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German Cockroach

Danger/Damage

Because they move through various habitats, including garbage and sewers, German cockroaches are capable of transmitting diseases such as salmonella bacteria and many other potential pathogens. Higher rates of asthma and other allergic reactions have been linked to people living in infested buildings and homes. A cockroach’s decomposing body and feces contain proteins that can trigger allergies and other illnesses.

Did you know?

German cockroaches have flattened elongated oval bodies with long thin legs and long antennae. These characteristics suit them well, as they are considered “thigmotactic” meaning they like closed spaces. They are attracted to food, warmth, water, and shelter and are usually found in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where warmth and humidity are present. Think of a tropical environment. German cockroaches will eat almost anything in sight, is extremely lazy, and will spend up to 75% of its time at rest.

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The German cockroach has a flattened elongated oval body with long thin legs and very long antennae and typically measures a little over 1/2 inch when fully grown. It varies in color from light brown to tan, and it has two dark brown stripes running lengthwise on the thorax. While wings are present in adults, these insects do not actively fly.

German cockroach nymphs are wingless, are dark brown, with two lengthwise stripes running down the entire length of the body in the early instars/stages.

German cockroach eggs are bean-shaped with a light tan color and typically measure between 1/4 inch and 3/8 of an inch in length and .078 inches wide.

German Cockroach EggcaseGerman Cockroach Nymph

 

 

Cockroaches can be found anywhere in the home but prefer areas that are warm, humid, and near food. They love to hide in cracks and crevices, behind appliances, underneath sinks, underfloor drains, and inside of cabinets. They spend much of their life hiding in these protected cracks and crevices, coming out only to find food. German cockroaches show a preference for warm/humid 70°F environments, which makes these areas highly attractive.

Since most cockroaches are active at night and spend up to 75% of their time hiding in harborages, many people may be completely unaware of their presence on their property.

A female German cockroach can produce up to 4-8 egg cases in her lifetime. The development from egg to adult is approximately three months, but under optimal conditions can only take 50-60 days.

An infestation of German cockroaches can involve thousands of cockroaches.

  1. Only one mating is required to fertilize all egg capsules for a female’s lifetime, and she stays pregnant for life!
  2. German cockroaches are an ancient insect that has been around for more than 350 million years!
  3. Under ideal conditions, just one pair of German cockroaches could produce 35000 offspring in one year!
  4. Over 4500 species of cockroaches have been identified and described, and scientists estimate more than 5000 remain to be discovered or named!

Do German cockroaches cause damage?

No. German cockroaches do not normally damage properties.

Are German cockroaches hazardous to humans?

Yes. Due to their movements through various habitats, including garbage and sewers, German cockroaches are capable of transmitting diseases such as salmonella bacteria and many other pathogens, allergies, and even dermatitis.

What attracts German cockroaches?

German cockroaches are attracted to food, water, and warm humid environments and will eat just about anything, particularly starchy foods.

When are German cockroaches most active?

German cockroaches are active year-round within properties.

When am I most likely to see German cockroaches?

German cockroaches are nocturnal and are most active at night. They prefer to hide in dark places during the day. If you see this pest during the day, it is an indication that a well-established population may be present.

Are German cockroaches only attracted to dirty environments?

No. The German cockroach can be found under any condition, where food, warmth, and shelter are present.

German cockroaches are a problem in hospitals, hotels, restaurants, bakeries, butcher shops, multi-unit residences, and homes.

They are usually found around sinks, behind stoves and refrigerators, as well as in drains and cracks.

How to Keep German Cockroaches Away

  • Check for leaky faucets. German cockroaches are attracted to moisture and need water to survive. A fully mature German cockroach can live up to a month without food. However, without food or water, they can only survive for about two weeks.
  • Keep a clean kitchen. Make sure your counters are clean, sinks are clear of dirty dishes. And don't forget to sweep up food crumbs and mop spills to reduce readily available food sources! Take out the trash regularly and clean the bins!
  • Declutter to take away their hiding places!
  • Seal cracks and crevices around your home, especially around pipes entering wall voids, eliminating passageways to the house.
 
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