Pest Prevention Series – Free Report:
How To Get Rid of and Eliminate German Cockroaches Like a Pro!

German cockroaches driving you nuts?   Put down the can of Raid and forget using messy smelly sprays from the store.  Learn which products and methods are best and how to get rid of German cockroaches for good!

German cockroaches are the world’s number #1 cockroach pest.  Contrary to popular belief, they did not originate in Germany, and as some people in Germany believe – it’s an American cockroach (which is a totally different species).  Their name is derived from their scientific name (Blattela germanica).

German cockroaches are the number #1 pest cockroach in the World for 3 reasons –

  1. A single pair of German cockroaches can mathematically produce over 800,000 offspring in 1 year.
  2. German cockroaches are a domesticated cockroach and are transported everywhere by people and goods.
  3. The over-use of pesticide sprays has caused the majority of German cockroaches to be “resistant”.  Resistance to insecticides is sort of like an “immunity”, the insecticides have no effect and the cockroaches continue to thrive and multiply.

 

How to Get Rid of And Eliminate German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are one of the nastiest, smelliest and hard to control insects in homes and restaurants.  There are few pests that multiply as rapidly and are as difficult to control as the German cockroach.  If the conditions are right, mathematically, 2 German cockroaches can produce over 800,000 offspring in a single year!

Killing and eliminating German cockroaches isn’t easy.  There are no magic sprays and over the counter products simply don’t get rid of them.  The products that do work to get rid of German cockroaches are “professional quality” and not sold in hardware stores.  So don’t waste your time or money looking for them locally.

Seeing a single German cockroach on a counter, in a cabinet or in a pantry is an ominous sign.  Know that if you see one cockroach lurking around, there are potentially many more hiding out.  If you see several on a regular basis, there could be a real problem brewing.

Getting rid of and eliminating German cockroaches can be accomplished – if the right formula’s and treatment methods are used.  Yet millions of dollars are wasted every year on over the counter sprays that do nothing to stop their reproduction.  Some of our customers tell me they have spent hundreds of dollars on products at their hardware store and still have huge problems.

By using the following steps, the proper formula’s and application timing, controlling German cockroach infestations can be achieved.  The good news is that it’s fairly easy to do.  It’s also economical and will leave you feeling accomplished.  So let’s get started!

 

Step #1 – Determine Level of German Cockroach Infestation

German cockroaches love heat.  They also love water and moisture.  When these 2 elements combine, it creates bacteria and fungus.  This can be their food source.  In most SEVERE german cockroach infestations, their very existence can be traced to heat, water and fungus or some other food source.  This is all it takes to keep them going.  These heat and food sources can be anywhere, inside walls, under stoves, behind dishwashers, refrigerators, etc.  This is where the breeding begins, and because it’s out of hidden and out of sight, the infestation can quickly grow before you even know it.

These heat and food sources can be anywhere – inside walls, under stoves, behind dishwashers, refrigerators, etc.  This is where the breeding begins, and because these areas are hidden and out of sight, the infestation can quickly grow before you even know it.

The reason that German cockroach populations get so high, is primarily due to their fast reproductive traits and the numbers of their offspring.  The female German cockroach when birthing, will carry what is called an “ootheca” or egg capsule with her until just before it either hatches or she dies.  Within this egg capsule there can be as many as 50 baby or what are called “nymph” cockroaches.

german cockroach nymphs

German cockroach nymphs on a glue trap

When German cockroaches begin multiplying they begin searching for heat, moisture, food and anything that they can live off of.  In homes and apartments, this is usually found in the kitchen.  Stoves, dishwashers, sinks, and pantries are usually the first places they infest.  As the population grows they tend to move to other areas such as bathrooms, living rooms and bedrooms.  It is common to find German cockroaches behind pictures, wallpaper, inside furniture, electronics and almost anywhere as their population swells.

