Do Bay Leaves Repel Roaches?

We have good news for you if you’ve spotted a roach or two in your home and are looking for a natural remedy to repel these roaches from invading your space. 

Bay leaves are a cooking essential and may be used as a natural solution to repelling roaches

This article will look into how you can use bay leaves to deter roaches and a few alternatives you can use if bay leaves don’t interest you. 

How to Use Bay Leaves to Repel Roaches 

The reason why Bay leaves repel roaches is a simple one; they can’t stand the smell. Bay leaves are an effective roach repellent that you can use to drive the cockroaches out of your home. 

In addition, this method is safe to use compared to using chemical insecticides. Bay leaves are not harmful to humans, so you can use them however you want without worrying about any side effects. 

Plus, bay leaves have a herbal and slightly floral fragrance, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with the unpleasant pungent smells most chemical insecticides leave behind. 

If you’re interested in using bay leaves to repel cockroaches, here are a few ways you can use them. 

Use Them Fresh 

Fresh leaves will do a better job at repelling roaches than dry ones because of a more powerful and intoxicating aroma to deter the insects. 

However, that doesn’t mean the dry ones don’t work. They will do the job just fine as long as they’re aromatic. 

Ensure to pluck fresh bay leaves (and not the withered ones) off your plant and place them in areas where you usually see roaches

Place some leaves around your home where roach activity is the highest, particularly in areas where there’s food. However, if you’re placing them in areas where your pets can get to them, chop the leaves before doing so. Your pets can swallow one of the leaves, which may cause them to choke. 

Furthermore, bay leaves may be harmful to your dog and cat so use them with caution if you’ve got a fur baby. 

You can also fill bowls and other open containers with bay leaves and place them in different parts of your home. 

You should also put some bay leaves under the garbage can, the stove, inside cupboards, and behind the fridge where roaches are most likely to hide. 

Powdered Form 

You can use the powdered form of bay leaves to deter roaches too. Remember, as long as the aroma is there, the powder will do the job. 

Sprinkle the powder in areas where roaches are common and wait to see the results. 

Freeze the Leaves 

Another way you can make use of bay leaves is by freezing them. If you leave bay leaves out in the open for too long, they’ll dry out and become less effective. Placing them in the freezer preserves them, which means you can use these leaves to deter roaches whenever necessary.  

Take your fresh bay leaves and put them in a zip lock bag. Make sure they are perfectly dry before doing so. Then, place these in the freezer to use them for up to four months. 

When you need to use the leaves, take them out of the freezer and place them in the fridge for a bit. This will help them come down to a more normal temperature. Alternatively, you can set the leaves in the sun or microwave them for a minute or two, depending on how frozen they are. 

Microwaving may be a faster method, but it is tricky too. Overheating the leaves may dry them out and affect their aroma making it less potent. This means the leaves won’t be as effective anymore. 

Bay Leaf Alternatives

If bay leaves don’t interest you, but you are looking for similar methods, we can suggest a couple you can try. 


Who doesn’t love the fresh aroma of mint leaves? You guessed it! Cockroaches. Works for us since the fragrance of mint leaves our house smelling nice and fresh. 

You can use mint leaves in several ways to repel roaches. One way is to scatter the leaves in areas where you suspect high roach activity. 

You can also create a mint spray and use this in the suspected areas. 

  • Take a bunch of fresh mint leaves. You can collect these from your garden or buy them from the shop. 
  • Boil these leaves in water until they change color.
  • Let the water cool to room temperature and transfer to a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution all over your home. Under the sink, near the garbage can and fridge, in cupboards, and behind the stove. 

Essential Oils 

Some essential oils deter roaches, while others may even be used to kill them. Examples include Eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, cypress mulch, cedar oil, lavender oil, and catnip oil. 

To use against roaches, dilute your essential oil with water or vinegar. Then, use the solution as a spray or soak it in cotton balls in areas where you’ve spotted cockroaches. 

However, essential oils cannot be considered as safe as bay leaves since some may be harmful to cats and dogs; therefore, use with caution if you have pets. 


Vampires aren’t the only creatures repelled by the smell of garlic; roaches hate it too. Peel a few cloves and place them where you normally would find roaches. 

You can also grind these cloves and use the garlic in powder form. Sprinkle the powder in the infested areas and wait for the roaches to disappear. 


Want to brighten up your and home remove roaches? Why not use plants? 

Several plants give off an aroma hated by roaches. Examples include rosemary, catnip, chrysanthemums, lemongrass, lavender, and cucumber. 

You can keep pots of these plants outdoors and indoors, keeping your home roach-free. 

Final Words 

You must know bay leaves will only keep them away and not kill them. 

In addition, bay leaves can only keep a few roaches away and won’t do anything to improve a severe infestation. Therefore, you may have to try hardcore elimination methods if you want to remove a roach invasion. 

We recommend seeking professional help if you’re dealing with more than just a few roaches. Don’t wait around to see if a few imperfect DIYs will work, as this will only increase the number of roaches in your home. 

Professionals can provide you with the right treatments and make your home roach-free

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