The most common form of pest that can be found in the household is the German cockroach. This is a widely-known specie of cockroach that can be found in almost all countries in the globe. It has this distinct brown color with stripes behind its head. The nymphs (younger cockroach) have darker color (almost black) but also come with the same horizontal stripes behind their heads. German cockroaches often thrive indoors and can grow from 13 to 16 mm. They have wings but they seldom fly; most of the adult roaches run instead.
Important German Cockroach Facts
German cockroaches are often seen indoors as they thrive better in warm and humid areas. They are often seen in the bathroom or kitchen sinks though they are generally could be found in almost all areas of the house where there is food. In tropical countries, they are capable of living outdoors too.
When a cockroach-infested household move their things from one area to another, there is greater chances of also moving the cockroaches into another place. Sometimes, they can transfer from one house to another though the pipes. However, in many circumstances, their relocation is due to moving of loads of stuff including those in boxes and cardboards.
Generally, German cockroaches are known for being scavengers. They eat almost anything even soap. The kitchen sinks become a good thriving place for these pests because of food crumbs. They are also often found on garbage bins, feeding on leftovers.
This particular group of cockroach is best known for its ability to reproduce a large number of nymphs. The adult German cockroaches only have to mate once to produce about 4 egg cases (sometimes it’s 6). Each egg case contains 30-40 eggs. The adult female German cockroach carries these eggs until such time that they hatch; this is usually between 1 and 2 days. The duration on which nymphs mature into adults could vary, depending on the circumstances. In average, this could be between 54 and 215 days. Adult German cockroaches have a lifespan of 100-200 days.
Signs that Will Tell You of Cockroach Infestation
It’s easy to determine the presence of German cockroaches in one’s home. The following are the things to look out for to determine whether or not the house has been infested with these pests:
These droppings are distinct in such a way that they appear to be ‘pepper-like’. They are often seen in areas where food crumbs are found. Fecal stains can also be found in these areas. They are generally seen as smears and can be found in areas where they often thrive. These include the bathroom, cupboards, drawers, and even in the wall cracks.
Presence of Egg Capsules
Before the eggs hatch, the adult female German cockroach brings along the eggs with her for 1-2 days. In this span of time, it is most likely that egg capsules are left in areas frequented by the female cockroach.
In heavily infested areas, a distinct musty odor is observed. This odor is not common though in areas with just a few German cockroaches.
Their characteristic in being scavengers make them a real health threat to any household they infest. German cockroaches are known to carry pathogenic bacteria including E. coli. Studies have also revealed that their presence could also trigger asthma attack in children.
Cockroach Bites: How to Identify and Treat Them
Identifying the Cockroach Bite
Naturally, German cockroaches do not bite people but under certain circumstances they do especially if food is involved. When you stay in a place surrounded by food crumbs, there’s a higher chance of being visited by these pests. The bite is similar to that of a bedbug. It is usually 1-4mm wide and often appears as a bright red elevation on the skin.
The bite from a German cockroach is similar to a bedbug and even to a mosquito. However, what sets it apart from the other two is that it rarely bites more than once. Thus, if you wake up with a single bright red elevation on your skin, then it’s most likely to be from a German cockroach.
Treating Cockroach Bites
Because German cockroaches rummage into garbage bins and other areas even those with poor sanitation in search of food, they are known to be vectors of pathogenic bacteria. A cockroach bite is therefore something that one shouldn’t ignore. It can be infected especially if left untreated.
If you wake up with a cockroach bite, get a swab and a disinfectant. Dip the swab in the disinfectant solution and clean the affected site. Do this several times in a day until the swelling subsides. Some cockroach bites end up infected. This is especially true if the bite was left untreated. For infected cockroach bites, it will be best to consult a doctor for better and more appropriate interventions.
How to Prevent Cockroach Bites
German cockroaches are highly attracted to areas where there is abundance of food. An effective way to prevent being bitten by a German cockroach is to keep your surrounding area clean. Properly seal food items or better yet, store them in the refrigerator. Cockroach bites can also be avoided by doing away from eating in your sleeping area. Food crumbs may fall and may stick on your skin, giving these roaches a chance to enjoy them right on top of your skin.
Tips in Getting Rid of Cockroach
Providing a safe environment in your home wouldn’t be possible if German cockroaches are still around. This is the type of cockroach that can be found in almost all households in different countries all over the globe. They feed on your food and bring with them tons of disease-causing bacteria. But you need not worry as there are different ways on how to kill a cockroach. Some of the best practices are outlined below.
Use of Cockroach Repellent
Roach baits are designed to poison roaches. It may take some time for the cockroach to die from eating the bait but the good thing is, it really kills them. When their rotten bodies are being eaten by other roaches, the latter will also be poisoned. The best thing about using roach baits is that it isn’t easily contaminated even with the presence of spray or cigarette smoke. For these baits to be effective, they must be place in areas where roaches often roam around. Also, the one placing the bait should be able to follow the directions stated in its packaging.
The use of boric acid has long been accepted as a cockroach killer. It must be placed in areas where roaches often thrive. Once they stepped on the boric acid and try to groom itself, it will ingest the dust and will in turn, kill it. The only problem with the use of boric acid is that wrong application and placement will render it ineffective.
Cockroach foggers are among the most common forms of pesticides for cockroach control. However, the use of roach foggers is not highly advised due to its threat to the environment and to the health of both pets and humans. Also, it may not be effective in narrow areas such as the crevices that cockroaches may thrive. In higher concentration, cockroach foggers can be cause of house fire as it is flammable.
DIY Cockroach Repellent
There are ingredients that can be found in your kitchen that you can use for getting rid of roaches. Some of these include the mint essential oil, bay leaves, and tea tree oil. There are many households that find coffee grounds and soapy solution effective in getting rid of cockroaches. These items must be placed well in areas where roaches often thrive.
Seek Professional Help
If there is heavy infestation of cockroaches in your home, the best way to go is to seek help from the experts. Most of these exterminators have the knowledge and skill in getting rid of roaches in huge number. To end up with a good and reliable company, it would be best to seek recommendations from trusted people.
There may be an abundance of cockroach killers out there with some boasting to be the best cockroach killer BUT they will only be useless if certain measures are not done to keep cockroaches from coming back. Here’s how you can keep away roaches from getting back into your home:
• Keep your house clean
German cockroaches are well-known to be scavengers. Unless you keep your home clean (free from food crumbs) and dry, you can never keep these roaches away forever. They will still keep in coming back.
• Keep trash bins covered
Roaches would eat anything including soap. Your trash bins are among their best places to hang out. You can keep these pests away from your home by making sure that your trash bins are covered well; better yet, place them outside your house.
• Eat on appropriate places
If you’ve been suffering from cockroach bite for long, then it’s time to change your eating habits. German cockroaches rarely bite humans. If they do, it’s either that they’re startled or there are food crumbs that stuck on your skin. So, avoid eating on your bed. Doing so will not only keep roaches away; this is also a good strategy for keeping away other pests.
German cockroaches can be a real headache for every household. They contaminate your leftovers and the mere site of them is enough to scare away your visitors, kids, and even your pets. Plus, being scavengers, they can bring with them harmful bacteria that can lead to a myriad of diseases.
They may be capable of producing a lot of nymphs but there are many ways to get rid of them. All repellents, however, will only deemed to be useless if not used well and if proper interventions for prevention are not done.