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How to Get Rid of German Roaches?

It is not easy to get rid of adult German cockroaches, but it's worth the effort. The pest control methods in this article will indeed reduce the roach population.

March 9, 2022

13 min read time

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The thought of cockroaches in your home can make you cringe. It even gets worse if you’re battling an adult German cockroach infestation.

In case you don’t know, German cockroaches are the most popular type of cockroach today. They are smaller than other cockroach species and have a short life cycle with high insect growth. Due to their growth rate, they could take over your home in a matter of months!

This guide will show you further insights on how to identify the German roaches, how you can get rid of these roaches, and how to stop them from coming back. Enjoy!

How do German roaches look?

German cockroaches, known as Blattella germanica, have the same oval body shape as any other cockroach. It’s brownish with six legs and a pair of wings.

The difference is that these types of cockroaches have two light brown, vertical stripes behind their heads.

A typical German cockroach is usually half an inch long. This allows roaches to fit into tiny spaces, thanks to their flattened bodies.

While adults have a light brown or tan color, the nymphs are a lot darker.

Should you be scared when they start flying?

No. They don’t fly. German roaches prefer to scurry away from you.

Where do German roaches come from?

You might be wondering, ‘How did I even get cockroaches in my home?’ Unfortunately, German cockroaches can get into the cleanest of homes in a variety of ways.

These pests are known as hitchhikers. This is because a German cockroach loves to explore new territories. As a result, German cockroaches can enter your home through luggage or personal effects from another house.

They could also be living in your neighbor’s house and decide to come live in your home too. Yard sale items could introduce these roaches into your home as well.

Even the eggs can be transported into your home through the above ways and hatch into cockroaches. German cockroaches could also come from your drainage or an infested restaurant.

Where can I find a German cockroach in my home?

If you’re looking for German roaches in your living room, you might not see any. These insects love warm, moist places with a constant supply of food and water. If your mind went right to your kitchen, then you’re right.

Bathrooms are also warm and moist, so these critters may love to dwell there. Given that they can eat anything, they can survive in your bathroom too. German cockroaches are known to eat soap, toothpaste, and even feces!

German cockroaches are nocturnal animals, so it’s hard to spot them in kitchens and bathrooms during the day. However, in an infestation, you could see them moving about even in broad daylight.

A German cockroach infestation will leave your house with a strong, musty odor. It would be best not to let it get to this stage before eliminating them and employing pest control.

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How quickly do German roaches reproduce?

As we said earlier, German roaches have a fast life cycle. A female cockroach can make over 4 oothecae (egg cases) every month. Each ootheca contains an average of 30 eggs, equal to 30 baby roaches.

When the eggs hatch, many cockroaches (nymphs) are born, they look exactly like the adult German roaches, the only difference being darker and smaller.

After approximately 5 weeks of insect growth, these nymphs become sexually mature cockroaches and produce their nymphs.

Is it possible to get rid of German cockroaches?

Yes. It is possible to get rid of German cockroaches once and for all in your home.

However, before you start thinking of what to use, you have to conduct an important step: inspection.

Inspecting your house helps you identify target areas for any elimination and pest control measures you would use. So, where do you start looking?

Check behind warm appliances like your television, refrigerator, microwave, and electrical sockets for cockroaches. German roaches love moisture, too, so check around your sink area and pipes in your home.

Observe any tiny black dots or marks around your home. This is likely their feces. It looks like black pepper and has an off odor. This excrement can give you a clue as to where they like to hide or pass by.

Cockroaches love wood too, so inspect any wooden items around your home. An excellent place to start would be your kitchen cabinet and table.

Treat any crevices around your home with suspicion, as these pests love to make their home in these dark, warm places.

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How do I get rid of German roaches without an exterminator?

You can get rid of German cockroaches yourself without the help of an exterminator. However, bear in mind that these cockroaches are more challenging to eliminate than most species.

You have to keep eliminating them till they reduce drastically. Some of the ways you can do this are:

Insecticide dust:

Insecticide dust eliminates any insect, including stubborn German roaches. It is poisonous dust that affects a roach both internally and externally.

