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Natural Palmetto Bug Repellents to keep them away!

Besides the abhorrence associated with them, palmetto bugs can also play a role in disease spread. Therefore keeping them away from indoors should always be considered. Nature has bestowed upon us almost everything needed for living a peaceful life, including a natural solution to keeping Palmetto bugs away.

To keep palmetto bugs away, natural palmetto bug repellents are essential oils, including Neem, Tea tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Cypress, and Peppermint. Herbs and plants, including bark from Cinnamon, leaves from Mint, Bay, Pandan, and pieces of garlic, are also equally effective in repelling palmetto bugs. Natural baits are Boric acid, Diatomaceous Earth, and vinegar. Pets and animals, including Cats, Hen, Tockay Geckos, and Centipedes, will also help keep palmetto bugs away.

I feel really nauseous when I see palmetto bugs. They are such as* Ho*** that they can also make you feel embarrassed in front of guests like they did once. Therefore I personally experimented and researched with palmetto bug repellents that are natural and readily available. To my surprise, I was amazed to see the results, which I will be sharing in the blog below.

Before you read further, just a quick question. Tired of cockroaches and looking for a permanent solution?

Stop wasting your time, invest in these products and follow this guide: How to get rid of roaches? You will be roach-free in 10-20 days.

1. Max Force Glue Traps
2. Advion Gel Baits
3. Harris Powder Bait
4. Gentrol Insect Growth Regulator
5. Loctite Foam Sealent

Optional Items
1. Gel Bait Professional Gun
2. Torch
3. Powder Bait Puffer
4. Insecticide Spray to kill a reveled colony in a single shot

Why Natural Repellants are Better?

The market is flooded with chemical agents that not only repels but even kill palmetto bugs very effectively and efficiently. But, unfortunately, the chemicals are mostly neurotoxic, which are hazardous substances for animals and humans. Besides these drawbacks, they are also bad for the environment, including aquatic life.

Although electric palmetto bug repellents that produce sounds can be pretty effective, managing them can sometimes be pretty difficult.

I have kids at home, and we all know that they are pretty naughty and impatient. So I am personally not in favor of chemical or electric palmetto bugs killer/repellents.

Natural palmetto bug repellants are my personal favorite because they are easily available. In addition, almost all of them are nontoxic and are a cheap solution to palmetto bugs.

Read More: Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

What do palmetto bugs hate?

Palmetto bugs hate the smell of plants like mint leaves, catnip, bay leaves, cinnamon bark, pandan leaves, garlic, lemons, coffee grounds, and bitter cucumber. Roaches also hate the smell and taste of a few essential oils like neem, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, etc.

These oils and plants will help to keep cockroaches away from your home, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

Additional Read: What smell keeps roaches away? Roach Repellents Guide

Different Types of Repellants?

Some natural repellants can be easily found sitting in your home, while others need to be bought from a physical or an online store. All the natural Palmetto bug repellants are not the same; some are oils while others are leaves, bark, powder, or living creatures.

Palmetto bug repellants have different efficacy and mode of use. Some are to be sprayed (Oils), some are just kept at certain areas of the house (leaves, bark, garlic), while others are often mixed with other things ( borax with sugar) to make them super effective.


OilsHerbs & PlantsNatural BaitsPets & Animals
Neem OilMint Plant leavesCitronella CandlesTockay Geckos
Clove OilCatnipBorax and SugarCats
Tea Tree OilBay LeavesVinegarCentipedes
Eucalyptus OilCinnamon BarkDiatomaceous EarthHens
Lavender OilPandan LeavesCayenne
Cypress OilGarlic
Peppermint Oillemons
Mint Plants OilCoffee Grounds
Citronella OilBitter Cucumber

1. How to get rid of palmetto bugs with essential oils?

There are a number of natural oils that can repel palmetto bugs very effectively. Some oils are thought to kill palmetto bugs. However, the main working principle of oils is their smell. Oils have a deep-strong potent smell. The smell of oils may be pungent, e.g., clove oil, or soothing and relaxing like mint or lavender oil.

The palmetto bugs hate strong fragrances, so essentially all the oils will do the trick of repelling palmetto bugs. Although smells from certain oils last longer (lavender) than others (Mint).

All the oils need to be mixed with water and sprayed on the surfaces that inhabit palmetto bugs.

1. Neem Oil

Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the Neem tree. The Oil has a strong, pungent smell like sulfur, which repels and has been shown to kill palmetto bugs.

Effectiveness: 7/10
Active Ingredient: Liminoids
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Strong sulfur smell, Leave stains on cloth.
Cost: Cheap
How to use: 10 drops of oil diluted in one cup of water and sprayed onto the surfaces

2. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is greenish in color with a refreshing minty smell. It can not only repel but can also prove lethal to palmetto bugs.

Effectiveness: 6/10
Active Ingredient: limonene, beta-pinene, and beta-caryophyllene.
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Can leave stains on walls, concrete.
Cost: Cheap
How to use: Dilute with water (8 drops in a half cup) and spray on surfaces or clothes that are to be kept in corners around the house.

3. Lavender Oil

A pleasant and relaxing oil that smells great. The smell stays for long and is good at repelling palmetto bugs.

Effectiveness: 7/10
Active Ingredient: monoterpenes
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Can cause skin irritation in some people.
Cost: Costly
How to use: Dilute with water (15 drops in a cup) and spray on surfaces or clothes that are to be kept in corners around the house.

4. Tea Tree Oil

A fresh camphoraceous-smelling oil that has a yellowish color. It will help repel palmetto bugs for long periods.

Effectiveness: 8/10
Active Ingredient: Terpinen-4-ol
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Can cause dermatitis and be toxic if taken by mouth.
Cost: Moderately Expensive
How to use: Combine 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water with 10 drops of oil.

5. Eucalyptus Oil

A strong-smelling oil that is distilled from dried leaves of the Eucalyptus plant. Has some success in repelling palmetto bugs.

Effectiveness: 5/10
Active Ingredient: eucalyptol
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Bad smell and can be toxic even in minor quantities
Cost: Cheap
How to use: Apply on a piece of cotton and place it in the designated areas.

6. Clove Oil

Clove oil has a strong, spicy aroma and is colorless to yellow. Has excellent bug-repelling properties

Effectiveness: 8/10
Active Ingredient: eugenol, eugenyl acetate, and caryophyllene
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Strong, pungent smell
Cost: Cheap
How to use: Place the bottle in the cupboard with the lid removed.

2. Plants that repel palmetto bugs

The good thing about herbs and plants is that they don’t need to be sprayed. They are just kept at certain places of the house, and the strong smell works amazingly in keeping palmetto bugs away.

The herbs and plants that repel palmetto bugs are readily available throughout the year and are pretty cheap. Moreover, they are non-toxic to pets and children. Below I have listed Common herbs and plants that are good at repelling palmetto bugs.

1. Mint Plant leaves

The Mint plant is a very versatile natural herb that has a strong refreshing smell. Although dry leaves will work,
fresh leaves are superior at repelling bugs. The leaves stay
fresh for 36 hours.

Effectiveness: 6/10
Active Ingredient: Menthol
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Dry leaves are brittle, have the ability to attract insects.
Cost: Cheap

2. Catnip

Catnip is pretty similar in appearance to mint leaves with a pungent smell that attracts cats.
The strong odor is very effective in repelling palmetto bugs away.

Effectiveness: 8/10
Active Ingredient: nepetalactone
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: It can drive your cat crazy. It can also be a nuisance to certain people.
Cost: Cheap

3. Garlic

Garlic has a strong, pungent smell that stays for long. Crushed cloves are possible the best palmetto bug’s natural repellents available. Garlic powder sprinkled dry or sprayed after mixing in water will also ward the bug away.

Effectiveness: 8/10
Active Ingredient: Allicin
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Smell stays for long and is often difficult to use.
Cost: Cheap

4. Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are large in size and smell like thyme or oregano. The smell can repel palmetto bugs to some extent but is not super effective in large infestations.

