Image: American cockroach. If your home gets cockroaches here's another great tip for keeping them away without using a single harmful chemical. Add 1 TBLSP of Organic Catnip leaves to hot water, and let sit for several minutes. Strain into a spray bottle, and spray the kitchen, bathroom, other areas where you've seen roaches every time you mop/vacuum. The chemical in catnip -- nepetalactone -- repels cockroaches 100 times better than DEET, yet perfectly safe for kids and pets.