German cockroach

German cockroach

German cockroach – classification
The German cockroach is also known as the Croton bug. It belongs to the genus Blattella in the family Blattellidae. Its scientific name is Blattella germanica. The German cockroach did not originate in Germany, it is an Asian species. It is very closely related to the Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai) and some etymologists suspect that these two species used to be the same species. The German cockroaches might originate from specimens that adapted to a life in human dwellings, while the Asian cockroaches the descendants of those who continued to live out their lives outdoors.

German cockroach – description
The German cockroach is tan or light brown and you can see two dark streaks that run parallel from the animal’s head to the base of its wings. Even though the German cockroach is equipped with wings, it can not fly.

German cockroach – reproduction
One of the reasons why German cockroaches are so hard to get rid of once they have infested a building is their highly successful reproductive method. German cockroaches reach sexual maturity at a very young age and a cockroach colony can therefore grow very rapidly. The female German cockroach will also produce a high amount of nymphs in each egg case. Most other cockroach species will deposit the egg case somewhere, but the female German cockroach will instead carry the egg case around with her during the entire germination period. This way, she can keep her offspring out of harms way.

German cockroach – feeding
A wide range of different food types can sustain a German cockroach. This species is certainly not a fuzzy eater. They are especially found of meat, fat, sugary foods and items that contain starch. The German cockroaches will typically stay hidden during the day and come out to feed during the night. You can however spot them during the day as well, especially if they have been disturbed by something.  

German cockroach – sanitation
Sanitation is very important if you want to prevent German cockroach infestations or eradicate a German cockroach colony. Cutting of their food sources is a good start. Never allow empty cardboard boxes, paper bags etcetera to accumulate in your home. You might not perceive these items as food, but in the eyes of the starch loving German cockroach they certainly are. Left over food, empty soft drink bottles, empty food cartons etcetera should naturally also be disposed of as soon as possible. Crumbs and other types of spillage should be instantly cleaned up and food containers should be properly sealed to keep the German cockroach out.    

German cockroach – pest control

Several different methods are used to eradicate, or at least control, German cockroach colonies. Two of the most popular ones involve cockroach baits and boric acid. A more unorthodox way of combating the German cockroach is to get a pet that hunt and devours cockroaches. The Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) is for instance renowned for eating German cockroaches. In the Mediterranean, this gecko has lived together with humans since ancient times, preying on the various insects that flock in and around human buildings. The Mediterranean house gecko will usually not attack the large American cockroaches, but if you have a problem with German cockroaches, free-roaming Mediterranean house geckos might be the solution.

Cockroach Articles:

American Cochroaches


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