Eliminating German roaches 🪳 means battling a fast-reproducing insect that has thrived for around 300 million years—surviving both dinosaurs and your kitchen.
What makes German cockroach control so tough is their notoriously rapid breeding; female German roaches can lay egg sacs that can turn into thousands of roaches in a pretty short time period.
You might think you can stomp your way out of a German cockroach problem but unfortunately it’s rarely that easy.
[TIP: if you’re seeing German roaches during the day, your infestation is way more serious than you think.]
German cockroaches are so resilient, they can even survive around a week without their heads! Mind-blowing, right? Since you can’t exactly go around decapitating every German cockroach you see, here’s a better strategy.
German cockroaches are arguably one of the most difficult and stubborn household pests to eliminate 🚫. That’s why most methods—even professional ones—only end up controlling roach populations rather than fully exterminating them. But in this comprehensive video, Guy, a retired professional exterminator, shares some tips to utterly slay German cockroaches—for good (repeat German cockroach infestations, often amounting to infestations that were never fully exterminated, are quite common).
Getting In Your Enemies Head: Identify & Understand German Roaches
Understanding roach biology and behavior helps you launch successful counterattacks (Sun Tzu advised knowing you’re enemy and yourself to emerge victorious in any battle; roach control’s no different).
German cockroaches are light brown in color and approximately 1/2 inch in length when fully grown. Their distinguishing features include two dark parallel streaks on the pronotum (upper shell) behind their head. Though normally brown, they can appear almost black at times.
Roaches of most variants, including German cockroaches, are attracted to food and water 🥖🥤, often preferring cracks, crevices, and secluded spaces in kitchens and bathrooms.
German roaches prefer dark, crowded living conditions and avoid light when possible. They require very little food and water (but more water than food) to survive.
Typical tell-tale signs of German roach activity (beyond seeing them scurrying during the day) include:
- Fecal matter (Roach poo looks like pepper granules)
- Dead roach bodies and body parts (easy to spot)
- An unusual sweet, pungent odor (hard to describe with words, but if you’ve ever squished a cockroach, you’ll probably recognize it)
German cockroaches breed extremely rapidly in ideal conditions. A single fertilized Mama cockroach can produce 30–40 babies monthly. These offspring reach maturity quickly and begin pumping out more roaches at an exponential rate. Just one pregnant female roach can give rise to 100,000 roaches or more within a year if left uncontrolled! So if you spot any signs of German roach activity in you’re home, take action FAST (you can try the DIY strategies we recommend below or contact a Pro).
First, Cull the Herd (of Roaches)
Here’s where we roll up our sleeves and get down to business. Phase one is all about cleaning and an initial treatment meant to cull the roach population to a manageable size (at least so they ain’t crawling over you at night). But hidden roaches can continue breeding where you wouldn’t expect, often in walls and unreachable areas. German cockroach eggs quickly replenish their population, often faster than you can cull the adults.
Guy first explains how professionals typically employ a “knockdown” phase designed to quickly eliminate visible roaches. This involves thorough cleaning, use of dusts, baits, insect growth regulators (IGRs) and spraying residual liquid insecticides. But he stresses that these alone only control population; you’ll need to do more to eliminate them for good.
So here’s what Guy recommends to first get the German Roach population to a size you can handle:
- Cleaning: Like a military operation, your first step is to eliminate all sources of food and water; both of these attract roaches. This means meticulous cleaning—think crumbs, grease, and even the smallest food particles. Also, fix any leak, no matter how small. Roaches can go much longer without food than they can without water.
- Dusting: Next, employ a dust insecticide designed for cockroaches. A good choice is deltamethrin dust. Apply it in every nook and cranny, focusing on areas like under sinks and appliances (German roaches tend to congregate here).
- Liquid Insecticide: For the baseboards and larger areas, Temprid FX insecticide is your go-to weapon. Remember, a light spray is enough—you’re not painting a masterpiece here!
- Baiting: It’s snack time for the roaches, but with a deadly twist. Use baits like Maxforce Impact (or others) in high-roach-activity areas. Small dots, about 12 inches apart, should do the trick. Roaches will likely find these thanks to their sense of smell (so long as you clean up any other food sources like crumb, open food containers, etc.). Once roaches eat this bait, it’ll attack their nervous system, eventually wiping them out.
This first phase ain’t enough though. German Cockroach females produce hardy egg capsules 🥚 that can lie dormant for long periods of time⏳, hatching under the right environmental conditions—even if the parents are long gone.
Unfortunately, residual sprays won’t affect these hidden egg sacks waiting to rebound, meaning you can destroy all the adult roaches, and even a single overlooked viable egg capsule can lead to a repeat infestation later on. And since German roaches may disperse well beyond the original infestation site over time, partial treatments inevitably fail. This is why a secondary blitz is necessary ⚔️.
Second, Finish ’em Off
Now, for the grand finale—Scene Two. This is where you ensure that the German cockroaches in your home become history.
With the “knockdown” phase completed, Guy shifts to the crux of the solution—systematically treating every place roaches could possibly hide or breed with boric acid dust and NyGuard residual insecticide spray.
