What Do Cockroaches Hate? | Effective Repellents and Prevention Tips

Written by George Climer

Cockroaches are one of the most common pests and never a pleasant scene inside one’s home. There are many ways that people use to try and get rid of them, but it’s not an easy thing to do. Sometimes it takes months and repeated pest control actions to eliminate them. To get rid of them and stop their return, you should learn what conditions attract cockroaches and what are some of the things that roach simply can’t stand.

Cockroaches hate clean surfaces, with no food or water available. Those conditions don’t offer the food needed for survival. They also cannot be close to natural oils like peppermint, lavender, and citruses. Any strong fragrances are difficult for them to handle because cockroaches breathe through a series of small holes located in all parts of the body.

Anything that can clog these holes that they breathe through can suffocate them. There are many natural remedies that roach hate, and they can help you with eliminating them from your home.

In the following sections, you will get detailed information about the things that cockroaches hate, and the conditions that keep them away. Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

What Smell Do Cockroaches Hate?

Do Cockroaches Hate Perfume?

What Smell Do Cockroaches Hate

Cockroaches hate perfumes. Strong fragrances can suffocate them, so they will always try to stay away from perfumes. On the other hand, it is not advised to put perfume in roach-infested areas to beat the infestation. There is a low chance that you’ll succeed using just the perfume, there are so many other more efficient ways, which are also not so expensive.

Do Cockroaches Hate the Smell of Bleach?

Bleach has a really strong smell that repels most common pests, including cockroaches. Bleach is really good for cleaning surfaces after you have gotten rid of the cockroaches as it is able to remove their smell.

Related: How to Get Rid of Cockroach Smell? | Information and Facts

Do Cockroaches Hate the Smell of Alcohol?

Cockroaches hate the scent of alcohol, which can also easily kill them. You can put alcohol in a spray bottle and spray any roaches you see, along with the area you suspect roaches hide.

Alcohol is safe to use on any surface, it helps you to beat the infestation, along with cleaning and disinfecting at the same time. It’s a bit of an expensive choice, but in some cases, it is worth it.

Is It True That Cockroaches Hate Citrus Scents?

The smell of lemon or other citrus fruits repels cockroaches. That’s why it is highly recommended to use it in cockroach-affected homes. Mop the floors or clean the kitchen and bathroom surfaces with lemon-smelling detergents, or simply put a few drops of lemon in water and spray the area.

The smell of citrus keeps roaches away and provides you with a refreshing, and pleasant smell at home. You can even use a few lemon peels and put them in strategic places, for example, where you see cockroaches crawling or where the shelter is.

Plants That Cockroaches Hate

Plants That Cockroaches Hate

Do Cockroaches Hate Bay Leaves?

Bay leaves are considered to be a natural remedy for cockroaches, as the smell irritates them. The smell of bay leaves is not powerful enough to suffocate roaches, but it can force them to seek shelter somewhere else.

It’s not harmful to you or your pets, so you can put bay leaves around the food preparation and eating areas, just to prevent them from infesting.  Use the leaves fresh or dry, it’s up to you. Both of them should work and help you while fighting roaches in your home.

Do Cockroaches Hate Cinnamon?

Scents that we find pleasant, cockroaches seem to hate, like the smell of essential oils. Cinnamon cannot kill cockroaches, but it may help you force them to move and search for another residence. Mixing the cinnamon powder with fresh herbs like lavender or essential oils will help you keep your home safe from roaches.

Do Cockroaches Hate Citronella?

Cockroaches don’t like the citronella smell, especially if you use the essential oil of citronella. It’s much more powerful than citronella candles. One of the reasons this is a highly recommendable way to fight roaches is the fact that citronella is not toxic for humans and pets. But be aware of the fact that citronella can cause skin irritation in some people.

To repel cockroaches from your living area, you should first place a few drops of citronella oil around the areas where they are active the most. Just for prevention, put some drops inside your drawers, under the sink, and under the refrigerator.

Cockroaches hunting for food will get confused by the scent. Reapply the oil every week. You should also know that citronella oil will repel roaches, but it won’t kill them.

Does a Cockroach Hate Eucalyptus Plants?

Eucalyptus is also one of the things that cockroaches hate. To make your repellent, add 10 drops of eucalyptus into a cup of water and put it inside a spray bottle. Wherever you spot cockroach activity, spray the area. Eucalyptus oil won’t kill cockroaches, but it will keep them away. It is also a safe and natural repellent, not toxic for you or your pets.

