Roaches and Bay Leaves

Using Bay Leaves for Roach Control: A Natural, Eco-Friendly Approach

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Using bay leaves for roach control is a powerful tool to make sure your home doesn't get infested. While it's not a recommended solution when you have severe infestations, bay leaves can actually help deter cockroaches due to their aroma, which they find unappealing.

Read on to understand how you can use this common kitchen herb to keep cockroaches away. In this article, we'll cover:

✔️ The reasons bay leaves can repel cockroaches.

✔️ How to effectively use bay leaves to keep roaches at bay.

✔️ Comparison of bay leaves with other cockroach repellents.

✔️ Practical tips for enhancing the repellent effectiveness of bay leaves.

So, let's dive into how you can incorporate bay leaves into your pest control strategy and explore whether this method could be right for keeping your house roach-free.

What Are Bay Leaves?

image of bay leaves

Originating from the laurel tree, bay leaves are a commonplace addition in cooking, infusing dishes with their unique flavor. These leaves, often dried and kept in kitchen cabinets, possess a strong, overwhelming fragrance.

Why Bay Leaves Repel Cockroaches

The smell emitted by bay leaves sends mixed signals to cockroaches, causing confusion in their olfactory senses. Using bay leaves to deter cockroaches is a natural remedy that is safe to employ in your ongoing cockroach battles.

How to Use Bay Leaves as a Roach Deterrent?

The addition of bay leaves to your pest control arsenal will enhance your fight against cockroaches. Here's a simple way to use bay leaves to help keep these pests away:


  • Fresh or dried bay leaves


  1. Crush the leaves slightly to release their essential oils. Dried leaves can also be used but are generally less efficient.
  2. Place the crushed bay leaves in areas where cockroaches have been found or where you think they might enter your home. Common places include under sinks, in cupboards, near doorways, and around any cracks or openings in walls.
  3. Replace with fresh bay leaves regularly (every few weeks), as they lose their efficiency over time. If you’re using dried bay leaves, you may need to replace them more frequently as they lose their scent faster.

This natural method is an easy, gentle deterrent and may not completely eliminate a roach problem, but it can be a helpful part of an integrated pest management approach.

💡 Pro tip: insist on using a combination of bay leaves and other cleanliness initiatives. A good cleaning routine, such as washing dishes straight after meal prep and storing food in airtight containers, garner brilliant results when combined with the bay leaves strategy.

Remember, bay leaves are an effective natural repellent against roaches; but, they cannot substitute a comprehensive pest control service, especially in severe infestations.

Bay Leaves vs. Other Cockroach Repellents

Compared to commercial products available, bay leaves stand as a good natural choice for repelling roaches. But bear in mind that while sprays, baits, and traps contain chemicals that might pose health risks, these products are still tailored to exterminate cockroaches.

But if you're looking for the best natural cockroach deterrent, a great alternative is a peppermint oil roach spray, known for its strong, aversive scent to insects. Then, you also have diatomaceous earth, a type of powder useful for getting rid of cockroaches that you can sprinkle around areas of high roach activity. The sharp particles in the powder puncture the roach's exoskeleton, leading to dehydration and death.

But again, for these natural alternatives to work, a clean environment is key. Frequented roach hotspots, like dry food containers, kitchen cabinets, pantry areas, and behind appliances, must remain spotless.

Verdict: Should You Use Bay Leaves to Deter Roaches?

The answer is yes, but you should combine it with other cockroach repellents. Bay leaves could particularly be useful for managing minor roach trouble or as a measure to prevent the onset of cockroach activity in the first place before it escalates.

But, for ongoing cockroach issues or in cases of severe infestation, solely using bay leaves might be a questionable approach. We see this remedy as a supplement rather than a complete solution, that's why you should combine your bay leaves solution with either commercial products or straight up contact pest control services.

Table of contents
Heading 2

Frequently asked questions

Are Bay Leaves Effective in Controlling Roach Infestations?

While bay leaves can deter roaches due to their strong scent, they are not effective in controlling large or established roach infestations. Bay leaves act more as a preventive measure rather than a solution to eliminate cockroaches, bed bugs or ants.

How do Bay Leaves Compare to Commercial Roach Repellents?

Compared to commercial roach repellents, which often contain chemicals that kill cockroaches, bay leaves offer a non-toxic alternative that simply repels them. This makes bay leaves safer for use in homes, especially around food areas and pets, and humans, but less effective in exterminating roaches.

What Other Natural Alternatives Can Deter Roaches?

Other natural alternatives to deter roaches include using essential oils like peppermint and tea tree oil, diatomaceous earth for its abrasive properties against roaches' exoskeletons, and boric acid, which has the potential to act as a stomach poison for cockroaches.