Natural herbs/oils to deter cockroaches - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-30-2005, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I almost thought I was going to die on Easter Sunday evening (okay, I'm prone to dramatics but let me finish).
We just moved into our new place 3 weeks ago...I have seen no signs of roaches.
Sunday evening, I had just settled into bed with my little one when I saw an insect *gulp* on the wall...I jumped up and confirmed that it was a brown cockroch
Now I don't like roaches for many reasons...they are filthy and carry germs, invade your food supply and such.
But I have such a strong emotional aversion to cockroaches...they were quite prevalent in our home growing up and I remember waking up at night to feel them crawling on my neck :Puke
So needless to say, I smashed it well and flushed it...

I have been paranoid since then...I went and bought airtight storage containers for my cereals, grains, sugars, flours and crackers...I have slept with the light on ever since that night and I am waking more frequently, afraid that there is one crawling nearby....I am wondering if eating in the bedroom should be off-limits now...
It was only ONE roach and the only one I've seen but I know better...there is no such thing as one roach...there is nest somewhere full of "friends and family".
So here is my question:
Suppose I put some natural potted herbs around the home to divert the roaches? Is it true they hate rosemary? Are there natural oils I can annoint my walls with that will keep them away?

Help! Advice please! I want to feel comfortable in our new home!
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#2 of 9 Old 03-31-2005, 01:03 AM
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I have not tried, but have heard that catnip essential oil repels them. You can dilute it in a spray bottle.

Quick comment on the bedroom -- Apart from the eating, I've noticed that what they seem to like in my bedroom is dirty laundry, and my cavernous dresser. If you have a hamper in your bedroom and could put it elsewhere, and then check in all the dark areas of your furniture and raid as needed, that might help keep them out of your bedroom specifically. (And I agree: Having them in the bedroom is disturbing!)

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#3 of 9 Old 03-31-2005, 01:46 AM
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Diatomacious earth will kill them, but is not poisionous or harmful to pets or humans. It works by being abrasive on the bellies of the roaches, and they bleed to death. You put in along the backs of cabinets and anywhere out of the way that they run. It's also used in swimming pool filters, and is the remains of ocean organisms. I don't know if that counts as "natural" enough, but it is effective, and non-toxic.

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#4 of 9 Old 04-01-2005, 09:10 PM
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Ooooh! I am so glad to see this post. I was just looking for a thread on this subject! We have woods in our backyard, and I'm only finding the occasional roach (so I think they're just coming in on the dogs or when I have the door open or something), but I hate it! We've only lived in this house since November.

I hate them because:
a) I don't mind insects except the kind that can move super fast, like roaches!
b) I was brought up to associate roaches with a "dirty" house. I know that's not always true, but the shudder factor of me possibly having that dirty of a house still exists in corners of my brain.
c) My high school gym locker room was infested and sometimes they would crawl into my gym bag and then onto my hand when I took out my dirty laundry at home.
d) like a pp said, they get into your food.

I'll try the things you all recommended, and maybe this bump will bring in some other suggestions too.


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#5 of 9 Old 04-01-2005, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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When I got home last night, I saw two waterbugs running around the base of my downstairs neighbor has soooo many plants on his patio that it's a jungle! Potted plants, trees, succulents everywhere. Needless to say, there is probably quite a bit of moisture/water on his patio as he waters his plants, explaining the presence of those waterbugs who love water (thus the clever name) and whose natural home is the forest/jungle.
As I climbed the stairs I thought, "As long as they don't come in MY place, it's fine"...
Well as I was undressing I saw this HUGE waterbug march right across my carpet!
I ran and got the spray and killed it, picked it up with a looooong piece of newspaper and flushed it down the toilet.
I was VERY paranoid after that...I checked every room, sprayed the baseboards in the whole bedroom, and shook out my beddings just to be sure. I just didn't sleep well..I kept waking up with a start...I have such an aversion to them...they make me so edgy...
And what's completely ironic is that I feel fine with spiders in my home just as long as they aren't poisonous ones!
Ugh...I think natural control is almost out the window for me...I'm about to break down and buy something really toxic so long as it gets the job done
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#6 of 9 Old 04-01-2005, 09:38 PM
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I have found the cocoa mix in this thread helps a little.
But I do let the exterminators in once a month to spray the kitchen and bathroom and I still have plenty of roaches.

in solidarity ...
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#7 of 9 Old 04-02-2005, 02:45 PM
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what about a jar of sugar mixed with borax? i heard that they go for the sugar and the borax kill sthem
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#8 of 9 Old 04-06-2005, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I was so stressed out at the thought of roaches in our house, our bed, our food supply that I honestly was having trouble sleeping. I went out and got the borax but I also bought several of those flat tin can roach baits (you open them by punching in the perforated tin openings with a key).
I was sure to put them out of the way so that PJ/other kids wouldn't get
into them...I put one under a ledge near my stove so part
of it was still visible. I was sure to explain to PJ that it's POISON
and he should NEVER touch it. He has not gone near it....
Okay, fast forward..
Last night my best friend, her husband and her 3 kids came over and we had a great dinner. After dinner, she and I were cleaning up the kitchen and her husband was reading to the kids in the bedroom. The baby was crawling back and forth between rooms. Suddenly, he started screaming under my feet...he had come into the kitchen and got that tin bait! I
reacted and yanked it out of his hand saying "It's poison!", the problem was his thumb was stuck in one of those openings
His mom picked him up and his thumb started to bleed from a bad slice...she couldn't stop the bleeding after 15 minutes so they had to take him to the hospital for help
I feel so horrible today...the poor baby cried and cried and finally settled when his mama nursed him.
I never should have brought those damn things in the house...they are a hazard in so many ways.
Just thought I'd share as a warning to all...

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#9 of 9 Old 04-28-2005, 09:36 AM
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I'm with you all who LOATHE roaches. ick ick ick! I can't stand to even type or say the word.

I have heard that bay leaves repel them, so you might buy some in bulk and scatter them under cabinets and such.

I also have poison free bug killer- here is a website that sells it: You can spray it outside the house too.

good luck!!

Krista, crafty blogging mama to four
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