There are many things people can learn to do which will help prevent the build up of pest populations in and around their home or business. One such pest, which the control of is almost completely dependent on the involvement of the property owner or tenant, is the German Cockroach (Blattella germanica).
These small to mid sized (averaging just over 1/2″) insects can be yellowish-brown to almost black in color, and are most typically referred to as “Kitchen ” or “Apartment” roaches although they are confined to neither kitchens or apartment buildings. German Cockroaches are very common household pests and prolific breeders. They are not the result of being “dirty” people (although proper sanitation is important for control) roaches are found in the cleanest of homes and business’. These pests are very successful at establishing themselves within a structure’s kitchen(s) and other areas; once established, a German Roach infestation can be extremely difficult to control on your own. However, there are important steps to take in helping the situation.
The single most important aspect of German Roach control is sanitation. Again, having a roach found inside doesn’t mean your home or business isn’t well cared for. Roaches can enter a property by simply walking in from the outside, by catching a ride on grocery or other products brought inside, even through cardboard boxes used in storage . Without proper sanitation practices however a roach issue will be close to impossible to correct, even for a professional pest control company. German Roaches will feed off most all of the same things we do, which is what makes kitchen and other food area sanitation such a priority.
When thinking of cleaning an area for the purposes of roach control we want to focus on not only the obvious sources they could be attracted to, but those which may require a little more thought as well. What looks to us to be a crumb or small splatter can be a buffet for a German Roach! Obvious problems include food left out overnight on a stove top or inside the oven, food left on the kitchen or dining table as well as counter-tops are all areas also accessible to these pests. Dishes left in the sink or on the counter (even after being scrapped clean) can be an all night feast for a roach population. These types of food sources would be at the top of the list for correction.
Some other major sources of food not so obvious include the interior of ovens, microwaves and dishwashers.. inside or around toasters/toaster ovens, areas around the stove top where grease or other food particles can be found, the interior of garbage disposals and other drain lines, food items left inside couches, under beds or inside children’s rooms.. areas where pet food is stored, served or has rolled under cabinets or other furniture items. There could be many other problem areas depending on the particular situation and property. Roaches will access these areas for harborage and if food and water are available (as is many times the case with items such as a dishwasher or garbage disposal) they have found a sustainable mini ecosystem .. capable of harboring and reproducing thousands of offspring in just a short period.
German Cockroaches are the most prolific breeders among roaches found in structures. German Roaches are capable of going from egg to a sexually mature adult within 4 months. When this shorter than average sexual maturity cycle combines with the high number of eggs a typical female can produce over her lifetime, an infestation can become severe quickly. When countering an infestation of German Roaches it really pays to know your enemy!
Of course one of the next best steps in controlling a German Roach infestation involves the use of pest control products designed to control the population. With any pest control program there is little chance at any one strategy affecting every individual within a population. Which is why combining proper sanitation and effective use of control products is so important. Some expert reports estimate that over 95% of the initial population must be controlled in order to effectively manage roach populations within a structure.
For the proper use of any control product pest identification and sanitation is the primary step.. followed by identifying areas of harborage. German Roaches are generally nocturnal and prefer the seclusion of cracks and crevices to the more open areas of the building or home during the day. This habit of their nature makes them difficult to locate and track, resulting in typical saying such as “where there’s one roach, there’s a thousand”.. this may or may not be the case, but typically roaches (once established) only roam around during the day in situations of high population stress or in times of diminished food resources.
Many ‘over the counter’ Roach Control baits, liquid and powder products are available for the consumer. Many of these products can be highly effective when used as directed and in combination with the strategies outlined here. Which product a consumer selects needs to be suited to the phase of correction strategy appropriate for the level of infestation, as well as targeted to the proper areas for the particular variety of roach.
Liquid control products (sprays and aerosols) can be highly effective at reducing large numbers of an infestation very quickly, and lend themselves very well to initial control methods. Once the level of infestation has been reduced, and proper sanitation has been performed, baiting control methods are an effective means of ongoing control strategies.
Our Process Of Roach Elimination: When first beginning with a new client account, to be serviced initially, we refer to this initial phase as a “Clean Out’. During the clean out phase our strategy is to educate our client about sanitation and the reduction of harborage sites, and to explain how the different phases of the process have a different impact.
Phase 1- Customer Education & Clean Out Service
Phase 2 – Follow-up Service
Phase 3 – Ongoing Maintenance Service
During each phase we have a specific goal and line of products suited to the task and problem at hand. My hope is that by learning the strategy and methods employed by our company when eliminating a roach population inside a structure, you will be able to use these tips and knowledge when addressing your pest problem … and not feel left quite “alone’ in the process!
Feel free to comment below with questions you may have in dealing with your particular situation.. Our entire staff’s 20 years of pest management experience is at your disposal