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What are German Cockroaches?

When you find a bug running through your home, your instincts are to get rid of it as quickly as possible. This can be difficult if you’re not sure what bug you’re fighting. With about 70 species of cockroaches in the United States, it can be tricky to know which one has invaded your home. One cockroach that is often found inside is the German cockroach. We’ve gathered information about German cockroaches to help you identify and eliminate an infestation. 

Appearance

German Cockroach

German cockroaches—blattella germanica—are one of the most common cockroaches you could find scurrying around in your home. These cockroaches have a light brown, oval body with a pair of antennae, and six legs. One way to identify a German cockroach is by the two black stripes located behind its head. German cockroach nymphs are darker in color but still have these black stripes. Female cockroaches tend to be darker and slightly larger than males. Adult German cockroaches range in size between 13-16mm in length. Though they have wings, you won’t usually find them flying around your home because they prefer to keep their feet on the ground. 

Habits

Cockroach eating cracker

Though German cockroaches can live outside, they prefer to find hiding spots indoors. These cockroaches prefer areas that are warm and humid. Their size allows them to hide in relatively small spaces. You’ll find these bugs hanging around places with access to the water, food, and shelter they need. They are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms, but they can show up in other areas of your home. German cockroaches aren’t picky with their food. They’ll eat anything they can find including crumbs, paper, and even soap. While all German cockroaches move quickly, females tend to be more active than males. Once reaching adulthood, these cockroaches can live for about 200 days. German cockroaches are found throughout the United States.

Threats

Cockroach in cup

If cockroaches decide your home has the perfect accommodations, it can be difficult to make them leave. When cockroaches find a place to live with a good food source, they release pheromones to alert other cockroaches. This leads to many cockroaches inhabiting a location, which is called a nest. This combined with their rapid reproduction rate can quickly cause a serious infestation. Female German cockroaches can lay 40 eggs at one time and will do this 4-6 times in their lifetime. When cockroaches are in your home, problems are bound to arise. Cockroaches pick up germs as they crawl through dirty places. These contaminants latch onto their legs and travel with them. When they crawl over counters or food, they contaminate these areas by leaving behind pathogens. While it’s rare, German cockroaches can bite which results in small, red spots.

Warning Signs

Cockroach on dishes

Actually seeing cockroaches is the main way to identify an infestation. Spotting one cockroach could mean there are others hidden. You’ll want to keep an eye out for other warning signs too. Cockroach droppings are a good indication of an infestation. They can be found wherever cockroaches are spending time. However, they are regularly spotted in drawers and on countertops. Look for small, dark flecks in these areas that resemble coffee grounds. German cockroaches lay eggs in a case called an ootheca. These cases can help you identify an infestation. The ootheca of a German cockroach is small and brown. Another warning sign is the presence of a musty odor caused by a group of cockroaches.

Prevention

Coffee spill

Keeping bugs out of your home is always a priority. One of the best ways to keep German cockroaches from moving in is to make your home uninviting. Remember, these bugs gravitate to areas that provide them with food, water, and shelter. Eliminating food sources starts with a good clean. Make sure to clean up crumbs and wipe up any spills. You’ll want to sweep and vacuum often. Though it may not be your favorite task, keeping trash cans clean can help keep these cockroaches away. You’ll want to eliminate any sources of moisture which means fixing any leaks. Since these bugs are small, you’ll want to make sure they can’t slip inside any cracks by sealing them.

Treatment

Maggie's Farm Simply Effective Ant & Roach KillerMaggie’s Farm Simply Effective Roach Killer Gel Bait

If German cockroaches still stop by, you’ll want to act quickly since they can rapidly multiply. A spray, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Ant & Roach Killer, will kill on contact while also providing you with residual repellency. This will help to ensure cockroaches don’t keep coming back. German cockroaches like to hide, so using a product that will reach the colony is key to eliminating an infestation. Baits, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Roach Killer Gel Bait, can help you with this task. The bait is designed to allow cockroaches to eat the bait and return to the nest. Cockroaches have a habit of eating other cockroaches and their droppings. This means they are also being exposed to the bait. In time, the bait will help to eliminate the entire colony. 

You work hard to make your house feel like a home. Unfortunately, your efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by German cockroaches. Even though you try to prevent cockroaches, one may slip through the cracks. If you spot one of these pests, acting quickly and efficiently is the key to success. If you need help getting rid of bugs, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.


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