyptus in your shower will not only create a relaxing vibe for your daily shower routine, but it can also prevent cockroaches from entering your space. Eucalyptus oil can also be diffused in the home as an alternative pest control method.

How to Apply Smells: Oils vs. Herbs

The choice of whether to use oils or herbs to deter cockroaches is entirely yours, but the results may vary depending on the method you choose. If you have pets in your home, be sure to research which essential oils are safe for your furry friends, as many of them are not.

Overall, combining fresh herbs and essential oils will yield the best results against cockroaches.

Quick Tips to Keep Cockroaches Away

  • Vacuum floors regularly
  • Never leave dirty dishes in the sink
  • Seal any food/pet food
  • Eliminate leaking or standing water
  • Limit dining to one room
  • Carefully inspect cardboard boxes before bringing them into your home
  • Clean up clutter and debris in your yard
  • Apply baits and traps in basements and crawl spaces

Learn More: 7 Reasons You Have Cockroaches In Your House.


How frequently should I refresh the scents to keep cockroaches away?

How frequently you refresh your scents depends on whether you use them in oil or herb form. Herbs should be regularly watered and discarded when they start to die, and essential oils used in a diffuser should be emptied and refilled whenever your diffuser runs out of water. Generally, diffusing these scents a few times a week should do the trick.

Will these scents also deter other household pests?

Certain scents are also known to deter other types of household pests, making them extra effective! For example, mosquitoes are also known to hate the smell of citronella, and eucalyptus is said to be an effective all-natural rodent repellent.

Are there any scents that cockroaches are attracted to?

Cockroaches are most attracted to the smell of garbage and rotting food–one of the biggest reasons they enter homes is in search of food sources. Because of this, it is important to regularly clean your kitchen and remove your trash before it gets too full.