Does Lemon Repel Cockroaches: Fact or Fiction

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Eliminating cockroaches from home or business is a tiresome process. There are more than four thousand species of cockroaches. So, there is no perfect formula that works against all of them. But some DIY projects do work against almost all of them. So, does lemon repel cockroaches?

Yes. Lemon can repel cockroaches. Just like many other insects, cockroaches also hate the smell of lemon. You can use lemon juice around the house to prevent them from entering. Another effective way is simply placing lemon peels in their hiding places.

Lemon is a cheap cockroach repellent. So, you can use it in many ways. The article explains more about it.

Do Roaches Hate The Smell Of Citrus?

Yes, cockroaches hate the smell of citrus. They hate all the sharp-smelling compounds. Their body produces an oily liquid with a stingy odor. It is their way of communicating with the other cockroaches. So, the sharp smell of citrus disrupts their food search and nesting. 

You can use citrus-based cleaners around the house. Placing lemon peels in the kitchen gives effective results. It is better to keep the peels at night and behind the appliances. Corner dark places are the favorite of roaches. 

You can use citrus or lemon-based essential oil. To get rid of cockroaches from your room. So, pour a few drops into the diffuser at night. It will show results within a few days of use. Cockroaches will run away as soon as they smell citrus. 

How To Use Lemons to Repel Cockroaches?

Cockroaches hate the smell of citrus. So, using it will keep them far from your home. There are multiple ways in which you can use lemon around your house. It is the cheapest and the most easily accessible repellent. The citrus smell is potent and overwhelming for cockroaches. So, they avoid going near it and will run away. Below are the four methods to guide you all about it.

Lemon Juice 

Pure lemon juice is the easiest way to deter cockroaches. You will need a spray bottle with 150ml water and a large lemon. You can also use store-bought lemon juice. But it is better to use pure lemon juice. Squeeze one or two large or medium lemons in the water. Spray this in the bathroom, kitchen, and near drains. It will take approximately a month or two to give the result. 

Lemon Oil 

Essential oils are safer than pesticides. Plus, they smell good, at least better than the pesticide. Lemon oil is natural and convenient. You can make a spray or use it directly. The results will be the same. Either use a diffuser and pour a few drops of lemon oil. You can use it anywhere around your house.

The diffuser is a beneficial option to eliminate roaches from the bedroom. Another way is to take a spray bottle with 150ml water in it. Pour 3 to 4 drops of lemon oil into it. Spray this solution anywhere you want. You can also place a rag soaked with lemon oil to eliminate roaches from the wardrobe. 

Lemon Peel 

Using a pure lemon to deter cockroaches is always a good choice. So, take a lemon and cut it in half. You can place it in your kitchen, near the window and doors. Avoid keeping the lemon peel in the bedroom or bathroom, as it can attract ants. Lemon peels are a good option to be used in outdoor spaces. You can also place the peel behind appliances or in their hiding spaces. Repeat it every night, and you will get results within a month.

Lemon And Borax Powder

Cockroaches hate borax powder as much as they hate lemons. So, a mixture of lemon and borax powder will give you results. All you need is a few dried lemon peels and Borax powder.

Lemon And Borax Powder

  • Take three lemons and squeeze out all the juice.
  • Let them dry for a day or two.
  • Grind these peels in a food processor.
  • So, take a large bowl and mix lemon powder, half a cup of borax powder, and half a cup of milk.
  • Knead these ingredients into a dough.
  • Make small balls. Place these near drains, windows, doors, and appliances.

Lemon and boric smell combined will keep roaches out of your home.

How Do You Make Lemon Spray For Roaches?

Cockroaches are sneaky. So, you will find them roaming around your house in the wee hours of the night. So, you need to find one effective solution to eliminate them. The lemon spray is the easiest solution. All the ingredients in it are immediately effective against roaches. You just need to follow the steps below. 