German cockroaches have a tendency for “negative geotropism”, or a need to move high or upwards.  For this reason, they quickly move upwards inside cabinets and on walls rather than low.  It’s common to see “pockets” of German cockroaches around ceilings and in corners of rooms in severe infestations.  This instinct to move “high” plays into your control strategy too.  We’ll discuss that more later.

When trying to determine the population or how “bad” the German cockroaches are, the best method is to wait until it’s dark and then “flip the light on”. German cockroaches will usually come out to look for food when the lights are off.  If there are no German cockroaches found during the day then it is probably safe to assume that the infestation is “low”.

If German cockroaches are found during the day and also at night,  then the infestation is said to be more “moderate”.  If nymphs are found, the infestation is probably worse than you think.  It only takes a few weeks and those nymph cockroaches are fully developed and multiplying.

German cockroach populations can be overwhelming.  If adults along with nymphs are found throughout the day, or if there are cockroaches that scatter when opening doors and cabinets, the infestation is said to be “severe”.  Adults, nymphs, scattered egg capsules and excrement along with a sweet but foul smelling “stench” is the sign of a “severe” German cockroach infestation.

Determining the extent of the German cockroach infestation before you do anything else is very important.  If the population is low, then the amount of work needed may be less.  If the population is high, then an all out assault plan is needed. Having the correct insecticide formula’s / products and the amount needed is determined by the population.  Knowing all of this before a treatment program has begun makes the job much simpler and easier.

 

Step #2 – Monitor German Cockroach Infestations With Traps

Before doing anything to control a German cockroach infestation, determine where their highest numbers are located.   Determining where the highest population count is will help to get control faster.  By finding the “center” or “nucleus” of the infestation, a targeted treatment plan can be developed.  In some severe cases, there can be several “centers” of infestation.  There can also be what are called “fecel points” where visible German cockroach excrement is visible on walls, behind pictures, etc.  Knowing all of this helps to “pinpoint” areas where German cockroaches are the worst.

Visible sightings of German cockroaches can be useful in determining the extent of the infestation.  There is a better way to estimate their population.  German cockroach “pheromone traps” will attract them and trap them.  The use of these highly specialized glue traps is very useful and can help pinpoint where the infestation is centered.

For instance, if German cockroaches are only found in the kitchen or bathroom, and none are found in the bedrooms, that helps determine that the highest population is in the kitchen.  The treatment can then be centered in the kitchen with less work and in some cases, inspection and monitoring is all that is needed in other areas.

Traps such as the Victor Roach Pheromone Trap work extremely well at attracting and capturing German cockroaches.  These traps contain a special attractant that only German cockroaches can sense.  Placing these traps on counters, in cabinets, behind refrigerators, etc, can be especially helpful.  Traps for German cockroaches should never be relied upon to control an infestation, they are used to monitor and count only.

The best way to use a German cockroach trap is to map out the area and create “zones”.  The kitchen can be Zone 1, bathroom zone 2, bedrooms zone 3, 4 or 5, storage closets zone 6, etc.  Mark the traps so that when they are inspected, it’s easy to determine where they are located.  Collecting all of the traps and analyzing them can help to determine where the German cockroaches are centered.  Once it is determined where they are centered, what the approximate population count is and what level of infestation is, it’s time to begin treatment.  However, beginning a German cockroach treatment without getting rid of trash and clutters is similar to putting out a  large fire with a water hose.  It’s never going to work.  Cleaning up messes and removing their available food sources is essential before beginning your treatment.

 

Step #3 – Clean Up The Clutter and Wipe Down The Sinks

Proper sanitation is the key to getting rid of German cockroaches and is 90% of the battle.  In most cases, complete control is impossible without some type of cleanup or sanitation improvement.

German cockroaches are scavengers. They will feed on almost anything.  They also need a water source.  As previously mentioned, when heat, water and food are available and German cockroaches are present, their breeding begins.  When sanitation measures are not followed and the area is unsanitary or there is food and water present, German cockroach populations can explode.  Simply reducing the available water and food sources, cleaning up and disposing of cardboard or paper boxes, clutter, etc, can immediately help to manage their numbers.

