Sometimes, even the cleanest home can face an occasional roach problem. Roaches are a common parasite that feeds and thrives in our homes. Chemical repellents are usually toxic to human and animal health. But Aromatherapy and especially Peppermint oil for roaches are a great natural alternative.
In this article, you’ll find out about:
- Roaches and the most common types that usually infest our homes.
- The way Peppermint oil can get rid of roaches, with proven effects.
- Other essential oils you could use to get rid of cockroaches permanently.
- Recipes and home remedies to keep cockroaches away from your house.
- Preventive measures and tips that’ll help you repel roaches. Especially if they’re paired with the use of essential oils for cockroaches.
Peppermint Oil for Roaches, Why It Works and How?
The mere sight of a cockroach can be enough to induce panic in any homeowner. There are a few things that usually come to mind when seeing them. You think about how fast they can reproduce, how hard they are to get rid of, and how they can infest food and clothing.
Roaches are harmful to our health. They can carry diseases or make us sick with the fluid they secrete.
- Are night critters.
- Live in colonies.
- Live for about 6 months.
- Eat almost anything.
- Can die without water.
- Are drawn to humid and warm places.
- Can’t stand temperatures lower than 24.8 F (-4 C).
- Are fond of onions and pet food!
There are 3 common types of home-invading insects: 1) The American, 2) the German and 3) the Harlequin roach.
However, the two most important ones are the American and the German cockroaches. They are known as Periplaneta americana and Blattella germanica.
They are drawn to humid and warm places, which means they can be anywhere in a home. Still, they also need to eat, which makes them concentrate mostly on kitchens. Kitchens and bathrooms are their most common hiding places.
It’s a good thing they concentrate in certain places because that gives you control.
You can focus on using natural repellent remedies without worrying about the others. It’s easier to keep them away from the infested room until it’s all solved.
Chemical insecticides are very toxic not only for the insects but for us too. Luckily, we have a few natural insecticides we can use to keep roaches away. One of them is Peppermint essential oil.
What makes Peppermint essential oil a good roach repellant?
The oil of Peppermint contains about 30 – 55% menthol, 12 – 32% menthone and 3 – 14% eucalyptol (1,8 cineole).
Monoterpenoids are a class of molecules that can induce different responses in insects. They’re usually very toxic and repellent.
A study on corn mint (Mentha arvensis) revealed impressive insecticide effects on both the German and American roaches. The Mint oil they used had a concentration of menthol of 24.79% and 24.83% menthone.
Researchers observed that:
- In the first 24 hours, a 1% concentration of Mint oil was not deadly to the roaches.
- It showed low toxicity at concentrations of up to 3%.
- At 10% however, the toxicity of the Mint variety increased significantly.
- Mint essential oil repelled 92.3 – 100% male German cockroaches.
- The oil showed 100% repellent effects on all male American roaches.
- About 2 ml of Mint oil per 0.49 sq. feet (0.0455 sq. meters) had the best repellent effect. This effect lasted for 2 weeks and worked against both insect types.
- Researchers did not determine whether the repellent effects were due to the oil vapors or direct contact. Direct contact refers to the deposited molecules.
You must keep in mind though that Peppermint oil is less likely to kill roaches in an open space. In their study, researchers kept the roaches in closed boxes. Thus, if you use Peppermint oil for roaches, you’ll manage to keep them away, not kill them.
Peppermint essential oil is a good alternative to conventional insecticides because:
- It is toxic and repellent to cockroaches.
- It also disperses fast into the open environment. Other synthetic insecticides don’t, thus they don’t cover the area as effectively as needed.
- Peppermint oil for roaches doesn’t leave a greasy residue on surfaces. It may still be possible though to find traces of it. But essential oils are not greasy because they evaporate and don’t contain fatty acids. In this case, it’s a good thing because you want the roaches to get in contact with the oil molecules.
- The oil of Peppermint has a low toxicity to human health. Still, those with asthma, epilepsy, diabetes or prone to seizures should seek medical advice first.
- The oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties too. This makes it useful in protecting against viral infections. It can also help with respiratory problems among others.
- To us, it smells very uplifting and fresh.
- To pets, however, Peppermint can be dangerous. You should keep your pet away from the cockroach infested room when using this oil.
That being said, we now know that Peppermint oil repels roaches (German and American). Peppermint oil can also repel pests like flies and ants.
It’s very easy to come across it and you can buy Peppermint oil online. This makes it very convenient and comfortable to have a bottle around.