While time-consuming, this comprehensive treatment process is the only way to permanently remove German roaches. The main goal of this step is to deny roaches a safe harbor by creating an inescapable minefield of poison, no matter where they may travel inside a building.
Guy’s key steps include:
- Boric Acid & Borate: Time to bring out the Big Guns Use boric acid dust in all hollow spaces: wall voids, ceilings, and even inside hollow doors. It’s a slow killer, but relentless.
- Nibor-D Insecticide: For areas where boric acid can’t reach, use Nibor-D. Spray it on hard surfaces, being careful not to contaminate food areas.
- Treating Electronics and Appliances: This is tricky, as you can’t directly treat them. The strategy? Isolate them. Create a barrier around them with Nibor-D, and any roach that ventures out meets its doom. Learn specific tips for getting roaches out of your electronics here.
- Repeat and Patience: The key here is persistence. Replace baits and IGRs (Insect Growth Regulators) every 90 days for a year. Getting rid of German cockroaches and keeping them gone is usually more of a marathon than a sprint.
NyGuard contains the IGR pyriproxyfen which stops nymphs (baby roaches) from reaching maturity. And boric acid lethally desiccates roaches via their exoskeleton over 1-2 weeks. The complete scope of this two-part treatment provides no escape route
Precision Tactics: Treating Specific Areas
- Treating Hollow Spaces: We’re talking wall voids, ceilings, and hollow doors. Drill holes and puff in boric acid dust. It’s like setting traps in their secret hideouts. 🕵️
- Treating Hard Surfaces with Nibor-D: Every hard surface is a potential battlefield. Spray or wipe Nibor-D on surfaces where roaches roam but people don’t eat. Think about it as laying down an invisible, lethal carpet.
- Isolating Appliances and Electronics: Remember, these are the roaches’ fortresses. Surround them with Nibor-D. Any roach that dares to leave its fortress gets a lethal goodbye.
Dealing with Delicate Areas
Some areas, like electronics, can’t be directly sprayed. So Guy advises surrounding them with insecticide to intercept roaches entering or exiting your electronics. Slow-acting baits also draw out the hidden survivors. 🪳
Guy stresses having patience during this second step of treatment. Most roaches will die eventually when they have no option but to pass through treated areas. So even if no bodies appear immediately, they WILL ingest the poisons and eventually die.
Here’s all areas Guy recommends treating for German Roaches to ensure you get them all:
- Treating Electronic Devices: Caution is key. Use a damp rag with Nibor-D to gently wipe around (but not inside) electronic devices. It’s like creating a moat around a castle.
- Treating Furniture: Flip those couches and chairs, and dust the undersides and legs with boric acid. It’s like setting up landmines for roaches in their favorite hiding spots.
- Carpet Treatment: Spraying carpets with Nibor-D? Do it lightly. If there are kids and pets around, better safe than sorry – vacuum in the morning.
- Base Cabinets and Appliances: Spray Nibor-D inside and under all base cabinets. Appliances like refrigerators and stoves aren’t just kitchen essentials; they’re prime roach hideouts.
- Furniture’s Underbelly: That comfortable sofa? Check its underside. Spray or dust for those sneaky pests. Remember, every crevice counts.
- Ceiling Fans and Air Vents: These overhead fixtures are often overlooked. Apply Nibor-D carefully, avoiding direct contact with motors or electronic parts.
- Electrical Outlets and Light Switches: These are the highways and byways of roach traffic. Dust around the boxes, keeping the product away from the actual electrical components.
- Wall Voids and Hollow Doors: Drill those strategic holes and puff in the boric acid. It’s like setting traps in the roaches’ secret tunnels.
Use a Systematic Approach: Go Room by Room:
- One Room at a Time: Start with the kitchen, move to the bathrooms, and then the rest. Treat this like playing chess with the roaches—strategic and methodical. Divide and conquer. Plus, decomposing the grave task of slaying these fast-reproducing roaches into one room at a time helps your psyche.
- Involve the Family: Make it a game! Challenge you’re kids to see who can find the most creative hiding spot for treatment? 🏡 They’ll probably come up with areas you overlooked 🔍.
Revisit & Reinforce
- Regular Checks: Finished treating? Great, but stay vigilant. Check periodically for any missed spots or new hideouts. Roaches are sneaky; we need to be sneakier.
- Long-Term Strategy: Replace baits and IGRs every 90 days for a year. It’s also good to switch to different baits and pesticides since German cockroaches sometimes build resistance to a single one (if it’s the only bait or insecticide used over a long period of time). Remember, this is a long game, but what is the end result? A roach-free home that’s worth your persistence.
An Aside on Safety and Persistence
Alway remember, safety first. Nibor-D is generally safe, but always keep it away from food surfaces and electronics.
Controlling German Roaches is Plain Tough—There’s No Way Around it.
German cockroaches 🪳 CAN be eradicated completely with dedication and comprehensive treatment, but it’s neither easy nor quick. By unflinchingly entering German roaches’ hiding spots and saturating them with lethal chemicals, Guy’s unrelenting process can help you get rid these resilient pests for good. If you need help, though, reach out to a professional pest controler. Now that you’ve read this, you can can probe them with a few questions about their plan of attack to verify if their worth a lick.