What Are German Cockroaches and How do You Get Rid of Them?

Most people know that cockroaches are pests. In fact, they’re one of the most common household pests in the United States. People everywhere have been dealing with the cockroach problem for years and hate these scavengers!

German cockroaches are nocturnal and tend to hide during the daytime, making them difficult to detect. There are several species of cockroaches, most notably the brown-banded German cockroach, which is present in many U.S. homes.

The first step toward getting rid of German cockroaches is identifying which kind you have. Each cockroach species has its behavior and needs. If you don’t know which type you have, it’s easily identifiable by its color and size. If you want to get rid of these little critters scurrying around your kitchen at night, please read on!

How Can You Identify German Cockroaches?

The German cockroach, Blattella germanica, is a small cockroach species measuring about ½ inch long or more. It has a tan or light brown body and two dark stripes running from the back of its head to the base of its wings. The black stripes are characteristic of the species and will help you identify them. German cockroaches have wings but rarely fly.

Nymphs, or young German cockroaches, are darker in color and don’t have wings. Unlike other roach species that prefer to live outdoors, German cockroaches prefer to live indoors near humans, where they have access to food and water. They’re commonly found near stoves, food surfaces, refrigerators, bathrooms, dishwashers, sinks, and other kitchen appliances where there are water sources.

German Cockroaches

What Are the Signs of a German Cockroach Infestation?

If you spot a single cockroach, take immediate action before the problem worsens. An adult female German cockroach will produce an egg capsule every 20 to 25 days, and each egg case     (ootheca) can contain up to 81 eggs that hatch within 28 days! So, as you can imagine, if left untreated, a German cockroach infestation will get out of control in no time at all. Here are some signs that may point to a German cockroach infestation:

Droppings: German cockroaches leave behind dark brown or black droppings that look like ground coffee or black pepper. You can find them in places where they’re active, including under appliances and on countertops.

Shed skins: Roaches molt as they grow, leaving behind egg casings and clear exoskeletons where they’ve been. Look for these in tight spaces, such as under sinks or inside cupboards and drawers.

Smell: Roach infestations often lead to a musty odor caused by the insects’ oily body’s secretions and droppings. You may have roaches nearby if you smell something unpleasant without another explanation — such as dirty laundry.

How do you get rid of German Cockroaches?

Here are four ways to get rid of German cockroaches:

  1. Use glue traps or sticky strips. Place traps and sticky strips in areas where you see German cockroaches, especially in places where they like to hide, such as under appliances or behind furniture, or in the bathroom. Glue traps are very inexpensive, but they can be messy and difficult to use if you have children or pets (the bugs will die slowly and painfully).
  2. Try a boric acid product, such as Roach Killer Dust. Sprinkle this powder around baseboards, inside cabinets, and on shelves where you see German cockroaches. The powder isn’t toxic to humans or pets; when roaches walk through it, they pick it up on their bodies and then ingest it when they clean themselves. It’s a slow but effective killer; boric acid can kill roaches for days after it’s laid down.
  3. Set out bait stations with insecticide gel inside them. You can find these at most hardware stores; put one in every room where you see German cockroaches and replace them every few months.
  4. Hiring a professional for chemical treatment. If you have a severe roach infestation or live in an apartment or other type of shared living space, you may need professional help to get rid of them. The best roach killer is a professional exterminator with the specialized chemicals necessary to kill roaches quickly.

Final Thoughts: Prevention Is Key

The presence of these obnoxious little German cockroaches can be a real nuisance, especially if they are multiplying at an exponential rate. The best way to deal with them is to keep a clean home. Dirty kitchens and bathrooms, pantry, grocery bags, pet food, strewn garbage, and moldy food give the cockroaches more places to hide and breed, resulting in more significant infestations and more bugs. Cleanliness and sanitation is the first step in effective control of German cockroaches! Remove the food sources and seal up entry points to keep them away.

For help with a cockroach or any other pest infestation, please call FL Termite & Pest Experts for an appointment now! (813) 922-8475

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