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Home > Blog > How to Identify and Control German Cockroaches: A Guide for Dallas Homeowners

How to Identify and Control German Cockroaches: A Guide for Dallas Homeowners

Sep 12, 2021

Cockroaches—just mentioning these filthy pests can invoke fear in many Dallas homeowners. Not only are they unsettling, but cockroaches can be a vector for disease. Some cases of food poisoning and contamination have their roots in a cockroach infestation.

One of the most common cockroaches in Texas is the German cockroach. These pests can reproduce quickly and cause an infestation. With that in mind, there are ways to control a German cockroach problem.

German Cockroach Identification

The German cockroach life cycle has three distinct phases: egg, nymph, and adult:

  • Egg: Females carry an egg case (oothecae) filled with as many as 40 eggs. Just before hatching, the female releases the oothecae, roughly four weeks after insemination. The oothecae are tiny, brown, and purse-shaped.
  • Nymph: Nymphs are baby cockroaches, usually brown or black, with multiple bands running across its body. Nymphs do not have wings and are usually fully grown around 60 days. 
  • Adult: Adult German cockroaches are half an inch long. They are brown to dark brown. They have wings, six legs, and two antennae. German cockroaches’ most distinctive feature is two parallel lines that run down their neck.

Their whole life cycle, from egg to adulthood, is complete in 100 days. Females can lay up to 320 eggs in their lifetime, which is roughly seven months long on average. 

What Attracts German Cockroaches?

Several German cockroaches and their droppings on a white baseboard.

German cockroaches enter homes for two primary reasons—in search of warmth or food. German cockroaches rely on humans for all their needs. They use our homes for warmth and protection while stealing our food and water. 

Areas underneath your sink or by your trashcan are cockroach magnets. With an abundance of food and water, cockroaches will thrive. Aside from food, German cockroaches also eat:

  • Dead skin
  • Pet food
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Glue

Signs of Cockroach Infestation

Cockroach droppings, shed skins, and egg cases on a white surface

The most common sign of a cockroach infestation is the presence of droppings. You can usually find cockroach droppings near congregation points, like their nests or feeding areas. Cockroach droppings look like coffee grinds or ground black pepper.

You may also see the oothecae after the nymphs have hatched. These will be small and littered around your home. As an infestation grows, you may also notice an increasingly musty smell in your home. 

Where Do German Cockroaches Hide?

Since German roaches seek out warmth, water, and food, any place with access to those necessities can act as a hot spot for an infestation. In general, cockroaches make their homes in undisturbed areas, such as behind your fridge. 

Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, here are the most common spots for cockroaches to hide in Dallas homes:

  • Behind or inside appliances
  • Underneath sinks
  • Cabinets
  • Behind hot water tanks
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Floorboards and wall crevices
  • Electrical outlets
  • Trash cans or recycling bins

Health Risks of German Cockroaches

German cockroaches pose health risks for people on many fronts. As they wander around your house and into food, they can spread diseases. Some of these include diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, leprosy, typhoid fever, and plague. 

These diseases aren’t just in cockroach droppings either. Cockroaches can spread pathogens by simply walking around or rummaging through your items.

Cockroach droppings are dangerous as well. Droppings can cause asthma and eczema, especially in children. As their droppings dry out, they turn into an allergen that can affect breathing and skin conditions. It is incredibly difficult to get rid of these allergens once they get out of hand. 

German Cockroach Prevention and Control

Close-up of a cockroach on a toothbrush

The best way to ensure your home doesn’t become a haven for cockroaches is to keep it clean. 

Your first step should be to clean any food or residue in your kitchen. Any loose crumbs or grease will act as a magnet for cockroaches. Then ensure your garbage cans are clean and the lid closes snuggly. 

You can use weather tape to seal off any entry point inside your home. By fixing leaky pipes or drains, you can also deprive the roaches of water. Always remember to clean up food as soon as possible, store food in sealed containers, and clear out any other potential food sources, such as pet food. 

If you already have an infestation, your best bet is to get professionals to deal with the issue. For guaranteed safe and effective German cockroach control and prevention in Dallas, contact Romney Pest Control today!

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