It’s always lovely to have our homes smelling warm and welcoming to visitors, friends and family. Having scented candles is a beautiful way to do this. They emit a wonderful aroma throughout the place and the small flame gives your space a cozy ambiance.
But, sometimes, these sweet and lovely fragrant smells wafting from your home can also be an invitation for other unwanted visitors, like cockroaches. Of course, not all scented candles will do this, but ones with a sugary, sweet and fruity fragrance can be culprits in welcoming these pests into your home.
This is because cockroaches have a superior sense of smell. They do this through their antennas and feet. When candles are lit, the smell of it can potentially tell them there’s some good food and it’s close enough for them to access it. Roaches are opportunistic eaters and they aren’t picky about what they consider to be food.
What Smells Attract Roaches?
Because roaches aren’t picky eaters, almost any scent or smell will attract them. Things like compost piles, decaying garbage, sugar, fecal matter, food particles, rotting organic matter, wet dirty laundry, dead plants and pet food bowls will be a billboard sign telling cockroaches that a buffet is nearby.
Even dirty dishes and neglected countertops will attract roaches to your home. Their sensitive and high-quality olfactory systems can detect food from miles away. So, if there’s a particularly strong odor in your home it can be a sign for roaches to come to dinner.
If you live in an area with a high amount of cockroach activity, even the smallest piece of food left on your kitchen floor will attract them. Proper storing of food, particularly sugar and sweets, will go a long way in deterring cockroaches from coming in your house.
Do Candles Keep Cockroaches Away?
Candles, in and of themselves, do not keep cockroaches away. They will, more than likely, eat the wax of a candle. This will be especially true if the candle has sugar or other organic sweetness to it, like brown sugar vanilla or apple cinnamon. This is also true for potpourri, air fresheners and oil burners.
These things often comprise food-grade flavor oils, which mean they’re edible. Cockroaches will become attracted to this. They will not stop until they find the scent they were searching for; these critters are tenacious and resilient with hearty appetites.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much that will detract roaches from your home. They aren’t afraid of wax, solid or melted, and fire from a candle doesn’t scare them. If you have a serious infestation either call an exterminator or your landlord if you’re renting.
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What Candle Scents Do Roaches Hate?
If you really want to have scented candles in your home and you want to avoid attracting cockroaches, burn lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus or citrus. They hate the smell of these things and will avoid it at all costs.
You can try citronella, clove and cedar too but people report mixed results. They often seem to work better when accompanied with the first four scents mentioned. But, they can’t be cheap knock-off fragrances. These candles should have real herbs contained in them, either through essential oils and/or the actual herbs.
Essential Oil Tip
If you’ve had a problem with roaches, you can put the essential oils of these scents in a spray bottle with some water. Spray the affected areas where they frequent in your home. You can try growing some lavender inside and/or outside your home too.
Arning for Pets Like Cats ; Dogs
Please note that if you have pets, don’t spray clove, cedar, eucalyptus or tea tree around their food bowls and other areas they tend to be. These can be toxic to them. If you choose to use an oil burner or diffuser, make sure your pet won’t come into contact with these. It will make your fur baby sick.
Burning the scented candles of these things should be okay. But, to be on the safe side, don’t burn these scents near food dishes, beds, cat boxes or any other area your pet frequents.
What Attracts Roaches to Your House?
Since roaches have voracious appetites with an amazing sense of smell, almost anything can and will attract them to your house. Unfortunately, kitchens, bathrooms and other areas where there’s food, if left to rot, will become an attractive feast for cockroaches.
The best pest control is keeping your home as clean as possible. Sweeping, mopping and disinfecting at least once a week should be sufficient. Store food properly and immediately clean up any spills or messes. You don’t want to give anything a chance to become an invitation.
It’s not just food and waste that attracts roaches into your home. If they find something delicious or tasty to their liking, they will come to eat it. There are five main things that attract roaches to your house:
- Your Neighbors: Sometimes, our neighbors aren’t as clean as we would like them to be and their lack of cleanliness may be what brings cockroaches into your home. This will be more true for people who live in apartments, condos, side-by-side dwellings, townhouses and etc.
- Strong Odors: Any kind of strong odor will attract cockroaches into your home. Sugar, sweeteners, cereal, food left on the floor, garbage, compost and even human or pet fecal matter will become an open initiation for them.
- Paper ; Cardboard: Piles of old paper and boxes are organic, fibrous matter that’s delicious for cockroaches. This will be a particularly delectable meal if these are sitting in a damp basement undisturbed and in a dark place. Try storing these in sealable plastic bins to prevent attracting them.
- Pet Food and Water: Water and food bowls are pure bliss for cockroaches. Keep your pet’s eating area as clean as possible and feed your pet several times per day rather than leaving a lump of food out all day. Store food in airtight plastic containers and don’t put food in dark spaces.
- Moisture: The best environments for cockroaches are ones that are dark and moist. This means any water source can lure them: leaking pipes, drippy air conditioners, damp basements, standing water, piles of wet leaves and leaking roofs. Anything that can contribute to mold growth will attract cockroaches.
Even with your best efforts to deter cockroaches, they can still come into your home. They simply have no limits when it comes to feeding and they are not picky eaters. It’s why they often linger in sewers, dumps, bathrooms and kitchens. There’s a vast selection of food for them and they amass in these spaces.
What compounds the problem too is their ability to reproduce quickly. This fast becomes an infestation that’s difficult to control while causing damage to your property. So, if you want to burn scented candles, you will just have to leave that blueberry cream pie scented candle out of your options.
For scented candles to be effective in deterring cockroaches, they have to contain pure essential oils and/or herbs of the smells that they hate. Lavender, eucalyptus, citrus and a few others can work like a dream.