My Neighbor Has Roaches! What Can I Do?

Tiffany Nichols
by Tiffany Nichols

Roach infestations are disgusting. They’re also challenging to fight and dangerous to encounter. So, what happens when your neighbor’s roach problem makes its way into your house? Can you do something about it, or do you have to live that way forever? Here’s some good news.

Don’t live with a mess from next door. You can complain to your landlord about a neighbor’s roaches. However, you must prove the origins of the infestation first. Otherwise, you’ll have the burden of paying for pest control and cleaning up debris. So, keep your home tidy. And pay for extermination services, even if you only see one bug.

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Why Am I Seeing Roaches All of a Sudden?

When you “suddenly” see a cockroach, you see overflow from a large, hidden population. That’s because roaches move around in massive colonies. And solitary critters typically explore territories, searching for more food to sustain them.

You might also see bugs when moving around furniture or cleaning out pantries. Cockroaches like to hang out in dark, damp, or dirty areas within the home. So, you’re more likely to see them if you don’t tidy up often. Plus, allowing guests or pets in the home can bring roaches to your front door without anyone realizing it.

DID YOU KNOW: If you see cockroaches in your house, they’ve likely been there for weeks.

Can Roaches Come from a Neighbor’s House?

Roaches can travel quickly from one residence to another. That’s because they move through small openings around your house. Cockroaches notoriously access forbidden places via the sinks, sewer lines, air ducts, vents, and wall outlets. However, they can also crawl under doors to infest your apartment.

If a neighbor has a roach problem, you’ll probably notice. Even if the critters don’t reach your house, you might still see their droppings and carcasses everywhere. So, discuss the issue with your neighbor first. Then contact your landlord if the problem continues.

Can You Sue Your Neighbors for Roaches?

Technically, you can sue someone for anything. That means you can also take a neighbor to court for their unruly roach problem. However, you bear the burden of proof when you launch a lawsuit. So, gather evidence if you want to win your case. And remember that the courts usually want to see the following four things:

  • Duty – Prove that it was your neighbor’s responsibility to get rid of the roaches.
  • Breach of Duty – Show how your neighbor neglected their duties.
  • Proximate Cause – Demonstrate the cause and effect of their negligence.
  • Damage – Illustrate the property damages with photo evidence or testimony.

Review your lease for more information about your rights and responsibilities. Then contact your local exterminator for help. But remember to keep the receipts because you can use them as evidence in court. And if you win the case, your neighbor will have to reimburse you for pest control services.

NOTE: Getting rid of roaches is more challenging when neighbors always have them.

How Can I Get Rid of Roaches If My Neighbors Have Them?

Do cockroaches keep finding their way into your house despite your best efforts? Fortunately, there’s a solution. Follow these five steps to keep critters from crawling around your home:

Step 1: Seal Up the Holes

Look for small holes and cracks around the floors, doors, windows, outlets, and drains. Then use a water-resistant sealant to plug gaps and keep bugs from entering. If you don’t have any adhesive, pack cotton or steel wool into the holes for a temporary fix.

Step 2: Keep Your Food Contained

Put your food items in airtight containers with lids. That way, the cockroaches, ants, and houseflies can’t grub on your groceries. And you don’t have to worry about contaminated products either. Sealed canisters can prevent critters from entering or laying eggs in your kitchen.

Step 3: Use Natural Repellants

Natural pest repellants can discourage bugs from nesting on your property while protecting pets and children. Roaches hate cedarwood, peppermint oil, and cypress-scented objects. But be careful using bug spray in your kitchen cabinets around cups, plates, and bowls. Always rinse or wash your stuff before using it.

Step 4: Remove the Trash

Cockroaches love stinky trashcans and old food waste. So, take your garbage to the curb often. Wipe countertops and dispose of your leftovers with a food composter or garbage disposal. Never empty pans or plates directly into the trash.

