Bay leaves are an inexpensive, natural and effective way to repel cockroaches. Roaches dislike the smell of bay leaves and vacate areas where they come into contact with them.
Whole or crushed bay leaves should be scattered behind appliances or near entry points to deter cockroaches. In areas such as the kitchen where food is stored, bay leaves are a safe, non-toxic alternative to chemical bug sprays and poisons. Bay leaf sachets can also be used. To prevent cockroaches from entering in the first place, food should always be stored in sealed containers and dirty dishes should be promptly cleaned and put away.