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The German Cockroach

Identification

One of the most common cockroaches in the United States, the German cockroach enjoys warm, and humid spaces and like temperatures that are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They have oval shaped, flattened bodies with spiny legs and a long antennae. They are generally light tan to medium brown in color, and are marked at the head with two dark stripes. A lighter stripe runs lengthwise on the body. Adult German cockroaches are about a half an inch long, with wings, but are among roaches that rarely, if ever, fly.

Reproduction and Nymphs

German cockroaches have the highest potential for reproduction among all of the common roach species, and females can produce between thirty and fifty eggs at one time. Egg cases are less than 1/4 inch long, and until the eggs are ready to hatch, the female will carry the case around as a way of protecting it. A female can produce anywhere from six to eight egg cases in a life cycle.

Once hatched, nymph roaches are matured in about 40 to 125 days, and until adulthood is reached, are wingless.

German Cockroach Habits

These roaches, along with other species of roach can be found in homes, apartments, grocery stores and even hospitals. Kitchens and bathrooms are prime targets for the German cockroach since cracks and crevices are common in plumbing fixtures, cupboards and drawers. When they infest an area they cluster in ideal hiding places. Evidence of the roaches in other areas of a building can be an indication of a more severe infestation.

These roaches will find their way into homes and buildings by hiding in moving boxes, sacks of potatoes or onions, old furniture, and soft drink cases. They will cluster behind baseboards, in cabinets, closets or pantries and under large appliances like stoves or refrigerators. They will move between buildings (particularly apartments) through pipe openings, along hallways and in the common areas of buildings.

Since this species of roach requires a high concentration of water or moisture, they won't usually travel more than ten to twelve feet from their source for that need. Without water, adult German roaches can die within two weeks, but can live twice as long without food as long as water is within reach. Like other cockroach species, German roaches can eat nearly anything.

Prevention

Many experts suggest that one of the best preventions is to carefully inspect sacks, cartons, used appliances and furnishings, and boxes prior to bringing them into a home or building. Watch for not only the roaches themselves, but for potentially prime environments and make sure they are properly cleaned. It's also important to watch for cracks in foundation walls, around doors, windows and baseboards and to seal them with caulk or plastic putty. Other places to keep an eye out for cracks are floors, ceilings, electrical outlets and especially around plumbing.

Basic sanitation tips include:

  • Make sure that spills are cleaned up quickly and completely.
  • Clean beneath large appliances, cabinets, and inside cupboards and storage bins.
  • Don't leave food out overnight, including pet food.
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers.
  • Take trash out daily to a well sealed outside trash bin and take time to rinse cans and bottle before throwing them away.

 

Pest Control - Interesting Facts

The total weight of all the termites in the world is greater than the total weight of all the humans in the world.