German Cockroaches – What You Need To Know.

German Cockroaches

My friends think.

I often espouse about the German Cockroach and what a menace they are, to be honest I think they think I am a little excited about them.

Well I’m not excited but I do recognise a nasty pest species when I see one.

Most people don’t worry about the German Cockroach as they are small and seem relatively innocuous.

So what it all the fuss about the German Cockroach.

Background

The German Cockroach has colonised the planet and is now largely supplanting other cockroach species from certain niche habitats for example on ships where other types of cockroach once ruled the open sea.

How are they doing this, largely it is to do with their ability to breed, their quick lifecycle and also their resistance to types of pest treatment which other cockroaches are easily vulnerable too.

Reproduction

Once fertilised a female can produce a oothecae of up to 50 eggs within 48 hours. She will carry those eggs and oothecae until just before they are ready to hatch which eliminates certain types of natural predation other cockroaches would experience. Once hatched the nymphs feed on excretions of the adult cockroaches to establish their gut flora but this also means they can be largely immune to surface chemical treatments.

From eggs they will become sexually mature cockroaches in 50-60 days and start producing their own young, this time to sexual maturity is the fastest of all residential cockroaches. It is easy to see how, if left untreated, a single fertilised female German Cockroach can become an infestation is a very short period of time.

Habits

German Cockroaches can fit into very small cracks and crevices. At 11-16mm long at maturity they are far smaller than other types of residential cockroach.

Due to their size and characteristically nocturnal approach to life it is often only once a reasonable population is in place that you may notice a small innocuous cockroach when you enter the kitchen or bathroom late at night and even then they are unlikely to elicit the fear response of an American Cockroach which can grow up to 43mm in length.

Disease’s it transmits

The German Cockroach transmits different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhoea, and other illnesses). While they are foraging in areas which are not clean or sanitary they pick up these diseases on their legs before then crawling over food or utensils.

Treatment

So now we have established why we like talking about German Cockroaches so much what can we do to treat them.

When tackling an infestation of German Cockroaches it is important to understand that several treatments may be required to get the problem under control. Persistence is the key as you only need one egg to be missed and the whole infestation could repeat itself in a few generations.

There are things you can do in your home to reduce the risk and help with getting an infestation under control. German Cockroaches principally like to eat what you eat so making sure that all food is cleaned up and rubbish is removed from the kitchen before you go to bed is a good start. They will however eat other things like books, soap or even your toothpaste if there is not sufficient food available. In particularly challenging times they will even turn cannibalistic if food is scarce enough.

Your Pest Bully inspector will use a combination of insecticides and insect growth regulators (IGR’s) to help kill adult cockroaches and prevent immature ones from being able to sexually mature.

You may wish to have a look at some of the cracks, pipe intrusions etc to see if there is anywhere you should consider sealing to prevent a re-infestation after treatment has occurred. This will also reduce the risk of the cockroaches moving from one room to another in your home. Ask your inspector while they are there for advice on what you should do.


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