German cockroaches: you can often find them in kitchens and basements, and they're notoriously tough to get rid of when they start nesting in your home. But in spite of these bugs' commonality, many homeowners do not know as much about German cockroaches as they should. Knowledge is power, and you need all the power you can get when it comes to these determined, pervasive pests. Expand your knowledge with these six useful facts about German cockroaches.
1. German Cockroaches Are the Most Common Species of Roach
Though American and brown-banded cockroaches are also found throughout the United States, German cockroaches are the most common species on the North American continent. They are pretty easy to identify if you know the following characteristics:
- 1/2 inch long body
- Light brown body with two dark brown bands
- Small, flightless wings
Like all insects, German cockroaches also have six legs.
2. German Cockroaches Are Not Picky
This is one reason why they are so common and so tough to get rid of. German cockroaches will eat almost anything, from trash to the glue behind your wallpaper. Often, food scraps, unwashed dishes, or an uncovered trash can first attracts them, but if you try to drive them off by eliminating access to these food sources, the pests may begin eating your toothpaste, soap, and pet food.
3. German Cockroaches Carry Disease
Some homeowners fear that the cockroaches will bite them. But while German cockroaches may bite when threatened, you need to be far more concerned about their ability to spread disease. They've been known to carry salmonella, E. coli, and even parasites like pinworms. If you notice you have a cockroach infestation, be very careful to sanitize your surfaces often and never to eat anything that drops on the floor.
4. German Cockroaches Carry Allergenic Particles
Proteins in the cockroaches' fecal matter and skin cause allergic reactions in many people. In fact, sometimes itching and sneezing are the first signs that you have a cockroach infestation. You may notice these symptoms before you actually see a bug since they are so good at hiding during the day. While you are working to eliminate the bugs, switching to a HEPA air filter and vacuuming more often can help keep the allergens at bay.
5. German Cockroaches Have Three Life Stages
Unlike moths and many other bugs that go through egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages, German cockroaches only go through three life stages: egg, nymph, and adult.
Adult females lay their eggs inside an egg case, which is cream-colored and about 7 mm long. You may see egg cases on the undersides of shelves and in dark corners if you have a cockroach infestation. There are about 40 eggs in each egg case, and they hatch within a few months. The emerging nymphs are initially white in color, but they darken and develop their full adult form soon after.
6. German Cockroaches Love Moisture
Like many bugs, German cockroaches require moisture to thrive. They often settle in homes with moist basements or leaky faucets. If you discover you have an infestation, drying out your home is often a vital component of the extermination process. Consider installing a dehumidifier, having cracks in your foundation fixed, repairing leaky pipes and water heaters, and covering your sump pump pit.
Now that you know a little more about German cockroaches, you can take the appropriate actions to keep them away. If you do notice signs of cockroaches, such as feces, egg sacs, or allergy symptoms, contact the experts at EMCO Pest Control. We'll use EPA-approved materials to get rid of the pests and recommend additional changes to make your home less appealing to them.