If you hate the sight of German cockroaches, you are not alone. Cockroaches, German cockroaches in particular, are regarded by far as the top household pest worldwide. This largely because of the disgusting tendencies and frantic reproductive habits that has become their calling card.
A startling statistic is that one German cockroach couple–male and female–can potentially produce nearly a million cockroach offspring in the span of a year. This is why it is crucial to take even a couple of cockroaches crawling around in your home very seriously!
What is even more frustrating about this pest is it’s persistence and resilience. They are so adaptable, that if you have actively tried using pesticides to try and kill the population, they will eventually become resistant to the products you use. They can cleverly catch on to what you are trying to do and avoid areas where you have applied products and continue to carry on thriving and increasing their numbers.
While this information may seem discouraging, it is possible to successfully kill German Cockroaches that have invaded your home, with the right approach and effective products that have been proven to work. Read on in this guide to learn what to do to make your home roach-free with the best options for German cockroach control.
Not sure what type of roach you are dealing with might want to check out our cockroach identification guide to help you identify your cockroach and a solution.
A Little About German Cockroaches
The old saying, “know your enemy” doesn’t ring more true than it does with German cockroaches. By arming yourself with knowledge of their habits and tendencies, you will be better equipped in eradicating an infestation.
German cockroaches were not always home dwelling pests, they adapted that way. Around before dinosaurs existed, German cockroaches were natural survivors and would mold themselves to thrive in whatever environment they found themselves in. They didn’t need much and they aren’t very picky, needing just food, water and shelter.
With the birth of human civilization, German cockroaches saw that they could get all the comforts of life by just staying close to us or living among us. German cockroaches are particularly prevalent in areas of the country where the winters are mild and it is hot and humid most of the year. Cockroaches love moisture, warmth and darkness, which our homes provide plenty of.
The reason that German cockroach infestations grow so quickly is because of the quick turnaround time when it comes to their reproductive cycle and the sheer numbers of eggs that are laid by female cockroaches. The female cockroaches are constantly creating and laying eggs, carrying an egg sac or oothecae. When the oothecae is ready to hatch, the female lays the egg and before long anywhere from 30 to 50 baby cockroaches hatch from the egg!
Indoors, cockroaches will frequent areas of warmth and moisture and where there is easy access to food and water. 9 times out of 10, an infestation starts in the kitchen. Cockroaches will hide under appliances, in cracks and gaps and corners in hiding. They are nocturnal so they come out at night to forage for food and water. When the population grows large enough, cockroaches will expand and explore other areas of the home like the bathrooms, living room and bedrooms. They will also gather around electronics that radiate heat and other prime areas that are secluded.
Step 1 – Find Out How Bad Of an Infestation You Have
You can’t move forward with a well-thought-out cockroach control program until you get a guage of how severe an infestation is present. If the infestation is low, you will not have to use so many different methods of control or labor so much to address the infestation. If it is high, that means you will need to put together a control program that has enough product and control methods that will lay waste to the entire invasion.
One of the best visual indicators of a serious cockroach infestation is to wait until late at night and go to the kitchen and flick the light on. If there is a large infestation, you will see a large number of cockroaches scattering and looking for places to hide when you’ve “found them out”.
Another thing you can do is to lay out glue traps. Place some in your kitchen before bedtime and then the next morning check the traps. If they are filled with cockroaches, this is an indicator you have a severe infestation. It is best to use traps that contain cockroach pheromones as these will lure cockroaches to the trap more easily.
If German cockroaches are found during the day and also at night, then the infestation is said to be more “moderate”. If nymphs are found, the infestation is probably worse than you think. It only takes a few weeks and those nymph cockroaches are fully developed and multiplying.
When determining the severity of the infestation you should also inspect signs where they are the most prevalent. Check for egg casings and areas where roach droppings are plentiful. These droppings look like coffee grounds and black pepper and have a sweet but unpleasant smell. Wherever the smell is the most concentrated is an area to pay attention to and treat as it is a German cockroach hotpot.
Step 2 – Remove Food and Water Sources with a Detailed Cleanup
Sanitation of your home is crucial when it comes to eliminating German Cockroaches and is half the battle. If you don’t clean your home and take away food and water, no amount of pesticide applications will totally remove the invasion because Cockroaches will just keep coming back since there are ample food sources available.
