German Cockroaches are by far the most common species of cockroach in the world. The adults are pale to medium brown, about ½ to ⅝ inches long, and can be Identified by two dark stripes along their back. They have well developed wings, but rarely fly and prefer to run. The nymphs are smaller, darker (nearly black in color), don’t have wings, and have a single light stripe down their back.
Interesting German Cockroach Facts
– When reproducing, the female German cockroach carries a capsule of 30-48 eggs until they are ready to hatch.
– The adults can survive for less than two weeks without food and water (about a month with water alone).
– After hatching, the German Cockroach develops to sexual maturity sooner than any other house pest and can therefore build up their population much faster.
– Because they can reproduce so quickly, populations can pass resistance of multiple insecticides to the next generations in a short amount of time.
– They are not an aggressive species and their mouths are not very big or strong, so they can’t actually bite people.
– The German Cockroach secretes many odorous substances from its body, so if the population gets large enough, one may notice a “musty” smell.
– Cockroach feces are referred to as frass.
Problems Caused by German Cockroaches
The biggest problem caused by cockroaches is the spread of serious germs and allergens. They often feed and harbor in damp unsanitary areas of sewers, garbage disposals, bathrooms, kitchens, and storage areas. After spending time in these places, they spread the filth and germs they pick up to dishes, utensils, food supplies, and other food preparation surfaces. Their contamination can affect the flavor of foods and may lead to food poisoning, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, dysentery, and other illnesses. Some people, especially those with respiratory problems like asthma can suffer serious allergic reactions to cockroach waste that can be life threatening. Another problem with cockroaches is their feeding damage to various items like draperies, bindings of older books, stamps, envelopes, and older types of wallpapers. They eat things containing glue or paste (especially animal based), starch, and certain colors of dyes. They can also make nasty stains on various surfaces with their excrement.
German Cockroach Prevention
The German Cockroach is a fairly active species and can pass through very small openings. It is important to make sure that new cockroaches aren’t being carried in by food shipments, potato and onion bags, beverage cartons, shopping bags, food packages, handbags, and folds of clothing. Your pest expert will help you to identify and prevent these routes from creating or worsening an infestation.