How Do I Keep German Roaches Out of My House?
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably can’t stand the thought or sight of a German roach or a large number of German cockroaches in your home. Scratch that. If you’re like ALL homeowners, you probably can’t stand them. As if German roaches didn’t have enough downsides to having them around, it so happens that they reproduce much more rapidly than other types of roaches, and they can be particularly problematic to get rid of once they establish a presence in your home.The good news is, there are steps and methods you can learn regarding how to keep German cockroaches out of your home.
German cockroaches (one of the most prominent and well known, if not infamous, kinds of roaches) are one of the most common household pests, along with ants, spiders, rodents, and flies. These roaches can be found all over the world, but they really thrive and bask in humid, warm, tropical regions.
Where do German cockroaches live?
German roaches need to live around humans to survive. You’ll rarely, if ever find them subsisting out in the wild. For that reason, they are typically found in homes, apartments, kitchens, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, etc. You’ll also find them in commercial buildings like offices and especially restaurants. These roaches are known hitchhikers which are usually brought indoors unknowingly in bags, boxes, produce containers, and sometimes even inside used appliances (they love the warm nooks and corners they can nestle in inside these appliances). German roach eggs may also be carried inside unwittingly in grocery bags or boxes, food items from the grocery store, packages, purses, backpacks, mattresses, furniture, and luggage.
What do German cockroaches look like?
German cockroaches are known for their tan/light brown coloring, featuring two black stripes that run down their backs. They range between ½” and ¾” in length, with long antennae.
These roaches have slim, flat bodies that allow them to travel and hide very easily. They are lightning fast runners (for their size, they can dash and run the equivalent of a human being running upwards of 200 miles per hour!).
What do German cockroaches eat?
They are proficient scavengers that will eat any subsistence they can find – crumbs, grease, food left on dirty dishes, pet food, cleaning supplies, soap, glue, paper, cardboard, book bindings, and sometimes even human hair and toenail clippings if they’re desperate enough.
How did a German cockroach get into my house?
German cockroaches are on the lookout for the same things all pests are always on the lookout for: food, water, and shelter. Eliminate the conditions that make your home appealing and habitable for German roaches, and they will quickly go elsewhere. They can get inside your home through the tiniest of exterior cracks, and once established indoors, they will start feeding on everything and multiplying. German roaches are nocturnal, so you won’t often see them during the day. But if you happen to see just one by itself, that may not be cause for alarm. If you see two or three roaming the house, that means there are probably several more nearby (in the 10s to 100s, at least). If you see roaches during the daytime, that means the interior spaces in your walls or wherever else they’re hiding is so crowded, that these random German roaches had to leave. You’ve likely got an infestation at that point.
Can German roaches spread from house to house?
Short answer: yes. Remember the mention above of making conditions unlivable for German roaches to the point that they move out and go elsewhere? Your neighbors may have beat you to the punch, and their roaches may soon become your roaches, unless you’re better prepared.
Homeowners getting ready to move probably wouldn’t consider the fact that they might be moving German roaches along with their belongings (they’re great hitchhikers, remember?), but consider taking measures to ensure you’re as roach free as possible as part of your moving process. If you have German roach problems in your previous home, there’s a good chance that you’ll be moving that problem with you to your new place.
What are signs of a German roach problem?
Some signs that you may have a German roach problem on your hands (and that you may want to consider calling a pest control company) include the following:
- Visible Roaches. As mentioned, German cockroaches are nocturnal and most active at night. If you see one by itself, it may not be a big deal. If you see two or three roaming around, especially if it’s during the daytime hours … yikes.
- Roach Droppings. If you see what appears to be pepper in common roach areas like in the kitchen or bathroom, those are likely German cockroach droppings. You’ll likely also see them on the tops of counters and in drawers, if you do have a roach problem. German roach droppings may also be found along the tops of doors or near walls with small cracks and openings.
- A Musty Smell. German cockroaches emit several odorous compounds. With a large enough roach population, you’ll likely be able to notice a mild, musty odor in areas of your house.
- Egg Casings. You may notice in areas of your home, German roach egg casings, known as oothecae. They are about the size of a Tic Tac, shaped like a purse, and light brown/tan in color with dark brown striping. If you are seeing egg casings, it means there are female roaches (and probably breeding areas) nearby. Empty casings means they are hatching and multiplying.
How do I keep German cockroaches out of my home?
There are steps you can take to help make conditions unfriendly to roaches and to keep them from moving in to begin with. Clean, clean, clean. German roaches can’t survive in clean environments, free of crumbs, grease, and filth. But no matter how clean your home is, just know that ANY home is prone to get roaches at some point. Here are some more:
- Sweep and vacuum frequently (at least weekly).
- Take your trash out daily, and make sure bags are sealed tight. Keep the insides of trash receptacles clean.
- Wipe up crumbs, spills, and grease from countertops and floors daily. Don’t leave pet bowls full of food overnight, and clean up spilled pet food.
- Keep food particles and grease cleaned and wiped up from appliances.
- Don’t leave food in sink strainers.
- Run your garbage disposal frequently.
- Keep stored food (including pet food) sealed in airtight containers. Glass containers, preferably.
- Never leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
- Clutter-free leads to roach-free. Keep your garage, attic, basement, etc. free of clutter. No empty boxes, no stacks of newspapers/magazines, etc.
- Plastic storage containers are always better than cardboard.
- Seal cracks and holes around utility pipes, and other cracks and crevices around your home’s foundation, especially around cracks and doors.
- De-humidify/ventilate basements and storage spaces to keep moisture from accumulating.
- Store soap and other cleaning agents out of reach.
- Always fix leaky faucets and pipes as soon as possible. Roaches LOVE these areas because of the free water supply.
There’s plenty you can do to help prevent German cockroaches from establishing residence in your home. If you are seeing German roach activity, you may also have a growing infestation on your hands. It might be time to call in a professional. Save yourself tons of time, money, and stress by calling our pest control experts today! We’ll get rid of these vile pests for you, and show you more about how to keep them from coming back!