Roach Smell: What Do Cockroaches Smell Like, Terminix

Roach Smell: What Do Cockroaches Smell Like?

If you’ve ever walked into a home or building infested with roaches, you might have picked up on a peculiar smell. This cockroach odor is a result of a combination of things left behind by these insects. If you’ve picked up on a similar scent in your own home, you might be asking yourself, “Just what do roaches smell like?”

Is that a roach smell, or is it me?

Did you know that cockroaches stink? No, not just because they creep you out when you are trying to cook or take a shower. They actually have a scent. In order to communicate with each other, cockroaches use chemicals called cuticular hydrocarbons. These chemicals, which can be found on their bodies and legs, send messages about food, harborage and mates. Even after you have managed to eliminate a roach infestation, a cockroach odor might linger. This is because those same chemicals can be found in roach feces and shed roach skins. This cockroach behavior is the reason why cockroaches often collect in one place at the same time.

How can I get rid of that cockroach smell?

To eliminate a foul roach smell, you must first eliminate the source. Cockroach infestations can be difficult to manage. It is best to call a pest management professional. Of course, your work is not complete once the professional leaves. The best approach to keeping roaches out of your home is to implement an integrated pest management approach. This involves cleaning and sanitizing your home, keeping kitchen counters and other areas free of food, throwing out the garbage and eliminating clutter. You should also remove any dead roaches as soon as you find them and clean the area to ensure other roaches don’t track their path.

What do roaches smell like? The specific scent may be hard to describe, but it’s definitely not a pleasant one. Cut back on your pest concerns today with a call to Terminix®.

What Smells Repel Cockroaches?

If you have cockroaches in your home or apartment, you number one priority is getting rid of them. For every cockroach you see, you can be sure there are dozens, or hundreds, hiding in crevices around your home, just waiting for the light to go off and the feast to begin.

Nature has blessed the cockroach with an incredible sense of smell, making it easy for them to seek out food and find a mate. But that same sense of smell can be used to get rid of cockroaches – there are some scents that cockroaches simply cannot abide. Here are some smells that cockroaches find disagreeable, and you can use those smells to send them packing.


Cockroaches hate the smell of lavender, and that is good news for you. If you love to grow lavender in your yard and garden, you are more than halfway to a roach-free home. Just plant lavender around your home as a sort of defense system – you will create a barrier that even the most determined roaches will be loathe to cross.

You can use lavender oil inside your home to chase existing roaches away and stop new ones from coming in. Lavender essential oils work well for this purpose; you can dilute the oil and place it in a spray bottle, then spray surfaces where cockroaches have been a problem.


You may love the smell of fresh citrus, but cockroaches hate the scent. That means you can use citrus scented cleaners in your kitchen and bathroom to chase any lingering roaches away.

You can also keep a few citrus peels around your home in strategic places. The cockroaches in the area will smell that fresh citrus and know to stay away. You may need to refresh the scent a couple times a month, but that is a small price to pay for a roach-free home.


Koala bears may love the smell, and the taste of eucalyptus, but cockroaches find it quite disagreeable. If you have been looking for an excuse to plant a eucalyptus bush in your front yard or spray your home with fresh eucalyptus oil, consider this your opening.

You can use the eucalyptus scent in a number of different ways, from essential oils diluted with water and sprayed as a barrier around your home to plantings in your front yard and garden. Just use your imagination – and use the cockroach’s keen sense of smell as a pest fighting weapon.

Sometimes a natural approach to pest control is the best choice, and that is certainly true with cockroaches. These common pests choose their targets carefully, so do what you can to make your home the least attractive choice.

Cockroaches: What Do They Smell Like?

Cockroaches are one of the most despised household pests. They hide in our walls and creep around in our trash. They are a common pest that can be found in many homes throughout the world and which can elicit fear and disgust.

A cockroach infestation may seem like a daunting task to deal with unless you know how to identify and locate both the bugs and their nests. Spotting a roach running around your home may be easy, but are there other clues that can help you identify an infestation?

For instance, do roaches give off a smell? The answer is yes! Not only are they unsightly guests, but they even come with their own particular smell.

While this may seem like just another undesirable aspect of having a roach infestation, it can actually be a helpful tool in locating and ridding your home of these pests for good.

If you are tired of living with roaches, read on to find out how to identify their distinct smell and how to banish them from your home.

See also:  Ticks On Your Canine And How To Get Rid Of Them - What Is Middle Ear Infection?

How do cockroaches produce smells?

Later we will learn how to identify the smell of cockroaches and how to use it to eliminate these pests from our homes, but it would be helpful to understand how roaches produce a smell in the first place.

Did you know?

Cockroaches, like many animals and insects, use scents to communicate. This scent is a blend of chemicals called cuticular hydrocarbons. These chemicals are excreted to send messages to other cockroaches for mating, shelter, and feeding purposes.

Along with the smell of the cuticular hydrocarbons, cockroaches also produce a smell as they die due to the fatty acids (oleic or linoleic acid) that are released during decomposition. This smell repels other cockroaches and even other types of insects and was probably an evolutionary trait developed to warn of danger. Again, as the infestation grows, this smell will become more noticeable as the number of dead roaches increases.

The feces of cockroaches can also easily be colonized by mold which, in turn, produces its own scent. Since roaches tend to like dark, wet, hidden places, this mold will accumulate quickly if you have a large infestation. If the roach nests are in an area of your home that attracts moisture, this smell could become quite powerful and help to lead you to the decomposing nests.

Even after all cockroaches have been eliminated from your home, their scent could still linger. It is important to remove all roach bodies and feces to fully eliminate the smell. Once all debris is gone, consider airing out your home or using natural air purifiers to fully eradicate any remaining odor.

What do roaches smell like?

You will recognize the smell of cockroaches when you come across it.

Cockroach smell is usually described as a musty, oily, pungent odor that increases with the size of the infestation. And even though this odor is most noticeable with large quantities of roaches, it is possible to smell even a few roaches.

In many cases, the distinct roach smell will alert you to the fact that there is a sizable roach infestation. Since roaches are nocturnal and tend to hide from humans, this smell can provide you with a good idea of where the majority of the roaches are hiding.

If you notice a strong, pungent odor and suspect a roach infestation, your best option is to contact a pest management professional.

How can you get rid of the smell of cockroaches?

As you may know, managing a cockroach infestation can be an intimidating task. To free your home from roaches, you must first find the source. Enlist a trained pest management professional and then work to maintain a roach-free home.

Roaches need food, warmth, moisture, and shelter to survive. If your home provides these things, it is possible for a cockroach infestation to occur. An important part of keeping roaches (and their smell) out of your home is to make sure that your home is inhospitable to these creepy creatures.

Start with good food storage practices:

  1. Immediately throw out rotting food or food scraps
  2. Keep all the perishables in the refrigerator
  3. Keep all the packages tightly closed
  4. Maintain clean general kitchen spaces and counters.

You will also need to make sure to keep your home dry and to not allow excess moisture to accumulate. This can be especially important in the kitchen, basement, and bathroom areas. Make sure to fill any cracks or gaps in sinks, tubs, walls, and any other area where a roach could hide.

The next step to getting rid of roaches and their smell is to get rid of all potential remaining leftovers from the infestation.

Remove any dead roaches and their feces. Since the roach odor will linger on their skins, feces, and dead bodies, this is a crucial step.

Once your home has been cleaned, keep it in tip-top shape by eliminating clutter, sealing any holes, fixing leaks, and storing food properly. Do not let garbage remain out or leave food on the counters. Throw out any dead cockroaches you find so as not to attract more.

Act now for a roach-free home!

The best defense against roaches is prevention. Follow the above steps to make your home an unfriendly environment for roaches and then make sure to maintain a clean and healthy living space.