Other Essential Oils to Get Rid of Roaches, Repellent Recipes, and Preventive Tips
Luckily, Aromatherapy has more than a hundred different oil types to offer us. Many of them are really effective at keeping cockroaches away for good.
More and more people are concerned about the use of commercial repellents. Because of that, Aromatherapy makes a great natural alternative.
Essential oils that repel roaches can also strengthen our health. They also have mood-boosting effects. And when things look so good, it would be a shame not to take advantage of these home remedies against roaches.
I was telling you about monoterpenoids, a class of molecules that affect roaches. They:
- Repel especially German cockroaches.
- Affect the growth and development rate of roaches.
- Can be acutely toxic to insects of all kinds.
- They act fast on the nervous system of the roaches. Because of that, oils like Cedar, Eucalyptus and Mint are considered neurotoxic.
Let’s see what other essential oils repel roaches and why. Read through the pros and cons of the following section. They’ll help you decide how to keep cockroaches away with home remedies.
1) Thyme Essential Oil (ct. thymol)
Botanical name: Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol.
- To repel cockroaches, you’ll need the thymol chemotype (version) of Thyme oil. Thymol makes 37 – 55% of the oil. This substance was found highly toxic to adult roach males. But it was as toxic for pregnant females and medium-sized young roaches (nymphs) too. You can use Thyme oil for roach control and prevent bacterial infections. The oil can stimulate the immune system and kill bacteria and fungi.
- Thyme can also enhance the mood and maintain a fresh air.
- For some, it may be too strong, but the smell of Thyme can repel cockroaches.
- It should not be used by people with asthma, epilepsy or seizures. Unless, you’ve talked to a doctor first, of course.
- Avoid the use of this oil if you have heart problems.
Why I like it:
Thyme is a good essential oil roach repellant, but it can also help with a slow digestion. It can also be used for bronchitis or skin infections like dermatitis.
2) Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Botanical name: Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata.
- Both chemotypes of Eucalyptus oil are high in 1, 8 cineole (eucalyptol). The oil is full of monoterpenoids, which makes it a good repellant. Thus, you can use Eucalyptus oil for German roaches, as well as for American ones.
- Both oils can help with the decongestion of the respiratory tract. They can do so because they have great antibacterial effects.
- They can also protect against parasites inside the body.
- Eucalyptus oil can strengthen the immune system and soothe inflammation.
- Eucalyptus oils should not be used by people with asthma or epilepsy. In a high enough dose, they can induce seizures.
- Do not inhale directly from the bottle as they may irritate your nose and eyes.
Why I like it:
Both types of Eucalyptus oil have great roach repellant effects. Luckily, they can also purify the air and prevent many viral infections. These oils also make good remedies for rheumatism and/or muscle pain.
3) Atlas Cedarwood Essential Oil
Botanical name: Cedrus atlantica.
- The same study on Mint oil tells us that Cedarwood oil can affect the growth and development of German cockroaches. Cedarwood can also affect the adult specimens and keep them at bay.
- The oil of Atlas Cedarwood is a great anti-inflammatory and antiviral substance.
- It can improve blood circulation and prevent parasite infection as well.
- Cedarwood is neurotoxic, so its use in large amounts is not recommended.
- If you suffer from asthma or epilepsy, be careful with it.
- Atlas Cedarwood oil can induce contractions and abortion.
Why I like it:
The oil of Cedarwood not only does it repel roaches, but it also kills bacteria. Thus, it purifies the air you breathe and the surfaces you touch. This is extremely helpful, especially when you try to get rid of cockroaches permanently.
4) Cypress Essential Oil
Botanical name: Cupressus sempervirens.
- Cypress essential oil was not very efficient against German roaches. But it can be used against American roaches and their nymphs (young).
- Cypress oil for roaches is also antiviral and antifungal.
- It can also soothe inflammation and promote coughing to relieve excess mucus.
- Don’t use other Cedar oil varieties because they can be toxic to your health.
- Atlas Cedarwood oil is not recommended to people with hormone-dependent fibroma or mastocytosis.
- In high dose, the oil can induce seizures.
Why I like it:
The smell of Cypress oil can repel cockroaches, but to us, it is very pleasant. Cypress oil is fresh and spicy, and a bit resinous too. What’s even better is that the oil can relax the body and mind, and fight cellulite. Cypress makes a good combination with Peppermint oil for roaches. Both Peppermint and Cypress oils can be bought online, at your own convenience.
You’ve seen why Peppermint oil for roaches works, and now you know about other essences as well. Studies have shown that other essential oils could get you rid of roaches too. Here is a list with other essential oils to use to get rid of roaches:
- Cinnamon – was found to be very toxic to adult roach females and small and large nymphs.
