The Middle Child of Pests: The German Cockroach

Let’s take a look at the middle child in our list of favorite pests: the German cockroach. Middle child, because it was once loved very much, our number one pest, but now other children have come along: bed bugs, a variety of invasive ants, and the German cockroach just doesn’t get the amount of attention it used to. Let’s give the German cockroach some love today.

German Cockroach Adult Female

German Cockroach Adult Female

The biggest mistake technicians make when servicing for German cockroaches is to assume that they are only in the kitchen and bathroom. This mistake is especially prevalent in apartment buildings, where the per unit production (the amount the building owner pays per unit) is often lower than it should be. I guess this is a good example of “you get what you pay for.”

Ideally, people only eat in the kitchen and dining room, and no food is ever taken elsewhere in the place. This simple act would help to reduce the spread of cockroaches in an apartment or home. Reality, however, is much different.

  • Senior citizens living with their children may have special dietary needs or may use dietary supplements. These foods are often stored in their bedrooms.
  • Children frequently eat in their rooms. I even had one case where the carpet and bunk bed in the kids’ room had so many food crumbs in it that the cockroaches infestation was actually in their bedroom, not in the kitchen.
  • More and more Americans eat in the living room, on the couch or on easy chairs, as opposed to the dining room or kitchen. Food inadvertently spilled on upholstered furniture works its way down through the cushions to be captured in various cracks and crevices. Vacuuming the furniture regularly would help, but you know as well as I do that most people rarely do that.
  • Some people eat in bed. Some of the people who eat in bed use the floor as a place to throw food scraps. And then leave them there. ‘nough said.

German cockroaches seek out food sources and live near to them.

It’s a technician’s job, then, to seek out those food sources and inspect for cockroach activity. If these food sources have a potential to be outside of the kitchen area, then the technician must inspect those areas. And, of course, it is also a technician’s job to try to nicely educate the people on sanitation.

Ah, the pleasures of cockroach control… this is a topic that we’ll have to return to soon.

If you can’t wait, then check out my class on German cockroach control.