Insect Identification
Insect Identification

German Cockroach - (Blattella germanica)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 4/7/2016

The German Cockroach is a well-established import known for its efficiency in infesting human spaces.

Smaller than American and Oriental cockroaches, German cockroaches are notorious household and industrial pests. Infesting houses, restaurants, warehouses and other institutions with food pantries, they come out at night or in the dark, scavenging for whatever food products they can find.

They hide behind stoves, in bathrooms (vents and plumbing) and under sinks during the day, but if they are seen actively scavenging in daylight, severe infestation is likely and would require a professional exterminator to remove.

Several generations can be born in one year, with approximately 30 nymphs in every egg capsule. Females are darker than males and may be carrying an egg capsule at the end of their abdomen. It is shaped like a pill/tablet. This capsule is left by a food and water source so the emerging nymphs (smaller versions of adults) can immediately feed after hatching.

Adhesive pads allow it to walk vertically on smooth surfaces, even glass. This allows them to climb walls and walk across ceilings without falling.

The name "Croton bug" was coined in the late 1800's when they first began invading homes in New York after the Croton Reservoir started bringing additional water to the growing city. Their familiarity these days has led to most people addressing this particular species in general as 'cockroach'.

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Category: Cockroach
Common name: German Cockroach
Scientific Name: Blattella germanica
Other Names: Croton bug

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Blattodea
      Family: Blattellidae
       Genus: Blattella
        Species: germanica

Adult Size (Length): 13mm to 16mm (0.51in to 0.63in)

Identifying Colors: brown; black

Additional Descriptors: fast, flying, hairs

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.