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German Cockroaches: Keeping Them Out of Your House

Cockroaches are one of the most unloved of insect species. Not all cockroaches are bad though. Believe it or not, some are actually beneficial. However, there is one cockroach species that is considered one of the worst species in general household pest management. That is the German cockroach (Blattella germanica ). German cockroaches are a domestic species that depends on man to survive. It is said that they are unable to live without humans. German cockroaches like to hang around places with food and water. The kitchen and bathrooms are primary sites where German cockroaches can take up residence. Once German cockroaches take hold, they are incredibly hard to get rid of. One problem in their reproductive rate. One cockroach can have as many as 30-40 eggs. Once the eggs hatch, nymphs will search out shelter, food and water. It takes about 60 days on average for a nymph to complete its development to an adult. Adults can live for 100 days! In a infestation you are most likely to see more nymphs than adults.

So, what can you do? The first thing you should do is to identify the pest. Place the insect in a vial of 70% rubbing alcohol and bring it to your local extension agent for positive identification. There is a very similar species called the Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai) . The Asian is a active flyer, where the German is not.

German cockroaches can be managed and eliminated using integrated pest management (IPM) practices Chemical control alone will not be effective. It is recommended that one should contact a pest control operator to manage infestations. As a homeowner, there are several steps you can take to assist your pest control operator in helping eliminate a infestation.

  • Clean up any food or excess water
  • Seal all cracks and crevices
  • Seal garbage can lids
  • Remove any cardboard boxes
  • Fix and leaks
  • Avoid clutter such as clothing from accumulating
  • Keep microwaves, toasters and ovens clean and free of any food debris
  • Vacuum thoroughly and often


For more information on cockroach management, please visit: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig082

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