One of the most common species of cockroach in the world is the German cockroach. German roaches can be found anywhere humans are found. Find out what you should know about German cockroaches, as well as how to prevent them.


  • Flat, oval-shaped bodies
  • 6 legs and 1 pair of antennae
  • 1/2″ to 5/8″ in length
  • Light brown to tan color
  • 2 dark parallel stripes on their backs
  • Females darker than males
  • Wings but rarely fly; prefer to run instead


  • Prefer warm, humid environments
  • Prefer temperatures between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 to 95% humidity
  • Come indoors on grocery bags, cardboard boxes, used appliances
  • Hide out above heat producing appliances, under sinks, around water pipes
  • Found throughout the United States


  • Will eat almost anything
  • Known to eat soap, glue, toothpaste, food crumbs, book bindings


  • Can transmit diseases to humans
  • Pick up germs when crawl across contaminated surfaces and transfer them
  • Spread 33 bacteria, 6 parasitic worms, 7 human pathogens
  • Saliva, droppings, dead bodies can trigger allergies and asthma

Life Cycle

  • Females lay up to 40 eggs at a time
  • Eggs mature in about 2 months
  • Female carries egg case up to a month and drops it right before they hatch.
  • Can breed up to 6 generations per year
  • Adults live up to 200 days
  • Lack of natural predators plus quick reproduction makes infestations difficult to control


  • Aggregate in groups
  • Leave droppings in areas they frequent
  • Droppings have small, dark, pepper-like appearance; found on counters and in drawers
  • Feces can stain, causing dark smears in corners of rooms, tops of doors, around small cracks.
  • Large infestations can give off a mild musty smell.


  • Keep kitchen and bathroom clean
  • Clean up crumbs and spills immediately
  • Sweep, mop, vacuum often
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink
  • Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight
  • Seal exterior openings, especially around utility pipes
  • Consider enclosing your crawlspace

If you suspect you have a cockroach infestation, contact a professional pest control company for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan.