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Myth Busted: Is Pandan Leaf an Effective Cockroach Repellent?

Green, smooth long leaves with a nice fragrant aroma, the pleasant smell of pandan leaves linger to give off a sweet effervescent, a perfect natural scent enhancement.

If you have ever used pandan leaves other than for cooking purposes, it is most likely to use it as a natural cockroach repellent. A popular DIY cockroach repellent method among many locals in Singapore, the smell of pandan leaves is thought to repel cockroaches and make them go away.

Home owners are most likely to place pandan leaves in areas cockroaches hide in and emerge from. Rubbish chutes, behind sofas in living rooms, dark store rooms, along shelves in study or bedroom are some of the common areas owners will stash a bunch of pandan leaves in the home. In some extreme cases, where the presence of cockroaches is frequent, owners tend to place stashes of leaves at every possible corner and risk areas in the home. 

In fact, this myth has become so common and popular, that many of you would have seen car owners placing a bundle of pandan leaves in their car boot or the back of the seat. Both of which, are common and perfect nesting areas for straying cockroaches.

Yet, are pandan leaves a good cockroach repellent and an effective cockroach bait?  Dr. Chan, in-house Medical Entomologist of Rentokil Initial Singapore shares his expert view on this:

Dr. Chan says: Placing fresh pandan leaves around is not a "treatment" or a solution. Cockroaches may avoid it (some form of repelling effect) but they are not killed. Moreover, should these fresh leaves dry up, they could become a food source for cockroaches and other pests.

Cockroaches may dislike the smell of pandan leaves yet they are not killed. Placing fresh pandan leaves in one area may allow cockroaches to simply move from 1 point to another within the same area. In other words, you are just helping to move cockroaches around your home or in the vehicle.

Pandan leaf is not a baiting alternative to cockroach control. Besides serving a weak repelling effect and do not have control and eliminating function, placing pandan leaves are not able to address the root source of a cockroach infestation.

Did you know? A cockroach is able to live for a long time in a car as it feeds on various human fibers left behind by its driver and passengers.  And with food, water and shelter readily available in a home, cockroaches are omnivorous pests which will eat almost anything organic and form their harborage. Find out what cockroaches like to eat in your home.

Cockroaches can be carried in from many sources into your vehicles or homes via shopping bags and/or rubbish bins found nearby. Any possible gaps, crevices and holes are entry points for these cockroaches. Widely known as "Pests of Poor Hygiene", keeping your home, office, car or environment clean helps to keep them from finding comfortable places to hide and live in. There are some simple housekeeping steps you can follow to minimize cockroach build-up.

Are you a common myth believer and a victim in resorting to DIY alternatives? Learn more about other interesting pest myths that are commonly misperceived or drop us a quick and fast online enquiry here if your home has turned into a home for cockroaches.

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