German Cockroach – What You Need to Know

The origin of the German cockroach is in dispute because various research endeavors seem to point to a different direction. Researchers have pinned the origin of the cockroach to Ethiopia, South East Asia, and Europe at different times. The cockroach is sensitive to cold, and this may point to a non-European origin. The German cockroach is now found in all continents and major islands except Antarctica. Its primary mode of migration is through human transport.  Essentially one of the most difficult pests to get rid on your own. Hiring a cockroach control professional is you best bet.

German cockroaches are some of the most successful pests in many buildings. The three reason associated with their success are as follows. First, they have the shortest reproductive cycle among all cockroach species. After the fertilization of a female, it take about 28 days for the ootheca (egg pouch) containing anywhere from 18-50 eggs to develop and hatch. One female can go through up to six reproductive cycles in their lifetime. The second reason for their success is their small size. A German cockroach is about 14mm in length and is able to fit in very tiny crevices. This makes them harder to reach during extermination. Thirdly, the cockroaches do not have a natural predator in human habitats. This makes it very easy for them to reproduce successfully.  

Weaknesses

The main weakness of the German cockroach is their intolerance to cold conditions. In cold climates, the cockroach exists exclusively in the human habitats. This not only provides them with a range of food items, but also with warmth.

Lifespan

The lifespan of the German cockroach ranges from six to nine months depending on availability of food and moisture in its environment. This is the shortest lifespan among cockroaches, and may explain its shorter reproductive cycle. Short lifespans means that it can adapt faster to changes in the climate as a species.

Diet

The German cockroach has an omnivorous diet. It eats a wide range of items that range from food crumbs to book bindings. Its large diet makes it versatile and therefore it can survive even in abandoned building for a long time provided there is access to food and moisture.

Reproduction

The female needs to be fertilized only once and from then on, it is primed for reproduction. It produces an ootheca that contains up to 50 eggs. The eggs mature in a period of 28 days, and when they are ready to hatch, the female deposits the ootheca in a crevice or other sheltered place. Within 24 hours, nymphs emerge from the ootheca and start their journey to sexual maturity. Unlike other cockroaches, the female walks around with the ootheca and only deposits it when the nymphs are ready to hatch.

Cockroach Control

Controlling German cockroaches depends on the degree of infestation. The options available include sanitation, chemical control, and the use of insecticidal dusts. Sanitary measures usually aim at removing food and moisture sources from foraging areas, making it difficult for a large cockroach population to survive. It may also involve caulking all crevices such as cracks on walls, and in plumbing installations. Chemical control employs commercial chemical agents usually packaged in traps, gels, or powders to attract and kill the roaches. Some insecticidal sprays such as boric acid are also an effective means of control. Whatever method is chosen for extermination cockroach control, watch out for hazardous exposure. These are the basics of german cockroaches – what you need to know about them.  

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.