- Color: light brown to tan; two dark parallel bars on the pronotum (i.e., shield-like segment behind the head).
- Size: 1/2 to 5/8 inches.
- Fully developed wings which cover the abdomen.
- Egg capsule (ootheca) is light brown, 1/4 to 3/8 inch long, and typically contains 15 to 20 eggs per side.
Habits of German Cockroaches:
- Females produce four to eight egg capsules each of which contains 30 to 40 eggs.
- The egg capsule is carried partially within her abdomen until just before the nymphs are ready to emerge.
- Developmental time (egg to adult): about 103 days.
- There are three to four generations per year.
- Life span of adults: 100 to 200 days.
- Usually infests kitchens and bathrooms but lives anywhere within a heated structure containing food, water, and harborage.
- Introduced into structures in grocery bags, cardboard boxes, drink cartons, infested equipment, e.g., used refrigerator, toaster, microwave, etc.
- Feed on all types of human food, as well as pet food, toothpaste, soap, glue, etc.
Damage From German Cockroaches:
- Potential mechanical transmitters of many bacterial, fungal, viral and protozoan diseases primarily through contamination of food preparation surfaces.
- Their body parts, excretions and secretions can cause allergies, asthma and hypersensitivity reactions, especially in children.
- Fecal deposits and brown secretory deposits.
- Strong musk odor indicative of large population.
- Potentially-infested products which are brought into structures.
How to Control and Kill German Cockroaches:
- Cardboard and plastic sticky traps should be used to pinpoint sources of cockroach infestation and to monitor areas of suspected infestation.
- Visual inspections should be conducted at night using a flashlight.
- Clean-up to reduce cockroaches must focus mainly on the food residue in and around coffee machines, microwave ovens, stoves, refrigerators, trash cans, furniture, and areas where exposed food is stored
- Clutter should be reduced as cockroaches prefer to hide in stacked boxes, cartons, and stored paper and cardboard materials, especially in dark, damp locations near food.
- Vacuum cleaning can be used to physically remove exposed cockroaches.
- Moisture sources should be eliminated by repairing leaks, improving drainage, and installing screened vents in order to increase airflow.
- Caulk should be used to eliminate harborage and prevent entry into structures, e.g., especially eliminate cracks at which sinks and fixtures are mounted to the wall and/or floor; around all types of plumbing, baseboard molding and corner guards where shelves and cabinets meet walls and door frames; and cracks on or near food preparation surfaces. Cockroach access routes from wall voids into occupied spaces should be sealed with caulk or grout, especially around plumbing and electrical fixtures.
- Basement floor drains should be protected with screens or basket inserts and cleaned regularly.