What Smell Do Roaches Hate? [FAQs]

Have you ever been sitting in your house with the windows open, enjoying the fresh air, and then, what do you smell? Roaches!

Everyone knows these little critters can cause serious unpleasantness, but did you know that they have an even greater enemy? That’s right, there are certain smells that roaches hate, and that can help deter them from entering and infesting your home.

If you’d like to learn more about what smells roaches hate and other ways to keep them away from your house, keep reading!

Roaches and Their Sense of Smell

Before we get into what smells roaches hate, we must understand how roaches use their sense of smell. Roaches have an extremely keen sense of smell that helps them find food and identify potential threats.

They can detect even the slightest change in their environment using their antennae. This means that if there’s a scent that they don’t like, they’ll stay away from it.

The Smell of Citrus

The citrus scent is one of the most repulsive smells to roaches. Because lemons and oranges carry this potent smell, their juice can be used as an effective repellent against these critters.

Place small bowls of either lemon or orange juice around your home’s perimeter, and the roaches will steer clear.


Roaches strongly dislike the peppermint smell, so peppermint oil is an effective way to keep them at bay. However, it’s essential not to use too much as the scent can be overwhelming for roaches. A few drops of oil placed in areas around your home where roaches are typically seen will help deter them from entering.

Peppermint has a strong, refreshing aroma that is menthol-like and sweet. The scent of peppermint is often described as being crisp, calm, and invigorating, with hints of sweetness.

Vinegar and Soy Sauce

Roaches detest the smells of vinegar and soy sauce. White vinegar is a particularly effective repellent because its odor is so pungent to roaches. Mix one white vinegar with three parts water, then spray the mixture around your home’s perimeter.

You can use soy sauce in the same way; spray it where roaches often congregate, near garbage cans or under sinks.


Not only do cucumbers smell great, but they can also keep roaches away. The strong scent of cucumbers is enough to deter these critters from taking up residence in your home.

All you need to do is slice a few cucumbers and place them around your house – the smell will take care of the rest!

Cucumber has a fresh, mild, and sweet aroma characteristic of many fruits and vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family.

Some people find the scent of cucumbers pleasant and invigorating, while others may not enjoy it as much.


Garlic has a strong, pungent aroma characteristic of the Allium family of plants, including onions, chives, and leeks.

The pungent aroma of garlic is due to compounds such as allicin and diallyl disulfide, which are released when the garlic is crushed or cut. These compounds are responsible for garlic’s distinctive flavor and aroma and are also believed to have health benefits.

Some people find garlic scent unpleasant, while others enjoy its robust and bold flavor.

The firm, pungent smell is perfect for deterring these pests.

If you want to use garlic to keep roaches away, you can chop up a few cloves and put them around your house. Or, you can make a garlic spray by mixing water, chopped-up garlic, and a few drops of dish soap.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds may be your best bet if you’re looking for an all-natural way to keep roaches at bay.

Coffee grounds are the solid remains of brewed coffee. They are the tiny particles of coffee beans left over after the water has been extracted from the beans during the brewing process.

Coffee grounds can be used for various purposes, including as a plant fertilizer, an exfoliant for the skin, and a natural insect repellent.

Some people use coffee grounds in their compost piles to help break down organic matter.

Additionally, coffee grounds can be used to make various household items, such as candles, soaps, and beauty products.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are the aromatic leaves of the bay tree (Laurus nobilis), an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region. They are commonly used in cooking to flavor various dishes, such as soups, stews, and braises.

Bay leaves are typically added to dishes at the beginning of the cooking process and are removed before serving. They have a slightly bitter and pungent taste and are known for their intense aroma.

Bay leaves are often combined with other herbs and spices, such as thyme, oregano, and rosemary, to create a flavorful blend.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the tea tree leaves (Melaleuca alternifolia). It is a popular natural remedy for various skin conditions, including acne, dandruff, and athlete’s foot.

It is also known for its antifungal and antimicrobial properties, which makes it an effective disinfectant for cuts and scrapes. Some people also use tea tree oil as a natural insect repellent.

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