Having unsanitary neighbors can be a nuisance, especially if their house is infested with roaches.
This exact problem has hit close to home for this PestGuru as it happened to our close friends. Their camp neighbor suddenly vacated with all their food left inside to rot.
It’s going on year 4, and this roach infested, abandoned property is still tied up in probate, exacerbated by court backlogs due to covid.
Anyway, we managed to keep the roaches (and snakes) from encroaching, and I’ll share how we did it.
How to Stop Your Neighbor’s Roaches
Whether you’re in an adjacent apartment or the yard next door, begin inside your home with what’s called: the Inside-Out Method. Once you defend the interior of your home, you’ll spray the perimeter closest to your home or apartment, and work your way out.
The Inside-Out Method
As you might expect, the best offense begins with a solid defense. So, as soon as you realize your neighbors have a roach problem, it’s time to go in defensive mode.
Important! Before you use pesticide or spray anything you must do the following. Otherwise you may actually drive roaches into your home and the cycle never ends:
- Seal up all your home’s entry points and pipes tightly and securely.
- Clean your kitchen cabinets, especially food cabinets and see if you already have the roaches.
- Protect your food and clothes from getting contaminated.
- Clean up trash, dirty dishes and dust in your house and Yard
- Put Roach Baits Throughout Your Home as Directed by MFG.
All of the above are critical as we prepare your home for battle, the rest of the article will go into detail, explaining exactly what to do in each of the above steps.
But first, here are a few other that may come in handy.
What You’re Going to Need
· Diatomaceous earth (food grade)
· Airtight containers
· Cleaning spray
· Catnip, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree oil
· Caulk or cement
· Roach bombs or pesticides
Step 1 – Seal up all entry points and pipes tightly and securely
This can be a precautionary measure as well as a preventive one. First you must observe all the possible entry routes the roaches can take to enter your home, such as:
- shared garages
- holes in walls
- air conditioning units
- wood panels
- cracks in doors
After figuring out where the roaches might gain entry, seal the entry points by either using caulk or cement.
Using caulk can prove to be unsatisfactory because it can erode and thus needs to be checked from time to time, so cementing is the easier option for sealing the gaps.
Tip: If there are some gaps that cannot be sealed for example AC units, then use Diatomaceous earth to deter the roaches from those places.
Step 2 – Protect your food and clothes from getting contaminated
After you’ve sealed all the entry points and made sure no new roaches can enter your home, now you have to take care of the roaches already present in your home (if any).
Roaches get attracted by homes because of the food and shelter present in them, so the best solution would be to keep the food away from them in tightly lidded containers.
Kitchens Require Daily Attention
Make sure to clean up the food spillage around your kitchen cabinets, refrigerator or stove.
Roaches get attracted to food and will scurry anywhere they find open food.
Also make sure to pick up any piles of clothes laying on the ground so that roaches can’t make shelter in them and wash them thoroughly to get rid of any danger of contamination.
Tip: After cleaning the spillover food in the kitchen, spray some tea tree oil on the now cleaned surface to deter roaches from the lingering scent of food.
Step 3 – Routinely clean up trash, dirty dishes and dust in your house
Roaches thrive in unsanitary conditions and damp places, so never leave uncleaned dishes in your sink for more than an hour as they’ll attack the leftover food on those dishes, and always take out the trash basket whenever it fills up.
Yards should be cleaned of trash piles and empty bottles as cockroaches love the stench of of skanky beer and soda cans.
Clean up your house thoroughly every day for a few days to keep it clean and dry until all the roaches have been driven out of your home.
Keep your outdoor and indoor trashcans tightly lidded to keep roaches from getting inside and preying on the leftover food.
And keep your tabletops clean to get rid of any crumbs or food bits left behind. This won’t drive the roaches away immediately as they can survive for a long time without food but it will keep them from contaminating your utensils and appliances.
Step 4 – Clean the undersides and backs of your cupboards and wardrobes
Take a cleaning spray and thoroughly clean the undersides of your cabinets and cupboards, as well as any spaces around your wardrobes or any furniture that the roaches can use as a hideout or as a shelter.
This will also help you find hidden roaches that you can drive out before they start multiplying in your home.
Unlike Rat Poop, cockroach droppings are about 1/4 of the size and it’s evenly shaped on both ends.
Step 5 – Spray natural or man-made repellants to drive away the roaches
After you’ve done all the aforementioned steps, the next step is to exterminate the roaches once and for all by either using natural repellants such as eucalyptus, lavender, catnip or tea tree oil as sprays or by using industrially produced pesticides or roach bombs with chemical ingredients.
Killing roaches is not the same as killing spiders. You’ll need to get into dark hiding places and corners which are places roaches take shelter in.
Natural repellants take longer to work but will not be harmful for your pets or children.
EPA Registered pesticides may do the job quickly, but the chemical fumes and ingredients present in them may prove to be harmful for your kids and pets, and maybe even you.
What are Roach Bombs?
An alternative to liquid pesticides is a roach bomb, which exterminates roaches concentrated in one place by releasing a chemical smoke like substance.
This works well only if there are no kids or pets around to get caught in the crossfire, as it is still a pesticide.
If this doesn’t work, the last resort would be to call an exterminator to drive out all the roaches using specialized equipment once and for all.
Step 6 – Time to Expand Your Perimeter
Once you’ve defending the interior of your home or apartment, it’s time to expand your cockroach free zone.
This entails spraying your perimeter with pesticide or sprinkling it with food grade Demetrious earth. Read the instructions and warnings for both products before buying and make the right decision for your situation.
You’ll start nearest to your home and then work your way out as far as desired.
Do this over several days. For instance:
- Day 1: Create a 1 foot perimeter beginning at your foundation or exterior walls.
- Day 2: Expand out 2 Feet out from the last spray
- Day 3: Expand 3 Feet out from Day 2…. and so on.
Resist the urge to make a large perimeter in one day.
This is important so that roaches don’t take evade the pesticide by running toward your home. This method will drive them back toward the unsanitary neighbor.
Keep At It
A big mistake people make is forgetting about the neighboring roach problem. Stay diligent with protecting your home or apartment and keep your yard or balcony clean of food waste and empty bottles.
By now you’ll know how to drive out and exterminate the roaches coming in from your neighbors and how to make sure the infestation doesn’t start again.
As a precaution you should also let the neighbors know of their roach infestation and guide them on how to get rid of it as easily as you have using this information.
If you rent, tell your landlord and ask for expense reimbursement. You never know!