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Pest Control/Roaches + Apartment Living


Hey Jack!

My boyfriend and I have been living in NYC for two years and are currently hunting for an apartment together. We found a great apartment in an older building. It has everything we want (dog friendly, close to the train, etc.)

There's just one problem: it is directly above a restaurant. When I first moved to NYC I lived two floors above a diner for a few months and we had roaches. It was traumatizing. Does living directly above a restaurant dramatically increase your chances of having roaches? Am I being too paranoid about this? We also are planning on getting a dog and I know that leaving pet food out can attract roaches.  They said they do pest control every three months--I'm not sure if that makes me feel better (because they don't need to do it very often?) or worse (because they don't do it very often.) The restaurant itself has an A health code rating and great reviews overall, if that helps.

I would love any advice you have! I don't want to pass on it, but I also can't stomach the thought of moving in and having a roach problem.

Thank you so much!

All the best,


Living in an older building in a big city there's probably no way to avoid cockroaches regardless of the restaurant. Obviously if the restaurant has a roach problem this will make things worse but an older building and multi-family apartments are the main problem. See for info about controlling roaches in apartment building. Your best option is to control the roaches in your living-space with baits (use the professional baits in the article cited above) and be careful about sanitation. Don't leave pet food out, for example, especially at night.

Jack DeAngelis

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.


I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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