Cleaning up also helps to improve the effectiveness of the products you apply.  Insecticide dusts won’t work when there is water present, they need to be dry.  Gel baits won’t work when there are alternative food sources available.  Sprays won’t work when there is dirt, grease or grime present because they can’t dry and leave a proper “film”.  Try spraying every single roach when there are hundreds of them, it can be impossible.

A combination of insecticide dusts, baits and sprays is needed in German cockroach control.   The correct placement and the proper application of these formulas is essential.  In the case of poor sanitation, especially restaurants that have greasy slick floors, clutter and dirt, the proper application of these formulas is difficult.  Their ability to kill German cockroaches and provide control is greatly reduced as a result of poor sanitation.

Bottom line –  a clean spick and span kitchen is 90% easier to treat and get control of German cockroaches.  A messy dirty kitchen is 90% harder to get control.  The other 10% is how much effort and chemicals are used in the treatment process.  90% sanitation and 10% chemical to get German cockroach control.  That’s the ratio, and that’s only when the correct pesticide formula’s are used and the correct procedures are followed.

 

Step #4 – Use The Best German Cockroach Control Sprays, Dusts, Baits and Traps

Now that you know how to monitor and count German cockroach populations and implement some basic sanitation practices, eliminating and preventing German cockroaches can be begin.

There are no “magic sprays” for German cockroach control.  In fact, most German cockroaches are resistant to many over the counter pesticides.  Some are even resistant to commercially available products for professionals.  That’s why getting rid of German cockroaches can be so frustrating.

Forget trying to find the best spray for spraying baseboards and cabinets.  Most sprays don’t work and it’s messy and time consuming to empty cabinets and spray them.  Worst than that – it can be totally ineffective.  There are products on the market that make the job much simpler and easier.

Pesticides are made in different formulas for use in different areas.  A common ingredient in many over the counter German cockroach products is boric acid.  Boric acid is manufactured as a dust, a gel bait, a granule bait, even as an aerosol spray.  Each of these formulas has a specific use in a specific area.

For instance, boric acid dust is good for wall voids and hidden areas applied with a Puffer Duster.  An improper application would be using a spoon or squeezing it in clumps inside cabinets, along counters and baseboards.   Not only will this leave a big mess, it will look like scattered flour everywhere, and it will be ineffective against German cockroaches.

When German cockroaches are everywhere and the population is huge, control comes from using the proper formulas of insecticides in the proper areas.  As stated before, spraying baseboards and cabinets will not control them and can be totally ineffective.  Professional exterminators use a variety of products and do not depend on a single formula for control.

Here is a list of formulas recommended for German cockroach treatments:

  • Cockroach Gel Baits – Used inside of cabinets, around packaged food, utensils, along counters, and practically anywhere roaches are found.  Gel baits are placed in small “pea size dots”.  Example: 50-100 pea size bait placements may be needed in a kitchen, an entire house may need 150 or more.
  • Insecticide Dusts – Used inside walls, voids, cracks and crevices only.  Dust should not be visible after application.  Holes can be drilled  in walls if necessary.  Electrical switch plates and plumbing accesses can be removed to apply dust inside of walls and voids.
  • Aerosol Sprays –  Used for immediate knockdown and kill of exposed German roaches.  Aerosol sprays are generally used to kill roaches on contact.
  • Insect Growth Regulators – Used to control and slow down the fast reproduction habits of German cockroaches.

Most professional exterminators will use all of these formulas when treating for German cockroaches.  The treatments are made weekly until control of the German cockroach population is established.

 

Here are the most popular products used professionally for getting rid of German cockroaches – 

 

Advion Cockroach Gel Bait

Advion Cockroach Gel Bait

Advion Cockroach Gel Bait

How it works – Advion Cockroach Gel Bait works not only by killing the cockroaches that eat it, it also kills other roaches through what is called a “transfer effect”.  Basically, cockroaches are so disgusting, that they will feed on their own fecal droppings and even each other.  When cockroaches feed on any of this, the chemical is transferred to them killing them.  Total control can take several weeks.

