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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Stoddard

How to Recognize German Cockroaches

This cockroach is tan or light brown and has a couple of dark stripes on the back, nearly parallel. The females are typically darker in color than the males.

The nymphs (babies) are black or dark brown and have the same stripes. Although these cockroaches have wings, they prefer to run rather than fly.

German Cockroach Infestation: What to Look Out For

German cockroaches like humid, warm places that are near sources of moisture and food. This is why they are often found in commercial and residential kitchens and bathrooms.

You are likely to see German cockroach droppings in an area where there is an infestation. These will be dark brown and small and look a bit like coarsely ground black pepper in drawers or on the countertop.

You might also see fecal staining, which looks like smears or dark spots around doorframes, in-room corners, or openings and cracks in the walls.

A large infestation often results in a noticeable musty odor.

How to Prevent German Cockroaches

Adequate sanitation is the best way to avoid a German cockroach infestation. Keep your kitchen sanitary by wiping up spills and crumbs and vacuuming frequently. Don’t let dirty dishes pile up in the sink.

It is also a good idea to seal any entrances to your property, such as around the utility pipes. Keep crawlspaces ventilated to prevent a buildup of moisture.

If you see signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest control company to inspect and tackle the German cockroach infestation.

German Cockroaches: Do They Bite?

These cockroaches do not bite humans but can threaten health by spreading human pathogens and bacteria.

More about Their Habits

Humid, warm places are where you will typically find German cockroaches. They like temperatures around 70 degrees and are mostly found in kitchens, followed by bathrooms.

It is possible to find a German cockroach infestation wherever people eat and drink, though. This includes living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and dens.

There can be cockroaches living in any crack or space close to a water and/or food source. They can fit through an opening of 3/8 inch.

German cockroaches can breed quickly, up to 6 generations annually. A female can lay up to 40 eggs at once, which will mature in about eight weeks.

These bugs are hardy and fast and don’t have many natural predators. This is why a pest control service might recommend a recurring service to address this issue rather than a one-off treatment.

How Did I Get German Cockroaches?

These ‘hitchhiking’ bugs migrate to new locations by traveling in cardboard boxes, drink cartons, and grocery bags.

They are also common in secondhand appliances like microwaves, TVs, and refrigerators, as well as in used furniture.

German cockroaches can find their way from building to building in warm weather. They can survive outdoors if the weather is warm, but they prefer to be indoors.

The German cockroach can quickly move around a multi-unit apartment building, using the shared plumbing and pipes to move freely between them.

These cockroaches will eat nearly anything, including all types of food, glue, toothpaste, and soap. They are attracted to areas where food debris is lying around, such as under the sink, in kitchen cabinets, and around garbage cans.

Males spend most of their time hidden away, even at night, while females of reproducing age tend to be very active in comparison.

Activity periods in the German cockroach depend on factors like age, physiological state, and life stage.

German Cockroach Threats

German cockroaches present various medical threats to people. They have been associated with outbreaks of allergic reactions and illness outbreaks in humans.

These bugs are reported to spread six types of parasitic worms, 33 types of bacteria, and seven or more other types of human pathogens.

German cockroaches pick up germs on their bodies and legs as they run through rotting matter or sewage and then carry these germs onto food preparation surfaces. Food poisoning and even dysentery have been traced back to these pests.

German cockroach allergens can cause allergic reactions and make asthma attacks more serious, especially in children.

For these reasons, if you discover a German cockroach infestation, it is critical to contact a licensed pest control company immediately and tackle the problem as soon as possible.


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