There are different species of cockroaches but most important is German cockroach. The German cockroach, Croton bug or steam fly is a small species of cockroach, measuring about 1.3 cm (0.51 in) to 1.6 cm (0.63 in) long; however, they are known to get bigger. It can be tan through brown to almost black, and has two dark parallel streaks running from the head to the base of the wings. Although it has wings, it is unable to sustain flight. The German cockroach is one of the most common and prominent household cockroaches in the world, and can be found throughout many human settlements. These insects are particularly associated with restaurants, food processing facilities, hotels, and nursing homes. In colder climates, they are found only near human habitats, since they are not very tolerant to cold. However German cockroaches have been found as far north as Alert, Nunavut. The German cockroach is originally from Asia, it is very closely related to the Asian cockroach, and to the casual observer they appear nearly identical and may be mistaken for the other. This cockroach can be seen in the day occasionally, especially if there is a large population or if they have been disturbed. However, sightings are most commonly reported in the evening hours as they are most active at night. This type of cockroach can emit an unpleasant odor when excited or frightened.

Scientific Name

Blattella germanica

Life cycle and Habit

The female German cockroach produces four to eight egg capsules each containing 30 to 40 eggs during the lifetime. She drops the egg capsule in a protected area. Nymphs moult six to seven times in its development phase. This requires about 103 days; thus allowing three to four generations per year. The average life of an adult is apporximately100 to 200 days.


Typically, cockroaches infest kitchens and bathrooms but will live anywhere inside heated structures if there is food, water, and harbourage. German cockroaches can be found in grocery bags, cardboard boxes, infested equipment such as used refrigerators, toasters, microwaves etc.

They are most active at night and come out of their harbourage areas to find food and water.The German cockroach is very successful at establishing an ecological niche in buildings, and is very hardy and resilient against attempts at control. This cockroach is also smaller than many other species so it can more easily hide and fit into very small cracks and crevices to evade humans.


It is essential to have good sanitation to eliminate the food, water and harbourage areas. During the treatment, the use of gel baits and dust are the most effect means of control. Glue traps are usually used as monitoring devices rather than control measures. It is also essential to vacuum the harbourage areas because it helps in reducing cockroach populations. That is also the main reason they can most effectively be controlled with bait in cracks and crevices near harborage. The spray of recommended pesticide in cracks and crevices is also very effective for hazardous infestation.

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