Living in a desert climate like Southern Utah, cockroaches are no stranger to the environment. Most commonly seen is the American Cockroach, also known as the water bug. You most likely will see high activity of American roaches at night time and in areas where moisture is prevalent. They are one of the largest types of cockroach and can grow to be over 2 inches in length. While they are frightening to most people, American roaches try their best to stay away from human activity. If you see an American roach in your home it is almost certainly a single visitor who got lost looking for food or water. Because American roaches do prefer to be outside, they are quite easy to control by using Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Often times it can be as simple as eliminating water sources such as a leaking sprinkler head, or in other cases we may need to use a repellent product that is quite effective. Regardless, while they are plentiful in our climate, they are easy to control and rarely more than a minor nuisance. Infestations of American Roaches in the Southern Utah area are extremely rare.

You may be asking at this point: Isn’t a cockroach a cockroach? Well the answer is both yes and no, while they are all from the same family, different sub-species have different behaviors and habits. In this explanation it is easy to break them down into two categories: those that depend on human activity for survival, and those who do not depend on human activity. American roaches are more often in the latter category. German cockroaches, on the other hand, are very dependant of humans to survive.

German Cockroaches, where do they come from and how do they affect a household?

German cockroaches are the vagabonds of the cockroach world. Almost always they are introduced to your home from an outside source, whether it be in a bag of groceries from the supermarket, corrugated cardboard, or even used appliances such as a refrigerator. Outside of situations like apartment buildings, duplexes etc. where multiple homes are connected and share walls, German roaches will almost exclusively be brought into your home by snagging a ride with you from somewhere else.

German roaches prefer a warm and humid environment to live, so often they will begin to live in areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms. They prefer to stay in tight spaces such as behind refrigerators, ovens, and cracks and crevices around the home. Once German roaches are introduced to your home they can become a problem very quickly, they are able to reproduce at an extremely rapid rate. One female roach is capable of producing up to 400 eggs in their lifetime. One pregnant female can lead to a very large population in a very short amount of time. The longer a homeowner waits to address the problem, the more severe it will become. Activity is at its highest during the night but in moderate to severe infestations you will begin to see german roaches traveling through kitchen cabinets, on the floor, walls etc.

Beyond being an extreme nuisance, German cockroaches have been implicated in outbreaks of disease and allergies in many people. They have been reported to spread over 30 different kinds of bacteria as well as six kinds of parasitic worms and seven kinds of human pathogens. Studies have also found that German roaches, beyond causing allergic reactions, can also cause an increase in the severity of asthma attacks, especially in children. The health risks that come with German roaches are very real.

What to do if you have a German Cockroach infestation:

So how do you eliminate a German roach infestation? It can be done, but it is not easy and requires effort from both yourself and your Pest Control Technician. The main objectives when tackling an infestation of German roaches is to eliminate food/water sources and to end the reproduction of new roaches. Cleanliness is very important. And while German Roaches on their own can still survive in a very clean and sanitary environment, they will thrive when allowed to live in conditions where cleanliness has not been maintained. Now we understand that life happens, and we don’t expect a spotless kitchen and house, but if we feel that some of the cleanliness conditions in the home of contributing to the problem, a homeowner may be required to clean up in order to help with the cleanout of the infestation.

Infestations of German cockroaches take time to get under control. Patience is key, unfortunately it is not as simple as spraying a pesticide one time and no more cockroaches. There are many different methods of control depending on situation and environment. At Pest Off Pest Control, a roach cleanout consists of 3 separate treatments each a week apart from each other. Each treatment uses different products and techniques and each is designed to attach the cockroaches in a different way. The goal at the end of the third week is to have very little to no German cockroach activity left in the residence. We recommend to setup a recurring monthly service after the conclusion of the cleanout, to ensure your home stays pest free altogether. When you have a recurring service your roach job is always under warranty. If no recurring service is set up we still offer 30 days of warranty starting after the third part of the treatment is performed.

The first treatment consists of a thorough treatment using a liquid non-repellent pesticide with residual qualities. During this treatment we will focus mainly on all aspects of the kitchen and bathrooms. Because we treat cabinets, pantries etc. we must have all dishes and food removed from the kitchen area. If there is a lot of activity, the first thing used is a shop-vac to vacuum up as many live specimens as possible. This is an easy way to eliminate a large amount of roaches right away without relying on pesticides. We apply the product inside the cabinets, cracks and crevices, baseboards etc. The product being non-repellant means that it is not detected by insects. The cockroaches will expose themselves to this product without knowing. It is a slow-killing product. Because it takes some time from exposure to death, it allows the cockroaches to transfer the pesticide to others. Lastly, added to this mixture is an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) product. IGR stops the lifecycle by preventing the cockroaches from developing fully, including their sex organs which prevents them from reproducing any further. Usually results of this treatment will be seen within a few days, and activity should start to reduce. After the treatment is complete and the pesticide is dried, all dishes and food can be returned to the cabinets. Also on this trip glue boards will be placed in high roach activity areas.

The second treatment focuses on getting the roaches out of hiding and ensuring that as much of the population is exposed to the pesticides as is possible. No liquid treatment takes place during the second visit. This visit consists of putting down gel bait in areas of high activity. Most often the bait will be applied in cabinets, behind oven/refrigerator, inside door frames and other spaces where signs of activity is evident. Also on this visit we will use a “dust” that will be applied in electrical outlets, cracks and crevices etc. This product helps the process in a couple ways. The dust is a repellent pesticide meaning it makes insects want to avoid where it has been applied. A good amount of the german cockroach population is often hiding in tight spaces, and when the dust is applied it forces the roaches to leave these areas which increases the likelihood they will be exposed to the bait as well as the pesticide and IGR used previously. Also the dust dries out the exoskeleton of the roaches, causing their demise shortly after exposure. The dust is effective against cockroaches, as well as other pests for quite a long time after it is applied. Glue boards will be inspected and replaced during this time.

The third and final treatment is one final application of a residual pesticide. The product used on this trip is a different formulation from what is used on the first treatment. It is quicker than the other product at killing the roaches, helping to get the remaining live roaches eliminated quickly. Upon completion of this treatment, there is a 30 day warranty on the work done. As stated previously, German cockroach infestations can be among the toughest to get under control, so we want our customers to have peace of mind knowing that the work is guaranteed. After approximately 2 weeks of job completion, we at Pest Off will follow up with our customers to ensure that everything is going smoothly. Finally, your home will be yours once again!

Maintaining a cockroach and other pest-free home afterward:

Once again we recommend setting up a recurring monthly service to ensure your home stays free of german cockroaches, as well as many other pests. As you have learned by now it only takes one to turn into many. Our recurring services do not require any contracts and extend your warranty as long as the service continues. Upon a final service being completed, we offer an additional 30 day warranty.

If you suspect you may have german roaches, call us today to set up a free, no-obligation inspection. We pride ourselves in making sure our customers our informed of their specific needs, as well as what exactly will be done to take care of any issues that our discovered. We perform a top-quality service for all our customers, while keeping our rates reasonable for all budgets. Remember, you don’t have to be PEST OFF, get PEST OFF today!