If you find yourself needing more substantial help, it may be the time to seek professionals. Find a trained pest management team to help you return your home to normal then do your part to maintain a roach-free environment. Then you will be able to find peace and enjoy being in your home, without being bothered by roaches or their smell.

What Ancient Smells Repel Cockroaches

Discover Ancient Smells that Repel Cockroaches

This site is supported by affiliate advertising. Which means we may earn some money if you click the product links. Thanks for your support!

Once cockroaches establish a colony it can be very hard to remove them. They are among the hardest of insects, able to survive in both the arctic and tropics. This means its good to prevent them from even wanting to enter your home. One way to do this is by knowing what the ancient Egyptians used to repel cockroaches. The internet abounds with recipes of cockroach repellents. However few of these are scientifically backed. Lets take a minute to look at a few scientifically proven answers to, what smells repel cockroaches.

What Smells Repel Cockroaches, Peppermint Oil

Peppermint is a herb that can be found throughout Europe and North America. Use of peppermint can be traced back to ancient Egypt. In modern times peppermint oil is used for digestive issues, head aches, the common cold, as a fragrance, and as an insect repellent.

Peppermint Oil

  • Average custormer review ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  • 100% pure peppermint oil.
  • 2 oz container
  • Comes with dropper for easy use

Cockroaches can be repelled and even killed with mint oil. That was the conclusion of a 2001 study by the Auburn University department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. The study tested cockroaches response to direct contact with mint oil, mint oil fumes, and surfaces coated with mint oil. Mint oil was fatal to cockroaches when concentrations of 3% or greater were either applied directly or diffused in closed spaces. When mint oil was applied to a surface near cockroaches over 92% of the roaches avoided the mint coated surface.

See also:  Pesticides and food safety

The researchers concluded that “at concentrations of 3% or greater, mint oil is toxic and repellent to both American and German cockroaches. Mint oil also volatilizes rapidly in an open environment unlike most conventional insecticides and leaves little or no residue.” Mint oil is generally considered a pleasant smell and commonly used in food, drink and perfume products throughout the world. The wide spread use and approval of mint flavored and scented products makes mint oil an excellent option for pest control.

What Smells Repel Cockroaches, Catnip

Growing up to 30 inches tall, catnip is a perennial plant that can be found throughout the world including North America. Its hardy drought and deer resistant qualities, plus its various uses, make catnip a staple in many gardens.

Cat Nip Oil

  • Average custormer review ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  • Great sedative for stress
  • 100% certified pure nepeta cataria
  • Per bottle testing including organoleptic testing from Robert Tisserand, and multiple rounds of GC-MS testing by several other third-party laboratories

Repelling cockroaches can now be added to the list of uses for Catnip. While most often used for entertaining cats, or herbal remedies scientists from Iowa State University discovered catnip can repel roaches. Nepetalactone is believed to be the active ingredient in catnip responsible for the smells that repel cockroaches.

However you may need to do more then just placing catnip around your house. To isolate nepetalactone researchers needed to boil the leaves. Boiling catnip and spraying the resulting tea could provide results similar to the Iowa University study.

What Smells Repel Cockroaches, Rosemary

Rosemary is a perennial herb found through North America. It has been used for thousands of years for its in cooking, medicine and recently as an insect repellent.

Rosemary can repel and kill cockroaches according to a 2016 study. The study tested effects of five essential oils cockroaches. Rosemary oil was found to be an effective repellent and toxin. Cockroaches placed in direct contact with rosemary oil died as did cockroaches fumigated with rosemary oil.

Rosemary Oil

  • Average custormer review ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  • 100% pure rosemary oil.
  • 4 oz container
  • Comes with dropper for easy use

What Smells Repel Cockroaches, Oregano Oil

Oregano is another perennial herb grown throughout the world. As with the previous herbs oregano has been used for centuries in cooking and is now also used for pest control.

Oregano oil was also found to be effective in the same 2016 study that validated rosemary oil. The researchers actually determined oregano oil to be the most effective oil tested. Oregano oil repelled cockroaches up to one week after application. A 2008 study also found oregano oil to be as effective as synthetic insecticides.

