German cockroaches are among 70 different roach species found across the United States, but they’re the most common ones you’ll find in Oregon. Cockroaches have been around for millions of years, making them one of the most adaptable pests on the planet. These resilient pests are known to have survived even the worst natural disasters like fire, floods, and droughts, where other living creatures had been totally wiped out. There are approximately 4,000 different cockroach species worldwide.
Here in the US Pacific Northwest, there are four species of cockroaches that you will come across. These include:
- German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
- Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)
- American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
- Brown Banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
In this article, however, we will focus mainly on German cockroaches as they’re the most prevalent species in the urban setting. The other three usually make their homes in the wild and seldom encroach homes in Oregon.
What do German cockroaches look like?
Compared to other cockroach species, German cockroaches are relatively small. Adults range in size from ½ to ⅝ of an inch in length, have a flat body, and are usually tan or brown in color. Distinct markings include two dark lines running along their sides starting at the back of the head. They have fully developed wings—which is quite ironic—since German cockroaches don’t actually fly. Being very fast runners, they’d rather use their feet to dart around and will only use their wings to break a fall. They also have relatively long antennae which helps them find food, evaluate the environment and receive communication from other roaches.
How long do German cockroaches live?
The lifespan of German cockroaches is relatively short. Most will live for only 100-200 days, but they can be very prolific during their lifetime. German cockroaches reproduce very rapidly; on average, they can produce up to seven sets of offspring while they live. One breeding cycle can generate up to as many as 40 eggs, so that’s nearly 300 roaches per female adult. Just think of how many cockroaches you’ll have in your home in Oregon if you don’t nip a roach problem in the bud!
How to get rid of German cockroaches begins with preventing them from getting into your home.
Food, water, and shelter—just like all other pests, German cockroaches are simply looking for a nice and safe place to live to ensure their survival. Roaches are scavengers by nature and will feast on just about anything edible, which explains why you’ll see lots of them around your garbage. They have a special preference for starches, sweets, and grease but will feast on other stuff like soap, toothpaste, glue, or even discarded hair, fur, and excrement when food becomes scarce.
Where do German cockroaches live indoors?
With their wide and flat-shaped bodies, German cockroaches can easily dart in and out of tiny, dark, and quiet sections of your home. They love warm and moist areas like under sinks and beneath appliances like your refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. They also love to nest beneath your walls, in-ceiling pipes, and wherever there’s less human activity. Stored items like used furniture and luggage are likewise very attractive to German cockroaches. Also be aware that roaches tend to gravitate towards warm devices so you’ll also find them hiding in pre-owned electronics like your computer, TV, and stereo sets.
How do I know if I have German cockroaches?
Small, dark droppings that look like pepper grinds or ground coffee are a clear sign that you have German cockroaches in your home. Fecal stains may also appear as dark smears or spots on your countertops, doorways, and window sills.
Egg capsules are also another indication of the presence of German cockroaches. Females normally carry their eggs in oval-shaped casings until about 1 to 2 days before depositing them, so empty egg cases will tell you that female roaches frequent these areas of your home.
There is also an accompanying strong and musty odor, especially if populations of German cockroaches are large. Roaches are known to secrete odorous compounds which become highly noticeable when they have invaded your cabinets, storage areas, and even your drainage system.
Should you really be concerned about German cockroaches?
Yes. Like other roaches, German cockroaches leave disease-causing microorganisms and can spread over 30 different types of bacteria. As they go about, they also leave excrement and castoff skin which contaminate food and trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions. Sensitive individuals usually experience itching, sneezing, wheezing, and watery eyes wherever there is a German cockroach infestation.
How do I prevent German cockroaches from invading my home?
Follow these basic tips to discourage German cockroaches from setting up residence in your Oregon home.
- Store food items as well as pet food in airtight containers. If you can, keep most of your food stuff in the fridge as cockroaches prefer warmer environments.
- Wipe up spills and crumbs on your tables, countertops and shelves. Regularly clean up cabinet shelves and mop your floors daily.
- Never leave dirty dishes in your sink overnight. Make sure to wash, dry and store them before you hit the sack.
- As much as possible, take out your garbage daily. If you can’t, make sure your trash bins are always covered.
- De-clutter your storage areas regularly. Cockroaches love to make their homes in dark and undisturbed spaces.
- Check for leaky pipes, especially in under-sink cabinets. They’re a favorite nesting spot for roaches. Also make sure your drains are covered as roaches love to inhabit along potential water sources.
- Inspect your home for tiny openings where German cockroaches can slip through and seal, caulk and repair all cracks and crevices.
- Get professional organic cockroach pest control services—they’re your safest option to keeping roaches at bay without exposing your family and pets to the hazards and risks commonly associated with chemical pesticides.
Organic Cockroach Pest Control in Oregon
German cockroaches are among the filthiest pests that can infest your Oregon home. If you see even a few of these roaches around the house, it is best to call Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control in Beaverton so we can check for signs of an infestation. Our expert pest control specialist has a keen eye for roaches and other pests like ants, spiders, and rodents and will be able to tell if you have a minor issue or a full-blown pest problem in your home.