The German cockroach is by far the most important and usually the most common of the cockroaches. They are a common and persistent problem in many households. They are repulsive to look at; they are messy; and they produce disgusting odors. In addition to being a nuisance, they have been implicated in outbreaks of illness, the transmission of a variety of pathogenic organisms including at least one parasitic protozoan, and allergic reactions in many people. This species has worldwide distribution.
Adults are about 1/2-5/8" (13-16mm) long. The female carries the egg sac until it is within 1-2 days of hatching and then deposits it in a sheltered area. On average, the female will produce about 350-400 eggs, which take about 100+ days to mature. Adults live about 100-200 days.
German cockroaches are found throughout structures but show a preference for warm and humid places. They are usually found in kitchens and secondarily in bathrooms, but infestations ofen occur in rooms where people eat and drink while watching television such as the den, bedroom, etc. Any crack or crevice located near a source of food and/or water is prime harborage, and they spend about 75% of their time in such places.
These cockroaches are most commonly introduced into buildings via paper products or paper packaging such as grocery bags, cardboard boxes, drink cartons, and via secondhand appliances such as refrigerators, televisions, VCR's, microwaves, etc. They have been observed to migrate from building to building on warm evenings, but this rarely occurs. Although uncommon, they can survive outdoors during the warm months.
They feed on almost anything with nutritive value including all kinds of food, and such things as soap, glue and toothpaste.
Frequent pest control applications may be required to control German cockroaches because of their rapid reproductive rate. At least 95% of the population must be eliminated in the initial service for effective roach control or the typical maintenance program will usually fail. Baits are particularly effective in killing cockroaches, but correct placement along junctions and/or in cracks and crevices in or near harborages is essential. Incorporating IGRs (insect growth regulators) into the service helps with long-term control. Be sure to follow label directions.