Have you ever gone into the bathroom at night and found what looks like black pepper around the sink or countertop? Are maybe you were eating in the kitchen and you felt like you were being watched. You look up where the ceiling at cabinets meet and there are the wavy antennae of what are known as German Cockroaches. Sounds disgusting, right?
But what are these pests and how did they get in my house you may be asking? And if you have them, then you will want to know how to get rid of them. There are a few things you need to know about these pests and why they like your kitchen, bathroom and other spaces in your home.
What Are German Cockroaches?
You may think of those huge thick bugs when you think of cockroaches, but the German Cockroaches are actually much smaller and usually lighter in color. The body length of an adult is usually only about ½ to ⅝ and are colored tan to light brown. Yet, they are the most commonly found species in urban areas where they are not isolated to abandoned or run-down buildings.
They like moisture and high heat, so they are often found around electrical appliances, sinks, and in the top of cabinets. They are often in cabinets and on the floor under refrigerators, and around the trash can. The nymphs can fit through a rack only a millimeter wide, whereas adults can only fit through a crack that is less than one-half an inch wide. Still, their wide, flat bodies allow them to get through many places you would not suspect.
The adults mate and the female carries the eggs in what is known as a capsule. She will carry the eggs on her back in this capsule until they are ready to hatch. The usually stay hidden, so it is hard to see them. Most insect repellents can’t penetrate the egg capsule. Each capsule an contain as many as 48 eggs. The female may lay up of 8 capsules in her lifetime. Once they hatch the roaches are known as nymphs and will undergo several stages as a nymph before they reach adulthood. The lifespan of an adult female may range from 20 to 30 weeks, and can have thousands of descendants.
The Damage That They Can Do
German Cockroaches give off a nauseous odor and can be smelled from other rooms. The bodies of cockroaches carry disease-producing bacteria, protozoa, fungi and viruses. The roaches deposit these organisms on food, utensils, and dishes. Wherever they go they leave a trail of possible disease-causing organisms. The primary illness that can be caused by them is gastroenteritis, or food poisoning. They can also cause symptoms similar to allergies like sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.
How Did They Get Here?
You may have brought them home from the grocery store or department store in the bags, cardboard or other surfaces. They can travel in your suitcase and used appliances. Before you purchase used appliances, make sure they are clean and free of pests before you bring them home. Treat them with an insecticide before you bring them into the house.
They can also arrive at your home on the food that you bring home, especially produce. While this is not the most common way, you should always wash your fruits and vegetables, and dispose of those containers that they are in at the store. Store those shopping bags in an area away from the places where these pests would like to infest. Special containers are made to store plastic bags for future use.
Once they get in your home, they will look for crumbs, juice, grease, food on the floor, in the microwave, toaster, cabinets, and around the trash can. They typically come out at night, so if you see them during the day then you have a full-blown infestation. Food left in the sink or around it, and fresh fruit on the counter or in the fruit bowl are like magnets.
They also like to crawl on utensils, plates, cups, and cookware. Leaving pans full of grease will attract them as well as grease anywhere.
Steps To Eliminate
I have already touched on some of these steps but now it’s time to really go deep. Once you come into the kitchen and find those droppings, or you open a cabinet for a box of cereal and find those critters, it is time for drastic action.
German cockroaches like heat, so begin with the electrical appliances. Cover food when you microwave and clean up all spills as soon as possible. Clean the stove top after each use as clean as possible. Wipe the oven and the outside of the oven, and the toaster after each use. Clean the counter surfaces with a disinfectant to kill any organisms that may have hitch-hiked.
Sweep the floor and dispose of any food and especially dead roach carcasses. Roach bodies carry disease, but often they are food from other roaches. Keep the floors swept and mop often. Wipe the table after each use, and all appliance handles and surfaces often.
Keep the area around the trash can clean and wipe the lid and can with disinfectant. Keep dishes washed up after each meal or use. Dishes left on the table or in the sink for prolonged time are a magnet for critters. Finally, seal up snacks in tupperware or other sealable storage. Put clips in the cereal container inside the box. Remember, they only need a small opening to get into your snack. Don;t leave any room for them to multiply.
You probably are ready to run out and purchase some foggers or other repellent products. Don’t spend your money on those as they will only cause the survivors to relocate to another part of your house.
Powders like diatomaceous earth, or boric acid are effective at eliminating these pests as they take it back to the nest. Place the powders along cracks and crevices, in cabinets, under appliances, and behind sinks or anywhere you know there is activity. Be careful when handling these and keep them away from children and pets.
Bait products containing fipronil, sulfuramid, or hydramethylnon are highly effective against German Cockroaches when applied near the places they like to hang out.
If you have an infestation of cockroaches then don’t wait to get help call Venom Pest Control Now to rid your home of these pests.