German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
The German Cockroach is the most common species found in homes and businesses here in Northwest Oregon. Understanding their behaviors and biology is key to successful elimination. The moisture in Oregon makes it a perfect breeding ground for these nuisance pests. At American Extermination Plus, we have over 30 years of combined experience in eliminating cockroach infestations. Call us today to see how we can help you with yours!
- Appearance: Cockroaches have flat, oval shaped bodies with shield-like coverings over their heads. The German Cockroach is pale to medium brown and about ½ to 5/8-inch long. Adults have two darker stripes that start behind their heads. Males and females may have wings but they do not fly. Their long spiny legs allow them to travel rapidly over most surfaces, and they have specialized pads that allow them to travel across glass windows and ceilings. Their flat bodies allow them to hide in very small cracks and crevices. Cockroaches develop by a gradual metamorphosis consisting of 3 stages, (egg, nymph, and adult). Eggs are in a purse-shaped capsule containing two rows of eggs. They develop into nymphs, and when ready, the nymphs work together on one seam until the capsule breaks open. Nymphs are white when they first hatch, but they darken within a few hours of hatching. They resemble adults in appearance, but they’re smaller, darker, and don’t have wings.
- Behavior: Some species may be found outdoors in the warmer months around garbage receptacles and other unsanitary places. They feed on a variety of substances such as starches, sweets, meats, rotten food, glue, and human waste. They’ve even been known to feed on the starch in book bindings or on the glue behind wallpaper. Adults can live up to a month without food if water is available, and may live as long as two weeks without food and water.
German cockroaches are most commonly found in urban areas such as houses, apartments, restaurants, hotels and other locations. Though nocturnal creatures by nature, they may be seen during daylight hours when exposed to certain stressors, such as over population, lack of food and water, predators (such as ants), or pesticides. In these situations, they may feed on scattered crumbs, soiled clothing, or cosmetic products.
- Nests: Cockroaches seek harborage in tight spaces and cracks. They like to live under and behind appliances, and in the electrical components of them. They don’t have a group structure like ants do, but they do tend to congregate together. Gravid (egg-carrying) females tend to stay close to their harborage areas, or may not go out to forage at all.
- What to Look For: Cockroaches prefer to stay in the dark and in hiding, so look in dark spaces and under appliances for feces. Their feces is cylindrical, and resembles coffee grounds or black pepper. You will probably notice an odd musty or oily smell. If you think you may have a cockroach infestation but haven’t seen any cockroaches, try leaving the lights off for a while at night and then turning them back on. You may be able to catch them foraging them this way.
- Damage: Cockroaches won’t do structural damage to your home or business, and it’s very rare for them to bite. The main problem they present is sanitation and health concerns. They are known spreaders of salmonella and other foodborne illnesses, and they have been linked to asthma problems and allergies. Click here to learn what the CDC has to say about the health concerns surrounding cockroach infestations.