No one wants gross pests in their house, but you may not be that enthusiastic about using harsh chemicals around your home as a means of keeping them away. Fortunately, there are all kinds of home remedies for keeping your house pest-free, and essential oils play a big role. Specifically, if you want to repel cockroaches, a little peppermint oil is surprisingly effective.
A mix of peppermint oil and white vinegar is a solid go-to for repelling several pests, especially spiders. But research from Auburn University suggests the mix is good for the peskiest of pests too: the dreaded roach.
To make your own cockroach deterrent spray, Brittney Morgan at Apartment Therapy recommends dropping 10 drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle willed with two parts water and one part white vinegar. Spritz it around cupboards, under the sink, in the bathroom and anywhere else that roaches might want to hang out. You can also use straight peppermint oil to wipe down countertops. Not only will it keep pests away, it’ll smell nice too.
Keep in mind, however, that this won’t actually kill the cockroaches—it’ll just keep them from wanting to populate a certain area. If you have a serious infestation, you’re going to want to get an exterminator to take care of them first, then use this spray to keep them from coming back.
This story was originally published on 9/13/16 and was updated on 9/12/19 to provide more thorough and current information.