Humans seem to like boundaries. Rodents and insects, not so much. They don’t knock, they don’t introduce themselves, they just make themselves right at home … in your home. That’s why, if they’re already at your neighbors, you can expect them at your door, crawling under the cracks, and making their way to your pantry. Their main goal is reproduction, to spawn. At this, they are extremely skilled. In search of reproductive bases, they traverse sewers, power lines, vents, and whatever passages will bring them to food and shelter. 

With pests’ proclivity for conquest, it matters to have neighbors as allies, not accomplices. Mice, roaches, and ants will all reproduce and expand from safe havens in search of new territory. They have specially-attuned senses that attract them to available warmth, shelter, and food sources, putting your home in their line of expansion. 

This article will detail the pests most likely to make their way into your home from a neighbor’s, the means by which they accomplish this, means for infestation prevention, and what to do when it happens. Ultimately, the most common pests often find ways to expand their territory, so enlisting neighbors in mutual defense is paramount, as is minimizing features that would attract pests into your home. Once an infestation occurs, professional help is necessary to eliminate the issue and create prevention strategies moving forward.

Common Pests and Their Expansionist Tendencies

Ants

Ants are one of the many critters that can jump the gap from your neighbor’s home and set up shop in yours. Ants live in colonies that send out members to forage for food. Hungry for sugars, fats, and protein, they rely on a keen sense of smell to find things like food crumbs and spills, unsealed containers, and pet food. Once a food source is located, the successful forager returns to the colony while spreading a scent trail behind them to lead others to the source. This triggers a swarm response from other foragers eager to take advantage of your food. And in some colonies, like those of the fire ant, that can mean 100,000 to 500,000 worker ants ready to converge. 

You might think that the walls of your house would be enough to protect you from ants, but if your neighbor has an infestation, those ants can easily slip through cracks, spaces, and crevices you can’t see or are unaware of. Always hungry and seeking new sources of food to feed the colony, your home is a natural next step in the ant’s journey.

Another way that ants from a neighbor’s home pose a threat to yours, is when a new colony is being formed. When ready, a fledgling queen and her mate, both winged, will take flight, landing where they will build a new colony. In such cases, opportunistic ants might find space in your home and decide that it is ideal real estate. You don’t want that. Your home is yours, not a haven for ants. 

Cockroaches

Like ants, roaches are also opportunistic. They want food and will go to extreme lengths to get it. They’ll eat just about anything; few foods will turn away a cockroach. Roaches love water and humidity, frequently inhabiting sewers, storm drains, and utility lines, and can enter your home through these means. Like ants, cockroaches can communicate through scent, or pheromones, in ways that lead other cockroaches to habitable, food-rich areas. They can make collective decisions about where to eat, live, and hide. 

Cockroaches in a neighbor’s home, especially in an adjoining house or apartment, can spell trouble given cockroaches’ sociability and tendency to aggregate. Cockroaches are extremely hardy, able to live for a month or more without food and survive elevated levels of radiation and extreme temperatures. However, they generally seek shelter and warmth, making your home a perfect target. 

Mice and Rats

Rats can cover vast swaths of territory, making them more likely to spread from an infested neighbor’s house. They generally average a foraging range of 50-150 feet from their nest, as opposed to mice that generally stay within 25 feet. Rats are particularly adept at climbing, especially Roof Rats, making it possible for them to enter homes through windows, ducts, and other points of vulnerability. Mice are generally more curious than rats and often seek out indoor shelter when weather and food supply gets barren in the fall. Their inquisitiveness and capacity for investigation will lead them to different locations until they have found a suitable nest and food supply. 

All pests share many similarities: attraction to food sources, desire for warmth and shelter, and social and reproductive patterns that grow their numbers. 

Prevention and Extermination

Pest prevention is the most important step in pest control. Prevention involves limiting the factors that attract pests to the home and finding ways to prevent entry. Limiting pest attraction comes down largely to cleanliness and food storage. The first rule is not to leave food sitting out on the table, counter, or other surfaces. Clean floors with brooms and vacuums to eliminate crumbs. Store food in either the original packaging or sealable containers, which limits pests’ ability to access the food and thus set up a home. 

As far as limiting entry points, it can be useful to consult experts like TermiGuard. This is because pests can fit through small cracks in siding, floors, windows, foundation, etc. that aren’t visible to the untrained eye. Other entry points like chimneys, ducts, and pipes can also be possible methods by which pests can enter the home. 

If you detect an infestation, do not try to solve it yourself. Pest extermination requires special knowledge, chemicals, and equipment not available to the average person. At TermiGuard, we have generations of knowledge about best practices for pest control and our specialists are certified and equipped with the most effective equipment. 

TermiGuard also offers ongoing pest control plans that emphasize prevention and minimize the possibility of pests invading your home. This can be especially important when you have knowledge of an infestation in a neighbor’s dwelling. These plans involve home inspection, pest prevention treatments, and other continuing services that work hard to rid your home of pests and keep them at bay. Call Termiguard today for a free initial consultation, backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee.