A quick breakdown of roach repellents
Most roach repellents try to achieve that through scents that roaches and other pests despise, or by creating a physical barrier of intolerably tasting-mixture that the pests wouldn’t want to past through.
There are also a lot of options when it comes to the ingredients of such repellents. Some include chemicals such as various pesticides and insecticides, while others rely entirely on natural products such as essential oils, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, bay leaves oil, and others. Each ingredient has its own range of effectiveness and works better or worse against different types of pests, so choose what repellent you’re going to buy carefully.
Ultrasonic devices, on the other hand, work in a completely different manner, but obey the same principle – they create an environment that’s intolerable for pests. Only instead of scent or taste, ultrasound devices achieve that by emitting a constant and irritable ultrasonic sound that insects and rodents alike often hate. The sound is finely tuned at such a frequency that it doesn’t bother or affect humans in any way and also doesn’t bother most common household pets like dogs, cats, and birds. If you have hamsters, chinchillas, mice or other rodent pets, however, expect them to be bothered by these devices. Also keep in mind that while often effective, ultrasonic devices have a different strength and effectiveness against different types of pests, so they work best in combination with other repellents.
Roach repellent buying guide
What types of pests are you dealing with? There is an enormous difference between cockroaches, ants, wasps, rats, and snakes. Even just among cockroaches, there are more than 4000 different types of roaches, each with their own size, body differences, dietary preferences, and resistance to poison or repellents.
Every different roach or pest poison or repellent is often specifically designed to be most effective against one type of pests and – at best – have a partial effect against other types of pests.
How intensive is the problem? Natural repellents can work effectively against light problems and as a general prevention tool, but even the best natural tool can face difficulties once the situation becomes direr. Most homeowners don’t fancy using chemicals, pesticides, and insecticides, but the sad reality is that sometimes the situation just calls for more drastic measures. Speaking of more drastic measures, keep in mind that repellents are intended for just repelling individual pests and preventing their spreading in the treated area. If you are dealing with an actual and existing infestation, repellents are highly unlikely to be able to deal with it as they can’t reach the nests and colonies of most pests.
Do you need the roach repellent for indoors or outdoors? The differences between the two are pretty clear – outdoors the product need to be resistant to the elements, while indoors it needs to not be troubling your everyday life and activities.
Are you treating a residential, a commercial or a storage area? Are there food processing facilities in the area you’ll be treating? Some products can be used in, on or around food processing facilities, while others – including some natural products – need to be kept away from food and food-related items and utensils. Odour is also a factor since it makes a lot of products inapplicable in residential or commercial areas.
Are there pets or children in the treated area? As much as we love our kids and pets, they do have the habit of getting into trouble. The simple fact is that a lot of products – including natural ones that are not poisonous even when ingested – are just not suitable for places with pets or kids. Powders can easily be scattered by kids, gels can easily be licked by pets, ultrasonic devices have the risk of bothering some pets, and so on. Most of these problems can be circumvented by an adequate positioning of the repellent, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
Once you’ve figured out exactly what type of roach or pest repellent is most suitable for your situation, the next question to ask is: which of these thousands of products on the market right now is actually of a high enough quality to deal with my problem? And we’re not going to sugar-coat it, most products you will see online simply aren’t up to par with what you probably need. Finding roach sprays, pouches or ultrasonic devices of a high enough quality requires either a lot of trial and error or reading literally hundreds of user and industry reviews online. The problem with the latter option is that user reviews tend to be largely inconsistent, subjective, incomplete, or outright false. Industry reviews, on the other hand, generally contain much more information but with them, you run the risk of being fooled by biased reviews.
Cockroaches, in particular, can feed on virtually anything, including dirt, sweat, and dandruff, so frequently cleaning the area before applying the repellent is the best way to ensure that it will work at maximum effectiveness.
Still, going through enough reviews of both types before making a purchase is about the best way we have of determining whether a product is worth buying or not. It certain beats the trial and error method, although with it you can form your own experiences and opinions about different types of products which is, of course, always beneficial.
Another thing to consider is the brand of the products you’re contemplating between. Brands aren’t the fool-proof market of quality advertisers would like us to believe, as a lot of top brands have trash products, while some unknown brands have products of surprisingly good quality. Still, if you are at a loss as of what to buy, comparing brand reputation can be a good way of making a judgment call. Here are some of the brands we’d recommend: Wondercide, Natura Bona, SNIFF’n’STOP, Eco-Defense, SparkPod, Majestic Pure, Aunt Fannie’s, Go Green, Essentially KateS, MaxMoxie, and others.
Other useful information about cockroach repellents
The answer to that question is complicated as for a long time these devices were sold despite the complete lack of scientific data about their effectiveness. In 2001, the Federal Trade Commission sent a warning to manufacturers of ultrasonic pest control devices. In that warning, the FTC demanded that all claims of effectiveness of these devices must be backed by testable and provable scientific research. In the following years, plenty of research was done, but the results from it were more or less mixed – some devices worked, some didn’t, and of those that worked, most did so only in some cases and not all the time.
This sounds troubling from the perspective of the consumer, but the occasional success of the ultrasonic devices was enough for the manufacturers to be able to claim that their products work. Keep in mind, however, that this doesn’t necessarily mean that these devices are not trustworthy. The simple fact of the matter is that they work on a much more complex basis than other repellents, so there are a lot of outside factors that can impact their test results or effectiveness. Things such as additional noises, furniture blocking the spread of the sound waves, rodents’ ability to adapt to the ultrasound, as well as the variations in the millions of different species of insects targeted by these devices, all contribute to the partial effectiveness of such devices.
