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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. 

What Do German Cockroaches Look Like?

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. 

Where Do German Cockroaches Live?

Cockroach on cabinet

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 are found throughout the United States.

What Do German Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroach eating cracker

German cockroaches aren’t picky with their food. They’ll eat anything they can find including paper, soap, and crumbs. They prefer to eat sweets, meat, or greasy items.

Are German Cockroaches Dangerous?

Cockroach in cup

If cockroaches decide your home has the perfect accommodations, it can be difficult to make them leave. Several things can cause these pests to be a threat to your house.

  • Large Infestations: 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, creating a nest. Female German cockroaches can lay 40 eggs at one time and will do this 4-6 times in their lifetime. Once reaching adulthood, these cockroaches can live for about 200 days.
  • Cockroaches Can Contaminate Food: 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.
  • Cockroaches Can Bite: While it’s rare, German cockroaches can bite, which results in small, red spots.

Signs of a German Cockroach Infestation

Cockroach on dishes

Cockroaches leave behind clues that can help you identify an infestation.

  • Cockroach Sightings: Spotting living or dead cockroaches is the main way to identify an infestation. If you see one cockroach, it could mean there are others hidden.
  • Cockroach Droppings: Droppings are small, dark flecks that resemble coffee grounds. They can be found wherever cockroaches are spending time. However, they’re regularly spotted in drawers and on countertops.
  • Cockroach Eggs: German cockroaches lay eggs in a case called an ootheca. Spotting these is a good indication of an infestation. The ootheca of a German cockroach is small and brown.
  • Unpleasant Odor: The presence of cockroaches can cause an unpleasant odor. This musty scent will become worse as cockroach infestations grow.

How to Prevent German Cockroaches

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. Check out a few tips to prevent these pests from getting inside. 

  • Eliminate Food Sources: Clean up crumbs and wipe up any spills. Sweep and vacuum often. Keep your trash cans clean to help keep these cockroaches away.
  • Eliminate Moisture: Find and fix any leaks in your home. Check for leaky pipes and faucets. Remove items in your yard that can collect water.
  • Seal Entry Points: German cockroaches are small, so you’ll want to make sure they can’t slip inside any holes. Seal any cracks or gaps with caulk or steel wool.

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches

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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