Can Roaches Come From Another House?

Cockroaches are exploratory pests first and foremost. These insects freely crawl or fly around looking for suitable interior spaces that meet all of their survival needs.

Roaches can be brought into your home from infested items, even news paper or cardboard products the insects are hiding within. But is it possible for roaches to come from another house?

If a neighboring house has a cockroach infestation, there is a good chance your house could become infested as well.

Once a colony reaches a large and overcrowded size, roaches will travel to neighboring structures to check for suitable living conditions. 

Similar to other home-infesting pests, you are likely wondering if nearby infested houses can draw cockroaches to you.

Although the answer is likely not what you want to hear, there are ways in which you can prevent this circumstance from occurring.

In this guide, we will explain how and why roaches move from house-to-house, and what you can do to prevent it. 

An Overview of Cockroach Spreading

Cockroaches can freely and easily move from apartment to apartment, but what surprises many is finding out the same process can occur from house to house. 

Cockroaches are creatures of opportunity. This means that this insect species is always looking for the next best thing to ensure their survival and to continue reproducing at a staggering rate.

If a nearby home is infested with cockroaches, many factors can lead to the bugs seeking a new environment. 

It could be that the neighboring house has begun eradication methods to destroy the infestation. If this is the case, the roaches that survive will crawl out of the house in any way possible.

The field of vision and sense of smell of the pests will have them seeking a similar arrangement, which could very well be your home nearby. 

Another factor that causes spreading from house-to-house is overcrowding. Once a cockroach population reaches a capacity that causes overcrowding and competition for food, some of the colony will break away and seek a new home. 

The insects find ways into your home through the tiniest of cracks and crevices from the outside to the inside. The bugs can slip through small window gaps or door gaps.

The insects can crawl up drainage pipes or crawl down ventilation ducts. This is what makes these insects such a nightmare because the bugs will always find a way inside–some way, somehow. 

If your home is cool and humid, warm and humid, dry, or hot, there are cockroach species that can adapt to practically any type of indoor environment. 

To make matters worse, more cockroaches leaving the nearby infested house can smell the pheromones left behind from the roaches that are actively infesting your home.

This is how an infestation gets started and explodes rapidly. As more and more adults move in, more and more reproduction will occur at a staggering rate. 

Are Roaches Drawn To Certain Kinds of Houses?

Believe it or not, cockroaches are indeed drawn to certain types of houses over other types. At the end of the day, an abundance of food, moisture, warmth, and hiding places is the main draw, but an older house can be more enticing to roaches. 

Furthermore, roaches can be drawn to smaller, tightly-contained spaces even more so than large, spacious houses.

Although not fully understood, this could be due to the intimidating size of a larger house, as well as the easier access that can be gained in a smaller unit since food and moisture will not be too far spread out. 

Newer homes have actually been constructed with pests in mind, and will therefore have less entry points, cracks and crevices for the insects to squeeze through.

If you have a home made of brick or solid concrete, roaches can have a hard time entering these kinds of homes. But windows and baseboard gaps can still pose problems. 

Can A Neighbor Bring Cockroaches Into My Home?

It doesn’t always have to be the case that roaches will travel willingly from an infested house. A neighbor living with the infestation can transfer the insects in your home unknowingly. 

Roaches do not commonly live on a person’s clothes, but smaller species, such as the German cockroach, can hide in shoes or accessories like handbags.

The insects can then travel out of the accessories and find themselves inside of your home. 

Additionally, cockroaches can be transferred in objects or containers. If your neighbor brings in a cardboard box or other containers, dormant roaches can escape and begin infesting your home. Furniture is also another easy place for roaches to hide. 

If you accept secondhand furniture from an infested house, not only do you run the risk of a cockroach infestation, this is how bed bugs are spread as well. 

If you know a neighboring house has a roach infestation, it is best to defer visits from those who are living in the infestation. 

With all of this in mind, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent your house from becoming infested?

How To Prevent A Cockroach Infestation From Nearby Houses

It can be difficult to prevent a cockroach infestation from a nearby house. But the tips for doing so are much the same as preventing cockroaches in the first place. Let’s explore ways you can prevent this from happening. 

Close and Seal All Roach Entry Points

The single most important thing you can do is to make your home sealed and completely impenetrable from the outside.

This can be a bit time-consuming, but with some caulk, a caulking gun, or patchwork, you can seal cracks and crevices. 

The first place to look is around window seals. If you have window air-conditioners, make sure you use weather sealant to close even the smallest of crevices completely. Apply caulking around any gaps or cracks around the window as it meets the frame. 

You can then thoroughly inspect the foundation of your home, including the roof if this is possible. Caulk and seal all cracks and crevices that you find. 

The baseboard and foundation of your home can be a bit tricky. You may need a flashlight to find any cracks here or you can push back dirt or gravel until the bottom of the foundation is exposed.

You can caulk these perimeters or consider applying a long-lasting residual insecticide that is waterproof. 

Keep Your Home Clean

It is also important to keep your house clean. Regularly sweep, mop, and vacuum all the floors in your home. Roaches can survive on tiny crumbs. 

Never leave dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher overnight. Ensure that all food is sealed and closed. Make sure any and all moisture is wiped away or addressed if there are any leaks. 

Talk With Your Neighbor If Possible

This is not always advisable, but if the infestation is known, and if you know your neighbor well, discuss the problem with them and talk about ways to eradicate the infestation.

This can be awkward and is only recommended if there is an existing acquaintance between the two of you. 

Keep Your Yard Clean

As equally important as your house is ensuring that your yard is clean. Always keep the grass mowed and weeks trimmed.

Keep your porch and the immediate area around your doors and windows regularly cleaned. Do not leave pet food sitting out. 

Do Not Bring Items From the Outdoors Inside Your Home

It can be difficult to know if roaches have already infested your home until you find their warning signs. Since the roaches could be traveling from a nearby infested house, avoid bringing items indoors that have been sitting in your yard for some time. 


Cockroaches can certainly travel from one house to the next. But thankfully, there are steps you can take to get ahead of a possible infestation.

The main thing to remember is to make sure your house has no possible entry points to grant the pests access. If you take preventative steps, this is not a problem that has to be passed over to you. 

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

Cockroach in My Room Can’t Sleep – 7 Actions for Immediate Results

How to Identify a Cockroach (Easy Checklist)

What Happens If You Step on a Cockroach Barefoot?

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page

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