Why Do Cockroaches Hate Pandan?

Pandan leaves are usually used in Asia, as a preventative measure against cockroaches. Just put some fresh pandan leaves inside your kitchen cabinets, drawers, areas around the sink, and pipes .

You can even put it inside your bathroom. The strong smell will irritate cockroaches, confusing them as it gets mixed with other smells while they are searching for food, so eventually, cockroaches will leave the spot. Pandan cannot kill them but it will keep them away.

What Herbs Do Cockroaches Hate?

What Herbs Do Cockroaches Hate

Do Cockroaches Hate Mint?

A wise thing to do while fighting roach infestation is to use all the natural remedies that can help you. One of the best choices is fresh mint! Cockroaches hate mint in any form. Put some leaves into boiling water and wait for at least 10 min to get a greenish color and minty aroma. After it cools, use it as a spray.

Spray all the suspected areas you think roaches might hide or where you’ve seen their activity. Anything can be a sign, dead cockroach bodies, stains, and unusual or strong smells.

Do Cockroaches Hate Lavender?

Cockroaches can’t stand the smell of lavender. People who love to grow lavender in their yards and garden are less likely to get cockroaches in their houses. If you plan to keep roaches from even entering your home, just plant lavender around as a natural defense system.

Inside your home, the lavender essential oil is the best possible option. Put some drops of this oil on a cloth and wipe the surfaces you think cockroaches use to forage. For example, inside your kitchen cabinets. Another way to use lavender oil is to make a solution, mix it with pure water, and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the surfaces cockroaches get in touch with. Repeat this remedy every week.

Do Cockroaches Hate Peppermint?

If you want to eliminate roaches from your living area, and you are not so enthusiastic about using harsh chemicals, peppermint oil has been proven to be surprisingly effective. Peppermint essential oil is really hated by cockroaches and it is one of the most effective natural remedies that actually work against them.

The best way to use it is to mix it with vinegar and water and put the solution in a spray bottle. Spray the surfaces you want to eliminate cockroaches from such as small holes in the walls, around the sink, pipes, and drains.

You can also use just peppermint oil to wipe down the surfaces. Not only will it keep cockroaches away, but it will also bring a fresh, nice smell to your house.

Do Cockroaches Hate Weed?

As funny as it may sound, cockroaches actually can eat weed. The same goes for cigarettes. They eat both tobacco and cigarette rolling paper. Make sure to keep your ashtrays clean.

What Fruits and Vegetables Do Cockroaches Hate?

What Fruits and Vegetables Do Cockroaches Hate

Do Cockroaches Hate Lemon?

Cockroaches hate the smell and taste of most citrus fruit. This means that they definitely hate lemon as well. If you want to keep cockroaches away from other types of fruit, a wise thing to do is to keep them with lemons. Strong fragrance citric fruit is very repellent to cockroaches.

Do Cockroaches Hate Cucumbers?

Many people think that cucumber peel is repellent to cockroaches. Sadly, this is just a myth! You can get in trouble if you place cucumber slices all over the floor as you will be offering cockroaches a free meal!

Be careful when you search for advice on the internet. Always make sure that the information you are going to use is correct and that it comes from an informed source.

Do Cockroaches Hate Pineapple?

Cockroaches actually love pineapple as it is a great source of sugar and its delicious taste will be a pleasant surprise for cockroaches if they find it in your house. They especially love the pineapple from the can with extra added sugar.

You should always keep your food in closed and sealed packages. Don’t leave stains or small pieces of food on the kitchen floor at night, or you’ll be facing cockroaches as your guests in no time.

Do Cockroaches Hate Pumpkins?

There is nothing inside a pumpkin that cockroaches don’t like. It’s a great source of nutrients for them. Pumpkin leftovers found in the sink and trash will attract cockroaches for sure! Always keep in mind that any food leftovers, especially sweet ones, will become food for cockroaches if they inhabit your home.

Why Do Cockroaches Hate Garlic?

Garlic has a very pungent taste that many pests don’t like, including cockroaches. Strong smell or flavor is what keeps cockroaches from ever use garlic as food.

Put a few cloves of garlic around the areas where you’ve seen cockroaches foraging. You can even place garlic in their hiding areas, such as under the sink, inside the kitchen cabinets, and in drawers. Garlic will for sure keep these pests away but it is not as effective as peppermint essential oil.

