Best Natural Cockroach Repellent

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With all the different insecticides and repellents on the market, it can be hard to know where to turn. You might be anxious about introducing potentially harsh or poisonous chemicals to your home environment. Not all insecticides are safe for use around kids, pets, or areas involving food.

There are some natural substances that can repel or kill cockroaches. We’ve broken down the top three.

Best Natural Cockroach Repellents

Product nameKills RoachesVolumeNumber in Pack
#1. Diatomaceous
Our Best Pick

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Yes4 pounds1
#2. Catnip

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No3 ounces1
#3. Peppermint

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No4 ounces1

#1. Diatomaceous Earth

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If you want a roach repellent that also doubles as a natural insecticide, diatomaceous earth is your answer. In addition to killing several roach species, this powder has been proven to kill pests like ants, fleas, and bed bugs. Safer Brand sells four-pound bags of pure diatomaceous earth.

You might be wondering what diatomaceous earth is. This finely ground powder is made out of the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are single-celled organisms. As soon as an insect ingests the powder, it will perish within forty-eight hours. The main active ingredient in the powder is silicon dioxide. One of the biggest selling points is that it’s impossible for insects to develop a resistance, because the powder doesn’t contain any chemicals to build immunity to.

Diatomaceous earth is a common ingredient in many different household products. Another thing that sets it apart from chemical insecticides is that it tends to be completely safe for use around people and pets. The way it kills insects is by destroying their exoskeleton. The best way to use diatomaceous earth as a repellent is by mixing it with cocoa powder and dusting it in areas that roaches enjoy.

#2. Catnip

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You might be surprised to learn that in addition to being notorious for riling up felines, catnip can also be used as a roach repellent! This is a natural repellent that’s great if you have cats or dogs around. Unlike essential oils, catnip is safe to use around your furry friends, though some kitties may get anxious if they’re exposed to too much of it. If you’re wondering what insect repellents are safe to use near your pets, you can always double check with a veterinarian.

Pet Craft Supply offers three-ounce canisters of catnip. Each resealable canister is totally packed with completely natural catnip. It’s one hundred percent pure, so you don’t have to worry about the addition of any fillers, pesticides, or chemicals. If you want an insect repellent that’s definitely not going to kill the roaches, this is your humane pick.

The active ingredient found within catnip is a chemical called nepetalactone. This is a chemical that triggers sensitivities in roaches. Many different species of roach will avoid areas suffused with catnip when they smell it. That’s not a huge surprise, considering catnip is an established member of the mint plant family.

To use catnip to get rid of roaches, all you have to do is place sprinkles or pinches of catnip around the places that you’ve seen roaches. If you know where they’re entering the home, consider placing a satchel near the opening, assuming the opening can’t be sealed up.

Catnip works most effectively as a preventative measure. If you’ve just gotten rid of an infestation, you can place catnip around the perimeter of your home to keep the infestation from recurring. If you’re worried about your home but haven’t seen any bugs yet, you can place some catnip out to be better safe than sorry.

#3. Organic Peppermint Oil

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Essential oils are all the rage these days. There are a number of different claims made about different ones. If you’re to believe all the hype, there’s an essential oil that can meet every need you have in your life. Some of the claims have been proven by research, while others are a little shakier.

It’s true that aromatherapy with essential oils has some proven benefits depending on the oil. It’s also true that some essential oils can be used as cleaning and antibacterial agents. As far as insect repellents go, one of the most popular options is to burn essential oils or spritz them around the house. If you’re specifically getting rid of cockroaches, the insect repellent you want is peppermint oil.

Natura Bona is a company that sells four-ounce bottles of pure and organic peppermint oil. These come in a spray bottle that can be spritzed in different areas at will. Along with the bottle is an eyedropper, so you can create insect repelling solutions by adding just a few drops to a quart or gallon of water.

Most experts recommend diluting essential oils before you use them. Because they’re so strong, essential oils can be toxic to humans if they’re too concentrated. You should never ingest them. In addition, even diluted essential oils should be kept away from dogs and cats. Consuming them can make your pets ill and even cause life-threatening complications. Inhaling essential oils can also be bad for your furry friends, so you shouldn’t burn peppermint oil as an insect repellent if you have dogs or cats around.

Each package from Natura Bona includes the bottle of spray and the dropper. The oil is completely pure. It’s strong enough to cause skin irritation and damage if directly exposed, and the manufacturer strongly recommends that you dilute it. In addition, when you’re using it to repel roaches, the manufacturer also warns against overspraying. You can repel roaches by placing very small amounts of diluted spray in the areas that cockroaches enter the house like the crevices behind the stove, refrigerator, sink, or toilet.

Peppermint oil can be used as an insecticide, but that’s not the main use. If you spray a diluted concentration over surfaces in your home, the smell will keep cockroaches away. However, unlike other insecticides on the market, this isn’t a killing machine that will kill cockroaches and their nests upon contact. To use peppermint oil as an insecticide, you’d need to spray it directly onto a cockroach when you see it. If you want to do that, this essential oil makes a good alternative to chemical insecticides and killing sprays.

Because it’s a natural oil, rather than a chemical insecticide created for the purpose of killing pests, you’ll need to reapply a diluted spray every week or so to keep up the efficiency. By contrast, chemical sprays can often protect surfaces for two to three months at a time.

Final Thoughts

When you’re looking to repel roaches, it’s easiest to take preventative measures. Natural ingredients will work best if there aren’t already roaches in the house. Depending on the level of potential infestation, you might need to turn to more conventional roach-killing methods if the natural remedies don’t work. You don’t need to worry, though. There are many chemical formulas on the market that are safe for use around kids and pets as long as they’re handled properly.

If you are dealing with an infestation, the best natural roach killer is diatomaceous earth. This white powder is created out of fossilized remains of diatoms. Diatoms are a hard-shelled, unicellular algae. Many common household cleaners and other products already have diatomaceous earth inside them.

Unlike many of the chemical formulas on the market, it’s totally safe to use around people and pets. Rather than poisoning the roaches, it destroys their outer exoskeleton. Because of this, it’s good for use on nearly every roach population, and it can also help get rid of some other pesky insect populations besides.

When you’re just trying to repel insects from your home, one of the most popular options is to spray essential oils. Many essential oils have certain insect repelling properties, as their scent tends to be strong enough to disrupt an insect’s senses. Peppermint oil is the most effective essential oil when it comes to repelling roaches. You can use peppermint oil as an insecticide, but it’ll take a little more work than with diatomaceous earth. If you simply spray the oil around your home surfaces, you’ll repel roaches; if you spray it directly onto a roach, you’ll kill it.

Finally, you can try using catnip as a solution. Catnip is a totally natural ingredient that can be bought from hundreds of different pet suppliers. Best of all, it’s safer for use around pets than essential oils are. If you’re worried about your kitty or dog getting sick from licking essential oil residue, you might use catnip instead. After all, catnip is famously safe to use around kitties. Most experts recommend using satchels of catnip to ward off roaches after you’ve gotten rid of your infestation.

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