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Bay Leaves (and Other Herbs) for Repelling Cockroaches

Few things are as unsettling as opening up a cupboard to see a cockroach hanging out with your cereal bowls.

To make matters worse, in addition to being an unwelcome morning guest, that cockroach is likely an indicator of a full-scale war in your home.

Because at the sight of a cockroach, my friend, you are no longer just a normal American citizen. You are a soldier fighting against one of the most venerable foes American households have ever seen.

Nuclear weapons won't work. And even as you squash one roach, another is in an unseen area, planning invasion.

You can take a more subtle approach. And for that, I present...

Bay Leaves

shutterstock_304124243 cockroaches

They smell and taste great – to humans. Cockroaches, on the other hand, hate everything about 'em. PETA even vouches for their use as a non-violent method of dealing with cockroaches.

And while you might want nothing more than to smash every cockroach in sight and use chemicals that will knock the buggers dead, consider the cleanup involved.

Plus, chemicals used to kill cockroaches are harsh and can be harmful to pets and children.

Bay leaves are the better option. Leave the annihilation to the toads and other predators that will feast on the roaches once they vacate your home.

To use bay leaves as a roach deterrent, place whole leaves behind appliances, near entry points, in pantries and in other corners of your home.

You can also fill open containers and bowls with the leaves and place them where needed.

Burn a bay leaf in your home for a nice natural smell and extra cockroach protection.

Roaches like to hang around damp spots, so don't forget your bathroom and basement.

Make the process even more effective by using these other herbs as well.


shutterstock_432033127 Like bay leaves, fresh mint leaves repel cockroaches due to their strong smell. You can also mix mint essential oil with water to make a spray to use around your home.


cockroaches catnip

In a study, catnip was found more effective at repelling cockroaches than DEET, a compound most commercial insect repellents use. Soak the leaves in hot water to make a tea. Place the tea in a spray bottle and spray frequently around entry points and locations you notice a lot of roaches.

Catnip is also an easy way to ensure a strong alliance with felines.


shutterstock_329130548 Y'know how the smell of garlic on your date's breath can act as an effective repellent? It has a similar effect on roaches. Lay out fresh cloves of garlic to keep the roaches away.

Good luck, soldier. Keep up the good fight.