- Kaffir Lime Leaf/Petitgrain essential oil (Citrus hystrix) – This oil is not commonly used in Aromatherapy. Nonetheless, a study showed that Kaffir Lime oil repelled up to 86% American and Harlequin cockroaches. The effect of the oil lasted for a week after the treatment. This is the only study I found to test roach repellency in a lab and in the field. The results I gave you were obtained in a field experiment.
- Tea Tree – has been found an effective repellent against flies and cattle tick larvae. Although the effect of Tea Tree oil on roaches has not been tested yet, I would assume it can still keep them away.
- Clove bud.
You should always test your oils for allergic reactions first! Try mixing them with some carrier oil and applying the mixture on a small skin patch.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should always consult your doctor first! Children and the elderly should not use them without medical advice either.
Try to always take into account these things before using an essential oil for roach control.
Natural Roach Repellent Recipes
After details and explanations, it’s time to get practical. Choose any of the following Aromatherapy home remedies for cockroaches to keep them away.
Natural Roach Repellent Spray Recipe
- Peppermint hydrosol: 3.38 fl. Oz (100 ml)
- Peppermint essential oil: 20 drops
- Cinnamon essential oil: 20 drops
Shake the blend really well before each use. You can spray the floor and other surfaces after you’ve made sure there are no leftovers or crumbles on them.
If you can spray it directly on the roaches, it will be even more effective. This simple blend could become one of your best cockroach repellant solutions.
Natural Roach Repellent with Baking Soda
- Baking soda: a jar
- Thyme essential oil: 25 drops
Mix these ingredients well inside the jar. Let it dry and then put it inside each crack or any other warm, humid place they might live in.
The essential oil should keep them away. The baking soda, if ingested, will cause their death by dehydration. Baking soda is a salt that absorbs moisture.
If the baking soda can do that, can vinegar kill cockroaches too? Vinegar is a highly acidic substance that would kill roaches only if they’d be thrown into it.
Otherwise, you can wipe out counters, cupboards, the floor, etc. with vinegar to disinfect them. The smell of vinegar could also help keep cockroaches away.
Salted Essential Oil Home Remedy for Cockroaches
- Peppermint hydrosol: 3 Oz (90ml)
- Salt: 3 tablespoons
- Cypress essential oil: 20 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 20 drops
- Thyme essential oil: 20 drops
This is a very strong and concentrated roach repellent solution. Spray on them or on the surfaces they walk on. Also, spray the cracks they might come out from and when all it’s done, seal them up well.
Roach Control Preventive Tips
Once you’ve managed to keep all cockroaches away from your home, you’ll need to make sure they never come back. Here are a few tips to make it easier to prevent another comeback:
- Place cotton balls soaked in essential oils for roaches in all their favorite places. Under the sink and fridge, inside cupboards, in cracked corners, etc.
- Instead of cotton balls, you can use a regular newspaper sheet. Pour a few drops of essential oils for cockroaches on it. Place the paper under the furniture they visit most often. This method is useful only at the beginning when their number is low.
- Keep all pets away from the infested room for up to 2 weeks after using essential oils.
- You could also mix plaster with sugar and flour to seal gaps and holes. This is best done before you leave the room, at nightfall. The roaches eat the plaster and die of bowel obstruction.
- Keep pet food well sealed in plastic boxes or jars and always wipe away any crumbs or leftovers. Roaches are drawn to any type of food, but they prefer pet food and onions.
- Maintain your home as dry as possible, because the cockroaches like humid places.
- Let the fresh, cold winter air circulate inside your house daily. Roaches hate cold temperatures.
- Keep all surfaces clean and well vacuumed.
- You can also diffuse Aromatherapy oils for cockroaches.
- Throw away the garbage periodically. Also, place essential oil cotton pads inside them to repel roaches.
- Cats have been noticed to chase away cockroaches. If you have one, it’ll probably be easier to get rid of roaches permanently. Avoid using essential oils, especially Peppermint for roaches around cats though.
Roaches are nasty and it may be very hard to get rid of them permanently. But, Aromatherapy provides the best alternative to all commercial insecticides.
You can use Peppermint oil for roaches for that purpose. Or you can use any of the other proven essential oils for cockroaches in this article. Just make sure you take all safety precautions around children and pets.
If this doesn’t work, then you must call a professional roach exterminator. Luckily, you still have the option of trying things your way until extreme measures may be necessary. Have you ever tried getting rid of roaches with Aromatherapy oils?