  • You will need Borax powder, Lemons, Baking soda, and sugar.
  • Add 64 grams of Borax powder to a cup of water.
  • Mix it well, then add a tablespoon of sugar to it.
  • Take a large lemon and cut it in half. 
  • Squeeze the lemon juice in the solution. 
  • Add a tablespoon of baking powder and mix it well.
  • Let it sit for about two minutes. 
  • Put the lemon peels in the mixture.
  • Wait for ten minutes. Then strain the solution and pour it into a large spray bottle. 
  • Lemon water to kill roaches is ready. Spray it anywhere you want. 

Can Lemon Kill Cockroaches?

Lemon itself cannot kill cockroaches. Citrus in it will repel the cockroaches but doesn’t have enough strength to kill them. So, you can combine lemon with other potent and acidic compounds to kill cockroaches. Lemon juice and oil produce a strong smell. It disrupts their sensitive olfactory receptors. So indirectly affecting cockroaches’ communication. 

Cockroaches love food, and they live in the community. Using lemon around your home will disrupt their routine. It also decreases their food searches. So, after a few days, they will leave. To kill them, combine lemon with Borax or Baking powder. Borax has sodium which penetrates its exoskeleton. But Baking powder causes acidity causing their stomach to burst. 

What Other Smell Do Roaches Hate The Most?

Cockroaches have an excellent sense of smell. They use it to find food and communicate. So, taking advantage of this, you can get rid of them from your house. Commercially available cockroach repellents are toxic for humans and pets as well.

So, natural repellents are the best option. They do the job without releasing harmful substances. Below is a list of the natural repellents you can use to deter cockroaches from your home. These are safe to use in the house around pets and children.


You might love mints in your chocolate or ice cream, but cockroaches hate it. You can use mint in different ways around your house to deter roaches. The organic and natural way is growing some mint or peppermint plants in your home. You can place the potted plant near windows and doors.

Another way is to take some mint plant leaves and keep them in your bathroom or kitchen. Lastly, you can use mint oil around your house in a diffuser. You can also make a mint and water solution. Spray this in all their hiding places. 


Cockroaches hate thyme. It consists of a chemical known as carvacrol. Cockroaches despise the scent of carvacrol. So, it will never enter the place consisting of thyme. You can use it in a number of ways.

Crush some thyme leaves and sprinkle them in the kitchen, especially near the drain and behind appliances. You can also grow some fresh thyme in your kitchen garden. The scent coming from the thyme will make them run away immediately. 


As much as you love coffee and cannot survive a day without it, roaches hate its scent. So, the coffee ground is the cheapest solution to eliminate cockroaches from your house. Place some coffee beans around your home.

You can also use a coffee-scented candle around the house. But to deter several cockroaches, make a bait by mixing coffee grounds, sugar, and water. Place this near their nesting place. You will see results within a few weeks. 


The pungent smell of garlic deters away many pests, including cockroaches. The garlic smell strongly impacts their sensitive olfactory receptors. So, they will avoid going near places with garlic.

To use garlic against cockroaches, place garlic cloves around your house or near their hiding places and drains. Moreover, you can also sprinkle garlic powder instead of placing entire cloves. Growing a garlic plant in the kitchen garden is also an effective option.


Eucalyptus produces a scent that can confuse cockroaches. The sharp odor is similar to an alarm for roaches. You can either grow a eucalyptus plant in the house or use its leaves.

Take a few eucalyptus leaves and place them in the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. You can also take dry leaves and crush them in a powder. Then sprinkle it around the house. The scent will cause them to run away.


Cockroaches hate all the sharp-smelling scents. Their body produces a stingy acid which is their way of communicating. So, the sharp smells disrupt their food search and nesting. Repellents are best to deter them. Organic repellents like lemons are safe to use in places with children and pets. 

Cockroaches hate the smell of citrus. You can use lemon in several ways to eliminate them from your home. Plus, lemon is the safest and cheapest option. You can utilize lemon juice, peel, and oil in many different ways. It can be used in combination or separately. Lemon water will give you amazing results within a few days or weeks, depending on the infestation.


Parhomenko, O. V., Kolomiichuk, S. V., Omelianov, D. D., & Brygadyrenko, V. V. (2022). Potential use of synthetic and natural aromatic mixtures in prevention from Shelfordella lateralis сockroaches . Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems13(2), 174-179.