Adult German cockroaches are light brown except for the shield behind the head marked with dark stripes, running lengthwise on the body. Young roaches have no wings and nearly black with a single light stripe running down the middle of their back, and the adult German cockroaches are about 5/8 inch long. Egg capsules are light tan and yield approximately 36 baby cockroaches.
German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.), are the most common roaches found in houses and restaurants. Most cockroaches have a flattened, oval shape, spiny legs, and long, filamentous antennae. Immature stages are smaller, have undeveloped wings and resemble the adults. They eat food of all kinds and may hitchhike into the house on egg cartons, soft drink cartons, sacks of potatoes or onions, used furniture or appliances, beer cases, etc. Produce departments, pawn shops, nursing homes and other such places are constantly fighting German roaches (as a general rule) and are notorious for being the source of residential infestations.
Once they hitchhike into your home, German roach populations generally develop in kitchens and bathrooms. During the day, these roaches may be found hiding clustered behind baseboard moldings, pictures and clocks, in cracks around cabinets, closets or pantries, and in and under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. German cockroaches do not like motion and usually avoid light, so if you are seeing them in the daytime while you are moving about the room, you probably have a larger population than you realize. These pests also prefer to hide within five feet or less of their food and water source.
German cockroach females, unlike most other roaches, carry the egg capsule protruding from their abdomen until their capsules ready to split open. During the last three or four days prior to dropping her egg case, the female German cockroach does not forage for food or water. The case is then placed in a secluded location, with the nymphs emerging sometimes within the hour or as long as a week. A female may produce four to six cases during her lifetime, each containing 30 to 40 eggs. Eggs hatch in 28 to 30 days, and nymphs develop in 40 to 125 days. Female roaches live about 200 days, with males living not quite as long. This roach produces more eggs and has more generations per year (three to four) than other roaches, and only a few individuals are needed to develop into troublesome infestations.
Inspect sacks, cartons and boxes, etc., brought into the house, and destroy any roaches. Sanitation is critical in roach control. Clean up spilled foods and liquids, avoid leaving scraps of food on unwashed dishes and counter tops, keep food in tightly sealed containers, rinse cans and bottles before putting them in trash and transfer garbage outdoors into roach-proof receptacles.
Professional roach baits, pesticide dusts, aerosols or residual spray concentrates can be used to eliminate German cockroach infestations. The best professional bait for German roaches is Maxforce Gel. Demon insecticide is the best residual spray and can best be used in conjunction with Baygon aerosols. If you prefer to use professional dusts, Delta Dust and Drione Dust are the best. For more help in ridding yourself of this pest, refer to German Roach Elimination.
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