Cockroach infestations are considered to be a major pest control problem. Roaches eat anything from feces and dead animals to leftover food and even members of their own species. They contaminate food, damage wallpaper, trigger allergies and asthma, and spread a number of diseases. Cockroaches have been proven to predate dinosaurs by 150 million years. They managed to survive this long by being highly adaptable to their environments. This also makes them quite difficult to get rid of. Many cockroach repellents contain harsh chemicals. While these insecticides are quite effective, there are some natural alternative you can try. Here are 14 of our favorite DIY remedies to repel cockroaches.

1. Boric Acid

Boric acid dehydrates roaches by damaging their digestive system and outer exoskeleton, ultimately killing them. Boric acid can be placed on the lid of a jar and placed around your home or sprinkled directly under and in the back of cabinets. You can also mix equal parts boric acid, flour, and sugar and make a dough that can be set around your home for roaches to feed on. The flour and sugar attracts the roaches and once they eat it, the boric acid kills them. Boric acid can be dangerous for pets and children so don’t use if you have either of them in your home.

2. Fabric Softener

Roaches can’t tolerate the strong smell of fabric softener. Mix fabric softener with water in a spray bottle and spray it anywhere you see roach activity. This can be used daily.

3. Fresh Coffee Grounds

Roaches are attracted to fresh coffee grounds but the caffeine in them is toxic and will kill them. Place coffee grounds anywhere around your home where roach activity occurs. Replace them every few days.

4. Baking Soda and Sugar

Baking soda is similar to boric acid and acts in much the same way on roaches. It is less toxic than boric acid and can be used in homes with small children and pets.

5. Cayenne, Garlic, and Onion Powder

Roaches hate the smell of each of these spices and will avoid any areas with this mixture. Sprinkle any or all of these powders around your home and replace them each month.

6. Bay Leaves

Roaches hate the smell of bay leaves and won’t go near them. Place dried bay leaves or crushed bay leaves around your home. This is also a great deterrent for ants, as well.

7. Catnip

Researchers at Iowa State University have confirmed that catnip is an effective natural roach repellent. Place catnip around your home, especially in areas where you have seen roach activity.

8. Clovite

Clovite is a vitamin supplement that is used for horses that is known to kill cockroaches. Place clovite in a jar lid and put it where roaches have been seen overnight. Clovite should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.

9. Neem

Neem is a natural herb that comes from the neem tree. It interferes with the hormones of roaches and prevents them from breeding. Neem bait that is made from need seed extract has been proven to both kill young roaches and also inhibit egg laying in adult roaches.

10. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous Earth is a powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms (tiny aquatic organisms). DE causes roaches to dry out and die by absorbing fats and oils from their exoskeletons. DE can be directly sprinkled around your home or can be mixed with cocoa powder and flour and used as a bait to attract roaches.

11. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is another natural roach repellent you can make at home. Mix 1/4 cup of tea tree oil and 1/4 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture in and around infested locations in your home.

12. Lemon

Roaches are repelled by the aroma of lemons. Cut a lemon into wedges and place them in a small container. Place the container in infested locations around your home.

13. Mint

Mint is another natural product that deters roaches. Mix 8 drops of cypress essential oil with 10 drops of peppermint essential oil in 1/2 cup of salt water. Spray the mixture in and around infested areas of your home.

14. Clove Oil

Clove oil is a natural repellent that works best when mixed with other essential oils such as citrus oil or peppermint extract. Mix a few drops of each of these oils with 1 liter of water in a spray bottle. Spray in and around any infested areas in your home.

Because of their versatility, roaches are extremely difficult to eliminate once they infest your home. The best method to get rid of roaches is a solid combination of thorough and consistent cleaning, natural insecticides, and the assistance of a professional pest control company.