German Cockroaches

Blattella germanica

The German cockroach is the most economically important urban pest. It is the most common cockroach species in houses, apartments, restaurants, hotels, and other institutions throughout the Untied States.

German Cockroaches
Color Light brown with two dark stripes along the pronotum
Legs 6
Shape Slender
Size 1/2"
Antennae True

HABITS

Adults of both sexes have well-developed wings, but they never fly. Adult females carry the egg capsule protruding from the rear of the abdomen until the eggs are ready to hatch. Nymphs have habits similar to those of adults. They are active mostly at night but hide in dark crevices during the day. If German cockroaches are seen during the day, the population is probably so large that the available cracks are already full, or food and moisture are in such short supply that daytime foraging is necessary. The German cockroach is a general feeder but is particularly attracted to fermented foods and beverage residues.

HABITAT

Infestations are sometimes found in areas not generally suspected of harboring German cockroaches, such as dresser drawers in bedrooms. German cockroaches found scattered through non-food areas of a home or building is usually a sign of a very heavy infestation or of the repellent effects of insecticide applications elsewhere in the facility. Adult males appear to be the most mobile stage, followed by nongravid adult females and large nymphs; gravid females rarely leave the harborage.

THREATS

Besides the nuisance factor, German cockroaches can spread disease and can spread cockroach specific allergens that have been known to cause asthma.

PREVENTION

Keeping the home clean and food debris free and harborage reduction/removal are the first steps to successful German cockroach control. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High Energy Particulate Air) filtration system can be used to remove large amounts of cockroaches in a short period of time. Do not attempt to vacuum this pest without a HEPA filter on the vacuum.