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Cockroaches (German Cockroach)
Cockroaches (German Cockroach)

Cockroaches (German Cockroach)


  • 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.

Look for:

  • 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.

Innovative Pest Management serves the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland area. Call us at (240) 755-0077 to schedule a free quote or appointment.