Everyone knows and hates them – cockroaches. These filthy pests can carry dirt and grime into your home and can even pose a health risk. It’s good to know as much as you can about them so that you can keep them as far from your home as possible.

There are many kinds of cockroaches around the world, but the most common species you’ll deal with in Houston are:

  • German cockroaches
  • American cockroaches
  • Brown Banded cockroaches
  • Oriental cockroaches
  • Smoky Brown Cockroaches

Each one has unique characteristics and habits. Here’s what you need to know about German cockroaches so that you can stay one step ahead of them.

All About German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are the most common species of cockroach in the world. These insects are tiny, usually averaging at less than an inch long, and have six legs on their oval-shaped bodies. They’re typically tan or a slightly darker brown and have two parallel stripes running down their backs. 

These roaches love warm, humid environments, so they often hide in places like kitchen sinks and bathroom cabinets and walls. They may even find their way into your appliances, where they can cause some severe damage if not found quickly enough. They can enter your home through cardboard boxes left out too long, grocery bags, and second-hand furniture or appliance purchases.

German roaches will eat nearly anything organic. This includes leather, glue, soap, or even human hair and dander. It also means they’re likely to get into your food storage, like pantries and cabinets.

Facts About German Cockroaches

A group of german cockroaches at different ages.

German cockroaches reproduce quickly. An adult female can lay up to 50 eggs in a single egg case. Because they breed continuously and have a short life cycle of around 100 days, their populations can explode in number.

Unfortunately, attempting to cut off a German cockroach infestation at the egg phase is unlikely to work. German cockroach eggs have developed resistance to many common pesticides, which means the only way to end an infestation is to remove the eggs before they hatch. 

The adults are no easier to detect and dispatch. They tend to crowd together in out-of-the-way places that can be hard to find, and once you do find them, they will evade many insecticides. They have even developed resistance to some. 

You can’t just kill them outright by chopping off their heads, either. An adult German cockroach can live without its head.

Are German Cockroaches Dangerous?

While a German cockroach is unlikely to bite or infect you directly, they’re still highly unsanitary. Most kinds of cockroaches are known to spread dangerous pathogens such as bacteria and parasitic worms.

The spines on their legs carry the pathogens. When they walk or move, they transfer the material to the surfaces they touch, which you come in contact with every day. Because they tend to move only when it’s dark or when they feel safe, they are tough to spot. It may take a long time for you to realize that they are there.

It’s not just the roaches themselves that are dangerous, though – what they leave behind can be just as bad. The waste produced by German cockroaches is a massive trigger for allergies. It can also exacerbate the symptoms of those who suffer from asthma attacks, making attacks more likely and more frequent. Those who suffer from other respiratory diseases are also at risk.

Tips for German Cockroaches Control and Prevention

Close-up of a group of cockroaches stuck in a trap

If you want to keep German cockroaches out of your home, or you have an infestation, here are a few tips for controlling and preventing these pests.

  • Make sure your home is clear of clutter, so there’s nowhere for them to hide.
  • Remove any possible food and water sources, such as produce, unsealed food, and spills.
  • Seal off any potential entry points they might use. Install door sweeps, weather stripping, and window screens.
  • Dehumidifiers can help reduce the moisture in the air, making it less desirable for roaches.
  • Keep your home clean by regularly vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and disposing of garbage.
  • Contact a local, certified pest control specialist like Stampede Pest Control. Our team can help you choose and apply a tailored pesticide that works, as most store-bought products won’t do the job.