What to Do When Your Neighbor Has Cockroaches?

When confronted with an unexpected roach infestation, it is common to look around your space and see if your messy living conditions may have contributed to pest problems. A dirty house will almost always lead to a cockroach infestation and the need to call a professional pest control company to get rid of roaches.

But what happens when your purview of the rooms reveals there is no mess, who’s left to blame for the roach invasion?

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say bad neighbors, but it is possible that your, let’s say, dirty neighbors are responsible for the untimely roach infestation. They may have been doing some spring cleaning or renovations or have just developed a cluttered yard, but somehow their roaches are finding their way through your electrical outlets and into your kitchen.

Is this scenario will plausible? Let’s find out!

Can a Neighbor’s Roaches Get Inside My Home?

Yes, it is entirely possible for a cock roach infestation to spread from your neighbor’s home to yours. This is extremely common in trash-riddled neighborhoods and old apartment buildings. Dirty neighbors and their cockroach infestations can become such a serious issue that legal action may be warranted. Landlords and apartment managers have a legal obligation to deal with pests like roaches and termites. 

The main reason roaches will leave the dirt and clutter of adjacent apartment units is to find food, water, shelter, and warmth. As your neighbor’s cockroach infestation grows, resources and space will become scarce, and many of the roaches will move onto greener pastures, like your kitchen. Access for roaches to get inside your home comes in many forms, and it can be difficult to keep them all out.

Old buildings and other people’s belongings, as well as cardboard boxes and clothing, can all harbor roaches. But the common roach is just as likely to slide under doorways or slip through wall outlets. A clean house can keep a cockroach infestation from spreading quickly, so regularly move and clean under kitchen appliances. 

Keep Roaches Away From Your Home

Dead Roach on Counter

You can keep roaches away from your home even if you have a neighbor with roaches, but you have to be vigilant and proactive. It doesn’t take long for your neighbors with roaches to become your neighborhood with roaches, as is a common case in an apartment complex. There are ways to keep roaches out, and most are common sense hygiene-related solutions. 

If you keep a clean apartment, there will be fewer places for the roaches to find food and hide, and any traps or poison you utilize will be much more effective. As you start to get a handle on the immediate roach problem, you can curb a roach invasion by using four techniques together. For effective roach control, you can kill, scare, repel, and prevent all pests. 

SealUse a non-organic silicone sealant to fill in all gaps, cracks, and holes around your homeFewer places for roaches to slip inside your house
RepelUse ultrasonic repellents or pungent odors to keep roaches awayRoaches may avoid entryways and come into areas with repellents 
KillChemical and Biological eradication methods like bait traps and toxic spraysLess mature adult roaches that can enter your home hide and breed, reducing a future roach invasion
ScareLizards, cats, and random blinking lights low to the ground can disorient and scare roaches into choosing other places to hunt for foodLights, sounds, and predators can be used to scare roaches into staying out of your home


While it is impossible to completely seal any house or apartment from pests, you can greatly reduce the opportunity oriental cockroaches, and other common roach pests have to make it into your home. American cockroaches and German roaches are excellent climbers and can get in through gaps around upstairs windows and where the roof meets the walls. Any gaps you seal can help reduce the number of roaches you find in your home. 

Areas where food is stored, like pantries and long-term storage rooms, should be sealed even more carefully as roaches can get through the smallest cracks and chew through many tough barriers when hungry enough. Using seals under doors and double-checking areas like crawlspace and where the plumbing has leaked is a great way to prevent roach infestations from your neighbors. 


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Not every area of our home that has roaches is able to be easily reached to seal. There will be places we can’t get into or would rather never enter. In these places, repellents can be an effective alternative. Scents like catnip, lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, cedarwood oil, cypress oil, and peppermint oil have all shown good results when used to repel roaches. 

Another natural repellant is Osage Oranges which can be placed in areas roaches normally hide. Pandan, a South-East Asian grass, can be used similarly, and bundles are often used to stop roaches from entering cabinets and food stores. Repellent powders can also be used to discourage roaches from crawling over or entering certain spaces in your home. 


There are plenty of options to spray or use traps and baits to kill roaches that enter your property. By setting up a way to safely kill any roaches that make it into your house or onto your property, you can keep a clean apartment even if the rest of the apartment block is dirty. The right-killing products can make your house or apartment impenetrable to roaches and other pests.

If constantly using toxic chemicals to kill roaches doesn’t seem like the best idea, there are many alternate biological methods to eradicate roaches without poisoning yourself or your pets. Diatomaceous earth and borax powder can be sprinkled around the places roaches frequently. Eventually, they will ingest the powder and die. Reapply the powders whenever they become thin or get blown away. 