Step 5: Contact Your Landlord

Let your landlord know if there’s a roach problem in your apartment. That’s because early detection and prevention can help keep the issue contained. Also, property managers need to know the information so they can tell the next tenant. They might also have to clean the house before new people take it.

Is the Landlord Responsible for Roach Infestations?

Flushing out cockroaches is usually the tenant’s duty. That’s because most property managers rehab apartments and check for pests before renting them to someone else. But your landlord might be responsible for the roach problem in your new house. Here’s how to tell:

  • The apartment has cockroaches in it when you take possession. Do a thorough walk-through and look for roaches before signing the lease.
  • Your landlord didn’t reveal details about a possible infestation. So, ask property managers for a comprehensive background on your rental.
  • The house isn’t secure enough to keep roaches at bay. Check for holes in the walls, gaps in the windows and doors, and faulty electrical outlets.

If you can prove landlord negligence, then you might not have to sue your neighbors. So, practice due diligence even if you need a place to stay. And try to keep impeccable records just in case.

How Do I Find Out Where Roaches Are Coming From?

First, determine the source of your roach problem. And remember that it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a dirty house. Look for signs and then follow the trail. Your issue could be coming from a neighbor’s property.

Locate the problem yourself by searching for specific things under furniture and around cabinets. Then hire an exterminator if you find any of the following things around your furniture or cabinets:

  • Piles of cast skins
  • Dead bugs
  • Egg casings
  • Smears
  • Droppings

Remember, you can sue your neighbors or landlord if they cause roaches in your apartment. So, gather evidence and keep your records organized.

What Percentage of Homes Have Cockroaches?

According to recent studies, nearly 63% of modern homes have cockroaches in them. And about 30% of homeowners have had to deal with a roach problem at some point. So, you’re not alone if you have an issue. Plus, you might be able to file a claim on your insurance if the extermination services are too expensive.

Do Roaches Ever Go Away?

Cockroaches are nocturnal animals that can survive on garbage and septic waste. So, it can be a challenge to get rid of them. Most likely, you’ll need strong insect repellents to kill the population permanently. However, they can come back if you don’t seal holes, remove the trash, or keep food in airtight containers.

Related Questions

What Smell Keeps Roaches Away?

Cockroaches hate some smells and will move away from them quickly. So, you can repel roaches naturally with cedarwood oil, cypress oil, or peppermint oil. They also despise the scent of coffee grounds and crushed bay leaves. However, robust insects will crawl through foul odors anyway. Thus, you usually need harsh chemicals and professional pest control services to permanently remove them.

Can Someone Bring Roaches to Your House?

People can bring cockroaches into your home if you’re not careful. That’s because roaches can hitch a ride on their shoes or clothes, then enter your house unexpectedly. Bugs also lay their eggs in boxes and bags. So, don’t be surprised if you catch a case despite your best efforts.

Does Roaches Mean My House Is Dirty?

You can find various cockroach species all over the world, which means they’re hearty survivors. They can also sniff out food and water from long distances. So, finding a roach in your home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dirty. It could be that the critters entered your home through cracks in the foundation or holes in the wall. And your neighbors or guests could be responsible for the problem as well.

How Fast Do Roaches Multiply?

Cockroaches can reproduce quickly. Give a small population three to four months undisturbed, and they’ll develop into a massive infestation. Meanwhile, the average lifespan of a roach is about one year. But female critters can produce between 200 and 300 babies during that time. In other words, you could witness up to six generations of new cockroaches within only twelve months.

Do You Need Pest Control Services?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Seal Your Home Despite Your Neighbors

You don’t have to live with cockroaches just because your neighbors do. Seal the holes in your apartment first. Then remove temptation so the critters won’t find your home as appealing. After that, contact your neighbors and landlord if the problem continues.

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Tiffany Nichols
Tiffany Nichols

Tiffany Nichols specializes in aesthetics, design, marketing, and manufacturing. She's a copywriter and editor for several home renovation companies in the U.S. and works alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. Her hobbies include architecture, art, mental health, and fashion.

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