The warm and sunny days of summertime bring with them delightful outdoor activities like barbecues and beach days. Unfortunately, this time of year also ushers in some less welcome guests: bugs. While mosquitoes and flies can certainly be annoying, there’s one particular insect that stands out as the most dreaded of all—the cockroach, and more specifically the German cockroach.
With hot temperatures and high humidity, German cockroaches start appearing in and around homes and properties, finding the warm and moist conditions ideal for their fast and prolific reproduction cycle. In a very short time, a small number of cockroaches can turn into a large infestation that can take over a house. And not only are they unwanted in a home, they have the ability to spread diseases and affect allergies, making them a threat to your household.
The question then becomes, how to get rid of German roaches in your house? Although you can try spraying the area with store-bought insecticides or fogging your home, these techniques result in only staving the infestation off, rather than completely getting rid of it. Ultimately, hiring an exterminator will eradicate a German roach nest, letting you have a clean and roach-free home.
What is a German Cockroach?
When it comes to cockroaches, not all of them are the same. In fact, there are three main types of roaches: American roach, Oriental cockroach, and of course the German cockroach. German cockroaches are one of the most common cockroaches in America, especially in the Southern part of the United States.
They are small cockroaches with light brown coloring, ranging from about ½ inch to ⅝ inches in length. Besides its lighter coloring and small size, German cockroaches are easily identified by two dark stripes running down the back of their head and a tendency to scurry across the floor instead of flying, like the American cockroach.
German cockroaches are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night and can be found in warm, humid environments, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Like other cockroach varieties, they have a fondness for places with food particles and messes, where they can quickly hide themselves.
These cockroaches are not only a nuisance to have around, but they can be a health concern, contaminating food and surfaces with bacteria and transmitted diseases. Their skin and droppings can also trigger allergies and asthma in some individuals.
German cockroaches are highly adaptable and develop a resistance to insecticides, making them one of the most challenging insects to control if you have an infestation. Managing a German cockroach infestation requires a combination of cleaning, exclusions, and chemical control, including extermination services.
How Fast Can German Roaches Infest a Home?
German roaches are among the fastest reproducing household pests. A single, female German roach can produce several egg capsules in her lifetime, with each capsule containing 30-40 eggs. These eggs hatch from the eggs within a few weeks and can mature in about 1-4 months.
Due to their high egg production rate and reproductive cycle, these roaches can quickly infest a property within a matter of weeks or months. How long exactly an infestation takes will depend on several factors including: environmental conditions, food sources, and hiding spots. If there is an abundance of food, water, and shelter, a German roach population can explode and overtake a place rapidly.
Threats Posed By German Roaches
German roaches are not just an unwelcome intruder in your home or business, but they can also be a significant threat to your health. These resilient pests are known for picking up germs and viruses as they move about a range of surfaces including sewage and trash bins. Often, you may find them coming up out of your drains, bringing all sorts of infections with them.
Roaches’ spiny legs and bodies act as efficient germ vehicles, facilitating the transfer of these harmful pathogens onto various surfaces you frequently touch or use, such as your dishware, countertops, and keyboards.
In addition to being carriers of disease, the saliva, urine, and feces of cockroaches can trigger allergies in many people, as well increase irritation for those with asthma. Their presence can contaminate human food, clothing, paper goods, and other surfaces with their excrement and body parts, further threatening the health of your household.
Having a cockroach in your home is much more than just a nuisance, but can be harmful to your health. If you do see a German roach in your home, it’s important to call an exterminator as soon as possible to take effective measures on getting rid of these pests from your living spaces.
Where Can You Find German Cockroaches?
Both residential and commercial properties can suffer from a German cockroach infestation. Their adaptable nature allows them to thrive in many different environments, although they are most commonly found in warmer, moist climates.
German cockroaches tend to be where food and water are, making them more prevalent in kitchens, bathrooms, and pantries in the home. Restaurants, hotels, and even hospitals can be susceptible to them as well. Due to their small size, they can easily slip between cracks and crevices, under appliances, sinks, and in cabinets and drawers.
Like other cockroaches, they are light sensitive and prefer darker spaces and will come out more at night, which is why you might find them when turning a light on in the kitchen and see them fleeing under cabinets.
7 Signs You Have German Cockroaches in Your Home
There are several ways to determine if you have cockroaches in your home.
1. Seeing cockroaches
The most obvious sign that you have German cockroaches in your home is seeing one, which will usually happen at night. If you have seen one, then more than likely there are others lurking around your home or business. Even if you see one outside your house on the patio, there’s a chance they could be in your house or are looking for a way into it.
2. Fecal droppings
Keep an eye out for any fecal droppings around your kitchen or bathroom; they are small, dark, round droppings that are similar to coffee grounds or ground pepper. They can be hard to spot, though, unless you know what you are looking for.
3. Egg casings
Female German cockroaches carry egg capsules on their abdomen until the eggs are ready to hatch. When the cockroaches hatch, the casings are left behind. Look for small, light brown elongated items along baseboards, in corners, and in cracks.
4. Musty odor
Although a musty odor in your home or business could just mean you need to open the windows, it could also be a sign that you have German cockroaches. They emit a musty or oil smell which humans can detect when there is an infestation of them.
5. Grease smears
Pay attention to surfaces like floors and countertops for dark, irregular grease smears, which are left behind by roaches from an oily substance they carry on their bodies, the same one that causes their musty odor.