Effectiveness: 4/10
Active Ingredient:  Essential oils including eucalyptol and other terpenes
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Fresh leaves are difficult to acquire.
Cost: Cheap

5. Cinnamon

Cinnamon bark has a strong pungent and spicy smell that can repel palmetto bugs if used with mint or other plants. However, Cinnamon alone is not quite good.

Effectiveness: 6/10
Active Ingredient: cinnamaldehyde and cinnamate
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Smell may trigger cough in some people.
Cost: Cheap

6. Pandan Leaves

Pandan leaves are scentless until crushed when they have a grassy smell. They are not good at repelling palmetto bugs in large spaces but can be kept in drawers where they are useful.

Effectiveness: 4/10
Active Ingredient: ACPY 2-acetyl-1-pyroline
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Not good for large spaces.
Cost: Expensive

3. Best palmetto bug killer

Natural baits can be set up to either repel or kill palmetto bugs. They are the best alternative to oils and herbs. I have personally experimented with them and have found them effective against palmetto bugs and other roaches.

1. Boric Acid and Sugar

Mixing the same proportion of boric acid and powdered sugar works wonders in warding off palmetto bugs. Once the mixture is set, sprinkle it in different parts of the house and wait for 3 days before you clean it. The sugar attracts, whereas boric kills palmetto bugs.

Once the bug consumes boric acid, it disrupts its digestive, nervous, and skeletal systems. Although this is a slow process and takes time (three days) but is an effective and long-term remedy because the boric acid stays on the surfaces for long, so you will not see palmetto bugs roaming around for quite long.

Although boric acid is non-toxic to humans and pets, it can cause skin irritation; therefore, I recommend using gloves when handling it.

2. Diatomaceous Earth

You may not be aware of diatomaceous earth. This is a natural powder similar in appearance to boric acid. This powder works by slowly dehydrating the bugs. All you have to do is buy food-grade diatomaceous earth powder and sprinkle small amounts in places just like boric acid. Wait for few days before you start seeing the results.

Although food-grade is nontoxic, be aware that the pool-grade is very toxic, so before you sprinkle it, make sure which type you are about to use.

3. Citronella Candles

These are like regular candles but are made by mixing citronella oil with regular wax. The burning of candles creates fumes that repel insects and palmetto bugs to some extent in the candles’ immediate area.

I do not recommend their use because they must be lit on fire and create fumes that can prone humans and pets to cough. However, they can be used in outsides spaces to ward off flying insects and other bugs.

4. Pets and Animals

We all know that pets, especially cats, are pretty naughty. They get annoyed pretty quickly by any invader entering their space. So before you plan to buy a chemical palmetto bug repellent, always consider cat first. You will be surprised by the fact that cats will never allow palmetto bugs to roam around the house freely.

Hens are omnivorous, and they love to feed on insects. Palmetto bugs are nothing less than a proteinaceous meal for hens. Although hens can not be kept inside the house, they are excellent palmetto bug killers in your backyard.

Tockey geckoes are vibrant and unusual aggressive pets that will surely ward off palmetto bugs. However, I am personally not in favor of them because of the abhorrence associated with them. Moreover, they can sometimes elicit an excruciating bite to humans.

Read More: What animals eat cockroaches and palmetto bugs?

5. How to keep palmetto bugs out of the house

Good housekeeping practices are the cornerstone of keeping palmetto bugs away. Palmetto bugs are attracted to wet, damp, shady, and unsanitary conditions like other cockroaches. Follow the below instructions for the best results.

  1. Keep your house clean and dry with good lightning, this will keep palmetto bugs in check.
  2. Make sure to seal any gaps or cracks in your house.
  3. If there are any pipe leaks, fix them timely.
  4. Refrain from creating litter especially food.
  5. Cover your bins properly.
  6. Cover the bathroom and kitchen drains with mesh.
  7. Regulary clean your house with main focus on drawers, cupboards and under the furniture.

Additional Read:

  1. How to Get Rid of Roach Smell in Your House?
  2. How to get rid of Roaches coming from Neighbors
  3. Roach in Dishwasher [Getting Rid and Prevention]
  4. How to Get Rid of Roach Eggs?