German Cockroaches 101

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Interesting Facts and Information About German Cockroaches

 

German Cockroaches 101There are about 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world, 70 of which are found right here in the United States. If you’ve ever encountered a cockroach at home, a restaurant or a public bathroom, it could have been an American cockroach, a brown-banded cockroach or an oriental cockroach, but chances are it was likely a German cockroach — the most common species of cockroach found all over the world.

What does a German cockroach look like?

Cockroaches, in general, are flat and oval in shape with six legs and a pair of antennae. German cockroaches range in size from ½ inch to 5/8 of an inch long. They are light brown to tan in color and often distinguished by two dark stripes down their back.

Where do German cockroaches live?

German cockroaches prefer warm and humid environments, close to food and water sources. They frequently invade residential properties by hitchhiking in grocery bags, cardboard boxes and secondhand appliances. Homeowners are most likely to find a German cockroach crawling around the bathroom or kitchen.

What do German cockroaches eat?

German cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including soap, glue and toothpaste!

Are German cockroaches dangerous?

German cockroaches are more than just nuisance pests – they have been linked to disease transmission by picking up germs on the spines of their legs as they crawl through decaying matter. These germs are then transferred to food and other common surfaces that humans frequently touch. In fact, cockroaches are known to spread at least 33 different types of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other human pathogens. Additionally, the saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies of cockroaches contain proteins that trigger allergies and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. To learn more about hidden allergy triggers in your home, read this article by Dr. Jorge Parada, medical advisor for the National Pest Management Association.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

Practicing good sanitation is key to preventing an infestation, as cockroaches spend most of their time near food sources. Homeowners should make a concerted effort to keep kitchen counters and floors clean and free of crumbs. It’s also important to vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage on a regular basis.

If you find one cockroach in your home, it’s likely there are many more hiding in cracks and crevices. German cockroaches can breed at a rate of up to six generations per year. If you suspect you have a cockroach infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to properly identify the species and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. You can enter your zip code here to locate a pest control company near you. We also recommend watching this video to learn more about on the most common cockroach species in the home, including German cockroaches.