How to apply – Apply pea size “dots” in corners of cabinets and drawers.  A typical cabinet has 3 shelves, so 12 placements would be necessary for each cabinet.  Place these dots in the very corner of the shelf so that you don’t have to take anything out.  There is no need to place the bait on wax paper or bottle caps, apply it directly to wood, tile, counters, etc.  Don’t get the bait on plates, utensils or food.

Gel baits can also be applied in dots along counters, behind refrigerators, corners of window sills, corners of rooms, corners of door jambs, door hinges, etc.  For plumbing gel bait can be applied around or on top of plumbing lines.  Electrical switch plates can be removed and bait placed inside of switches and boxes.

Each tube contains 30 grams of bait.  Each bait drop should be about the size of a small “pea”.  Therefore, each tube contains about 30 pea size drops of bait.

How often to apply – Every 10 days – 2 weeks until cockroaches quit feeding and you don’t see them anymore.  Don’t make the mistake of using the bait 1 time and thinking the bait doesn’t work when you still see cockroaches.  Keep feeding them until the bait quits disappearing.

 

Boractin Insecticide Powder

Boractin Insecticide Powder 1 lb

Boractin Insecticide Powder

How it works – Boractin is a commercial strength boric acid dust that kills cockroaches and other crawling pests.  When an insecticide dust is applied into cracks, crevices, walls, voids and other spaces, it toxifies the area making it uninhabitable to insects.  When the insects crawl through a thin layer of insecticide dust it attaches to the insects legs, antennae and body.  Boractin kills the insects when they either absorb it into their body or through grooming of their body parts and digestion.  Most insecticide dusts last several months and only need to be applied 1-2 times per year.  Boractin Insecticide Dust is non-repellent to German cockroaches.  Once applied, cockroaches can’t sense it, and they will crawl right through it.  Non-repellent dusts are very useful in controlling German cockroach infestations.

 How to apply  Using a small hand duster such as the Puffer Duster, apply insecticide dust into walls, cracks, crevices, voids, attics, crawl spaces and other hidden areas.  Remove electrical switch plates, rings around plumbing pipes and other covers that lead into walls.

Puffer Hand Duster

Puffer Hand Duster

Place the tip of the hand duster into the crack or void and lightly “puff” the dust.  all that is required is a light coating of dust. Too much dust will repel cockroaches.

A complete dusting of all cracks, crevices, cabinet joints, cabinet fur downs and kick plates and similar areas will kill exposed cockroaches and toxify their hiding places.  Do not contaminate cockroach gel baits with insecticide dust.

If any dust is exposed after application, simply wipe it up with a wet cloth.  Dust applications should be made only in areas where it is not visible.  Application of insecticide dusts along baseboards and inside of cabinets is not a proper treatment and not recommended.

How often to apply – Every 6 months – An insecticide dust treatment only needs to be performed every 6 months in most cases.

 

Invader Direct Contact Insecticide

Invader Direct Contact Insecticide

Invader Direct Contact Insecticide Spray

How it works – Invader Insecticide is a direct contact spray that kills German cockroaches and other insects within seconds.  It is used in “clean-out” treatments of German cockroaches in commercial restaurants and kitchens, and is also excellent for use in homes, apartments and other areas where they exist.  In very heavily infested areas, Invader can be applied directly to large pockets of German roaches resulting in immediate kill.  In hidden areas such as cracks, crevices, joints and voids, Invader Insecticide can “flush” roaches out of hiding areas making elimination faster and easier.

How to apply – Direct contact insecticides are best applied into cracks, crevices and areas where German cockroaches hide.  An injection tube is usually supplied with the can.  This injection tube is inserted into areas to be treated or inspected.  A quick 1 second “shot” of spray is all that is needed in most cases.  If cockroaches are hiding in these areas, after applying Invader Direct Contact Insecticide, they will immediately escape and die.  This is called “inject and inspect”.  German cockroaches can also be sprayed directly for an instant kill.

Do not apply directly to plastic or sensitive surfaces as etching or staining may occur.

