German Cockroaches 101: What Orlando Property Owners Need To Know

Do you know Florida has a state insect? No, it's not the German cockroach. It is a lovely butterfly called the zebra longwing. But if state insects were selected based on how often residents had to deal with them, the German cockroach would definitely be a contender. Cockroaches are common pests in Orlando, and German cockroaches are the most common of all roach species. Here are a few things you should know about these common Florida pests.

german cockroach on sandwich

German Cockroach Identification

At only about ½ to ⅝ of an inch long, a German cockroach isn't much to look at. You might be expecting something larger, especially if you've looked at pictures on the internet. The nymphs of German cockroaches are even smaller. When these cockroaches first hatch, they're so small that they can fit through the holes of an electrical outlet. If you find an adult German cockroach and you're able to get a close look at it, you might notice that it has two dark lines on the back of its head. These lines might look like an equal sign. In contrast to its light tan body, the markings on a German cockroach can stand out quite a bit and help you to easily identify this roach species.

How German Cockroaches Can Make You Sick

These roaches are drawn to dirty things. They feed on feces, rotting organic matter, and other gross things. This makes them a mechanical vector for harmful bacteria and parasitic worms, like the hook worm. They are known to spread at least seven human pathogens, and their presence in a home or business can lead to respiratory issues.

What Makes German Cockroaches Special

This is the most successful cockroach in the world. Most cockroach species can't tolerate being inside man-made structures for long. They require a high level of moisture or humidity. The German cockroach is able to adapt to conditions that are too dry for other roaches. 

Why German Cockroaches Are So Hard To Control

Like all cockroaches, German cockroaches are amazingly resilient creatures. They can survive high levels of radiation and exposure to toxic chemicals. If one of these roaches survives exposure to chemicals as a nymph, it can develop a new cuticle (skin) that is resistant to that chemical. This allows it to walk around on top of pesticides with impunity. The incredible resiliency of cockroaches allows them to survive many conventional treatments.

General Prevention Tips For German Cockroaches

It is nearly impossible to get rid of these cockroaches without being trained in pest control, but you can reduce their numbers and prevent illness with the following tips:

  • Keep things as clean as possible to help reduce sickness. When you keep things clean, it reduces the risk of cockroaches picking up harmful organisms. A clean environment is also a cockroach-resistant environment.

  • Proper trash management is essential. Cockroaches prefer to feed on rotting organic matter.

  • Remove trash before smells develop, clean receptacles, and keep trash in covered containers.

  • Do a detailed inspection of your exterior and seal any entry points you find, no matter how small.

  • If you're attempting to control cockroaches in your home, consider limiting where you eat. If you have a pet, put your pet's food down only during meal times, and never overnight.

  • Store pantry foods in sealed glass or plastic containers.

  • Remove stacks of cardboard or paper. These are prime hiding places for German cockroaches.

  • Reduce interior humidity and moisture. While German cockroaches can tolerate dry conditions, they don't prefer them. Install dehumidifiers and fans in spaces that tend to be humid. Repair plumbing issues and leaky faucets.

The Best Way To Get Control Of German Cockroaches

If you're seeing German cockroaches in your Orlando home or business, contact Green Flag Services. We use field-tested strategies to diagnose cockroach infestation and apply appropriate products to arrest cockroach activity. We also provide ongoing cockroach control as a part of our residential and commercial pest control services. Our five-step process will ensure the greatest level of control for these and other harmful pests. For more information, or to schedule to meet with one of our licensed service team members, connect with us today. Our agents are standing by to assist you.