One of the most common indoor cockroaches is the German cockroach. These insects live in urban environments, often in houses, apartments, restaurants, hotels and other locations where humans are present. Like other species of cockroaches, the German cockroach has its own habits and behaviors.
Because German cockroach infestations are usually large and grow quickly, they require the assistance of a pest control professional. These professionals may use a variety of techniques to help control the issue, including baits, dusts and aerosol treatments in cracks and crevices. Bait may be placed near aggregation areas. As adults feed on the bait, they may transmit it to the young roaches that feed on their feces.
When dealing with a cockroach infestation, proper identification is crucial to controlling the problem. Young German cockroaches are about 1/8 of an inch long, while adults measure about half an inch in length. As adults, they are light brown with two stripes on their pronotum, the part of their body located just behind their heads.
German cockroaches do have wings, but they don’t fly.
It’s also important to know where these cockroaches tend to live. German cockroaches prefer warm, moist environments.
These roaches live and breed indoors. While they can be found in bathrooms and kitchens near sources of moisture, they spend most of their time in wall cracks and voids. Their flat bodies allow them to easily crawl through cracks and other small openings. Like other cockroach species, they are most active at night when they search for food and water. When there is a large infestation, they may be visible during the day as some individuals can become displaced from their resting area.
German cockroaches are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything. Their diet most often includes starches, sweets, meats and grease. Garbage may also contain these sources of food. This is one reason why cockroaches have a reputation for being unsanitary.
Finding German cockroaches in your home is a cause for concern. First, this species is known to produce an unpleasant odor, especially when their population is large enough.
Second, the unsanitary conditions in which cockroaches often live mean they can carry pathogens that may cause disease. German cockroaches may spread various types of gastroenteritis, including food poisoning, dysentery and diarrhea. The cockroaches can carry pathogens on their legs and bodies, depositing them on surfaces (and/or food) with which they come into contact.
Their feces and shed exoskeletons may also trigger allergic reactions in some people, including rashes, watery eyes, congestion, sneezing and asthma.
Terminix® service technicians are trained to identify a German cockroach infestation. Learn more about cockroach control today.