Citronella As Roach Repellent

Kay Wagers

Roaches do not just invade your home and eat your food. They leave smelly trails behind them and can destroy books and papers. You can repel roaches using natural repellents like citronella.


A plant-derived insect repellent, citronella is effective against flies, mosquitoes and ants. For use against roaches, citronella oil is more effective than burning citronella candles. Citronella oil is nontoxic for humans and for pets, although it can cause skin irritation in some people.


To repel roaches from your home, place a few drops of citronella around your home and use it to wipe down the interior surfaces of pantries and cupboards. The scent of the oil will repel any roaches foraging for food. Reapply the oil every week or so to keep the scent strong and functional.


While citronella oil repels roaches, it will not kill them. If you have roaches inside your home, caulking cracks that lead to the outside will help stop the infestation. Keeping food in airtight containers and cleaning dirty dishes and cooking messes immediately will make your home less attractive to roaches.