german roach vs american roach

Image via flickr by Neil Turner

Roaches in your home are problematic since the pests carry germs, bacteria, and disease. It’s essential to know the difference between German and American cockroaches to create an efficient plan of attack and rid your home of these unsanitary pests and help you eliminate a current and future infestation.

German Roach vs. American Roach

One of the things that helps combat a cockroach infestation is determining the type of cockroach you’re dealing with. Since German and American roaches are two common species, understanding the differences between the two is helpful. There are several distinguishing factors between German and American cockroaches. These include their body size, physical appearance, preferred location, and frequency.

German Cockroaches

Both German and American cockroaches have similar yet distinctive features that set them apart. Color-wise, German roach’s shell is a light brown to tan with a body length ranging from 1/2 to 5/8 inches long and an impressive set of antennae.

Although German cockroaches have a full set of wings, they are for show and rely on their six legs for quick mobility. German cockroaches have two identifying traits, their small size and the visible dark lines running parallel from their head to their wings.

American Cockroaches

Unlike the small German cockroach, an American cockroach, also known as a waterbug or palmetto bug, can grow to be from 1.5 to 2.25 inches in length, making it the larger of the two species. The American roach is darker in color than the German variety with its reddish-brown shell highlighted with yellow along its thorax.

Unlike the German variety that prefers to stay grounded, the American roach is adept at flying, and that includes both adult males and females. The nymphs do not fly as they have not yet grown their wings. The signature identifying marks of the American cockroach is its size and its distinctive color.

Between German and American cockroaches, German cockroach sightings and infestations are more common, but American cockroaches still make their presence known frequently both indoors and outdoors. Indoor infestations are generally seasonal when outdoor temperatures drop, and the bugs seek a warmer climate.

Cockroach Habitats

If you see German or American cockroaches, it means they have found ideal conditions and easy access to your home. Cockroaches need easy access to moisture, an abundance of food, and a warm climate. They’re hearty eaters and capable of consuming a wide variety of non-food items such as toothpaste, glue, and soap.

German cockroaches do like to congregate in areas that provide moisture and warmth. Their preferred home base is in the kitchen, where there is access to food, water, and the bathroom, which has many sources of moisture. The pests also like places that offer seclusion, such as behind drawers, under kitchen and bathroom cabinets, any crack or crevice that is easily accessible, and behind the stove or refrigerator.

American cockroaches also prefer locations that provide a warm and moist environment. Their choice of locations includes sink drains, which is a source of water and food, crawl spaces beneath your home, the warmth of an attic, and if your home has a basement, this is an ideal place for American cockroaches to gather. American cockroaches also live in the dark recesses of storm drains and sewers and inside the holes of trees. All provide ample access to what American cockroaches require to survive.

How to Kill German Cockroaches

Once German or American cockroaches have infested your home, it can be challenging to get rid of the pests. They are adept at finding ways into your home, and once established, reproduce quickly, producing as many as 48 eggs each time, and taking only 30 to 45 days to complete the life cycle. Ridding your home of an infestation of adults and eggs needs to be done quickly to avoid the repopulation cycle.

There are many options for eliminating German and American cockroaches that involve the use of over the counter aerosol products, bug sprays, and roach baits. Baits are an effective means of extermination since they eat the bait, then return to their base where they will ultimately die. At this point, other cockroaches will feed on the bait-infected body, which results in their death.

Aerosols force cockroaches to evacuate the area. Once they leave their hiding spot, apply an over the counter bug spray to eliminate the remaining cockroaches. While sprays are useful around cracks and crevices where the bugs reside, the spray does not have a lasting effect and will require repeated applications.

How to Kill German and American Cockroaches

Though American cockroaches typically do not infest the interior of homes as commonly as German cockroaches, the bugs will make their way indoors. Depending on the climate where you live, the migration indoors usually takes place during the winter when the bugs are looking for a warmer environment with access to food and water sources.

Several ways to rid your home of German and American cockroaches include the use of granular-based baits placed in and around crawl spaces and dispersed inside the attic. Dust-based products are also available that can be applied to these areas, as well.To treat the perimeter of your home, granular bait products, and over-the-counter spray treatments are also useful in eliminating the bugs.

To be able to ensure a thorough elimination of German and American cockroaches, a professional pest control service is the most effective approach to ridding your home of both species.

Home invasions by German or American cockroaches creates an unhealthy environment. When you’re facing a cockroach infestation, incorporate the services of a professional pest control service to eliminate the problem so your home can maintain a healthy environment.

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