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3 All Natural Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Indonesia

For the last several months, I worked in between Jakarta and Bali. It was a wonderful time, transitioning between the hustle and bustle of a huge city to the quiet rice fields of Ubud, Bali. And it was nearly perfect…except for the cockroach situation that cropped up in both places.

In Jakarta, roaches seem to be a part of everyday life. The house I rented was an open-air, gorgeous structure that allowed the occasional mid-day breeze in along with an array of pests I didn’t care for. Now when it comes to spiders and ants, I don’t really mind. But roaches? Hell no.

But it can seem impossible to control, especially in places like Jakarta and Bali, in which the majority of housing is open air.

So what do you do if you love the open air but can’t stand the roaches? I did some serious research during my time and discovered a few handy tricks. If you’re in the same, unenviable position I was in, here’s how to fortify your (open) home!

Get Essential Oils

Essential oils aren’t just for relaxation – turns out they’re a highly effective roach repellent. And cockroaches being the gross beings they are, who wouldn’t prefer to simply prevent roaches rather than deal with an actual infestation?

The thing is – not all essential oils are useful to repel roaches. The top three best ones are cypress oil, peppermint oil and cedarwood oil. You can get all three and combine them to make your own potent roach repellent. But in my experience, crypress oil seems to be the most effective, by far, even if you just use it alone.

To use, mix the oil(s) with water and spray everything – your countertops, your furniture and the entrances to your home. You’ll need to spray regularly so the scent stays potent enough to ward off unwanted visitors.

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

This stuff is a life-saver. Never again will I live in the tropics without at least one bag of diatomaceous earth (DE). This powdery white stuff if one of the best home remedies for roaches you can get your hands on – and it’s pretty readily available in both Jakarta and Bali (look at the health food shops selling it as a detox powder).

This all natural soft powder secures your home from roaches by killing any unfortunate cockroach that makes contact with it. And it’s not just roaches – it’ll kill any bug with an exoskeleton.

The best part, though, is that it doesn’t effect other friendly creatures, like geckos. Which is really good news since geckos are a lovely form of natural roach repellent themselves – they feed on roaches, after all.

DE is the perfect solution for all of us who don’t want to use even the most highly effective roach killers like boric acid because it can potentially be eaten by geckos – causing them to die and become collateral damage in our war against roaches. Not cool.

To use DE, scatter it evenly all around the entry points to your home – basically any place that roaches can use to sneak into your house. Once a roach makes contact with it, the DE will puncture the cockroach’s body, causing it to dehydrate to death within 48 hours.

Pack a Bug Vacuum

If this sounds funny and bizarre to you, you’re probably not as squeamish as me when it comes to multi-legged creatures. The thing is – I freak out! Roaches may be disgusting but I don’t want to have to kill them and deal with that sickening “crunch” sound and the cleaning up of the body.

But at the same time, it’s disturbing to remain in a house that has a roach wandering freely.

So what’s the easiest, most elegant solution? Suck that roach up with a bug vacuum. These hardly take up any room in your suitcase and even the most squeamish of us can use it to immediately remove an offending pest. It works just as well for spiders and other creepy crawlies as it does for roaches!

Okay, there you have it – 3 highly effective and all natural ways to get rid of roaches. And ‘though my experience was limited to Jakarta and Bali, the tactics should work wherever you are to keep roaches well and away from you and yours!

Best of Bali: Top 12 Things to See and Do in Bali

Best of Bali: Top 12 Things to See and Do in Bali

As tends to happen with most world-famous destinations, there’s a lot of divided opinion when it comes to Bali travel. Some say that the famed island destination is overrated – crowded and full of tourist traps to be avoided. Others count Bali amongst the must-visit destinations of the world. So which is truth? It allContinue Reading

Top 10 Bali Travel Tips for the Bali First-Timer

Top 10 Bali Travel Tips for the Bali First-Timer

As the most visited island in all of Indonesia, Bali has a very developed tourist industry and is very first-timer friendly. This famed Island of the Gods, covered in lush green landscapes, fringed with spectacular beaches and populated by friendly, beautiful inhabitants offers something for every traveler and amongst the world-class surfing, diving, and theContinue Reading

An Area Guide to Bali, Indonesia

An Area Guide to Bali, Indonesia

Say Bali and most people think paradise. The island boasts stunning sunsets, sculpted rice terraces, temples on every corner, and an enthralling landscape full of lush jungles and blissful beaches. But the true beauty of this world-renowned island lies in the fact that Bali is an island paradise with many different faces. Bali has aContinue Reading

Bali, Indonesia: The Island of the Gods

Bali, Indonesia: The Island of the Gods

Of all the 17,508 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is – without a doubt – the most popular. In fact, 80% of all international visitors to Indonesia visit Bali and Bali alone. It’s no wonder why – the famed Island of the Gods’ beautiful landscape rich with lush rice terraces, volcanic hillsides, and spectacularContinue Reading

Indonesia Travel Musts: Flores, Nusa Tenggara

Indonesia Travel Musts: Flores, Nusa Tenggara

The beautiful Flores Island gets its name from the Portuguese word for ‘flower’ and the island more than lives up to its name. Just an hour’s flight from the internationally-acclaimed Bali, Flores is an island still shrouded in relative obscurity. It’s a wonder why – this beautiful island is a truly fascinating destination with aContinue Reading

Things to See and Do While Island Hopping the Gili Islands

Things to See and Do While Island Hopping the Gili Islands

The beautiful white sand-lined beaches and clear turquoise-tinted waters of the Gili Islands have been tempting travelers for decades. This lovely cluster of three islands is now a firm fixture on the Banana Pancake Trail and a must-visit for anyone traveling to Indonesia. Click here for a  full guide on how to get to GiliContinue Reading

Destination Paradise: Gili Islands, Indonesia

Destination Paradise: Gili Islands, Indonesia

The Gili Islands are a cluster of three small islands located just off the northwest tip of Lombok, Indonesia. This archipelago of islands only recently came to the attention of the wider world in the 1980s and 1990s but is now officially Lombok’s most popular tourist destination and a firm fixture on the Banana PancakeContinue Reading

Makassar, Indonesia: Your Gateway to Southern Sulawesi

Makassar, Indonesia: Your Gateway to Southern Sulawesi

Makassar, also known as Ujung Pandang, is the capital of South Sulawesi and the largest city on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Home to over 1 million inhabitants, Makassar is a bustling city thick with traffic, the strong scent of street food, and the chaos characteristic of most major cities. The metropolis of Makassar hasContinue Reading

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Yogyakarta – also known as Jogjakarta – is a thriving town home to 500,000 inhabitants and the most popular tourist destination on Java island, Indonesia. The city is named after the Indian city of Ayodha from the Ramayana epic and translates to ‘A city that is fit to prosper,’ with Yogya meaning ‘suitable, fit, proper’Continue Reading