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German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)


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

 Updated: 12/14/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




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



Fast and brown, German Cockroaches are a familiar sight in urban areas. They have been in North America for over a century. Their nickname, "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'. They are dark brown with thin antennae. Legs are paler with spiky hairs. Their movements are fast and dartlike, tending to startle people when they scurry. Adhesive pads on their feet allow them to walk vertically on smooth surfaces, even on glass. This also allows them to walk across ceilings without falling.

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 usually hide behind stoves, in bathroom vents and plumbing, and under sinks during the day, but if they are seen in large numbers actively scavenging in daylight, it is a sign that a severe infestation is probable. A large population like that would require a professional exterminator to eradicate.

Several generations of German Cockroach can be born in one year, with approximately 30 nymphs in every egg capsule. Females are darker than males and may carry an egg capsule at the end of their abdomen. It is shaped like a grain of rice or Tic-Tac mint. This capsule is left near a food and water source so the emerging nymphs (smaller versions of adults) can immediately start feeding after they hatch.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Blattodea
        Family: Blattellidae
          Genus: Blattella
            Species: germanica
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Blattella germanica
Other Name(s): Croton bug
Category: Cockroach
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 16mm (0.51in to 0.62in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black
Descriptors: fast, flying, hairs
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: 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 as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.