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List of Tree Oils Used to Repel Roaches

Updated February 21, 2017

Cockroaches are among the least-tolerated household insects. They breed quickly, can spread disease and contaminate food. Unfortunately, conventional pesticide approaches to cockroach control may be toxic to humans and their pets. Single-treatment techniques are also frequently ineffective, since hatching eggs may produce new cockroaches. Natural essential oils may be used instead of or in combination with conventional treatment to help control roaches.

Neem Oil

According to Discover Neem, neem oil is extracted from the seeds of a tree of the same name, and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The oil is mildly toxic, but safe for humans to use externally. If used in cockroach bait, it can kill the insects themselves. Neem oil can also be sprayed to repel roaches, and may discourage them from eating.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil comes from a tropical tree, and is known for its antiseptic properties and strong, medicinal smell. It is often used to treat a number of skin nail infections in humans. However, this oil is toxic when ingested. Tea tree oil also works as a deterrent for household pests, such as cockroaches. Several drops may be placed in areas where insects could enter the house, to prevent them from crossing the barrier. To keep roaches out of cupboards, a solution of water mixed with tea tree oil works well. Homeowners can simply wipe the mixture over the inside of cupboards, closets and other enclosed spaces.

Eucalyptus Oil

This essential oil is derived from the Australian eucalyptus tree, best known as the primary food source for koalas. Eucalyptus oil also has a strong smell and insect-repellent properties, and can be used in much the same way as tea tree oil. Mixing a eucalyptus oil-based soap with water also produces a solution which can be sprayed on counters, cabinets and baseboards to discourage cockroaches.

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About the Author

G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.