What Makes German Cockroaches In Washington D.C. So Bad?

When it comes to cockroach pests, the German cockroach is the worst. This species can tolerate living in conditions that are much too dry for other cockroaches. Once they get in, it is likely that they're going to stay. German cockroach nymphs can be small enough to fit through the tiny holes of an electrical outlet, which gives them unprecedented access to every space within man-made structures. Together, these two traits make German cockroaches frustrating pests to exterminate. Here are a few more reasons it is bad to have German cockroaches in your Washington D.C. home or business.

german cockroach on salt

They Eat Everything

When German cockroaches get into your property, they can get into stored foods. This is one of the reasons they're pests. But the food you eat is actually not high on their list of preferred food sources—at least, not until it has started to rot. Roaches eat rotting organic matter. So, they can thrive inside your home without any access to your food at all. That doesn't mean it isn't a good idea to put your packaged foods in sealed containers. Sealing your food in containers will keep it fresh, reduce strong smells that attract cockroaches, and prevent roaches from contaminating it.

Some of the things cockroaches eat are:

  • Sludge inside drains

  • Gelatinous organic material at the bottom of trash bins

  • Ketchup and other condiments on dirty dishes

  • Juices on the floor

  • Dog or cat feces

  • The gunk on the side of an oven

  • Wallpaper paste

  • Toothpaste

  • Dead rodents inside wall voids

  • Overripe potatoes

  • Dead insects

  • Hair

  • Dead skin

It is nearly impossible to eliminate all the food sources German cockroaches will eat, but good sanitation can reduce them. A clean environment is not desirable for these, or any, cockroaches.

They're Difficult To Control

Like other pest cockroaches, German cockroaches are resistant to many conventional treatments. This is because they have the ability to develop a chemical-resistant skin. If you spray chemicals to exterminate cockroaches in your property, this can make them stronger. Professionals use field-tested strategies when applying pest control products to eliminate cockroaches to counteract this natural resistance.

They Reproduce Like Crazy

A German cockroach can go from egg to reproductive adult in as little as 50 days. At this 50 day mark, every viable female is able to create more cockroaches. The ootheca (egg pouch) of a German cockroach can have up to 40 eggs in it. If half those eggs hatch into females, those females will be able to produce 400 more eggs in less than two months. You can imagine how many cockroaches you'll have in your home in half a year. This can make it difficult to exterminate them.

Cockroaches Spread Disease

Apart from being difficult to control, there are more reasons why it is bad to have German cockroaches in your property. Perhaps the worst is the fact that they can make people sick. In a home, a roach infestation can lead to ongoing health problems. They're known to spread more than 33 bacterial diseases, 7 human pathogens, and 6 parasitic worms. Their presence also increases hospitalizations for asthma-related symptoms.

In a business, cockroaches can lead to an increase in employee absenteeism, low employee retention, customer dissatisfaction, loss of business, health code violations, and more. If you own a D.C. business, you should never allow a German cockroach infestation to go untreated.

German Cockroach Detection

Do you think you have a German cockroaches infestation? Here are a few ways you can identify these cockroaches, or detect them in your home or business.

  • An adult German cockroach is between ½ to ⅝ of an inch long. It is tan in color with two dark bands on its back. These bands may look like an equal sign.

  • German cockroach nymphs can be mere specks. But those specks will run at the same speed as an adult. A nymph will look different from a full grown cockroach because it will not have wings on its back.

  • Inspect dark spaces, cracks, crevices, and moisture points for black feces. If you have a roach infestation, these tiny droppings are going to be the easiest sign to find.

At the first sign of cockroaches inside your D.C. home or business, contact Capitol Pest. We offer advanced pest control in Washington D.C. and the surrounding area. We can help you get control of these disease-spreading roaches.


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