How often to apply – as needed / each inspection – Apply Direct Contact sprays on initial treatments and on each subsequent treatment to inspect and locate cockroach harborage areas.  Do not contaminate cockroach gel baits with the spray.

 

Victor German Cockroach Pheromone Trap

Victor German Cockroach Pheromone Trap

Victor Roach Pheromone Trap

How it works – Victor German Cockroach Pheromone Traps are used anywhere cockroach populations need to be monitored.  Similar to the original “Roach Motel”, these highly specialized traps contain a German cockroach “pheromone” or cockroach scent that attracts cockroaches.  The trap is designed with openings in the sides that allows cockroaches to enter at which time they become trapped by a glue based adhesive.

Cockroach traps are only monitoring devices to help count a population.  They are not intended and should not be relied upon to control an existing infestation.

How to apply – Place Victor German Cockroach Pheromone Traps in and around kitchen and bathroom cabinets, along counters, behind furniture, refrigerators and anywhere German cockroaches are sighted.  These traps are boxed and virtually non-toxic so they can be used around pets and children.  An average home kitchen will used approximately 4 traps, a home bathroom 1-2 traps.  Traps can also be placed in living areas, bedrooms, storage rooms, garages, around bird feeders, etc.

How often to replace – Every 3 months – Victor Roach Pheromone Traps will remain effective at capturing cockroaches until the glue becomes old and non-tacky.  The pheromone attractant will only last about 60 days.  It is recommended to replace Victor Roach Pheromone Traps at least every 3 months or when they are full of cockroaches.

 

Gentrol Point Source Insect Growth Regulator

Gentrol Point Source Insect Growth Regulator

Gentrol Point Source Insect Growth Regulator

How it works – Gentrol Point Source is an insect growth regulator containing Gentrol, a juvenile growth hormone that effects cockroaches ability to grow and reproduce.  When Gentrol is used in a German cockroach environment, they are effected by it causing them to grow and mature improperly.  Adult German cockroaches that are effected by Gentrol tend to be sterilized, while immature cockroaches tend to mature and develop with “twisted wings”, which is also an indication of sterility.  Gentrol Point Source will help to reduce the breeding population of moderate – severe German cockroach infestations in as little as  90 days.

 

german-cockroach-twisted-wings

German cockroach with twisted wings sterilized by Gentrol Point Source

How to apply – Gentrol Point Source is a disk shaped pad that contains a “vial” of Gentrol.  The vial is broken by hand by pressing and gently bending it.  The Gentrol is then absorbed by the cloth contained in the disk.  The Gentrol is then slowly released into the environment.  Place Gentrol Point Source Disks under each sink, and behind refrigerators and washing machines.  These areas tend to be German cockroach hangouts and the Point Source disk can be stuck to the wall with 2 sided tape included with the disk.

How often to applyEvery 3 months – For best results, re-apply new Gentrol Point Source Insect Growth Regulator disks every 3 months.

 

Step #5 – Developing a German Cockroach Treatment Plan

Now that all of the strategy’s and methods have been explored, all of the best German cockroach control products used by professionals explained, it’s time to start a treatment plan.

To make your treatment plan work, follow these steps to get rid of German Cockroaches –

Initial Treatment – Entire Home

  1. Advion Gel Bait – Apply
  2. Delta Dust – Apply
  3. Invader Insecticide – Apply
  4. Victor Roach Traps – Place
  5. Gentrol Point Source  – Place