Essential Oils Recipe

Now that we know what essential oils to use, we need to know how to use them. High quality essential oils are not cheap so they should be used as directed. This means not applying directly applying pure essential oils. Essential oils should always be dissolved in a proper recipe. Below is a recipe based on recommendations from the Tisserand Institute

  • 1oz 190proof alcohol
  • 2 3/4 oz distilled water
  • 1 1/2 tea spoon essential oil

Using a Spray Bottle for Essential Oil

Once you have a good essential oil mix you need to apply it where you see the roaches. This came be accomplished by using a spray botttle to apply the essential oil mix where you saw the roaches. Remember that once you put essential oils in the spray bottle you should not use it for anything else. So it a good idea to use a specific bottle for this. You also need to remember that light can degrade essential oils so use a dark glass bottle, and store it in a cool and dark location. Heat and light will degrade the potency of your mixture.

Smells that are Believed to Repel Cockroaches

The previously mentioned oils are scientifically backed answers to what smells repel cockroaches. However the internet is full of other supposed recipes for what smells repel cockroaches. Since some of these may have worked for someone at some point they may be worth mentioning.

  • Garlic
  • Lavendar
  • Neem Oil
  • Soapy Water
  • Lemons
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cucumbers

Why Use Natural Pest Repellents?

Most synthetic pesticides claim to have low toxicity and little risk to humans when used appropriately. However even when used appropriately these substances can have unintended consequences. Pesticides and poison traps used indoors can be ingested by children and pets. When used outdoors pesticides often end up in local creeks. These chemicals are often extremely toxic to fish and other aquatic animals along with the birds and mammals that prey on them.

Plant based products such as essential oils can also have unintended consequences such as if used around cats. However if used correctly these products can repel cockroaches and are usually gentler on the environment. Depending on the se

Depending on the severity of your cockroach problems you may need to go beyond using essential oils. If you are fighting a full on infestation then you need to pull out the big guns! Thankfully we have a full article detailing the various options available when you need to get rid of cockroaches fast! Along with learning how to get rid of cockroaches we also provide an overview of the various species of cockroaches you could be dealing with and how you need to change your approach depending on the species. Check out our article How to Get Rid of Cockroaches!

Cockroach Facts

In this blog we often remind our readers of the famous quote from «The Art of War», «Know your enemy». With that in mind its good pratice to understand what makes cockroaches ticks. There are about 4,500 varieties of cockroaches world wide, and 69 of these are found in the United States. Better still only a few of the species found in the United States will invade your house. Check our article on How to Get Rid of Cockroaches for photos and descriptions of the ones could be in your house.

Along with knowing the type of cockroach that is crawling around your house you need to know what attracts them. In this regard cockroaches are like most other living creatures, they want food, water, and shelter. Eliminate any one of these three and you will reduce if not eliminate your cockroach problems.

Its important to rememeber that even a minor amount of food or water could be enough to support a cockroach colony. Something as simple as drops of water in the sink will provide ample water. A few crumbs in the pantry or a bag to chew through will provide food. All water and food need to be sealed up to help repel cockroaches.

See also:  Tick Repellent Guide, Natural Tick Repellent for Cats

Few pests are as dreaded as cockroaches. According to the World Health Organization cockroaches are known to transmit various diseases such as:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Dysentery
  • Cholera
  • Leprosy
  • Plague
  • Typhoid fever
  • Parasitic worms

If this article got you interested in cockroaches we’ll leave you with an animal planet episode about about a cockroach infestation!

Another pest many people are dealing with is ticks. Learn how to deal with ticks in our article How to Get Rid of TIcks Naturally.

How to scare off cockroaches?

Yesterday morning I got up to use the bathroom, and as I was doing my business, I see a cockroach scurry across the floor. I am so scared of cockroaches it’s not even funny. My dad sprayed the bathroom with Raid, but now I have to go to the bathroom and I’m terrified to even open the door. Is there anything I can do to scare off the cockroaches for a minute or two so I can go to the bathroom and get out?

