Keep Cockroaches Away With Peppermint Oil


There are all kinds of home remedies for keeping your house pest-free, and essential oils are a big player. If you want to repel some roaches, a little peppermint oil is surprisingly effective.

Photo by Ted and Dani Percival.

A mix of peppermint oil and white vinegar is a solid go-to for repelling several pests, especially spiders. But research from Auburn University suggests the mix is good for the peskiest of pests too. To make your own cockroach deterrent spray, Brittney Morgan at Apartment Therapy recommends dropping 10 drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle filled with two parts water, one part white vinegar. Spritz it around cupboards, under the sink, in the bathroom and anywhere else that roaches might want to hang out. You can also use straight peppermint oil to wipe down countertops. Not only will it keep pests away, it will smell nice too. Keep in mind, however, that this won’t kill roaches. If you have a serious infestation, get an exterminator to take care of them first, then use this spray to keep them from coming back.

3 Non-Toxic Tips for Ridding Your Home of Roaches [Apartment Therapy]


  • At the risk of sounding biased, I own and run a Pest management business. Most of the products used to control cockroaches in the home are synthetic pyrethroids and are used at a rate so low it is very unlikely you will have any issues unless you are hyper-sensitive. The other products used in severe infestations are insect growth regulators that affect things that we as humans don’t even possess. I’m never going to tell a client not to use a home remedy, because if they think it works, they will be happy. Just remember that there are more effective things you can do for cockroach prevention using integrated pest management than spraying around essential oils.
    Mint oil will work most effectively if applied directly to cockroaches at a concentration greater than 3%, and will have a kill time of about 2 minutes.

    • Real pest control is probably cheaper, 3% applied directly is a lot. Especially when you consider most essential oils you buy are already heavily diluted, they only need to smell a bit like it to pass.

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