Many people consider cockroaches to be disgusting and they do not want them around. They want something that will drive cockroaches away.
People have tried many kinds of plant to repel cockroaches. Some people say that if you sprinkle crushed bay leaves in the cabinets, roaches will stay away. Others say that planting marigolds in the flowerbeds will keep cockroaches out of the house.
Some people say that catnip is the best cockroach repellant. They say that the catnip can be used as it comes or it can be boiled to make a tea. They say that the catnip tea can be sprayed around the kitchen to repel cockroaches. They advise that this is best in homes that do not have a cat.
There are occasionally ads that promote devices to repel roaches. There are a variety of these machines on the market. Unfortunately, there is not much evidence that they are effective.
Some materials actually are repellant to cockroaches. Silica gel and diatomaceous earth are natural products. Silica gel may be hard to find, but diatomaceous earth should be available wherever swimming pool supplies are sold. These powders can be applied in wall voids, cabinet bases, and similar places. They will last a very long time and they will repel roaches.
Plant extracts, like pyrethrum, are very repellant to cockroaches. A quick spray of an aerosol that contains pyrethrum will send cockroaches running. The trouble with pyrethrum or diatomaceous earth is that they often cause roaches to run from one hiding place to another. .
For a solution that will last a long time, many people are turning to Integrated Pest Management. (Many people use the initials – IPM.) It's a method that combines several techniques to eliminate cockroach problems and to prevent problems from developing.
For the large cockroaches, IPM begins outdoors. Move firewood away from the house and put it up on a rack so roaches can't hide underneath. Clean the gutters – some large roaches actually eat decaying leaves. Keep the lid on the garbage can and pick up any trash that spills over. If there are outdoor pets, pick up any un-eaten pet food when the pet finishes eating so the roaches can't eat it during the night.
Make sure exterior doors close tightly. If a dime can slide under a door, a cockroach might be able to get in. Check at the home store for weather-stripping. Make sure the crawl space access can be closed securely. There should be screens on the crawl space vents and any ground-level windows. Sticky traps can help – put them just inside the garage doors. One trap on each side will capture any roaches that squeeze past the doors.
The small roaches get into the home in packages and backpacks. Inspect items from flea markets, thrift shops, and yard sales. Check backpacks that have been at school or day care.
In the kitchen and bathroom, caulk cracks and crevices, especially around the sink. Take out the trash regularly. Store food in containers that can be sealed. Put away leftover food and wash dishes before going to bed – cockroaches are active at night.
Insecticide can be used as a barrier. Apply a liquid insecticide to the foundation outside. Because of rain and sun, the barrier will have to be re-applied periodically. Many people prefer to get a pest control professional to make these applications.