Does Spice Leaf Repel Cockroaches? Spices Effect

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Making cockroaches leave your home is a tiring job. As you know, roaches hate the sharp smell. They run away as soon as there is a strong aroma. So, you must be wondering, does spice leaf repel cockroaches?

Yes, spice leaves repel cockroaches. They have a very powerful and overwhelming scent that cockroaches hate. They will run away and hide as soon as they smell it. You can use different spice leaves in multiple ways. The spice leaves, powder, and oil will give the same results. Cockroaches cannot die from spice leaves. But in the form of essential oil, it can kill many. 

Continue reading the article to learn more about the types and ways to use spice leaves.

Do Roaches Like Spices?

Cockroaches hate spices. You might enjoy all the flavors in your food. But cockroaches will run away and hide as soon as it hits their receptors. They invade your home for food crumbles, rotting vegetables, and fruit. But they will never go near your spice jars. So, raiding your spice cabinet can help you get rid of them. Cockroaches cannot stand the spice aroma. 

No fact or research shows that spicy food can deter roaches. Only spices in pure form, leaves, or essential oils will help you achieve results. In fact, the food crumbs, either sour, salty, spicy, or sweet will attract cockroaches. 

According to the 2022 research by Nour and colleagues, hundred percent pure basil leaf oil can deter hundred percent cockroaches. But diluting the essential oil with other constituents can decrease the potency of repelling. 

Does Chili Repel Roaches?

Chili can repel cockroaches. It can also act as an insecticide. The hot flavor and aroma of chili are unpleasant to roaches. Using chili powder around the house gives a good result in removing cockroaches. You will need a spray bottle and chili powder. You can use Red chili powder, Cayenne powder, Red chili flakes, or paprika powder. But the latter will give you a better result.

  • Add one and a half tablespoons of chili powder and mix it in 165 ml tap water.
  • Shake the mixture thoroughly.
  • Spray it on the doors, windows, behind appliances, inside the kitchen cabinets, and anywhere you want.

It will take almost one week with continuous use for the effective result. Adding onion and garlic powder to this solution can make it more effective. 

Can Spice Leaf Kill Cockroaches?

Spice leaves can and cannot kill cockroaches. There are many types of research showing different results. Some only state that spice leaves can only work as a repellent, while others state that they can also act as an insecticide. Cockroaches hate spicy aromas. It disrupts their food search and communication. 

The smell is very strong for their delicate receptors. So, they will run away as soon as the spice scent hits their nostrils. The spice leaves can work as insecticides only in the form of essential oil. To make spice leave repellent/insecticide, you will need 100 percent pure essential oil of any spice leaves. 

It can be bay, neem, curry, rosemary, thyme leaves, and many more. Take a cup of water and add 15 to 20 drops of spice leaves essential oil. Shake the solution thoroughly in a spray bottle. Then spray it anywhere needed. Spraying it directly on cockroaches will kill them within a few minutes.

How To Use Spice Leaf To Repel Cockroaches?

Spice leaves have a strong flavor and smell that deters roaches within a few hours. You can use it in many ways around the house for effective results. Below are a few ways in which you can use spice leaves. But remember, spice leaves can give 100% results in pure form. So, when you combine it with other ingredients and chemicals, the results can change. Plus, it is not an effective insecticide in many forms.

Spice Plant

Spice Plant

The easiest way to stop cockroach infestation is to grow many spice plants in your house or restaurant. You will save money and effort. Moreover, a kitchen garden is always beneficial. You can grow bay leaves, thyme, garlic, rosemary, and many others. The strong scent of all these plants will prevent the cockroaches from entering your home. You can place a rosemary plant in your bathroom to stop cockroach infestation.  

Spice Leaves

You can use spice leaves around the house if you don’t have a place to grow plants. Take some fresh leaves, about 15 to 20. The spice plant leaves tend to last almost a year. So you don’t have to change the leaves often. 

Spice Leaves

Put 2 to 3 leaves in each kitchen cabinet, and place them near the drains. You can also keep the leaves in your wardrobes, near the bed, and even in the bathroom. You can also take a bunch of leaves and hang them in the shower. It not only has health benefits, but it will also keep bugs and roaches out. 

