The German roach is the most prevalent species of cockroach not just in Florida, but the entire world. With a preference for damp, humid spaces, these nasty pests thrive in warmth and moisture and are most often found under kitchen and bathroom sinks, in the backs of cabinets, and behind plumbing areas, appliances, and certain types of walls.
Like mosquitos, rats, and other common pests, the factors that limit their spread and infestation are most prevalent in the winter season. So while their activity slows down towards the end of fall, by as early as February, new roaches could be crawling outside your South Florida home and looking for ways to get in.
As a Florida resident, it’s essential to have a general understanding of how German roaches and other local pests affect your surroundings. Here’s a quick guide on how to identify and exterminate a German cockroach infestation in Florida’s tropical climate.
What Do German Roaches Look Like?
When most people see a cockroach, the last thing they’re trying to do is get a closer look. But it’s important to know what type of cockroach has found its way into your home. Their species will determine their habits and the threats they pose.
Unlike other varieties of cockroaches like the American cockroach and Florida woods cockroach, the light brown German roaches are relatively small and grow up to 1/2 inch long as an adult. Their most distinctive features are the two dark vertical stripes at the back of their heads. While adult German cockroaches have wings, they rarely fly. As babies, they are black or dark brown.
What are the Signs of a German Cockroach Infestation?
You may have a German roach infestation if you notice any of the following:
● An Oily, Musty Smell – German cockroaches produce a specific pheromone that can smell similar to mold or water damage. If this scent is strong, you may have a large number of them.
● Dark Stains – German roach feces can appear as dark smears along walls, in corners, and anywhere else they scurry and crawl.
● Small Roaches or Egg Cases – Once you begin to find discarded egg cases or the smaller, wingless nymph stage roaches, this usually indicates nesting and an established reproduction cycle.
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Can German Cockroaches Cause Illness?
Are German roaches hazardous to your health? While they are not generally known to be primary disease carriers, the danger lies in what they can transmit. Because German cockroaches are as comfortable around food and utensils as garbage and fecal matter, they can cause diarrhea, dysentery, and other gastrointestinal issues and trigger allergic reactions due to their shedding and ‘black pepper’ sized droppings.
How Do I Get Rid of German Roaches?
Due to their size and how rapidly they produce, you must address potential German cockroach infestations as soon as possible. Some methods available to South Florida residents are:
● Starving Them Out – Without food or water, German roaches won’t have the resources to create nests, which produce hundreds of new eggs every few weeks. It’s not enough to seal food containers and water sources. Damp areas and leaks must be remedied and garbage bins made inaccessible.
● Bait Them – Roach bait is a toxic, slow-acting substance that won’t go into effect until the German cockroaches have already taken it back to their nest, where it can be quickly spread. This method is especially useful when you aren’t entirely sure where the roaches are coming from.
● Spray Them – Sprays and aerosols applied directly to nests or roaches can eliminate these pests fast. However, it is critical to ensure proper ventilation during and after using sprays, as they can be very harmful to humans.
● Professional Pest Removal – For homeowners who don’t want to handle the search and cleanup of German cockroaches and roach nests themselves, a certified professional can handle both much faster and in record time.
Professional Roach Extermination
The safest, easiest way to remove all German roaches from your Florida home and keep them out for good is to get a full-service treatment from a professional pest control provider.
Gregory’s Pest Control, based out of Coral Springs, Florida, has over thirty years of experience ridding homes across Broward, Palm Beach, and other South Florida areas of their German cockroach problems. There is also an exclusion service to seal all possible entry points, and ongoing maintenance service to prevent subsequent infestations.