The German roach (Blattella germanica) is a cockroach species that belongs to the family Ectobiidae and to the order of Blattodea. It is one of the most common cockroach species found in homes, restaurants, and hotels all around the world. These cockroaches (including their eggs) are usually introduced into these places by man (in their luggage, boxes, etc.).
This species of cockroach measures between 1.3 and 1.6 cm and has a fairly thin body. They are darker at the beginning of their development, but they become lighter over time, becoming a light brown color (with black stripes on the head). Although they developed wings, they are unable to fly. They only use their wings to glide.
Development and Behaviours
The female lays 8 to 48 eggs in a capsule called an ootheca, attached to the end of her abdomen, which she carries for about 28 days. German cockroaches reach maturity in about 60 days. They occupy any wet place where they have access to food sources, water, and shelter. They are attracted to buildings because of the warm conditions and humidity found in the basements, plumbing, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Their presence does not necessarily mean that a place is filthy. Cockroaches and their eggs may enter a home through a variety of items such as old furniture, food, empty bottles of beer and soft drinks, and boxes for transportation. Once inside a building, roaches move easily.
They like foods that contain starch, sugars, and proteins, but they can eat anything when they are hungry. Cockroaches rarely cause structural damage. However, they can contaminate food and transmit diseases after coming into contact with garbage cans or sewers by walking and leaving feces on food or in food preparation areas.
German cockroaches may pose health risks. People with asthma may have adverse reactions when in contact with excrement and/or exuvia (carapace rejected during molting).
These roaches often give off a musty smell that can easily be mistaken for moisture. They tend to stay together in large groups, so if you find one, there will usually be others that follow. Since cockroaches are more active at night, they may not be detected for some time. Therefore, if you see a German cockroach, we advise you to call V Extermination so that our experts analyze the level of infestation and apply the necessary treatment.
Many people don’t know that they have a cockroach infestation before it's too late, usually, because their small size allows them to hide easily in small areas and cracks. Preventing a cockroach infestation can be hard, especially because of their small size, speed and willingness to eat whatever is available.
Their ability to cope with the lack of available food means they can thrive more than other types of cockroaches. To prevent an infestation of German cockroaches, be sure to clean your house frequently to prevent access to food sources, water, and shelter.
Here are some prevention tips to follow:
- Keep pet food in closed containers. Do not leave food and water for pets on the floor.
- Keep food in plastic or glass containers. Avoid keeping them in paper or cardboard as cockroaches may chew or lay eggs in them.
- Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink.
- Avoid sources of moisture (leaks in pipes, moisture from refrigerator condensation, glasses, plates, cups and other cutlery once rinsed, etc.)
- Dispose of old boxes and newspapers (they serve as a hiding place for cockroaches).
- Clean dark places near appliances, as they emit heat and moisture, characteristics that contribute to the proliferation of cockroaches.
- Keep kitchen appliances (toasters, microwaves, ovens, stoves, and refrigerators) clean, without food or grease.
Seals and caulk all cracks and crevices, fissures, and openings around pipes to reduce cockroaches’ hiding places. Use sticky traps to detect cockroach populations and to know where they are hiding in order to better focus your elimination efforts.
In the event of a severe infestation, contact the nearest V Extermination branch for a safe procedure and guaranteed treatment. For all your roach control or pest control needs in Quebec, contact us now.