Recommended Read: Where Do Cockroaches Come From?
German cockroaches are natural scavengers and are not picky about what they eat. Even more so, German cockroaches need water and are always on the hunt for areas where they can get a drink. With placing special focus on the kitchen in particular, wipe down counters of crumbs, sugar and grease spills and sweep up floors. You should also possible go through your pantry and conduct a vacuuming to pick up any food particles (as well as some roaches possibly in the process).
Dishes have to be washed and should never be left dirty and stacked up in the sink overnight as this is a prime way for cockroaches to get a meal. Reducing clutter in your pantries is also important because it lessens the amount of hiding places that roaches have and leaves them more vulnerable. Taking out the trash daily should also be conducted as roaches will desperately try to get into your garbage to feast on food and filth.
One of the best reasons to clean up aside from making the cockroaches find your home less appealing because food and water options have dwindles is that a detail cleanup also improves the effectiveness of pesticide products that you apply. This is especially the case with cockroach bait. Gel baits won’t work as effectively when there are crumbs and other food out, competing for cockroach attention.
If you choose to use an insecticide dust, another effective form of cockroach control, they won’t work as well if areas are wet. Wipe down your sink and address moisture issues around your kitchen and bathrooms so the area is as dry as possible.
Step 3 – Caulk the Cockroaches Out
Cockroaches have the benefit of having flat bodies, making it easy for them to squeeze their way through gaps and tight openings to find a place to hide or to travel to different areas of a home. They are nocturnal and spend the majority of the day resting in a hiding space they have found. With the help of caulk and a caulking gun, you can take away these hiding spots and even trap them in some cases so the hiding spot becomes a tomb.
Go around your kitchen and look at trim, baseboards, cabinetry and other areas for cracks and crevices that need to be sealed up. You may be surprised to see the amount of entry points that cockroaches have. Once you have sealed up your kitchen go around to other areas of the home and then move outdoors and look around the exterior perimeter of your home for and cracks and gaps that cockroaches may be able to travel through to gain access into your home. This small task can go a long way in making it hard for cockroaches to move around in your home and survive.
Recommended Read: Get Rid of Cockroaches in Kitchen Cabinets
Step 4 – Use Cockroach Control Products From Reputable Sources
After cleanup and caulking, you can finally deliver a fatal final attack to the German cockroaches that are residing in your home with cockroach control products. However, you shouldn’t just use any old product you find, but ones that are proven to work.
There are many options out there when it comes to killing German cockroaches. Some are effective, others are disappointing and a waste of money. It pays to do your homework and find out which ones have delivered consistently good results and are commended by experts.
Here are the best cockroach control products we recommend to eliminate German Cockroaches:
- Cockroach Gel Baits – Consist of an attractive food ingredient mixed with a lethal slow-killing poison. Cockroaches will readily eat bait, especially when no other food is easily available. Apply the bait inside cabinets, around pantry foods, under appliances and other areas you have seen active cockroaches.
- Insecticide Dusts – Powder-based product that usually contains a lethal active ingredient like Boric Acid or Diatomaceous Earth. Dusts are perfect for puffing under appliances, wall voids and tight areas where cockroaches like to hide. Apply to walls, voids, cracks and crevices only.
- Residual Insecticides – A good residual spray that can be applied to the exterior and interior are to help prevent any roach populations from getting out of hand. Should be applied to areas that do not contain roach bait, as to not create an aversion.
- Insect Traps – Great for monitoring and trapping roaches and insects in your home. They can be placed under appliance or inside cabinets. Help to not only trap roaches, but important as a indicator that a population is getting out of hand.
- Insect Growth Regulators – IGRs are a chemical substance that causes a hormonal imbalance in cockroaches, slowing down their rapid reproduction habits. When exposed to IGRS, cockroach babies will be unable to grow into adults, cockroach eggs will be unable to hatch and cockroach adults will become deformed and will be sterile and can’t produce eggs, when combines with dusts and bait, cockroach infestations will significantly be reduced.
Check Our Our Cockroach Control Kits:
German cockroaches are not an easy infestation to get rid of. They are relentless, persistent and where they have been established, they will not give up without a fight. However, if you use the methods and products we described in our guide, you can successfully kill a cockroach population. By implementing regular sanitation practices and caulking down cracks and crevices, a re-infestation is highly unlikely.