7 Day Followup – Kitchen and Bathrooms

  1. Victor Roach Traps – Inspect
  2. Invader Insecticide – Apply
  3. Advion Gel Bait – Re-apply as needed

14 Re-inspection – Kitchen only

  1. Victor Roach Traps – Inspect
  2. Invader Insecticide – Apply
  3. Advion Gel Bait – Re-apply as needed

21 Day Re-inspection – Kitchen and Bathrooms

  1. Victor Roach Traps – Inspect
  2. Invader Insecticide – Apply
  3. Advion Gel Bait – Re-apply as needed

30 Day Re-inspection – Kitchen only

  1. Victor Roach Traps – Inspect
  2. Invader Insecticide – Apply
  3. Advion Gel Bait – Re-apply as needed

2 Months – Re-inspect Entire Home

  1. Victor Roach Traps – Inspect
  2. Invader Insecticide – Apply
  3. Advion Gel Bait – Re-apply as needed

3 Months – Re-treat Entire Home

  1. Invader Insecticide – Apply
  2. Victor Roach Traps – Replace
  3. Gentrol Point Source  – Replace
  4. Advion Gel Bait – re-apply as needed

6 Months – Re-treat Entire Home

  1. Advion Gel Bait – re-apply
  2. Delta Dust – Re-apply
  3. Invader Insecticide – Apply
  4. Victor Roach Traps – Replace
  5. Gentrol Point Source  – Replace

9 Months – Repeat 3 Month Treatment

1 Year – Repeat 6 Months Treatment

Thereafter – Repeat 3-6 month Treatment

 

This strategic plan basically moves through a 90 day process of reducing and eliminating the existing infestation.  Then it rotates into a 90 day and 6 month cycle of inspection and retreatments to prevent German cockroaches from getting re-established.

Whether or not you decide to follow this German cockroach treatment plan, knowing the basic strategy behind it will help you to determine which parts you want to perform or delay.

The bottom line is this – if you follow this plan using these products, you will get control of German cockroaches.  As mentioned before, sanitation plays a major factor in your efforts. This control plan will work as a preventive and also to get rid of and eliminate severe German cockroach infestations almost anywhere.

The decision on whether you want to do this yourself or call a professional is up to you.  If you decide to do this yourself, we have a German Cockroach Control Kit that contains everything you need to begin the treatment process.

This treatment also works well for other species of cockroaches such as Brown Banded Cockroaches. Outdoor species such as the Palmetto Bug, American and Smoky Brown Cockroach, Oriental Cockroach and Asian Cockroaches are covered in other articles.  You can read more here.

So there you have it, a German cockroach control plan that is used by professionals and this is how they do it.  There are no simple 1 time treatments or sprays that work.  By following this strategy, you can kill German cockroaches, eliminate their infestations and prevent them from returning.

If you need help or have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at customercare@epestsupply.com or call us at 1-855-553-7378.

 

German Cockroach Control Tips From The Pros –

  • Use professional grade products.  Over the counter sprays and baits don’t work. Don’t waste time or money at the local store.
  • Don’t use wet smelly sprays.  German cockroaches are repelled and resistant to most insecticide sprays.  Do use baits, dusts and insect growth regulators.
  • Place bait in concealed areas only.  When applying Cockroach Gel Baits, don’t make the bait visible to children and / or pets.
  • Re-apply cockroach gel baits as needed.   Applying bait one time and expecting it to kill all of the German cockroaches is a mistake.   If the bait is gone, then keep re-applying until it stops disappearing.
  • Sanitation is key.  Clean up clutters, messes and open or exposed food.  Vacuum and wipe down counters regularly to remove food particles and crumbs.  Don’t leave water or dirty plates in sinks overnight.  Wipe down sinks nightly to remove any moisture.  Pouring a small amount of bleach down drains will keep roaches out of them.
  • Concentrate your treatment around food, water and heat sources.  German cockroaches need all of these to survive.  95% of all German cockroaches will be found in these areas.
  • Follow up on a regular basis.  Not following up will allow them to keep multiplying and spreading.  Stay ahead of them through regular followups and retreatments until they are gone.
  • Don’t get frustrated.  Pest control is a process.  Having the correct products and plan is extremely important.  The time spent completing this program could be compared to painting a room or doing some remodel work.  Stick with it, don’t speed through it and spend time.

 

 

German Cockroach Combo Kit

 

Additional Resources:

To Learn more visit our page on How To Kill Cockroaches

View Catalog of Products For All Cockroaches

View Directory of Articles by Ron Dawson

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