Does Peppermint Repel Roaches? The Answer May Surprise You!

Does Peppermint Repel Roaches? The Answer May Surprise You!

If you have ever dealt with a roach infestation, you know how difficult it can be to get rid of them. Not only are they disgusting, but they spread diseases and can even trigger allergies. There are many repellents available on the market, but one that has been gaining popularity lately is peppermint oil. But does peppermint really repel roaches? The answer may surprise you.

What is Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint oil is derived from the peppermint plant, a hybrid of watermint and spearmint. It is commonly used in aromatherapy, as a natural remedy for various ailments, and as a flavoring agent in food and drink. Peppermint oil has a strong, refreshing scent and a cooling sensation when applied to the skin. It also has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. But does it work as a roach repellent?

Peppermint and Roaches: The Science Behind It

Several studies have been conducted to determine the efficacy of peppermint oil as a roach repellent. One of the earliest studies was published in 1998 in the International Journal of Pest Management. The study found that peppermint oil was highly toxic to German cockroaches, one of the most common species of roaches. Another study published in 2001 in the Journal of Economic Entomology found that a number of plant essential oils, including peppermint, were effective in repelling German cockroaches. Peppermint oil, in particular, had a repellent effect that lasted up to 2 hours after application.

How Does Peppermint Oil Repel Roaches?

Peppermint oil contains compounds such as menthol and pulegone, which have a strong odor that repels roaches. Roaches rely on their sense of smell to find sources of food and water. When they detect the scent of peppermint oil, they perceive it as a threat and avoid the area. Additionally, the intense odor of peppermint oil can also mask the scent of food and water, making it more difficult for roaches to locate them.

How to Use Peppermint Oil to Repel Roaches

There are several ways to use peppermint oil to repel roaches. The most popular methods include:

  • DIY Roach Spray: Mix 10-12 drops of peppermint oil with a cup of water and a teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray around areas where roaches are likely to be hiding, such as under sinks and appliances, along baseboards, and in cabinets.
  • Peppermint Oil Cotton Balls: Soak several cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in small dishes around your home. Focus on areas where roaches are known to frequent, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and closets.
  • Peppermint Oil Diffuser: Add a few drops of peppermint oil to a diffuser and turn it on in the areas where roaches are present. This will help to spread the scent of peppermint throughout the room.


It’s important to note that while peppermint oil can be effective in repelling roaches, it is not a foolproof method. Roaches are highly adaptable creatures and may eventually get used to the scent of peppermint oil. Additionally, peppermint oil may not work as well on certain species of roaches. If you have a severe roach infestation, it is recommended that you contact a professional pest control service for help.

Other Natural Roach Repellents

If you’re not a fan of peppermint oil or it doesn’t work well for your situation, there are several other natural roach repellents that you can try, including:

  • Cedar: Cedar has a natural fragrance that repels roaches. You can use cedar blocks, chips or spray in areas where roaches are found.
  • Citrus: Roaches are repelled by the scent of citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. You can use the peels of these fruits in areas where roaches are known to be present.
  • Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from fossilized remains of diatoms. It is highly effective in killing insects and can be used in areas where roaches are present.


In conclusion, peppermint oil can be an effective roach repellent due to its strong odor that repels roaches. However, it is not a foolproof method and may not work well on certain species of roaches. If you’re dealing with a severe roach infestation, it is recommended that you hire a professional pest control service.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Does peppermint oil kill roaches?
  • A. Peppermint oil is not known to kill roaches, but it can repel them due to its strong odor.

  • Q. How long does peppermint oil repel roaches?
  • A. The repellent effect of peppermint oil can last up to 2 hours after application.

  • Q. Can peppermint oil be harmful to cats or dogs?
  • A. Peppermint oil can be toxic to pets in high doses. It is important to use caution when using peppermint oil around pets.

  • Q. Can peppermint oil be used on surfaces?
  • A. Yes, peppermint oil can be used on surfaces such as countertops, floors, and walls. However, it is recommended that you test the oil on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it does not damage the surface.

  • Q. How often should I use peppermint oil to repel roaches?
  • A. The frequency of use depends on the severity of the infestation and the effectiveness of the peppermint oil. It may need to be reapplied every few days or every week.


1. Komáromi, R. S., & Szemethy, L. (1998). Insecticidal effectiveness of essential oils on Blattella germanica L.

2. Kim, H. J., & Lee, H. (2001). Repellency of aerosol and cream products containing fennel oil to German cockroach (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 94(1), 156-160.

3. Isman, M. B. (2000). Plant essential oils for pest and disease management. Crop protection, 19(8-10), 603-608.

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