German cockroaches are considered a domestic cockroach, living mainly inside of structures. From an economic standpoint, they are the most important pest species pest management professionals (PMPs) deal with. German cockroaches are one of the most difficult pests for PMPs to control. Control can be difficult due to a number of factors including: fast reproduction, resistance mechanisms, gaining customer cooperation for access and improved hygiene, easy introduction of new populations, thoroughness of treatment and location of harborages. German cockroaches can contaminate food, homes and buildings with feces, allergens and pathogens. They are known to carry salmonella, e. coli and other disease agents.
Presence of cockroaches depends on a) food b) water c) warmth d) harborage/hiding sites. Within homes and restaurants they are most often found in kitchens or other areas where food is stored. Another key element for German cockroach infestation is clutter. More clutter leads to more harborage areas. Sanitation also plays a key role in the extent of an infestation. When sanitation is poor, populations can explode due to many available food sources and harborages. Poor sanitation can also inhibit control. Areas of kitchens with high levels of greasy deposits can act as food sources and bind up chemical treatments.
Symptom and Identification
The adult German cockroach is approximately 5/8” long, pale to medium brown with 2 distinct dark stripes on their pronotum. Males have a more slender, tapered abdomen than females. Both males and females have well developed wings, but they do not fly. Adult females can also be distinguished from males since they are often seen carrying an egg capsule on the end of their abdomens. The egg capsule is carried until the eggs are ready to hatch when it is deposited in a suitable area. The egg capsule is about 1/3 of an inch long and a light brown in color. Each capsule will contain up to 32 young. These newly hatched, immature stages are small, wingless and almost black in color. Immature stages have a single, light colored stripe running down the middle of their back. Signs of an infestation may include: accumulation of dark spots (fecal smears) in corners or cracks and crevices, caste skins, empty egg capsules, a distinct musty odor, and live or dead cockroaches.
1. Remove clutter and food waste to reduce harborages and food sources.
2. Minimize potential water sources e.g. leaking taps.
3. Keep a regular cleaning schedule which includes regular emptying of waste bins.
4. Food that is opened should be kept in sealed, air-tight containers to keep pests out.
A proper inspection of potential harborage areas should be done to identify areas of activity needing treatment. All cracks and crevices should be inspected. Deep cracks or crevices can be inspected using a flushing/ contact aerosol such as CB-80® Insecticide. Prior to any insecticide be sure to read the label and remove any food from the area. CB-80 will flush out pests from these hard to reach areas. The contact kill activity of CB-80 will also help kill any pests in the harborage and start reducing the population. Once key areas for treatment are identified and prepped properly for treatment the use of a residual insecticide such as Transport® Mikron Insecticide is recommended. Mix 1.25 fl. oz. of Transport Mikron per gallon of water and treat according to label directions. Cockroach baits should also be used in areas that are not treated directly with other insecticides. Baits are an important part of a treatment program for German cockroaches. In order to manage resistance, both baits and residual insecticide chemical classes should be rotated on a regular basis.