The German cockroach is one of the most widely found cockroach species in the world today. Widely held to have originated from South East Asia, this domestic pest can now be found in all continents of the world except Antarctica and has gained notoriety for its cosmopolitan spread and distribution.
It is known to infest residential homes, restaurants, office complexes, hotel facilities and food processing factories. They crave human dwellings due to ready shelter, food availability and hidden spots to breed that these places afford them.
German cockroaches are nocturnal in behavior and can only be seen occasionally by day if their colony is disturbed or if it’s overcrowded. These pests are good hitchhikers, as they often find their way to new residencies by latching onto second-hand appliances, boxes, luggage and cartons, etc when in transit.
Once in a new environment, they seek the best hideout spots such as the kitchen, bathrooms, storage rooms, wardrobes, crevices of electronic gadgets etc. Their half an inch size gives them the ability to fit into small openings. German cockroaches are omnivores. They eat almost anything and their wide palates have given them the liberty to choose amongst varied food type, ranging from meats down to fatty foods. In the event of a food shortage, their food choices may extend to toothpaste, soap and clothing materials. When their food sources get really scarce enough, they may turn cannibalistic, eating their young ones or chewing at each other’s body parts such as wings and legs.
How To Identify Them
Spot-on identification is critical to the control measures to be adopted. It gives you the much-needed confirmation that you’re dealing with a German cockroach infestation. The following features can help with quick identification:
- They’re about 1/2 an inch in length.
- Their color can vary from tan to almost black, but a light brown color is usually the generic color.
- They’re oval in shape, especially the 2/3 thorax and abdomen region.
- They have wings but cannot fly, though when disturbed they’re likely to glide about.
- Its main identifying feature is the two parallel lines that run across from behind its head to the base of the wings.
- It has six legs in all.
- The female German roaches are usually darker than the males.
- They give out a certain foul and unpleasant odor when frightened.
German Cockroach Roach Poop / Feces Look Like?
Droppings may appear as small, dark, “pepper-like” material left on countertops or in drawers. There may also be fecal staining, which appears as dark spots or smears in the corners of rooms, along the tops of doors or around small cracks and openings into walls. Courtesy of Pestworld.org.
Finding these little pepper like materials around your home is a good indicator of a German roach problem, checkout our article on Roach Poop Identification.
German Cockroach Life Cycle
Where To Look For Them
German roaches are generally known to prefer warm, moist environments. They’re nocturnal pests who like dark, hidden places. Since they prefer that “human connection”, they infest places that humans dwell. The list of places where these roaches can be found is inexhaustible, but be careful to pay attention to these places:
- Small openings of electrical gadgets like TVs, Sound system, and speaker outputs.
- Cabinets – check the cracks and crevices.
- Wardrobes – check the cracks and crevices.
- Behind and under sinks.
- Dispensing machines and water filters.
- Switches and electrical outlets.
- Microwave and toasting machines.
- Gas cookers and stoves.
- Behind and under refrigerators.
- Under the cracks of all tables in the house.
- Waste bins.
- Also, ensure to look everywhere else where conditions favour their survival.
What To Look For
Signs of their presence in the home is very easy to spot if you know what to look for. This will include their droppings which are touted to look like black pepper. These are usually left behind in tabletops, shelves and drawers. Egg casings or their oothecae should also be looked out for. Wherever these are found, begin treatment from there. It means a colony is nearby. The adult cockroaches themselves are not exempted from your search party. Though the adult roaches prefer the dark comforts of their hideouts, they may come out occasionally to wander about.
Also when they’ve infested a population in their numbers, they tend to give out misty, mouldy or even foul odors. How to Get Rid of Cockroach Smell, offers suggestions on getting rid of the moldy odor associated with german roaches and large populations. Any confined enclosure where such odor is coming from should be thoroughly searched. Dead and moulted skins of their nymphs can also be seen. These dead nymphs are the ones that couldn’t survive the hazardous process of ecdysis, a process whereby they shed their skins in order to reach adulthood. When their presence has been confirmed, you can commence the process of getting rid of them.
Treatment And Control Strategies
Treatment and control measures can be adopted using baits, non-repellent insecticides, insect growth regulators, dust and other roaches trap available in the market. Use only products that are proven and certified by experts. To prevent the roaches from developing a form of resistance, these products should be used in combination. A sort of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. These measures should also be comprehensive, systematic and carried out for a reasonable period of time, to achieve total eradication of the infestation.
- Chemical Insecticides: These chemicals should be applied to areas where signs of their infestations have been confirmed. Other areas where roaches have not been seen should be dealt with using baits. Once these chemicals come in contact with the roaches, they will begin to die.
- Dust: Use dust that is proven to work. Our Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder is recommended.
- Residual Sprays: This should be sprayed behind bookshelves, windows, cabinets and wardrobes. The application of Harris Roach Killer for use in your home or apartment will offer you a residual control, the label should be strictly followed. Apply every three months as a recommendation, but you should always follow labeled instructions.
- Baiting: This is one of the most important days to quickly get rid of an infestation. The idea behind the baiting system is due to its domino effect on the roach population. Once a particular roach feeds on a poisoned bait and takes this to their colony, an entire population can be wiped out. We recommend Harris Famous Roach Tablets. How to Use Harris Famous Roach Tablets
- Insect Growth Regulator: You can use an IGR which is excellent for controlling their growth process and reproductive cycles.
- Maintain a clean environment by vacuuming regularly.
- Eliminate all food and water sources. Dispose of left-over food properly and keep your sink dry.
- Wipe all crumbs and food spills immediately. They attract these roaches.
- Seal up all cracks and crevices.
- Caulk entrances to structures, especially plumbing pipes.
What is the difference between German Cockroaches and American ?
There are a couple of easy to spot the difference between these two pests that will help you identify which roach you are dealing with.
Size: American cockroaches are the largest of the roach invaders and will measure about 1 ½ to 2 inches in length. Where are German roaches are much smaller only about ½ inch.
Where you are finding them: Location matters, they both prefer warm, moist areas, but German cockroaches are more likely to be found in the kitchen and bathroom. American cockroaches are most often located in crawl spaces, basements and drains.
Color: German cockroaches are tannish in color and have dark, parallel lines running from head to the ends of their wings. The color for American cockroach is reddish brown and an edged thorax that is a light faded shade of yellow.