All this doesn’t change the fact, however, that when ultrasonic devices work, they work well. Add to that the fact that most of the big brands offer a no-questions-asked return policy and purchasing such a device, testing it out, and returning it if it doesn’t have an effect, is almost always a good idea.
Plants that repel roaches
There are hundreds of plants that have varying degrees of effectiveness when it comes to repelling insects. Roaches, being more stubborn than most other insect species, don’t mind a lot of these plants, but they are still deterred by some plants, including:
- Catnip is effective against most types of roaches, as well as against ants, flea beetles, squash bugs, Japanese beetles, and others. It can be applied both in dry form and as a tea spray. Keep in mind that it may attract cats, but cats do love to kill insects so that’s not necessarily a negative.
- Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, is a flowering plant native to Asia. It has a very strong and specific scent that tend to repel roaches, ants, Japanese beetles, ticks, silverfish, lice, fleas, bedbugs, and a lot of other annoying household pests.
- Rosemary is a woody perennial herb with evergreen leaves. It’s native to the Mediterranean region and its distinctive smell repels cockroaches, mosquitoes, slugs, snails, cabbage loopers, carrot flies, and Mexican bean beetles.
Roach repellent usage tips
Roach sprays, gels, powders, and pellets, in particular, are often misused when it comes to location. Unlike ultrasonic roach repellents, these products only work if you’ve applied them to the exact and perfect locations in the right quantity. You can spray half your home with a roach repellent spray, but if you’ve missed the one nook or crevice where roaches get out from and the path between it and the trash, then you’re going to continue to have roaches.
Even if you’ve successfully found the right spots to spray, spray too lightly can also mean ineffectiveness. Especially with natural products that contain no insecticides, if you’ve only applied them lightly, chances are that after a while roaches and other insects will be able to comfortably walk over them without a care in the world.
Alternatively, if you spray too heavily, the odor may become insufferable for you as well. Even many generally odorless solutions can leave a scent if they are applied too heavily, so finding the right balance is important. Also, keep in mind that a lot of sprays aren’t recommended for specific surfaces. Most sprays don’t reach much of a residue behind them but if you apply them on a porous surface they can still leave some residue or even damage on it.
Using a single roach pouch in an entire warehouse simply isn’t going to give you the result you want. Alternatively, applying too much of a chemical roach repellent on the floor of a car instead of using a pouch may work in repelling rodents and pests but it will also effectively “repel” you from using the vehicle as well.
With powders and pellets, there are other concerns as well. Because they don’t stick to where you apply them they can easily get scattered around by wind, pets or even accidental human movement. Powders, like sprays and gels, are usually applied only on specific locations but they can still be easily scattered. Generally speaking, powders are not recommended if you have pets or small children in the house for this very reason unless you’re confident that your pets or kids can’t reach the spots you intend to apply the powder.
Pellets, on the other hand, are intended for outdoor use because powders or other repellents simply do a better job indoors. Still, even outdoors pellets can get easily scattered by the wind or other natural elements if you apply them incorrectly. For maximum effect, pellets need to be applied evenly around the precise area where the rodents as coming from or passing through. Plus, if you leave too many and too big spaces between the pellets, chances are that crawling insects and rodents will still trouble you.
Ultrasonic and electronic roach repellents work very differently from all other types of roach repellents, but the “location principle” still applies to them. Placing an ultrasonic device in an area that isn’t prone to be invaded by roaches, insects or other pests is usually just a waste. Alternatively, placing just one device in a room that’s too large will render its ultrasounds ineffective at repelling roaches and other pests, especially in the far ends of the room. Also keep in mind that while ultrasound and electromagnetic waves can deal with furniture to an extent, their effects are generally lessened by it. Especially in the parts of the room where you suspect or know that the pests are coming from it is wise to keep the area clear of any big appliances and furniture.
Also remember that rodents, in particular, can sometimes adapt to the ultrasound and learn to ignore it. The ultrasound of such repellents isn’t intended to be painful as much as to be annoying and troublesome to pests. So, if the mice or rats really want to invade your home or storage space, just ultrasound might not be enough and you’d often do well to combine ultrasound devices with another type of repellents.
At the end of the day, cleanliness is a virtue when it comes to battling insects and other pests. Regardless of what tools you’re using, if your home, storage area or commercial space is too dirty, roaches, insects or rodents are likely to keep coming. Depending on their strength, repellents can be more or less effective, but if there’s enough stuff luring the pests in, even the strongest repellent may not be powerful enough for a stubborn rat or cockroach. That’s generally why the combination of two or more repellents is often advisable, but keeping the area clean is the unsung hero of combatting pests.
If, however, you’re just looking for a preventive measure that will keep future pest invasions from happening or something that you can apply for right after an extermination, then repellers are what you should be looking for. Whether natural or chemical-based, a good roach, insect or general pest repeller will keep your home, commercial or storage area pest-free for as long as you’re applying it correctly. There are multiple different types of cockroach repellents – sprays, pouches, pellets, powder, gel, or even electronic and ultrasonic devices. Each of these types has its benefits and negatives, each is more effective in some situations and less so in others, and each has both good and bath products in its category. If you successfully determine which is the right type of roach repellent product for your situation, if you buy a high-quality item, and if you apply it correctly, chances are that you’ll rid yourself of the pests that are bothering you quickly and easily.