Bay Leaves For Roaches: Will This Help Repel Cockroaches? – (Tested)

Despite being efficient at recycling, cockroaches are mostly known for being disgusting creatures. It is a common human reaction to try and kill them immediately when they are spotted, often without success. However, there is a simpler method to repel them – using bay leaves. But do bay leaves really work in keeping cockroaches away?

So, if you are interested in the possible ways to repel roaches using bay leaves, this article is for you.

Using Bay Leaves For Roaches

If you’re anything like myself, your grandmother might have told you about the benefits of using bay leaves to repel cockroaches. I was told this my entire life, but I never tested it or even had any sort of verifiable proof to these claims. So, I decided it’s time to put my grandma to the test, and see how effective bay leaves are for cockroaches!

bay leaves for roaches

What Are Bay Leaves?

Bay leaves are herbs that come from the laurel tree. This fragrant leaf, also known as laurel leaf, comes from a sweet bay tree that grows most often in the Mediterranean areas.

The famous aromatic leaf most often finds its place in cooking recipes. However, sometimes it can be part of medicine to treat diabetes, cancer, pain, or stomach issues.

Still, there is one unusual use that probably has not crossed your mind yet. It is a natural remedy for roaches.

Should You Use Bay Leaves To Deter Roaches?

Yes, you should. Whether you need to get rid of cockroaches or some other insects, bay leaves are the real deal. Although they might not kill roaches, they will serve as a natural repellent with their scent and aid in keeping bugs away.

Killing roaches is not that easy. Although using bay leaves might not kill bugs, their bitter aroma can make them leave your home. If you are dealing with a severe cockroach infestation you should take a look at our guide of other natural ways of getting rid of cockroaches!

Whether you use fresh bay leaves or choose dry ones, you will easily clean the floor afterward since the leaves are not crumbly.

Fresh bay leaves have a bitter scent, are more substantial, and are more efficient when repelling roaches. Dry bay leaves can retain the aroma for up to one year.

Of course, those who face repetitive cockroach problems should grow bay laurel trees and plant bay leaves.

Since roaches hate bay leaves, place the leaves everywhere you notice some of these disease-harboring insects—Focus especially on the food preparation areas and all the eating areas.

Do not forget to scatter the leaves in cupboards and closers, behind the fridge, and under the stove—cockroaches munch on any decaying matter.

Cockroaches Prevention

Yes, bay leaves repel roaches. But, of course, you must sprinkle bay leaves in all the right places for this experiment to work.

You can place a bay leaf near the nest or where you do not want them to visit. Try putting dried bay leaves on the counter. Then, place a few leaves in the drawers, cabinets, the fridge, under the stove, and the dishwasher. Since cockroaches are attracted to food particles, it makes sense to place a few bay leaves around your kitchen.

First, think about what causes the cockroach problem. What attracts the roaches? It is food particles and water. So, you must store the food carefully without leaving anything behind. Otherwise, they might see it as sending mixed signals.

Next, inspect the leaky pipes and mop the floor without leaving any particles behind.

Finally, contact the local pest control service to eliminate roaches if you have an ongoing cockroach problem.

Bay Leaf Usage To Deter Roaches

Using the bay leaf is a natural way to stop roaches from invading your household. However, they cannot do the job as well as the pest control will do it. Although you can use bay leaves for roaches, it will eliminate just a few of them. Therefore, it is not a permanent solution.

So, if the infestation level is low, bay leaves repel cockroaches, but only a few of them, after you had the local pest control come over.

The recommended method would be to take about 7-10 leaves and put them in the infested area. Then, keep the leaves in their place for one to two weeks.

The leaves should not be too wet or too dry. Over-dry leaves or, still, frozen ones will not do the trick.

Another option is to use a bay leaf in a powdered form. Just make sure you preserve the leaf’s scent. The bay leaf might lose its repelling characteristics if left open for a long time.

How Should You Stop Roaches From Invading Your House?

To repel cockroaches, you must have good sanitation habits and not leave your foot in their sight. When they notice food, they see it as a welcoming sign. So, to repel roaches, you must clean everything once you have finished eating.

Remember to wipe the kitchen counters you use. Do not leave dirty dishes, pots, glasses, and utensils. Wash them immediately and swipe the floors as well.

Also, put away all the meal prep foods.

To avoid attracting cockroaches:

  • Clean the pantry and cupboards regularly;
  • Store the packaged dry good in canisters;
  • Use jars with tight lids;
  • Eat only in the eating areas (the kitchen and the dining room);
  • Seasonally vacuuming is not enough; vacuum regularly.;
  • Crumb control is essential. Never leave crumbs around.

Can Bay Leaves Kill Roaches?

No, this is not the way if your goal is to use a humble bay leaf to kill roaches.

You can take bay leaves to repel roaches but not to kill them. There is nothing poisonous in leaves that will be fatal to cockroaches. So, even if a cockroach eats some bay leaves, it will stay alive since the leaves are not toxic.

What roaches can stand is the more bitter aroma of fresh leaves.

The only possibility when bay leaves can kill roaches will be if you place them in the same container covered with lead.

So, you can kill roaches if you suffocate them in an air-tight area.

Bay Leaves Alternatives

If you are not content with the results from bay leaves, you can turn to many other alluring scents and essential oils to slow down the cockroach activity.

  • Catnip Oil

Catnip is a herb that roaches also find repelling. They hate the scent produced. Not only that but also catnip oil can serve as an effective mosquito repellent oil.

  • Garlic

Garlic is a natural repellent that bugs hate. The smell is very aggressive and unpleasant to roaches.

  • Mint Leaves

The scent of mint leaves repels roaches. Just use a spray bottle after you boil them with water in any infested area.

  • Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a white powder from the diatoms’ fossilized remains. It is one of the most effective bug repellents.

Other Natural Repellents Include:


Why Do Roaches Hate Bay Leaves?

Roaches hate bay leaves because of their smell which they find repelling. Roaches are very smell sensitive since their eyesight is so poor, so they will actively avoid areas with odors they find displeasing.

Is It Safe To Use Bay Leaves To Repel Roaches?

You can safely use bay leaves to make roaches seek residence somewhere else. They are not poisonous, neither to pets nor to animals. However, if you leave whole leaves in the house, pets might accidentally eat them and choke.

Are Fresh Bay Leaves Better Than Dry Leaves?

Dry bay leaves can only retain their scent for a year. As opposed to dry leaves, fresh ones can more potentially keep their pungent aroma and keep most roaches away. So it is better to use fresh leaves.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on using bay leaves for roaches. It’s an all natural way to deter roaches, and can be pretty effective depending on the size of your infestation!


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