Repelling cockroaches is one portion of an integrated pest management solution for ridding your home of cockroach infestations. If the roaches do not like the environment of your home, they are less likely to enter and nest in the first place. If you can find roach repellents that do not also repel all the humans you know – even better.
The following 5 roach repellents might just do the trick to make your home the last place a roach wants to live:
Pepper Spray – Roaches do not like red pepper. So, if you spray surfaces in your kitchen and bath with a solution containing red pepper, the will avoid those surfaces. An easy recipe to whip up a batch of spray is to mix 2 tablespoons of Tobasco Sauce (the primary ingredients are red pepper and vinegar) with 1 quart of water. Pour it into a pump spray bottle and mist it onto surfaces. A word of caution, you will be misting pepper spray into the air. Until the mist settles, you are likely to sneeze more than a few times. Consider wearing a mask when you apply the spray.
Moth Balls – Roaches, like moths, do not like the smell of moth balls. One common remedy is to drop a couple moth balls behind the stove to keep the bugs from hanging out back there. One or two in the cabinet under the sink can be helpful as well. Moth balls are not good for humans, so do not place them near food or food prep areas.
Cedar Products – The oils in cedar wood are an effective natural deterrent for a host of bugs. There are many products available to take advantage of this fact. Look for thin cedar veneers that can be used to line drawers and cabinets, cedar balls, blocks, chips, etc to place in drawers and closets, and (of course) cedar boards and paneling to line closet walls for the ultimate protection.
Mint Oil – Mint oil is a primary ingredient in several non-toxic roach sprays. The roaches avoid it, and when coated with it, they suffocate. The sprays do not kill as fast as typical poisons, but they are safe to use in the kitchen and around pets and children. It is possible to create a spray, like the pepper spray, by diluting some Dr. Brauner's Peppermint Castile Soap in water and then applying with a spray bottle. I have not tried it, but you might be able to create your own roach spray this way if the soap concentration is high enough.
Bay Leaves – Bay leaves are another sent that roaches avoid. You can pick up a bunch of dry bay leaves in the spice section of any grocery. Place whole leaves or small sachets of crushed leaves in closets and cabinets. This is a good option for kitchen cupboards.
With the exception of moth balls, there are no hazardous chemicals in any of these roach repellents. Give them a try, in combination with baiting, sealing, and applications of diatomaceous earth and boric acid to eliminate roaches from your home.