Cockroaches have been wandering around the earth for hundreds of millions of years, and they have the honor today of being the oldest recognized insects in existence. Roach anatomy and survival capabilities haven't changed that much, either. Heck, they outlived the dinosaurs!
German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) are one cockroach species that's proven itself great at making the most of man-made shelters for survival, as well as for growing their presence around the world, all while surviving just about any type of weather and climate you can imagine. They are the most commonly encountered cockroach species, and are found on all continents, except for Antarctica.
To have a better understanding of how to get rid of German cockroaches, it helps to know a bit more about them.
What Do German Cockroaches Eat?
Roaches are omnivores with very unique digestive systems, allowing them to eat practically anything they come across in your home. They also feature heightened senses of taste and smell.
German cockroaches will greedily consume starches, bread, meats, grease, leather furniture, stamp/envelope glue, and book bindings, old food left on dirty dishes in the sink, pet food, along with garbage, feces, and scum buildup from your sinks and drains.
What Are German Roaches Attracted to?
Along with all sorts of food particles, crumbs, and spills that you and your family might accidentally leave out, they are also attracted to wetness and leaks, like from pipes underneath a sink or wet towels on the floor.
Cockroaches can be a problem year round, unlike other insect pests that show up only seasonally.
Where Do German Roaches Nest?
If you thought roaches are only a problem in dirty environments, think again! Cockroaches can easily find food and moisture, and can turn up just about anywhere. In addition to homes and apartment buildings, German roaches are prone to turn up in the cleanest of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, salons, employee break rooms, and food processing plants.
As mentioned, German cockroaches love areas that are damp, as well as warm. They also love being close to food sources. In your home you will often find them nesting in tight cracks and crevices in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as in wall and floor voids.
Are German Roaches Dangerous?
Cockroaches (German roaches included) do not have a venomous or painful bite or sting. Due to the fact that they wallow in, walk through, and even eat all sorts of filth and grime, they are dangerous because they track and transmit all sorts of bacteria wherever they go.
In large enough numbers, when cockroaches molt (develop from nymphs to adults) or die, their sheddings and carcasses emit contaminants that can make allergies and asthma much worse for you, your family, and your pets.
Are German Cockroaches Invincible?
Not exactly, but very close. Since the 1950s, German cockroaches have been continuously waxing more and more resistant to pesticides. They have evolved to the point that they can show resistance even to insecticides they've never encountered before.
Consider this, too: Cockroaches can survive without their heads for weeks at a time, and can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes. Roaches can also survive10 times more nuclear radiation than a human being. How's that for adaptable? So don't be surprised that they can and continue to develop immunity to commonly used pesticides.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of German Roaches?
The faster you act to treat for German cockroaches once you've discovered them, the sooner you can eliminate an infestation in your home.
- Clean your kitchen, and home, being careful to wipe up all spills, grease, and crumbs on countertops and underneath/between appliances, in cupboards, etc (You want to eliminate any and all of their food sources).
- Seal up cracks in your home’s foundation, make sure screens and weatherproofing are in good repair, cover vents with mesh, seal gaps between windows and doors and outer walls, and seal areas where utility hardware enters your house.
- Get rid of roach hangouts like empty boxes, newspapers, magazines, etc.
- Repair any leaky plumbing/pipes/faucets indoors and outdoors.
Treat With a Reliable Cockroach Killer
German cockroaches can be spot-treated and killed directly by spraying them with an effective plant-powered roach killer spray like Maggie's Farm Ant & Roach Killer Spray or Maggie’s Farm Home Bug Spray. Maggie's Farm Roach Killer Gel , Maggie's Farm Spider & Insect Dust, or Maggie’s Farm Bed Bug Killer are longer-lasting treatments for out-of the-way areas where you've seen roach activity including underneath countertops, inside cabinets, in wall voids, etc.
Always follow directions on any pest control product you use.
Are German Cockroaches Hard to Get Rid of?
German cockroaches are hearty and quick on their feet (hard to kill), and have few predators inside a home. Furthermore, because these roaches can reproduce so quickly, when they establish a presence in your home, an infestation can escalate quickly.
German cockroaches are prolific breeders, constantly reproducing into multi-generational, isolated groups. Consistently growing populations of these roaches are made up of around 20 percent adults and about 80 percent nymphs (baby roaches).
Hence, their populations expand rapidly and can be tricky to get rid of.
How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of German Roaches?
How long it takes to get rid of a German cockroach infestation depends on several different factors, including:
- How many roaches there are
- How fast you respond once you discover cockroach activity (remember, they multiply quickly!)
- How old your home is (older homes mean more cracks/crevices/wall voids)
- How clean/tidy you keep your home (Don't fret too much - even the cleanest homes can get cockroaches)
Cockroach infestations in general typically take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to eliminate. Keeping up with prevention methods and consistent treatments is key for making roaches feel unwelcome in your home.
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