Does Burning Sage Repel Roaches? | Plus 9 Natural Cockroach Repellents

If your home is being inundated with cockroaches, don’t panic because there really is something that you can do about it. While cockroaches are annoying and dirty, not to mention potentially harmful, there are natural and chemical-free ways you can get rid of them, and one of them is the use of sage.

How to use sage to repel cockroaches

Sage repels roaches because of its smell. Roaches hate the smell of stage and whiff of sage and they’ll dart out in the opposite direction as quickly as possible.

If you’re going to use sage, you can do one of two things for it to work:

  • Burn fresh sage in a bowl, letting it simmer once you set fire to it. As long as the sage is simmering, the roaches will stay away, so even though this is a temporary measure, it is also a very effective one.
  • Place fresh sage in the vicinity of the roaches. Snip off a large strand of sage and place it in areas where you find roaches a lot. Again, just the smell of this herb is enough to make them scramble off in another direction.

Sage is not that difficult to find and usually isn’t expensive. If you can’t find sage, don’t worry because below are nine additional herbs and plants that are equally as effective at getting rid of cockroaches.

Natural remedies that repel roaches

Here are some natural ingredients and remedies that will repel roaches at home. Check out each one below and how to use them.

1. Chrysanthemums (Mums)

Mums contain pyrethrum, which is a chemical that essentially attacks the nervous system of various insects. To use them to get rid of roaches, you can crush the mums and sprinkle it around where the roaches usually congregate, or you can simply grow them either inside near the windows or outside near the foundation of your home.

2. Citronella

There are numerous citronella and citronella-like plants and oils. One of these is a lemon-scented geranium, which is often called the “citronella plant,” even though there is no citronella oil in it. You can also choose citronella grass, which is similar to lemongrass, and plant it around the entry points of your home.

If you want something for the inside of the home, choose a citronella essential oil, which you can find in candles or can be used on its own to keep roaches away.

3. Cucumber

While science hasn’t been able to figure out why, roaches hate the smell of cucumbers. For the best results, you should use the peelings instead of the cucumber itself, since they have the strongest scent.

You can place the peelings around your window sills or any other place you notice the roaches gathering. Also, make sure that you change them out every few days for the best results.

4. Lavender

Growing your own lavender plants is usually simple, and they grow well in most growing zones. This is partly because there are many different varieties of lavender available.

You can repel roaches simply by planting lavender outside of your home, and for extra effectiveness, you can mix lavender essential oil and soapy water, then spray it around all of your entry points.

5. Marigolds

Marigolds are not only great at getting rid of cockroaches, but their bright orange and yellow flowers will brighten up any area in your home.

The flowers themselves have a chemical called alpha-terthienyl, which is known to have an insecticidal effect on roaches and many other pests. You can plant them in pots and set them both inside and outside of your home.

6. Mint

If you buy some fresh mint leaves and boil them in a cup of water until the water turns green, then let the mixture cool down and pour it into a spray bottle, you can then spray the mixture all around the house.

Make sure you spray in areas such as wall cracks, the corners of rooms, wherever food is stored, and in your kitchen cabinets for the best results.

7. Osage Oranges

These are also called hedge apples or horse apples, even though they aren’t oranges or apples. They are not only an ugly fruit but they also have a very potent odor with a smell that is between cedar and citrus.

They are extremely effective at chasing away roaches, and all you have to do is place a single fruit in any area of your home where you’ve seen roaches.

8. Bay Leaves

Among other compounds, bay leaves also contain eucalyptol, which has been proven to repel all sorts of insects, including cockroaches.

All you have to do is buy a bunch of fresh bay leaves and place them in areas such as entry points, behind appliances, or anywhere else you’ve noticed cockroaches congregating. Bay leaves might smell nice to humans, but roaches hate them!

9. Garlic

You may have never heard this, but cockroaches despise the smell of garlic. You don’t even have to use fresh garlic; just buy some garlic powder and sprinkle it around the affected areas.

Garlic powder is extremely effective at getting rid of cockroaches, and it’s so inexpensive that you can eliminate pests without breaking the bank.


Cockroaches are a very annoying pest that can spread disease. While they are persistent and seem to be impossible to get rid of, the truth is that there are numerous all-natural methods you can use to get rid of them once and for all.

Other plants and herbs also work, including catnip and rosemary, and the best part about most of them is that they are super easy to use and inexpensive as well.

This means that if one of them doesn’t work on your cockroaches, another one likely will. The trick is to keep trying them until you discover which of these plants and herbs works best for you.