Banish Cockroaches From Your Home With This Powerful Two-Ingredient DIY Spray

Cockroaches are an annoying house pest that can be difficult to get rid of. While they don't sting and rarely bite humans, they are a cause for health concerns, and it's important to keep them out of your living space. Luckily, one essential oil — oregano oil — mixed with water can drive these pests away from your home. Oregano oil has been shown to repel and also kill brown-banded cockroaches, and using it won't contaminate your house like some pesticides.

Some people are allergic to cockroach feces and saliva and the presence of cockroaches can start attacks in people with asthma, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. These creepy insects also carry streptococcus, staphylococcus, and salmonella, which can end up on your kitchen counters or food if a roach happens to walk across them. To get rid of roaches, along with using an oregano oil treatment, it's also imperative to eliminate sources of food and water and seal any cracks leading into your house.

How to use oregano oil against cockroaches

For this DIY cockroach repellent, you only need two ingedients: oregano essential oil and water. Start by filling a spray bottle with water and then add several drops of the oil. This solution can then be sprayed throughout the home, including on kitchen counters. Oregano oil is known to be an antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial, making it safe to use on surfaces that come into contact with food. While many commercial roach repellents contain toxic chemicals that can be dangerous for humans and pets, oregano oil is a natural and safe way to deal with these resilient pests.

Once you've made your deterrent spray, make sure to apply it in all areas where cockroaches could be hiding. This will encourage the roaches to leave your home, and per a study published in the ​​Journal of Arthropod-Borne Diseases, if cockroach nymphs come into direct contact with the essential oil, it could kill them. Your oregano oil spray can be reapplied weekly or every other week to continue protecting your home against roaches.

How oregano oil repels cockroaches

In the aforementioned 2016 study on the effect of essential oils on the brown-banded cockroach, researchers found that solutions with a 5% or more concentration of oregano oil had a 100% mortality rate for cockroach nymphs that were exposed to it for 24 hours, proving the contact toxicity of the oil for cockroaches at an early stage. The study also found the oil worked well as a repellent, noting that after a spot was sprayed with diluted oregano oil, the cockroaches stayed away: "In the repellency test with oregano oil, nearly all the released cockroaches were concentrated at the same place in [the] untreated area and they were not close to the treated area even after a week."

While oregano essential oil has been proven to deter cockroaches, and even kill cockroach nymphs, the solution will need to be continually reapplied if you hope to get rid of cockroaches forever. To avoid having to spray constantly, though, try cleaning up crumbs, removing all standing water, fixing leaking pipes, and caulking any cracks in the exterior of your home. This will also encourage cockroaches to move on and prevent more from entering your house.