German cockroach

German cockroach/ Hood
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Blattodea
Family: Blattellidae
Genus: Blattella
Species: B. germanica
Binomial name
Blattella germanica
Linnaeus, 1767
Female German Cockroach with ootheca.

The German cockroach (Blattella germanica) is a small species of cockroach, measuring about 1.3 cm (0.51 in) to 1.6 cm (0.63 in) long; however, they are known to get bigger. It can be tan through brown to almost black, and has two dark parallel streaks running from the head to the base of the wings. Although it has wings, it is unable to sustain flight. The German cockroach is the number 1 roach in the World[1], and can be found throughout many human settlements. These insects are particularly associated with restaurants, food processing facilities, hotels, and nursing homes. In colder climates, they are found only near human habitats, since they are not very tolerant to cold. However German cockroaches have been found as far north as Alert, Nunavut.[2] The German cockroach is originally from Africa, it is very closely related to the Asian cockroach, and to the casual observer they appear nearly identical and may be mistaken for the other. This cockroach can be seen in the day occasionally, especially if there is a large population or if they have been disturbed. However, sightings are most commonly reported in the evening hours as they are most active at night. This type of cockroach can emit an unpleasant odor when excited or frightened.


Pest control

The German cockroach (also known as a "hood" in the U.S.) is very successful at establishing an ecological niche in buildings, and is very hardy and resilient against attempts at pest control. This is because of the large number of nymphs produced from each egg case, the short period between birth and sexual maturity, and their ability to easily hide due to their small size. The mother also carries the egg case (called an ootheca) with her during the germination period, rather than depositing it like other species, a practice which would leave them vulnerable in a human habitat to zealous attempts to wipe them out. This cockroach is also smaller than many other species so it can more easily hide and fit into very small cracks and crevices to evade humans. That is also the main reason they can most effectively be controlled with bait in cracks and crevices near harborages.[3] These type of pest control methods should kill 95% of the overall population in a property due to their fast reproductive cycles.[4] The German cockroach, discounting the presence of pets, has few natural predators inside a human habitat. The German cockroach's thigmotactic nature compounds the difficulty of pest control treatment. The immature cockroaches will live off excretions and moults from the adult cockroaches and thus can remain hidden away from most surface treatments.[5]


The German cockroach is omnivorous and a scavenger. They particularly like starch, sugary foods, grease and meats. In certain situations where there is a shortage of foodstuffs, they may eat household items such as soap, glue and toothpaste or they may even turn cannibalistic, often chewing on the wings and legs of each other.

Comparison of three common cockroaches

Cockroach German cockroach Oriental cockroach American cockroach
Size 12 mm (1.2 cm) to 15 mm (1.5 cm) 25 mm (2.5 cm) to 30 mm (3.0 cm) 28 mm (2.8 cm) to 43 mm (4.3 cm)
Habitat Heated buildings, optimum 32 °C (90 °F) 20 °C (68 °F) to 29 °C (84 °F) Same as German
Nymphal development time 6 to 12 weeks 6 to 12 months 4 to 15 months
Life Span 6 to 9 months 1 to 1.5 years 1 to 1.5 years
Able to fly? No No Yes

See also


Liberty Pest Control

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • German cockroach — Cockroach Cock roach, n. [Sp. cucaracha.] (Zo[ o]l.) An orthopterous insect of the genus {Blatta}, and allied genera. [1913 Webster] Note: The species are numerous, especially in hot countries. Those most commonly infesting houses in Europe and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • German cockroach — n. CROTON BUG …   English World dictionary

  • German cockroach — Croton bug Cro ton bug (b[u^]g ). [From the Croton water of New York.] (Zo[ o]l.) A small, active, winged species of cockroach ({Ectobia Germanica}), the water bug. It is common aboard ships, and in houses in cities, esp. in those with hot water… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • German cockroach — a common yellowish brown cockroach, Blatta germanica, brought into the U.S. from Europe. Also called crotonbug. See illus. under cockroach. [1895 1900] * * * …   Universalium

  • German cockroach — Ger·man cockroach .jər mən n a small active winged cockroach of the genus Blattella (B. germanica) that is prob. of African origin and is a common household pest in the U.S. called also Croton bug * * * Blattella germanica, a small light brown… …   Medical dictionary

  • German cockroach — noun small light brown cockroach brought to United States from Europe; a common household pest • Syn: ↑Croton bug, ↑crotonbug, ↑water bug, ↑Blattella germanica • Hypernyms: ↑cockroach, ↑roach …   Useful english dictionary

  • German cockroach — noun Date: 1896 a small active winged cockroach (Blattella germanica) probably of African origin that is a common household pest in the U.S. called also Croton bug …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • German cockroach — noun Blattella germanica; Croton bug. See cockroach …   Wiktionary

  • German cockroach — Ger′man cock′roach n. ent a brown cockroach, Blatta germanica, orig. of Europe: a widespread household pest • Etymology: 1895–1900 …   From formal English to slang

  • German cockroach — /dʒɜmən ˈkɒkroʊtʃ/ (say jermuhn kokrohch) noun a small brown cockroach, Blattella germanica, with two distinct parallel bands running the length of its pronotum; found throughout the world in association with humans …   Australian English dictionary

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