What Temperature Do Cockroaches Hate?

What Temperature Do Cockroaches Hate

Do Cockroaches Hate Cold?

In general, cockroaches don’t like cold temperatures. They belong to a family of cold-blooded arthropods and they don’t survive very well in any extreme weather conditions be they hot or cold. Cockroaches move slower when it’s cold.

Oriental cockroach prefers cooler spaces, but not cold temperatures. German cockroaches on the other hand may form a group if needed, to stay warm. The best possible temperature for cockroaches is one that we also find comfortable, anywhere from 18°C to 26°C or 64°F to 80°F is good for them. That’s why hiding inside of our home is just perfect for them.

Do Cockroaches Hate Heat?

Almost all cockroach species prefer warmer surroundings for living. That’s why they prefer places like kitchens or bathrooms more than garages or gardens. During summer, for example, cockroaches breed and are very active.

In extreme conditions, such as summer heat, roaches will tend to hide from the sun. They don’t like extreme weather conditions. Preferable temperatures during summer for cockroaches are anywhere from 25°C to 29°C or 77°F to 85°F. They prefer humidity and warm places. Extreme heat can kill cockroaches and leave them dry, without any water source.

Do Cockroaches Hate Air Conditioning?

Cockroaches prefer warmer weather, which means they don’t like air conditioning. If you are using it a lot during warm summer months, there is a possibility that it will help you get rid of cockroaches, because they will start searching for more warm and humid conditions such as your outside garden. But if you use it only occasionally, it won’t make any difference.

Do Cockroaches Hate Fire?

Definitely, cockroaches simply hate fire. Fire provides extreme heat and if near it, cockroaches will try to escape. The only way cockroaches will start getting near the fire is if the outside conditions are cold, so they will go near heat to try to survive.

Essential Oils Cockroaches Hate

Do Cockroaches Hate Lavender Oil?

If you can pick only one thing that cockroaches simply hate, it would be the smell of lavender! They find this specific scent extremely repellent. You can make them leave their hiding space by putting lavender near it.

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If you decide to go for this natural remedy, use a few drops of lavender essential oil and put it next to their hiding spots or any area you are trying to protect.

Do Cockroaches Hate Peppermint Oil?

Cockroaches hate peppermint oil, its strong fragrance can be very hard for them to handle. Peppermint oil is another great choice for fighting cockroaches naturally and in our opinion, it is even better than lavender.

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Do Cockroaches Hate Tea Tree Oil?

Cockroaches don’t like tea tree oil. All the essential oils have a strong, fresh flavor that we adore, but roaches find it very difficult to be around. As they breathe through the small holes on their bodies connected to a system of small tubes, strong fragrances can suffocate them. That’s why roaches will try to stay away from it.

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If you choose tea tree oil as a natural roach remedy, mix it with a half cup of vinegar and put it in a spray bottle. This is a great choice for the areas where food is prepared or consumed, as it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.

What Sounds Do Cockroaches Hate?

Do Cockroaches Hate Loud Noises?

It may sound strange, but cockroaches are very frightened when loud noises are around. Loud noise is not a remedy for cockroaches, but it might scare them away. For example, try to make loud steps while entering your kitchen or bathroom. Roaches will get scared and immediately run to find shelter.

What Frequency Do Cockroaches Hate?

Cockroaches, like many other pests, cannot stand high frequencies. Most pest ultrasonic pest repellers are designed to emit a frequency range from 20 up to 100 kHz. Above 20 is inaudible for people, and a great solution for getting rid of some pests, including roaches.

Ultrasonic or high-frequency waves can confuse or even kill pests like roaches. The only problem with cockroaches is that they can get used to the frequencies.

Environmental Things Cockroaches Hate

Do Cockroaches Hate Light?

Do Cockroaches Hate Light

Although cockroaches are nocturnal pests, the usual belief that they are afraid of light is not true. Light doesn’t scare them, but humans on the other side do. If you point a light at a cockroach, you can see it scatter, but it’s mostly running because it is afraid of you. In a cockroach-infested apartment, they will start showing up at night, with or without the lights on.

Do Cockroaches Hate Water?

Cockroaches love water and they always search for shelters near food and water! There are some species like Oriental cockroaches that are especially attracted to moisture. However, cockroaches can not swim.

