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German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the German Cockroach, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 8/24/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  German Cockroach  
Picture of German-Cockroach
Picture of German-Cockroach Picture of German-Cockroach

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 in large numbers 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'.

Picture of the German Cockroach
Picture of the German Cockroach

German Cockroach Information

Category: Cockroach
Common Name: German Cockroach
Scientific Name: Blattella germanica
Other Name(s): Croton bug

Taxonomy Hierarchy

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

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 13 mm to 16 mm (0.507 inches to 0.624 inches)
Identifying Colors: brown; black
Additional Descriptors: fast, flying, hairs

North American Territorial 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

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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