German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the German Cockroach.
Updated: 5/23/2018; 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 when they scurry. Adhesive pads on their feet allow them to walk vertically on smooth surfaces, even on glass. This allows them to climb walls and 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 candy. 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.