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What Smell Do Palmetto Bugs Hate? (Try THIS Oil First)

Besides their abhorrence, 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 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 experimented and researched palmetto bug repellents that are natural and readily available.

To my surprise, I was amazed to see the results, which I will share in the blog below.

Tired of cockroaches? Invest in only these products and follow the guide to eliminate roaches!

Use these products, and you will be roach free in less than a week.

1. Advion Cockroach Gel Bait (Review)
2. Gentrol IGR Point Source (Review)

Other Products to try:

1. Combat Roach Traps (Easy than gel baits)
2. Hot Shot Foggers (To kill in masses – 95%)
3. Pet Safe Killers (Uses Essential Oils)
4. Ortho Defence Outdoor Roach Killer (Prevent Roaches)

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 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 in some regions of the house (leaves, bark, garlic), while others are often mixed with other things ( borax with sugar) to make them super practical.

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
Smells Palmetto Bug Hates

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

Many natural oils 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

Ready to Use
Harris Neem Oil Spray for Plants, Cold Pressed Ready to Use, 20oz
  • Ready to Use
  • Cold Pressed Neem Oil
  • Sustainable & Eco Friendly
  • Shines Foliage
  • High Concentration

2. Peppermint Oil

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

Effectiveness: 9/10
Active Ingredient: limonene, beta-pinene, and beta-caryophyllene.
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: Can leave stains on walls and concrete.
Cost: Cheap
How to use: Dilute with water (8 drops in a half cup) and spray on surfaces or clothes to be kept in corners around the house.

Ready to Use
Pest Control Peppermint Oil - Natural Spray for Roaches and Palmetto Bugs
  • Safe
  • Extra Concentrated for Long-Lasting Protection
  • Natural Ingredients Proven Effective in the Real World
  • Large 16oz Bottle
  • Powerful Essential Oil

3. Clove Oil

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

Effectiveness: 8/10
Active Ingredients: 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.

Ready to Use
Clove Oil Pest Control Concentrate
  • Eliminate Home Invading Pests
  • One small concentrate bottle is all you need
  • Plant Based, Non-Toxic Formula
  • Fast Acting Formula
  • Effectively Protect Your Home

4. Lavender Oil

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

Effectiveness: 4/10
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 to be kept in corners around the house.

Ready to Use
Lavender Linen and Room Spray
  • Relaxing Fabric Spray
  • Natural Room Spray.
  • Handcrafted Home Fragrance
  • No Risk

5. Tea Tree Oil

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

Effectiveness: 6/10
Active Ingredient: Terpinen-4-ol
Nature: Organic
Down Sides: This can cause dermatitis and be toxic if taken by mouth.
Cost: Moderately Expensive
How to use: Combine 1 part vinegar and four parts water with ten drops of oil.

Ready to Use
Tea Tree Essential Oil by Fiora Naturals
  • USDA Certified Organic Tea Tree Oil
  • Therapeutic Grade Tea Tree Oil 
  • Aromatherapy
  • For Skin And Hair
  • For Conscious Consumers

6. 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: Mainly works for mosquitos
Cost: Cheap
How to use: Apply on a piece of cotton and place it in the designated areas.

Ready to Use
Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

2. Plants that repel palmetto bugs

The good thing about herbs and plants is that they don’t need to be sprayed.

They are kept at certain places of the house, and the pungent smell works amazingly in keeping palmetto bugs away.

The herbs and plants that repel palmetto bugs are readily available throughout the year and are 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 similar to mint leaves, with a pungent smell that attracts cats.
The pungent 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 prevent the bug.

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 and smell like thyme or oregano. The smell can somewhat repel palmetto bugs 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 helpful.

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 experimented with them and 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 3 days before you clean it. The sugar attracts, whereas boric kills palmetto bugs.

Once the bug consumes boric acid 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 a 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.

Learn More: Boric Acid for Roaches: Does it kill?

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. You must buy food-grade diatomaceous earth powder and sprinkle small amounts in places just like boric acid. Wait for a 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.

Learn More: How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth for Roaches and Bugs: Does it Work?

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 outside 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 that cats never allow palmetto bugs to roam freely around the house.

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 their abhorrence. Moreover, they can sometimes elicit an excruciating bite on 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 adequately.
  6. Cover the bathroom and kitchen drains with anti-cockroach drain covers.
  7. Regularly clean your house with the main focus on drawers, cupboards, and under the furniture.

Why are natural repellants better?

The market is flooded with chemical agents that repel and even kill palmetto bugs very effectively and efficiently.

But unfortunately, the chemicals are primarily neurotoxic, hazardous substances for animals and humans.

Besides these drawbacks, they are also bad for the environment, including aquatic life.

Read More: Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

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

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

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?