Does Irish Spring Soap Repel Roaches?

One of the most interesting things I’ve ever learned is that Irish Spring soap is actually a surprisingly effective animal repellent. Folks say it keeps all kinds of critters at bay, from deer and rabbits to squirrels, chipmunks, snakes and more.


I’ve even heard it touted as a safe and easy-to-use roach repellent. Is that true? Does Irish Spring soap repel roaches?

No, Irish Spring soap does not repel roaches, sadly. It will keep many animals with sensitive noses away, but roaches are not the least bit deterred by Irish Spring even if they come into contact with the soap itself.

Talk about a major disappointment. I know it might be a minor thing considering how useful Irish Spring is around our homes and gardens for keeping other animals away, but roaches are such a nasty and invasive problem that I truly wished it did the job.

Sadly, it does not, not this way, so you have to find another way to get rid of roaches and keep them out. But I will tell you more about the issue down below, anyway.

Is Irish Spring Really Supposed to be a Roach Repellent?

Yes, or at least it is touted as a general-purpose insect repellent. This is actually something of an interesting story, because one of the things you’ll see Irish Spring recommended for is as mosquito repellent.

Supposedly, if you wash with Irish Spring or if you keep a bar of soap in your pocket, or some shavings of the soap in your pocket, then mosquitoes will magically leave you alone.

Again, it’s not true and I so wish it was!

Iris spring, as I said, does indeed keep lots of mammals away, for most among them deer and squirrels.

This is something that has been known for a long time by clever gardeners and homesteaders, since well before the internet was even really online for the public.

But, sad as it is, Irish Spring does not repel and will not displace roaches if they are in your home or anywhere else.

Its supposed insecticidal and insect-repelling properties just don’t exist.

Does Irish Spring Even Contain Any Repellent Ingredients?

No, it doesn’t. This is another oft-repeated part of the Irish Spring-as-insecticide legend.

The story will vary a bit depending on who is telling and where they heard it from first, but it usually goes something like Irish Spring actually has the same active ingredients as a commercial bug killer or bug repellent.

Again, it’s just not true. Totally false. It is entirely plausible that Irish Spring might hve minor ingredients or inactive ingredients that are shared with the likewise inactive ingredients of these other chemicals.

However, there’s nothing in Irish Spring that is a genuine bug repellent and that means it doesn’t work on roaches.

When it comes to other animals, specifically mammals and reptiles, it is the fragrance, believe It or not, that repels them.

You know it smells good to most people, but it’s apparently highly offensive to mammals.

Unfortunately, roaches and other insects just don’t smell things in the same way so we cannot count on the fragrance driving them off.

Will Irish Spring Drive Off any Roaches That Touch It?

No, sorry. I’ve even heard it said that roaches cannot physically touch or won’t cross Irish Spring soap, and so all you have to do is make a physical barrier of the shavings or something else, and then you can forget about roaches getting in that way.

This is patently false, for starters, but also completely nonsensical because roaches can cling and climb on any surface, and they also fly. Nice try, but no dice!

Will Irish Spring Body Wash Keep Roaches Away?

No, again. The body wash, like the bar soap, doesn’t contain any special ingredients and have any effect whatsoever on roaches in terms of deterrence.

For the record, the body wash doesn’t work on mammals either as best I know.

Will Roaches Be Drawn to Irish Spring?

No, luckily. The only way the disappointment could be made even worse is if roaches would be attracted to Irish Spring. Again, not the case.

You don’t have to worry about roaches flocking to your bathroom to get at your soap at least.

Soap Can Still Help You Deal with a Roach Problem

Don’t click away just yet. There might be a grain of truth to this whole story as best I was able to unravel it. Soap, of another kind, can indeed help you deal with insect pests.

In fact, I’d bet money you’ve got this soap or near your sink right now. It’s dish soap. Dish soap can actually be a highly effective and completely safe insect killer because it exploits a weakness in insect biology, and that includes.

You see, bugs have an exoskeleton. You knew that already, but what you might not have known is that this exoskeleton has a wax-like coating or cuticle that keeps harmful things out and keeps the bug’s moisture in.

If this coating were to be degraded by something designed to cut grease, like dish soap for instance, the poor bug would start to desiccate and die.

You can see where this is going: All you need to do is make up a quick and easy solution from dish soap, a dash of cooking oil and water.

You’ll want to use about 25% soap to 75% water and then a capful of oil before mixing everything up well and putting it in a spray bottle or garden sprayer.

Then, all you need to do is hose down areas where roaches congregate and where they move.

It takes time, but as they become exposed to the film of soap left over the cuticle on their exoskeleton will degrade, and in just a little while they’ll start dying.

Takes a little bit of patience, but it’s well worth it considering you won’t have to use any nasty, harmful chemicals to do the job.

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