When you spot a roach hanging around your house, you may want to turn and run for the hills. Though it can take some time to get rid of roaches, there are natural methods that are effective and easy to use. Using peppermint oil for roaches is one of the best ways to kill and repel common varieties of cockroaches.
Does Peppermint Oil Repel Roaches?
Peppermint oil repels most roaches, including American and German cockroaches. As a bonus, the oil will also kill these bugs.
One study found that in just two weeks of use, the oil killed all of the roaches in an area.
You do not need to use a lot of this oil because it has a strong smell, which means that a small amount will cover a lot of ground.
In a 2001 study by Auburn University, of American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana), and German cockroaches (Blattella germanica), they found mint oil to not only repel but also kill roaches.
American and German cockroaches had knockdown (KT50) values of ≈7.4 and 9.2 h, respectively, when fumigated with 50 µl of 100% mint oil; 100% of both species were killed after 24 h.
Mint oil-based formulations could provide another integrated pest management tool for cockroach management, especially in situations in which conventional insecticides would be inappropriate.
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama (view study in pdf, via archive.org)
Toxicity of Peppermint Oil
When you’re sipping on a cup of peppermint hot chocolate, you can close your eyes and imagine that you’re at a holiday party.
Many people do not realize that peppermint oil is toxic to both humans and animals.
Excessive use can lead to renal failure and other serious medical conditions. You need to use quite a bit to suffer these side effects though. Dogs and cats usually only experience side effects if they drink a large amount.
Peppermint oil is also toxic to cockroaches, which is why it’s such a popular option for people who want to kill roaches naturally.
- When you use a small amount with a carrier oil or water, the strong scent will repel the roaches and force them away from your home.
- Using a larger amount creates an effective bug killer that will kill any roaches it touches.
Peppermint oil acts as a repellent because the bugs know it will kill them and run away when they smell it.
If they decide to stick around, the oil will eventually kill them,
If you found one roach, there are probably many more.
How to Mix Peppermint Oil for Roaches
The active ingredient in peppermint oil that repels cockroaches is menthone, which you’ll find in other mint essential oils.
- All you need is a bottle of peppermint oil and a spray bottle.
- Fill the bottle with water almost to the top and add up to 15 drops of essential oil.
If you find that the oil sits on top of the water and doesn’t mix, you can use olive oil as a carrier oil. You can use a cheap form of olive oil to save money.
Ethereal Nature makes a pure peppermint oil that is very popular.
Here is a tutorial video. The doctor alternates between English and a second language.
How to Use Essential Oils for Roaches: 2 Methods
There are two great methods you can use to take care of cockroaches.
- Start with the spray bottle. Spray this mixture around your kitchen and bathroom. Make sure that you focus on your cabinets and counters as well as inside your cabinets and around pipes. If you have any pipes in those rooms, spray them, too. You’ll also want to use the mixture in places where roaches can live and hide such as closets and furniture.
- Another method uses cotton balls. Once you make this mixture, place a few cotton balls in a bowl and allow them to absorb the liquid. You can then place the cotton balls in different areas of your home where roaches live. Though peppermint oil is strong, it wears off quickly. You can add a few drops every night to keep repelling and killing roaches.
Can You Use Peppermint Oil and Vinegar?
Not only can you use a combo of vinegar and peppermint oil, but this will create an even stronger cockroach repellent.
- Mix one cup of distilled white vinegar with two cups of water and add a minimum of 10 drops of peppermint oil.
- You can then pour the mixture in a spray bottle to spray it around your house or use the mixture on cotton balls.
How Long Does Peppermint Oil Work?
Some people used peppermint oil and claimed that it didn’t work on roaches because they only tried it once. While peppermint oil is an effective repellent, you need to use it more than once.
If you use a spray bottle, reapply the liquid every night to get rid of the roaches. You can also saturate new cotton balls in the mixture or reuse your old cotton balls.
Do not stop using peppermint oil for roaches until you go a few days without seeing any of the bugs.
Here’s how to get rid of palmetto bugs.
Where Can You Use Peppermint Oil?
When using peppermint oil for roaches, focus on spots where you spotted the bugs and places where they live.
Cockroaches are nocturnal and prefer coming out at night when they have fewer chances of coming across humans and other predators.
When you have a serious infestation, these bugs will live in multiple places. They come out during the day or at dusk to find food and water.
You’ll often see roaches in your bathrooms and kitchen. Once you make a peppermint oil spray, you can use the solution inside your cabinets and on your counters as well as around appliances and pipes.
It’s helpful to apply the solution at least once a day for the best results.
Be careful where you spray the oil.
- Avoid spraying it on wood or fabric that might be damaged by the water or oil content.
- If you mix the peppermint oil in an oil carrier, don’t spray on the floor where you’ll walk. It might become very slippery.
- Be careful about spraying around electronics and electric outlets.
Learn about other essential oils for repelling roaches.
Learn more about 6-legged insects (identification guide)
Get Rid of Roaches with Peppermint Oil
Why waste a lot of money on expensive chemical products when natural remedies will kill cockroaches for less? The toxicity of peppermint oil makes it one of the top essential oils to repel and kill roaches. When using peppermint oil for roaches, create a combo of oil and water.
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines is a co-founder and writer at The Buginator. And is working to make it the best resource for taking back the outdoors from biting, stinging pests.
He also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Click Like This. Bryan is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company he runs with his wife, Dena.