Using Bay Leaves to Repel Cockroaches – Does it work?

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Cockroaches often get a bad reputation due to their habits and disgusting nature. However, cockroaches have a serious function and impact on our environment. They are perhaps natures leading recycling machines. Cockroaches munch on decaying matter to clean and reduce what would otherwise be a pretty smelly place. Cockroaches just as useful as they are at cleaning, will not qualify as hired help in our homes. And while it doesn’t take much to get them packing, the humble bay leaf from the Laurus nobilis bay laurel tree combined with good sanitation habits will help deter these disease harbouring insects out of your home. Call The Exterminators if you need help with cockroach control Toronto.

How to keep cockroaches at bay

A lot of cockroaches are sitting on a white wooden shelf.The German cockroach (Blattella germanica). Cockroach Infestation
A lot of cockroaches are sitting on a white wooden shelf. The German cockroach (Blattella germanica). Cockroach Infestation

Bay leaves are a natural remedy that can be used to repel or deter cockroaches. It is important to note that, Bay leaves will not kill the bugs but will produce a scent that the cockroaches least like or find irritating, that will force them to seek residence elsewhere. Fresh or dry, bay leaves are not crumbly which makes it not difficult to sweep up later. We have compiled a list of ways you can use them successfully to get rid of your cockroach problem.

Scatter the bay leaves around your house in areas that you have seen cockroach activity. Focus on your food preparation areas as well as eating areas.

You could also fill with nay leaves just like you would do with potpourri, and place them where needed

You can also place a few leaves under your garbage can

Sprinkle bay leaves in your cupboards, behind the refrigerator, and under the stove.

Dry bay leaves have the capability of retaining their fragrance for up to one year. Fresh ones have a more bitter aroma, are more potent and may work better in keeping the cockroaches away. In case you have an ongoing cockroach problem in your home, its advisable that you grow bay laurel trees.

Cockroach most of the time will mistake the lure of food as an open invitation to invade your home. It is therefore important to desist from sending mixed signals by always cleaning up after yourself. You could practice the following habits to avoid attracting cockroaches to your house.

  • Always wipe your counters after use
  • Sweep your floors regularly
  • Wash dirty dishes, utensils and pots
  • Put away meal prep foods

Other methods that you could use to reduce the alluring scents and implement crumb control in your house includes

  • Storing your packaged dry good in canisters or jars that have tight-fitting lids.
  • Only eating in designated areas such as the dining room or kitchen
  • Ensuring that you clean your pantry or cupboards twice a year or seasonally
  • Vacuuming your floors and seating weekly as required

Bay Leaves For Roaches

Cockroaches under the floor. Cockroaches laying eggs. Cockroaches in dirty places.
Cockroaches under the floor. Cockroaches laying eggs. Cockroaches in dirty places.

It is not a secret that bay leaves are actively used in Asian cuisine in general. The unassuming looking leaf adds the extra fragrance and flavor you need to make your dish complete, but did you also know that bay leaves are one of the smells that keep cockroaches at bay? While some online resources are pretty skeptical about its full effectiveness, it remains a natural alternative to the formulations used. While a professional technician is certainly not a replacement, there is no harm in trying. Please note that bay leaves are no trusted alternative and that results may vary. The idea behind scattering bay leaves around is based on the notion that they cannot stand the smell of essential oils. However, there seems to be little proof supporting that theory. Peppermint leaves are also cited as a good deterrant, but again, you can experience widely different results.

How To Use Bay Leave Against Insects

As with any repellant or deterrent, they will only work when they are placed effectively. To do this, you will have to know a thing or two about the insect’s habit or behavioral pattern. Depending on what insect you are dealing with placing the bay leaves near their nest or near places you do not want them to enter can give two different results. If placed near their nest, they may easily circumvent the leaf and find an alternative route. If you do not want them near the kitchen the best place to start is to put some dried bay leaves on the countertop, from there on you can put a few leaves in all the cabinets to prevent cockroaches in the kitchen, drawers, under the fridge, and dishwasher. Before you put bay leaves around your kitchen, you may want to think about what attracts these cockroaches in the first place. Cockroaches are easily lured by food particles and water. Your first priority must actually be cleaning and storing away the food securely. You also have to inspect leaky pipes and make sure the floor is mopped removing any other food particles left on there. A professional pest control technician is always the best option to ensure guaranteed removal, something that we cannot about bay leaves.

Alternative Herbal Remedies

Catnip is yet another herb that cockroaches often find repulsive; this is according to a study that was done by the University of Iowa. It’s a good alternative to bay leaves unless you have a feline occupant that might experience sensory overload from bowls of leaves being placed throughout the home. Catnip oil also makes very effective mosquito repellent oil. In case you can plant bay leaves in your area, consider giving it a try, they could significantly help in controlling the spread of an infestation.

If you suspect you have a growing number of cockroaches in your house, the best line of action would be to contact your local pest control service. Conducting a DIY operation is only effective if you are sure of the population or as a preventive measure. We are at The Exterminators Inc. will conduct a preliminary examination and recommend steps to help you get rid of your cockroach problem. Call us if you need Exterminator Toronto: 647-496-2211

Article Updated: October 19, 2020

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.