German Cockroaches are ½ to 5/8 inches long when mature, and light brown to tan and have fully developed wings. The pronotun (ie; shell like segment behind the head) has two dark parallel bars on it. The adult males are somewhat narrower than the females when viewed from below. The nymphs, 1/8 inches long when they emerge from the egg capsule, are almost uniformly dark except for a light tan area in the back of the second and third segments. As they develop, the light tan area becomes larger until, as mature nymphs, they have two parallel black bars separated by a light tan area. The purse shaped egg capsule of the German Cockroach (ie:Ootheca) is light brown in color, ¼ to 3/8 inch long and typically has 15 to 20 eggs per side.
German cockroaches are the most common household insect within the United States and Canada. This pest typically infests kitchens and bathrooms but will live anywhere inside heated structures for food, water and harbourage. German cockroaches gain entry into structures in bags, cardboard boxes, drink cartons, infested equipment such as used refrigerators, toasters, microwaves etc. Cockroaches feed on all types of human food as well as on pet food, toothpaste, soap, glue, etc.
German cockroaches are active at night, leaving their harborage to find food and water. They remain hidden in their dark, secluded harborage areas, ie. under cupboards, behind cabinets, in wall voids, and around motor housings in appliances where they spend 75% of their time.
Because German cockroaches are typically brought into structures, potentially infested products should be closely inspected. Many types of cardboard and plastic traps are available to help pinpoint sources of cockroach infestation and to monitor areas which occupants have complained but infestations can not be visually detected. Sticky traps are not intended for control but, rather, to guide and evaluate control efforts as part of the inspection process.
An effective cockroach management program depends on good sanitation to eliminate food, water and harborage they need for survival.
Clean-up to reduce cockroaches in the home and office environment must focus mainly on the food residue in and around coffee machines, microwave ovens, stoves, refrigerators, trash cans, furniture and areas where exposed food is stored. It is critical to reduce clutter, as cockroaches like to hide in stacked boxes and locations near food. Vacuum cleaning can be used to physically remove exposed cockroaches. Permanent reduction of cockroach populations can be achieved by caulking to eliminate harborage. The most important cracks to eliminate include those in which sinks and fixtures are mounted to the wall and/or floor, around all types of plumbing, baseboard molding and corner guards where shelves and cabinets meet walls and door frames and cracks on or near food preparation surfaces.
Cockroach access routes between apartments and from wall voids and around plumbing and electrical fixtures should be sealed with caulk or grout. Basement floor drains should be protected with screens or basket inserts which should be cleaned regularly. Residual spray should be applied to ALL cracks, crevices and around baseboards. Read the label before using ANY product. Even if activity has not been detected within a room, precautions should be taken with a thorough spray treatment of the entire home or business. Also, you should apply insect dust to various cracks and crevices throughout the building. Harborage areas ie: Under fridge and stove, cracks, crevices, pipe chases, around the toilets and under the kitchen bathroom sinks. Once the treatment is done, you must vacate the home for at least 4-6 hours. Infants, seniors and people with asthma or health issues should stay away longer.
Gel baits may also be used to control cockroaches; however sanitation plays an important factor to ensure the cockroaches consume the bait.
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