10 Ways To Keep Cockroaches Out Of Your Home

The popular thought for years has been that the only things that would survive a nuclear war are Cher — given the number of hit singles she’s had throughout the decades — and cockroaches. If you’re not a Cher fan, you can just turn off your radio. But getting rid of cockroaches, Palmetto or water bugs (whatever you call ’em) can be a tad more difficult.

Here is a list of 10 ways to (naturally!) get rid of the unwanted bugs, without any expensive exterminators and their chemicals.

1. Peppermint And Cypress Oils

Peppermint oil is apparently a great bug repellant. A 2011 study found that putting peppermint oil on your skin is a natural way to keep mosquitoes away. When it comes to killing cockroaches, a mixture of peppermint and cypress oils in a glass spray bottle works well, according to Nature Hacks and other websites.


2. Stale Beer And Vegetable Oil

The smell of stale beer is similar to a pheromone released by cockroaches, according to The Roach Killer Guide. The website says that you can trap the bugs by pouring some beer into a jar, mixing it with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and leaving it out with the lid off. Researchers at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension also say stale beer works as bait for cockroaches.


3. Tea Tree Oil

Who doesn’t love the smell of tea tree oil? This essential oil can apparently be used as cockroach repellant when mixed with water and vinegar and sprayed around the house. But if you’re trying to kill cockroaches, the experts at Green Home Guide say you’d likely have to hit the bug directly with a spray of tea tree oil.


4. Bay Leaves

Researchers at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extention say crushed bay leaves can be used to repel roaches. Some people say the scent of the leaves drives them bonkers.

Adobe | JoannaTkaczuk

5. Lemons

The smell of lemons is noxious to cockroaches, so India Today recommends mopping your floors with water that has some lemon juice in it. You can also leave lemon water out in places where roaches are a problem.


6. Onion, Garlic And Pepper

These common kitchen ingredients can mix together to form a smell that cockroaches hate, according to India Today. The news outlet suggests a watery mixture that you can use on your counters at night if roaches are invading your kitchen.

The Royal Horticultural Society's 2015 Harvest Festival Show
Getty Images | Ben Pruchnie

RELATED: 10 Things You Need To Know About Stink Bugs, Including How To Get Rid Of Them

7. Corn Starch And Plaster Of Paris

Mix this into a paste as a natural way to kill cockroaches. According to Vox Nature, you need to combine the two ingredients evenly and then place it where the bugs are traveling. You can use it to plug up any entry or exit holes too.


8. Water And Coffee Grounds

Another smell that roaches apparently hate is that of coffee grounds. Dr. Robert Stauffer of the University of Nevada recommends putting coffee grounds into a jar and adding about an inch of water. He says this aroma bomb can be used indoors or outdoors.


9. Combining Baking Soda And Powdered Sugar

Here’s another quick mix. Blend these two similar-looking ingredients in a bowl and leave it sitting out, according to CNN. The roaches will be attracted to the sugar but will inevitably eat some baking soda, which will kill them. It’s brutal, but it works.

arm hammer soda photo
Getty Images | Stephen Lovekin

10. Petroleum Jelly And Apple Peels

Fill up a jar with apple peels (or banana peel or potato slices), and put petroleum jelly around the rim. Once the roaches climb in, they won’t climb out.


RELATED: 7 All-Natural Ways To Keep Mice From Getting Inside Your Home

Home, Tips & Advice

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About the Author
Brinke Guthrie
Brinke has worked in Cincinnati and San Francisco radio. He also writes for TennisIdentity.com and Uni Watch.com. He was editor/writer for CuteOverload.com. He and his wife live in the SF Bay Area.

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