German Roaches. These insects are normally 1/2 to 5/8 inch long and tan to light brown. They have wings but do not fly. Nymphs are similar in appearance to adults except that they are smaller and lack wings. The German cockroach is identified by two dark parallel lines running from the back of the head to the wings. The pest is usually found in kitchens (near dishwashers, stoves, refrigerators, microwaves and sinks) and in bathrooms of homes. You have them and you want to get rid of them. Now what do you do? There are a few things that the homeowner can do to help a pest professional eradicate the pest from your home. Here are a few things that will help you in your control of the German cockroaches, and sanitation is one of the first things to consider. German roaches only need a small amount of food to sustain them.
- Remove indoor trash or keep them emptied.
- Keep trash dumpsters clean.
- Make sure food is not left in sink strainers and if you have a garbage disposal, run it frequently to keep clean of food debris.
- Keep dishes clean, no residue of food remaining.
- All kitchen appliances (microwaves, toasters, ovens, refrigerators and stoves). Move them and sweep (clean) and mop underneath and behind so that all areas are food and grease free.
- All pet food needs to be picked up after pets have eaten and food needs to be stored in air tight containers.
- No food left out.
- Sweeping or vacuuming of any food particles or crumbs.
- Clean any crumbs or food particles in your kitchen cabinets.
- Wipe out all sinks to make sure no water is left, and have any plumbing leaks fixed.
German roaches love to hide in dark, small, tight places. If you are seeing them out during the daytime, you have an established infestation. Places where you would not normally think they would be. We recently took apart a coffee table and used a flushing agent. (It is essential if using a flushing agent, to use a HEPA filter or fine particle vacuum with a disposable bag to clean up the insects and debris. Throw the bag away after each job.) The initial inspection made the infestation seem light. Once we started using the flushing agent, and inspecting more thoroughly, we discovered all the areas that the German cockroaches had settled into this coffee table, as well as other areas in the kitchen. Thoroughness is key. It is important to place the proper insecticides where they will be most effective in combating the pests – in the areas they are seen and their harborages. Their excrement looks like black pepper encrusted onto the walls, appliances, furniture where they have been. These are the areas that should be inspected by a pest control professional with a good flashlight:
- Cracks and Crevices
- Behind and under refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, toasters and all other electronics
- Under tops of tables
- Under and in sinks, cabinets, drawers
- Electrical outlets and switches
- Vegetable bins and recycling bins
Disease-producing organisms such as bacteria, protozoans, and viruses have been found on cockroach bodies. Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, and other illnesses) appear to be the most common diseases transmitted by German cockroaches. The cause of these diseases are carried on the legs and bodies of cockroaches and deposited on food and utensils as the cockroaches forage. Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain a number of allergens to which people may exhibit allergic responses, such as: skin rashes, watery eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, and asthma.