11 Answers

Cockroaches are not harming creatures and there is nothing scare.

Use Mortein Powergard (all insect killer) spray especially corners of kitchen.

That is the place for them to breed. Take care of your kitchen, you will be saved by scary cockroaches.

  • Login to reply the answers Post

well u need to have someone come spray ur place once a month with a good bug spray, but also u have to be really clean and tidy as well that will help too..

Run into the bathroom with a mask on and scream at the cockroaches!

Or kill them with Cockroach spray -_-

  • Login to reply the answers Post

I hate the bug to they carry Food posing but the best way to scare them is to turn on the light ther afraid of the light also if still afraid just put on some socks and shoes or socks XD just in case you see one don’t step on it but walk / run away cockroaches carry there eggs on there back so I you step on it the egges get on your shoe and they can hach there to any how usually what your dad sprayed will get them but they may begging crazy in there or move some where else so wach out

  • Login to reply the answers Post

Well what i do is if you have a non harmful to humans kill cockroaches spray then spray it on corners edges and under place plus the scent will make them run like a stampede

  • Login to reply the answers Post

Run into the bathroom with a mask on and scream at the cockroaches!

Or kill them with Cockroach spray -_-

  • Login to reply the answers Post

These other answers are ridiculous.

Thump the floor. The bugs will feel the vibration and that sends them running. This is especially effective with ants.

Turn the light on. If they’re already running, the light will send them running for crevices and shadow. They prefer to hide from light.

But these are only to make it so you can’t see them. That’s not really helpful. If you want to not see them, GET RID OF THEM. What works?

First, clean thoroughly. Roaches drop little egg cases, each of which is full of little baby roaches. Vacuum everything very thoroughly. Get the crevice tool and dig deep into the corners. Open cabinets, get up under countertops, go everywhere. Be super-diligent. The more bugs you get now, the fewer survive that you have to deal with later.

When done vacuuming, take the bag outside and burn it. Have a fire already going and put the bag on it. If you can’t do that, wrap the vacuum bag tightly inside a plastic garbage bag and knot it closed. Take to the trash outside the home.

Now mop. Roaches can eat pretty much anything organic. They’re extremely adaptable to their environment; they’re one of the oldest species still wandering on earth since before the dinosaurs, and they didn’t get here by being picky eaters. So clean up every scrap of everything. I like Pine-Sol, it tends to render whatever might be left over unpalatable to them. Your mileage may vary. Again, dig deep into crevices. They’re small, they fit everywhere.

Now seal gaps and cracks. If you don’t like having bugs in your place, then you have to keep them OUT. Caulking works wonders. Great Stuff expanding foam for larger gaps, but be advised: it sticks to everything and it gets bigger after it comes out of the can. Proceed carefully.

Now control the survivors. Baits, poisons, traps. I like to spread Roach Prufe on every flat surface that doesn’t get walked or worked on. It just lies there and waits for an unsuspecting bug to come along. The powder sticks to them, they clean it off, the powder gets inside them and its nature is revealed! It’s boric acid. Good-bye, bug. Diatomaceous earth works wonders, too. I like to mix Roach Prufe with diatomaceous earth, 50-50, and spread it liberally. It is completely inert and won’t hurt you at all. It’s absolute hell on bugs, though.

Commercially available baits help. Find as many different toxins as possible. The more you mix it up, the better. They won’t adapt as well to a many-pronged attack.

Finally, traps. Sticky traps (like «Roach Motel»), like you’d put out for flies. The bug walks onto the trap. and stops. That’s the end of him. Anything further he does, he does standing in one place.

Funny story: I had sticky traps full of bugs and resolved to pick them up the next morning. the next morning comes along and all the sticky traps were empty! Well, nearly. they were full of little legs. It turned out that mice had come along and mowed off all the trapped bugs right at the knees. Very horrorshow, very funny.

No comments

Добавить комментарий

Your e-mail will not be published. All fields are required.