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Light brown to tan, with two almost parallel dark stripes, bars, or streaks on prothorax. The female is darker than the male.
Although most insects are attracted to light, German cockroaches avoid it, as they are nocturnal. They cannot fly, and the female's abdomen is broader than the male's.
These cockroaches are not from Germany, but Africa. They found transport through early commerce with Europe, and are now found throughout the world.
They like their personal space. Adults need only 5 mm of space, while the smallest nymphs need only about 1 mm. They are usually found indoors, especially in warm and humid places, such as bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens and other rooms where people eat casually. Luckily, they don't try to terrorize us, but spend most of their time hidden out of sight in cracks or crevices.
Familiar with the phrase, 'breeding like cockroaches'? This is the fastest reproducing species of pest cockroaches. A single female and her offspring can produce over 30,000 individuals within a year! The female carries her egg capsule until within 1-2 days of hatching, then drops it off in a sheltered place. She may produce about 5 egg capsules (30-40 eggs each) in her life, and is very active when reproducing. Females that aren't carrying their egg capsules are not active, and come out for food and water only when necessary. Development time varies, but is usually 3 months. It can also be faster, producing 3-4 or more generations per year. Adults live about 3-7 months. While they may boast high numbers, they may succumb to cannibalism and other population pressures. Males aren't the bravest, hiding even in the dark of night. The last 3 days before molting, developing nymphs also hide.
They can transmit disease organisms and cause allergic reactions in some people.
They sneak in with paper products, packaging and used appliances. In summer, they may move between buildings, and can also survive outdoors when warm, though uncommon.
Due to its habits, all possible areas of infestation need to be treated.
Prepare by emptying all cupboards in kitchens and bathrooms. Inspect and treat all closets, dressers, or other furnishings relatively close to food and water. Inspect and treat cracks and crevices with a residual material. It often takes 7-10 days for control as more insects come into contact with the material. Cockroach baits are available, but due to competition with other food sources, may not be enough to produce a 'knock-down' of the population or achieve satisfactory long-term results.
You may want to use a professional, as great thoroughness is required during the treatment process. Continued monitoring and additional treatments may be necessary. It is essential to contact the insects with the material in order to control. Use of residual liquid pesticides and dust formulations injected in wall voids is recommended. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
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