By the time you’ve spotted one german cockroach in your home, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re actually housing several.
In fact, a recent study found that female German cockroaches can reproduce on their own. That means it really could take one to have many!
We’ve all heard the joke that nothing can kill a cockroach, but that isn’t quite true.
Read on to find out how to get rid of German cockroaches naturally. There are a number of cockroach killer options. It may take some time and patience to get rid of the whole family, but it can be done!
Cockroaches come in all shapes and sizes. The four most common cockroaches are the German cockroach, American cockroach, Oriental cockroach, and Brown-Banded cockroach. Identifying the variety you’re dealing with can give you some insight into the probable size of the infestation and where they’re hiding.
German cockroaches are light brown in color with two dark stripes that start behind their heads and run down the length of their bodies. They have six legs, antennae, and grow up to 1/2 an inch to 5/8 of an inch. They can be found across the entire United States. The German cockroach life cycle is what gets them the ability to multiply rapidly and be extremely difficult to control.
Female German cockroaches can produce up to 7 egg capsules in their lifespan. Each capsule can hold 48 eggs, which means a single German cockroach can be responsible for 336 more. Compare that to the standard American cockroach, which can reproduce 150 eggs in a lifespan, and you can see why German cockroach infestations can grow so rapidly.
German cockroaches prefer warmth and humidity, as well as a nearby source of food and moisture. You’ll likely find them in your kitchen, bathroom, or basement (especially if you store food down there). Like all cockroaches, they hide, so check cracks in the walls, underneath furniture and appliances, and inside cabinets.
Making Your Home Less Hospitable to German Cockroaches
Before we tackle some natural remedies to kill off these nasty critters, let’s talk about some of the ways you can make your home less hospitable to cockroaches in general, and German cockroaches specifically.
It’s time to do some serious cleaning. That means vacuuming, mopping, taking food scraps to your outdoor garbage cans, and doing the dishes as soon as you’re done with them. Make sure that all food sources are completely sealed in airtight containers that can’t be chewed through.
Cockroaches are resourceful and can find ways to sustain themselves in unlikely places. Take any trash or recycling that contained food or liquids to your outside receptacles, as well. That includes bottles, plastic bags, and even cardboard, which can become a food source in itself.
If you have pets, consider feeding them outside if possible. If they’re 100% indoor pets or can’t be outdoors for too long, pick up their food when they’re not eating it. Sweep up any scattered pieces and, just like with your own food, make sure all pet food is stored in airtight containers.
If you’re dealing with a huge infestation or you’re concerned about the eggs that may hatch over time, it’s advisable to call a pest control service. Cockroach control can be very frustrating and time consuming. In the meantime or in pursuit of a smaller infestation, there are a few things you can do to control these pests with basic household items.
The Best Cockroach Repellent
There are certain smells that act as natural repellants to cockroaches. If you’d rather get them out of your house without killing them, grab some lemons or bay leaves and get to repelling!
Not only do lemons act as natural cleansers that will aid in the cleanup of your countertops and floors but they also produce that citrusy smell that we love–and cockroaches hate.
Make a solution of two parts lemon juice to one part water and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the solution directly onto the areas where the cockroaches hide out as well as any other areas that may become appealing to them. Leave pieces of lemon peel in these areas as well.
For a bigger infestation, you’ll want to clean just about every surface with this mixture, as well. The goal is to make your nooks and crannies uninhabitable and your floors and countertops unappealing for scavenging.
Bay leaves have a similar effect, but you should know that they’re toxic to most housepets. If you don’t have dogs or cats running around, use a mortar and pestle to crush up fresh bay leaves and leave them near the cockroaches’ hideout and around any sources of food.
How to Kill Cockroaches Quickly
If you want to go a step beyond repelling, start saving your old coffee grounds and pick up a bottle of fabric softener.
Roaches love coffee and you can use that to your advantage. Fill several jars about halfway full with water and mix in coffee grounds. Rub vaseline along the insides of the jar that aren’t submerged in water.
Place the jars around the infested rooms and wait. The cockroaches will climb in for the coffee and drown in the water. It can take up to 30 minutes for a cockroach to drown but the vaseline will prevent them from crawling out.
To tackle the ones you see throughout the day and night, mix a solution that is two parts water and three parts fabric softener in a spray bottle. Whenever you see a cockroach, spray it so that it’s entire shell is coated with the mixture. Cockroaches breathe through their skin and the fabric softener will work to suffocate them. This can be an effective cockroach killer.
Call in the Cockroach Professionals at Synergy²
Even when you know how to get rid of German cockroaches naturally, it can’t hurt to call a professional exterminator. Most natural remedies don’t target the eggs that have already been laid which means that if you’re not careful, you could end up with a newly hatched infestation in a matter of days.
Professional exterminators will use a variety of insecticide formulations to control and eventually eliminate your home’s cockroach infestation. Cockroach baits are extremely effective as they are shared by the cockroach when it transfers the bait back to the nest. Insecticide dusts such as boric acid and synthetic pyrethroids are also very effective control measures for German roaches. Finally, liquid pyrethroids can be used to both flush German cockroaches from their hiding places as well as provide a contact kill. There are a large number of cockroach killers on the market and your professional pest specialist will be able to select the very best ones for your situation.
Fortunately, we offer scheduled and emergency pest control services and we’re happy to help! Check out our pricing guide and give us a call so we can make your house pest-free.
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