Crushed Spice Leaves

The other way is crushing the spice plant leaves and sprinkling them around the house, especially on the kitchen counter. The kitchen is more common to cockroach infestation than any other place in the home.

After cleaning the kitchen, sprinkle some crushed leaves powder. You can let it sit for the whole night. The other way is to make a solution. Take four tablespoons of crushed spice leaves powder and mix it in a cup of water. Make this solution in a spray bottle so you can easily use it. 

Essential Oil

The spice leaves essential oil can work as a repellent and insecticide. Take any essential oil. It can be rosemary, thyme, basil, or any other. Ensure that the oil is hundred percent pure for better results. Take a cup of water and pour 2 ml of essential oil into it. Then shake the solution and use it in the house. You can also use the essential oils directly in a diffuser.

What Spices Do Roaches Hate?

Cockroaches hate all the sharp-smelling compounds, which include spices. There are many different spices and herbs that cockroaches don’t like including Garlic, Rosemary, Onion, Citronella, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Bay, Thyme, Chili, Basil, and many more. 

All of these spices have a strong odor, which humans enjoy. But cockroaches hate it. For example, Thyme contains a chemical known as carvacrol. Cockroaches hate the scent of this compound and will never enter the place with the thyme scent.

You can use these spices in powder form or in solution. Some of these like rosemary and Citronella are also available in the essential oil. You can make a solution with water and can add more than one spice to it. 

What Are The Alternate Natural Products To Repel Cockroaches?

No one wants cockroaches in their home. Once their infestation begins, it is hard to stop them from growing. So, in frustration to kill them, you use all types of toxic chemicals, which are also dangerous for pets and children. Instead of using chemical repellents, use natural products. They are safe and will give you better results. Below are a few natural products you can use as a repellent. 


Coffee has a strong aroma and flavor. All the active components in coffee might awaken you. But after smelling coffee, the cockroach has a hard time. So, it will run away as soon as the coffee scent hits its nostrils. Coffee causes acidity. So, it can also kill a cockroach within a few minutes.

You can place coffee grounds in kitchen cabinets and behind appliances to repel them. The other way is making bait. Take a deep container and mix coffee grounds and water. Place it near their hiding places. Leave it overnight for cockroaches to fall in it. It can take a few weeks for them to run away from your home. 

Peppermint Essential Oil

Research shows peppermint essential oil or extract contains menthone. The compound gives the peppermint a minty fragrance that cockroaches hate. It cannot kill cockroaches but can repel many. 

You will need 180 ml water, 200 ml vinegar, and 20 drops of peppermint oil. Add them to a spray bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously to combine all the ingredients. Then spray it on all the affected areas. 

Chrysanthemum Flower

Cockroaches hate the smell of Chrysanthemum flowers. The flower contains the chemical known as pyrethrins. It paralyzes the nervous system of cockroaches. Pyrethrins are used in many pesticides. For better results, you can grow the plant around your house.

Another way is making a DIY roach repellent spray by using flower heads. Pluck a few flowers and let them dry. Then turn them into a fine powder. Sprinkle it in your house and garden. You can also make a solution and spray it in cabinets, behind appliances and drain.


Cockroaches hate spice scents. The sensitive smell receptors of cockroaches cannot bear any powerful or strong aroma. So, if there is a cockroach infestation in your house, raid your spice cabinet. You are going to find many spices in there that cockroaches hate. 

Also, growing spice plants around your house will prevent infestation. You can repel roaches by either using spice plant leaves or essential oils. The use of 100 hundred percent pure essential oil will give you effective results within hours. There are also many other natural products that you can use to deter cockroaches in your home or restaurant. 


Nour A. H. , İdris A. A. , Ishag O. , Nour A. Chemical Composition and Repellent Activity of Methyl Cinnamate-Rich Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Essential Oil. Journal of the Turkish Chemical Society Section A: Chemistry. 2022; 9(4): 1277-1284.