6. Bite marks
Bites from cockroaches can be rare, but they do occur, especially if there is a large population in your home and they are lacking food sources. A roach bite will look similar to a mosquito bite, but will typically be a larger, red, raised bump on your skin and only occur one at a time, unlike bed bugs.
7. Damage to items
In large infestations, German cockroaches can cause damage to books, fabrics, and other soft materials by chewing on them if they’re hungry for food.
Unless you see a German cockroach in your house, spotting the signs can sometimes be tricky if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Luckily, our trained professionals can inspect your property and confirm if you do have cockroaches and help you with how to get rid of them.
How to Get Rid of German Roaches Yourself
If you do suspect you have German roaches in your house, you can try to get rid of them yourself. These solutions may work best if you don’t have a large infestation, or just the beginnings of one. German roaches can breed fast and even if you only see one roach, there are sure to be many others lurking nearby. Professional services are typically required to fully get rid of German cockroaches.
Some options you can try to deter cockroaches from your home and business are:
Placing cockroach baits or traps around your house, especially in places like the kitchen and under cabinets, can help get rid of cockroaches. They are equipped with bait that roaches take back to their colony which can be helpful in eradicating the colony.
To provide ongoing control of German roaches, you can use a residual insecticide powder or liquid. These are long-lasting and help create a barrier against cockroaches. German cockroaches, though, can build up a resistance to these types of insecticides and they can be ineffective overtime.
Before applying any solution for cockroaches in your home, be sure to read the directions carefully and keep away from pets and children.
Many times the internet will advise homemade, natural tactics, such as using smells, boric acid, or coffee grounds, but these remedies aren’t effective at killing roaches. They may deter them from specific areas for a short while, but German roaches are persistent and will eventually invade your home, often scurrying deeper into the walls and cracks of your home. Even with store bought insecticides and bait, roaches can build up a tolerance to these chemicals, making them harder to exterminate.
Instead of attempting to get rid of German roaches yourself, it’s recommended to call a professional exterminator to avoid an infestation from getting out of hand.
How to Get Rid of German Roaches with a Professional Exterminator
Trying to figure out how to get rid of German roaches can be difficult. Even with the best intentions of doing it yourself, a cockroach infestation can take over your life and be a threat to your health, often spreading dangerous pathogens such as Salmonella and E. Coli. Roaches have also been known to cause asthma, especially in children.
If you’ve tried everything and are still seeing cockroaches, it’s best to call a professional exterminator, like us at House Doctor Exterminating. We understand what you’ve been dealing with and how to get rid of German roaches for good.
While each case is different depending on the severity of the infestation, we’ll typically cover the following steps.
- Talk with you about your needs and review what you see and experience in your home.
- Develop a treatment plan tailored to your situation. This may mean a combination of insecticides, baits, and other methods.
- Insecticides will then be applied with target precision to take care of them and create a barrier. Our technicians will also put down baits to eliminate the entire colony.
To get rid of German cockroaches fully, an exterminator might have to come back multiple times, as well as follow-up visits to ensure treatments are working properly. It’s important to communicate with your exterminator and follow their instructions to help make sure every cockroach is eliminated from your home.
At House Doctor Exterminating, we use an Alpine treatment that is applied to target surfaces and kills the roaches when they consume it. It not only uses a chemical to attract the roaches to it, but once ingested it paralyzes them and kills them within hours. Unlike other insecticides, our technique using Alpine assures that cockroaches will be fully exterminated, leaving you with a peace of mind and a clean, cockroach-free property.
6 Ways to Prevent German Roaches from Entering Your Home
To prevent cockroaches from entering your home, even before it’s a problem, there are some steps you can take to help keep them out.
1. Seal all doors and windows properly
Cockroaches, especially German cockroaches, can fit between the smallest of cracks. Completely sealing doors and windows will help keep these unwanted pests out.
2. Remove food and water sources
German cockroaches are attracted to water and food smells. Don’t leave unsealed food or empty drinks laying around.. Check for any leaks in your house—the moisture will draw cockroaches to it.
3. Keep a clean house
Cockroaches love a dirty environment. Keeping your house clean with regular mopping, vacuuming, and dusting to remove traces of food and potential hiding spots will help prevent them from taking up residence.
4. Check packages and items coming into your home
Cockroaches like to hide among potted plants, packages left outside, and even firewood. Inspect like items when bringing them into your home to make sure you’re not taking along an insect hitchhiker.
5. Change your patio lights
Cockroaches are attracted to white lights, so replace any outdoor light bulbs with yellow or LED lights to help prevent them from coming near your property.
6. Contact an exterminator
Before you see a cockroach, call us to help apply preventive measures and make sure a roach can’t enter your home.
Keeping Your Property Safe: How to Get Rid of German Roaches
Seeing a cockroach scurry across your kitchen floor is an unwelcome sight for anyone. Not only is one cockroach enough to transmit diseases, but it means that more are hiding around your property and can quickly overrun it. The question then remains, how do you get rid of German roaches?
While some DIY methods, such as cockroach baits and residual insecticide may help to manage small infestations of German cockroaches temporarily, professional extermination services, like at House Doctor Exterminating, are often necessary for long-term and comprehensive eradication of the roaches.
Our tried-and-true techniques ensure precise and targeted applications to eliminate the entire roach colony. In the battle against German cockroaches, seeking our experienced pest control professionals can help bring peace of mind while ensuring a clean, cockroach-free property.