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Can Roaches Travel From House to House? What You Need To Know!


A cockroach is one of the scariest discoveries a homeowner can make, and for good reason. Cockroaches can move from house to house to invade food sources, destroy belongings, and spread disease.

These pests are persistent and prevalent, showing up in over 10% of American homes. Even if you don’t have a cockroach issue in your house, it is possible that one of your neighbors does. It’s crucial to keep these pests from settling down in your home, and that starts with understanding how they get there in the first place.

If your neighbors have them, can roaches travel from their home to yours? In this article, we’ll explore why you may end up with a cockroach problem and what you can do to prevent them.

house divider Can Roaches Travel From House to House?

Yes, cockroaches can travel from a neighbor’s house if your home is accessible and offers ideal nesting grounds. They generally take paths that provide food and shelter, such as through sewer lines and drains, and they can squeeze through small gaps in walls and under doors once they reach your home. In apartment buildings, cockroaches can move between units through pipes and walls.

You will not always end up with a roach problem if your neighbor has one. When they get everything they need from your neighbor’s home, cockroaches don’t have much reason to travel outside of their comfort zone to look for a new place to live or find food. However, if you make it easy for them to enter your home and provide an appropriate environment, you will have an infestation of your own in no time.

Image By: MKMKennedy, Pixabay

Will Cockroaches Travel to a New Home With You?

Cockroaches have been around for over 300 million years, and in that time, they have figured out that humans give them the food and shelter they need. There are hundreds of ways that they can find their way to your home, from hitching a ride in your car to stowing away in packages dropped at the door.

If you have a cockroach problem at an old house, it’s crucial to keep prevention in mind when moving to a new place. Cockroaches have many hiding places among the items in a move, including:

  • Mattresses and furniture
  • Small appliances
  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Cardboard boxes

Roaches may be drawn to certain items if they offer shelter or if they’re dirty and provide food such as small crumbs. It’s essential to inspect items before moving to ensure you are not packing any roaches along with your belongings.

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How Do You Keep Roaches From Coming In?

Keeping clean and tidy is one of the best ways to make your home as unattractive to roaches as possible. If you’re concerned about cockroaches traveling during a move, perform a move-in/move-out deep clean on your old house and your new home to find signs of activity.

When cockroaches are in the neighborhood but have yet to find their way into your home, there are several steps to take to keep them at bay. Here’s what you can do to prevent cockroaches from spreading to your home.

Image Credit: Walter Freudling, Pixabay

Maintain a Perimeter

Like most pests, cockroaches prefer to follow paths that give them shelter and convenient access to a new home. If you can keep a clean, open area between your neighbor’s house and yours, you can prevent cockroaches along with a litany of other pests.

Keep your lawn trimmed at all times and manage leaves and vegetation around the house to eliminate any shelter or bridges into the home. Remove any branches or bushes that sit over or against the house.

Maintaining clean gutters is a helpful way to remove a water source and travel route for cockroaches. You can also spray with a perimeter control product such as Ortho Home Defense to keep migrating roaches from surviving the trip.

Seal Off Entry Points

Small cracks and holes around the exterior of your home can allow cockroaches to come and go as they please. German cockroaches, which live indoors year-round, can fit through holes less than ¼” wide, so you need to give your perimeter a close and thorough inspection. Areas around vents or ports for utility lines often have gaps wide enough to let in all kinds of pests.

Inspect the perimeter of your home after pulling back vegetation and clearing the ground. Fill minor gaps with silicone caulk or spray foam and use a concrete patch for larger holes. Remember to check the flashing around your chimney and look for loose shingles that may give cockroaches an entry point.

Spaces under doors and around windows are also ideal access points for cockroaches. Apply weather-stripping around doors and check the caulking around your window for open spots.

Remove Food Sources

Whether it’s an indoor species like German cockroaches or an outdoor species like American cockroaches, any roach will come inside if you provide them with food and water. Keeping your home clean is particularly crucial for this reason. Wiping down counters, sweeping floors, and vacuuming carpets will remove the crumbs and food waste that attract cockroaches.

Cockroaches are not as picky as humans when it comes to food, so you may have to consider other possible sources of sustenance. Maintaining a clean sink, taking your trash out daily, and sealing your garbage bins will help keep cockroaches from trying to get in.

Clutter is also an important area to address, as messes give cockroaches shelter and sometimes another food source. Cockroaches eat through paper products, dead skin, hair, and all sorts of decaying organic matter. If you have cardboard boxes storing food in the pantry or personal belongings in the basement, consider upgrading to sealed plastic containers.

food waste compost
Image Credit: Piqsels

Monitor Moisture Levels

Basements are a favorite spot for cockroaches because they are often dark, damp, and secluded. Cockroaches crave moisture, and you may be providing them the perfect environment without realizing it.

Check for leaky pipes and faucets around the home that might be giving roaches an ample water supply. Cockroaches also love areas under sinks and behind appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers for that reason, so pay close attention to these areas during your regular cleaning.

Talk to Your Neighbors

Cockroach prevention is a team effort, especially in apartment buildings. You may have to talk to your neighbor about the issue if you continue getting cockroaches in your home even after all of your pest control efforts.

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Cockroaches can move from house to house with ease under the right conditions. Whether you’re moving all of your possessions to a new home or simply bringing groceries in from the car, they have numerous opportunities to infiltrate your home. It’s crucial to be aware of the risk and make a habit of checking boxes and bags before bringing them inside. Once inside, inspect everything thoroughly to ensure you did not miss any stowaway roaches.

If you have a cockroach infestation, you must contact a pest prevention professional to protect your home and neighbors. But by starting with these helpful tips, you can do your part to keep your home safe and stop roaches from spreading!

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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