If you can scare roaches enough times without them being able to find a place to reliably hide or find food, then they will begin to leave you alone. It can be tricky to scare a cockroach as tips like leaving a light on has little effect long-term. However, there are some ways to scare and confuse roaches enough that they will avoid your home. 

If possible, having natural predators like pets and lizards will stop roaches from making it very far into your home. Most pets look forward to being able to kill pests that enter the home; just try to get it away from them before they eat it, or they may accidentally ingest toxins from pesticides the roach has absorbed. Lights and sounds can also be utilized to keep roaches guessing and feeling unsafe in your kitchen and dining room. 

How Do Pests Move From Apartments to Neighbors?

The best way to stop roaches is to know exactly how they are getting into your home. If you can block their preferred entrances, that might be all that it takes to keep them out. Cockroaches and other pests are opportunistic, and if you make it harder to get in than other houses, you can avoid the brunt of these pests.

Below are some of the main ways roaches go from house to house and apartment to apartment.  

Buildings Connections

In an apartment complex, there are many parts of buildings that touch or are positioned near enough for a quick roach jump. Shared walls, doors and windows, cracks and gaps, shared furniture or clothing, boxes, bags, food items, or kid’s toys all can be moved around and passed back and forth between units. Roaches can easily hide inside, and their eggs are definitely there. Repellents and chemicals where roaches can cross over are great solutions. 

Ventilation Systems

Central air and units that are connected by vents can share pests, and roaches are among the frequent visitors. Cockroaches like to travel, and the vents make a safe place for them to source new food and nesting opportunities. Repellent scents near vent openings can keep roaches from venturing out once they get to your room’s opening. 

Drains and Pipes

The sewer system and a building’s internal pipes are other ways roaches can easily travel between homes. Some roaches, like the oriental cockroach, prefer cold and damp environments like basements and will live in drains and pipes that are not constantly flooded. The constant access to water and the relatively safe method of travel allows roaches in drains to survive for a long time and roam far and wide. 


American cockroaches and German cockroaches like dry, warm areas on ground floors or low-story homes. Places like storage sheds and garages that connect to or lean against buildings can allow roaches to spread. These areas have the tendency to become cluttered, and it can be difficult to notice a lost roach or two until the entire room is infested. Keep these entryways sealed and pest free. 


If you have an apartment with balconies, roaches can and will travel along the rails to try and find food or warmth. Plants and other organic matter on balconies can encourage roaches to come over, and dirty balconies are more likely to become breeding grounds. Keep your areas clean and prevent roaches from coming over with repellents, sprays, and traps. 

Prevent Neighbor’s Roaches from Coming Over?


The best way to prevent your neighbor’s roaches from coming over is to remove any chances for them to get inside and breed. If you have recently had an issue with roaches and neighbors, then you will want to set up a better system to prevent it from happening again. Below is a sure way to stop other people’s roaches from moving into your home. 


The outside area of your home, the places closest to doors and windows, and Immediate entryways all need to be clean and clutter-free. If roaches have no cover, they may not try to get inside your home. A no-mans land can help reduce the number of roaches that make it inside and give you time and a warning to kill the ones that do. Keep the space around doors and walls clean, and trim plants near walls and windows to give yourself a better chance. 


A clean home perimeter can help you find areas that need repairing. Cracks, gaps, and holes can be filled with silicone and will keep roaches out for a long time. Once the obvious repairs are made, you can fortify crawlspaces and then move inside. Holes behind furniture, gaps under doors and along windows, and shoddy cabinets can all let pests in unless you seal it all tightly. 


Food will attract roaches, and the less food they can find, the fewer roaches you will have to kill. Pet food is the main contributor to roaches checking out your exterior in the first place. The mess and pests brought by outdoor feeding can vary, but some will always show up. Bring pet food inside at night and make sure all long-term food sources are locked in airtight containers in rooms that receive some sunlight each day. 


Water features and planting structures outside our homes can attract pests as well. While it is nice to have a bird bath or fountain for the songbirds, if you are involved in a roach invasion, you should stop providing water sources and make your property undesirable for pests. Lawn debris and outdoor furniture should also be cleaned up and put away to reduce clutter and places for roaches to hide. 


If you received boxes or belongings from someone else, it is good to place them in a quarantine area before bringing them inside your home. A garage or screened-in porch can be a place to set the boxes and give pests a chance to flee outside instead of into your home.

You can speed up the process by spraying the boxes with a repellent or toxic solution and waiting a few hours. Once you’re sure no pests are inside, you can bring the used goods inside. This is one of the best ways to avoid getting roaches from neighbors.