They can survive without breathing underwater for 40 minutes. They can float, but real swimming is impossible. That’s why you can never expect cockroaches to come to your home through your toilet.

Do Cockroaches Hate Wind?

Cockroaches cannot differentiate between wind or if someone is attacking them. If they sense a wind blowing, they will seek shelter. It’s a natural response to danger. Seeking shelter and hiding will be their response in any extreme weather conditions.

Other Things Cockroaches Hate

Other Things Cockroaches Hate

What Color Do Cockroaches Hate?

There are some studies on this topic and data mostly points out that cockroaches are irritated by the red light. Red light repels them much more than some other colors. The next one in line is a green light, followed by yellow, white, and blue. Any strong light pointed in their direction may make them freeze, as they get confused.

Do Cockroaches Hate Vinegar?

If you search for a solution against a cockroach infestation you can easily make it from ingredients you have at home, and white vinegar is definitely a choice for you!

Vinegar is not able to kill these pests, but it will help you get clean surfaces that cockroaches will avoid because of the strong smell of vinegar. To make it even more efficient, mix vinegar with essential oils and spray the areas inside your home where you’ve spotted cockroaches.

Do Cockroaches Hate Catnip?

Catnip repels cockroaches, but be aware if you have a cat inside your home. Never use catnip around a cat, or you’ll have psychotic problems with your pet that can last for a couple of hours up to weeks.

Putting a catnip around your home can prevent cockroaches from entering. If you plan to use this natural remedy inside, make tea out of it. Put catnip into boiling water, leave for a few minutes, and then let it cool down. After it reaches normal temperature, put it in a spray bottle and cover the affected areas.

Do Cockroaches Hate Coffee?

Although you may find different opinions, the truth is that cockroaches neither hate nor love coffee. If you try to repel them with coffee beans, you won’t achieve your goal. They are not interested in coffee, and it doesn’t repel them. It’s not a great solution for eliminating them from your home.

Do Cockroaches Hate Copper?

Copper foil is not a solution for you if you are searching for a way to get rid of cockroaches naturally. It just doesn’t work, although there is a myth that indicates that it will show results.

Do Cockroaches Hate Moth Balls?

Cockroaches, the same as moths, don’t like the smell of mothballs. It is recommended to put a few mothballs behind a stove, under a refrigerator, inside the drawers, and in all the other spaces cockroaches can easily hide in or behind.

Just make sure that mothballs are kept away from the areas where food is prepared or stored. Also, mothballs are banned in some states.

Do Cockroaches Hate Rubbing Alcohol?

Cockroaches hate alcohol as it has a strong, very irritating smell and alcohol can also easily kill them. That’s a good thing to know if you are trying to eliminate their infestation from your home.

You can use alcohol to rub all the surfaces that you suspect cockroaches get in contact with. Although proved very effective, you should combine it with other methods if you want to make sure your remedy will work.

Do Cockroaches Hate Humans?

Funny thing is, when cockroaches get touched by people, they start behaving like they are in disgust, running away and cleaning themselves. But it only seems like that! That is a natural response to being touched. The activated nervous system sends a message that danger is near, so they behave in a way that will simply keep them alive.

What Foods Do Cockroaches Hate?

Citrus fruit and pepper are just some of the more common foods that cockroaches hate. There are not so many things cockroaches can’t or won’t digest when it comes to food, but citrus fruits and pepper won’t touch!

What Cockroaches Hate the Most?

A definite answer to this question is citrus fruits, garlic, pepper, and essential oils! The strong smell can confuse them, making their search for food impossible, and eventually, that is why roaches will decide to leave that area and search for food, shelter, and water somewhere else.

They also can’t stand extreme weather conditions. Extreme cold makes them very slow and slows down their breeding process and maturation of the eggs drastically! Extreme heat and cold can kill them as well.

Related: How to Get Rid of Cockroaches with Home Remedies

List of Sources

Cockroaches, University of Minnesota Extension

Pests and their management, University of Florida, IFAS Extention

Sharififard M., Safdari F., Siahpoush A., Kassiri, H. (2016). Evaluation of Some Plant Essential Oils against the Brown-Banded Cockroach, Supella longipalpa (Blattaria: Ectobiidae): A Mechanical Vector of Human Pathogens. Journal of arthropod-borne diseases10(4), 528–537.

Impact of fires on cockroaches, La Trobe University