Because many species of cockroaches live in areas with waste and garbage, they can transfer E. coli and Salmonella from one surface to another, and that's not something you want in your home.
And while any indoor cockroach sighting is bad, it's true that some can be worse than others. German cockroaches live and breed indoors, so if they find their way into your house, an infestation can grow fast and quickly become a serious problem.
Learn how to identify and get rid of German cockroaches if you find them in your home.
What Are German Cockroaches?
When German cockroaches first emerge from their egg cases, they are about 1/8 of an inch long, and adults measure about 1/2 of an inch in length. Mature German cockroaches are light brown in color and they have two dark brown stripes on their pronotum, which is the plate-like armor that is visible between its head and its protective wings. These markings are one of the easiest ways to identify German roaches.
Adult German roaches also have wings, but they cannot fly. And males are slightly smaller than females.
In terms of habitat, German cockroaches are often found in homes, apartments, hotels and restaurants. These roaches feel secure in tight spaces and prefer warm, moist environments with easy access to food and water. In homes and buildings, they are typically found in kitchens and bathrooms, but they may be found in wall cracks and voids throughout the home or building.
Why Do I Have German Cockroaches?
There are several reasons you might find German cockroaches in your home, but, as with all pests, there are three main factors that attract them: food, water and shelter. You can help prevent a German cockroach infestation with a few basic steps.
First, be vigilant about keeping your kitchen clean. Wipe down countertops, sweep the floors and keep your food in airtight containers. If you have pets, don't leave their food out, and make sure it's stored in a tightly sealed container. You should also be sure your garbage can closes securely. German cockroaches will eat many things, including starches, sweets, meat, grease and, yes, even your garbage.
Next, regularly check your home for leaks and repair any issues you find. Make sure wet towels and kitchen sponges are hung up and kept off the countertops. Use sealants, as necessary, to help prevent water from building up in the cracks around sinks, tubs and windows. Sealants are also important in denying access to cracks and crevices where German cockroaches prefer to stay.
You should also keep in mind that, like other species of cockroaches, German cockroaches can find their way into your house in cardboard boxes or on wood. In fact, roaches prefer these materials because they collect the pheromones, or chemical signals, cockroaches use to communicate with each other. If you're bringing these items into your home, be sure to inspect them first. And if you live in a multi-unit building, like an apartment or condo, then German cockroaches can move from one unit to another.
Are German Cockroaches Hard to Get Rid Of?
A German cockroach infestation is a problem. As mentioned, these roaches live and breed indoors, so if they're comfortable in your house, they'll invite their friends and stick around. Additionally, gravid females (females carrying the egg case) have egg cases containing around 40 eggs — and these eggs hatch in just 24 hours once they're laid.
One of the most disturbing things about a German cockroach infestation is that they are often much larger than they appear. Because these infestations tend to be so large and grow so quickly, they are very difficult to eliminate and control. Like other cockroaches, German roaches are most active at night when they search for food, so they may escape detection. If you have an infestation, you may see one or two cockroaches, but because these pests spend about 80 percent of their time in the cracks and spaces behind walls, you might not see them at all.
There are other reasons you should be concerned about finding German cockroaches in your home. German cockroaches can carry pathogens that may cause diseases like various forms of gastroenteritis, including food poisoning, dysentery and diarrhea. When they're in your home, they often produce an unpleasant odor, and their feces and shed exoskeletons can cause allergic reactions, like asthma.
What Is a Natural Way to Get Rid of German Cockroaches?
If you find German cockroaches in your home, you might be tempted to try and handle the situation yourself. There are a number of websites and do-it-yourself blogs that share natural remedies for roach infestations, and one of the most commonly suggested methods of control is boric acid.
However, when it comes to using boric acid it's important to follow the label and to not mix this product with flour or powdered sugar as it may then be eaten by a child or pet.
Boric acid works by grooming. Cockroaches walk through the boric acid, and then they groom themselves, therefore ingesting the boric acid, which is toxic for cockroaches.
Prevention is the best method of control. So, take steps to avoid introducing them into your home. Seal around plumbing lines and other areas, especially if you live in a multi-unit building because these places are where German cockroaches could move from neighboring units.
What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of German Cockroaches?
If you have a German cockroach infestation in your home, the best course of action is to call the professionals. Attempting do-it-yourself methods of control often leads to frustration and may cost you more time and money.
Terminix® pest control specialists are trained to eliminate German cockroach infestations as quickly and efficiently as possible, and they understand that these problems often require a multi-pronged approach to treatment. Service technicians may use a variety of products and methods, including baits, dusts and aerosols, and they will be able to treat difficult areas like wall cracks and crevices. They can also use non-chemical methods like vacuum removal to help get the situation under control.
A German cockroach infestation can become a serious issue. If you think you have German cockroaches in your home, it's important to act quickly. The pest control specialists at Terminix can help eliminate the problem as soon as possible. Get your quote today.