Appearance & Size: German roaches are brown to dark brown in color. They have two distinct parallel bands running the length of their pronotum. The sexes can be distinguished by the more slender body of the male.Adults are approximately ½-inch in length.
Behavior: German roaches are the most widespread of all cockroaches in the United States. They complete their lifecycle in approximately 100 days, and they breed continuously (with many overlapping generations present at any one time). Under ideal conditions, it has been estimated that one female German roach can be the cause of a population explosion of over 1 million more German roaches.
Habitat: German roaches are commonly found in and around apartments, homes, supermarkets, and restaurants. They prefer areas near food, moisture, and warmth. The major factor limiting German cockroaches survival appears to be cold temperatures. Studies have shown that German cockroaches are unable to colonize and survive in homes without central heating in northern climates. However, in the warmer temperatures of Florida this roach flourishes.They can develop into large populations and live throughout the house, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. During the day, these roaches may be found hiding clustered behind baseboard molding, in cracks around cabinets, closets or pantries, and in and under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. When seen during the day in clusters, the population is large.
LIFE CYCLE: German cockroach females, unlike most other roaches, carry the egg capsule protruding from their abdomen until the eggs are ready to hatch. The case is then placed in a secluded location, with the nymphs emerging one to two days later. A female may produce four to six cases during her lifetime, each containing 30 to 40 eggs. Eggs hatch in 28 to 30 days, and nymphs develop in 40 to 125 days. Female roaches live about 200 days and males not as long. The roach produces more eggs and has more generations per year (three to four) than other roaches, and only a few individuals are needed to develop into troublesome infestations.
Medical and Economic Significance: German roaches often litter food or food products with their feces and defensive secretions. They also physically transport and often harbor pathogenic organisms, and in some cases may cause severe allergic reactions. In addition, some scientists suggest that German cockroach infestations may cause human psychological stress and that the stigma associated with infestations alters human behavior.