How to Combat One of the Most Successful Species on the Planet: German Cockroaches

german cockroach des moines

Cockroaches have resided on Earth for some 250-300 million years. And according to paleontologists, the extinction event that wiped out 90 percent of the species (also known as The Great Dying) happened only 65 million years ago. This means that cockroaches were among the 10 percent that survived.

Today, scientists believe that there are 3,500 different species of cockroaches, with 55 of them living in the United States.

About the enemy

The German cockroach is the most common of the 55 species and is typically found wherever people and their delicious food are residing or spending a good deal of time. Apartments, houses, hotels, restaurants, and schools are all familiar territory to this unwanted pest.

Adult German cockroaches are tan to light brown, with two dark parallel lines running from the back of the head to the wings, and are ½ to 5/8 inch long. Though the wings are fully developed, German cockroaches do not fly.

Their favorite foods include grease, sweets, starches, and meat. They are most active at night when they forage for sustenance and water, and search for a mate. Cockroach siting during the day indicates a heavy infestation.

One of the reasons the German cockroach is so successful is due to its reproduction. This species of cockroach produces a larger number of eggs per gestation and has a very short period of time from hatching to sexual maturity. Each egg capsule hatches approximately 48 eggs, every four to six weeks.

Locate the target

The German Cockroach prefers a warm, moist environment and is usually found in and around sinks, dishwashers, stoves, bathtubs, and garbage. Smaller than most other cockroach species, the German roach has supreme hiding skills because they can fit into cracks and crevices that are inaccessible to other roaches and insects.

The German cockroach battle strategy

Ever-persistent, these roaches produce a foul-smelling secretion and leave it on food as well as utensils. Diarrhea, food poisoning, and dysentery are just some of the different diseases that German cockroaches commonly spread. Their excrement also causes allergic reactions such as sneezing, watery eyes, congestion, asthma, and skin rashes.

Getting rid of German cockroaches

Start with sanitation. Never leave dirty dishes out overnight, clean up all spills and crumbs immediately, and store sweet items such as cereal and cookies in airtight containers. Take the garbage out nightly; also store in a solid container with a securely fitted lid.

To conduct a thorough survey, place sticky traps in known harborages as well as in drawers, on shelves, and in corners of the floor. Be sure to purchase traps that come with bait. Trap for one week to assess the infestation population. After assessing the infestation, caulk holes in walls and pipes.

Chemical baiting is an effective way to eradicate German cockroaches. Baits containing sulfluramid, boric acid, or abamectin can provide a superior level of control when applied to known harboring areas.

Insecticidal dusts provide added control. These products should be applied in cracks and crevices throughout the home, in dressers, closets, and even light fixtures. Do not allow children or pets near the areas under treatment. All food must be stored away from treatment areas to prevent contamination.

Important notes

Sprays and foggers do very little with regard to roach population control and eradication. Some experts say that this actually repels the German cockroach away from the area temporarily, until it is safe to return; therefore extending the eradication length of time.

Pesticides are poisonous. Follow all directions precisely and store away from children and animals.

Miller Pest & Termite recognizes that all homes and infestations are different; we will customize a plan for your particular situation and get rid of these disease-spreading pests quickly. Contact us today to learn more about how we can rid your home of German cockroaches as well as other pests; and prevent further infestations.