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German Cockroaches: What You Need to Know

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What Is A German Cockroach?

The chances that you are familiar with the German cockroach is pretty high since they are the most common cockroach species in the world! You can find German cockroaches everywhere from restaurants, hotels, food processing plants, residential homes and any other place where humans and food are found.

What Do German Cockroaches Look Like?

German cockroaches are typically light brown to tan with two dark stripes down their backs. They are about one-half to 5/8 of an inch long with six legs and two antennae on the front of their head. They are one of several winged cockroach species, however, German cockroaches rarely fly, preferring instead to run. 

How Do I Know If I Have A German Cockroach Infestation?

Signs of a German cockroach infestation include finding their droppings and signs of fecal staining in the places they frequent the most. German cockroaches prefer to live in warm and humid places and near their food source. In the home this means that you will commonly find them in kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroach droppings are small and dark, appearing as “pepper-like” material found on countertops and sometimes in your drawers. Fecal staining looks like dark spots or smears in the corners of rooms or along the tops of doors. You might also find fecal staining from German cockroaches around small cracks and openings of your walls or foundation. If your infestation is large enough, you might be able to detect a mild, musty odor. 

How Do German Cockroach Infestations Occur?

German cockroaches might not always enter your home on purpose, but if they find enough food and a hospitable place to live, they will certainly happily stay. German cockroaches will be attracted to any place in a home where people eat and drink. They can find their way in through any crack as small as 3/8 of an inch in width. Sometimes, German cockroaches will find their way into your home on cardboard boxes, grocery bags or drink cartons. Once in your home they are happy to make a meal out of anything that holds nutritional value for them including food, soap, glue and even toothpaste. 

Are German Cockroaches Dangerous?

German cockroaches do not sting or bite, but can be dangerous in other ways. They are known to spread dangerous bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli which can cause food poisoning and dystntery. They are known to carry 33 different kinds of bacteria, 6 kinds of parasitic worms and 7 other kinds of pathogens dangerous to humans.

On top of that, cockroaches contain a protein that is a known allergen for many people. Body parts, saliva and waste of cockroaches can trigger allergic reactions in some people causing sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, chest tightness or shortness of breath and even trigger asthma attacks in some people. 

When Should I Call Pest Control for German Cockroaches?

If you have noticed German cockroaches or the signs of a German cockroach infestation in your home, call a pest control professional right away. Since they are known to carry so many bacteria and pathogens, it is imperative that you get control of any German cockroach infestation in your home as soon as possible.


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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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