As they take it in the dust, it damages their organs. On the outside, it destroys their tough outer coating (exoskeleton).

To use insecticide dust, you need a hand-held sprayer. If you can’t get this, use an old spoon or a small sieve with fine holes. It would be best if you never used your hands directly because of the chemicals this dust contains.

Spray the dust lightly over areas where the roaches pass a lot.  Be careful to apply these insecticides only to hidden places to prevent pets and kids from coming into contact with it. A heavy layer of dust will be ineffective even though more looks better.


You can decide to set roach traps to catch these pests. Roach traps also give you an idea of how many cockroaches you are dealing with.

Just like insecticide dust, traps should be placed where roaches are frequently seen.

Glue strips are effective pest control traps as they have an attractive smell to roaches. In addition, once they step on the strip, the powerful glue keeps them stuck to the trap.

When they can no longer fight the glue, they will get weak and die. So you have to check traps regularly and clear them once they have a lot of cockroaches in them.


Insecticides are another way of getting rid of German cockroaches. But with insecticides, you can’t just use any type: you have to use non-repellent insecticide.

Why non-repellent insecticide? This type of insecticide makes it difficult for roaches to pick out. You can get them online, as some brands offer free shipping.

Non-repellent insecticides also take a longer time to affect an insect. So, for example, the roach can go back to its hiding place and interact with other cockroaches before it dies.

This makes it easier to eliminate the cockroaches since they don’t suspect a particular area of insecticide.

You can spray insecticides directly on the roach or on areas they frequently visit.

Although it won’t die immediately, the insecticide will slowly kill it. Repellent insecticides work much faster but are not as effective.

Gel baits:

Gel baits are super helpful in eliminating pesky roaches. These are chemical substances that smell yummy to cockroaches but poison them once eaten. With gel baits, you only need a few drops to deal with a roach infestation.

Like non-repellent insecticides, they do not kill cockroaches quickly. In fact, with gel baits, the German cockroaches may die in a few days.

Apply this lethal poison to cracks and crevices where roaches are. Since it’s flexible, you can get into those hard-to-reach areas that other methods can’t.

Vacuum cleaners:

Are you ooking for an easy, non-toxic method to get rid of German cockroaches? The answer is correct in your home.

You can use your vacuum cleaner to suck out these German cockroaches from their hiding places and restore your normalcy to your house.

To make this method more effective, add some soapy water to the vacuum bag. This water will kill them faster as soapy water is harmful to insects. Check out all the roach hot spots in your home and vacuum as much as you can.

Your vacuum attachments come in handy too. For example, the vacuum brush can be used to check surfaces for further roach activity.

A shop-vac will help you navigate tight spaces. Plus, you get to clean up your space at the same time.


A simple roach trap that works effectively is a jar trap. You can get a lot of German cockroaches quickly with this method. It is the least stressful and least toxic method on this list. So how do you set it up?

Put some food into the jar. It could be anything from a piece of candy to some pasta. Line the jar’s walls with a slippery substance like Vaseline or olive oil and set the pot near their hiding place.

The German cockroaches will come out to eat the food but will not get out because of the slippery walls. Since they cannot fly, they will try in vain to get to the top. Once your jar has enough cockroaches, close it tightly and toss it in the trash. They will die off after a while as a result of starvation.

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What home remedy kills German roaches?

There are home remedies that can effectively kill German cockroaches in your home. They are easy to obtain and simple to use. 5 of these remedies are:

1. Boric acid

Boric acid is arguably the most effective remedy when it comes to roaches. Why so? It contains poisoned substances that harm a German cockroach almost instantly. To use boric acid, spread its kitchens and bathrooms, concentrating on where German cockroaches dwell.

As soon as they come in contact with this toxic powder, they will start dying. Now, boric acid is also toxic when ingested by humans, so you have to be careful with how you use it.

2. White vinegar

Vinegar, an ingredient in your pantry, is an excellent roach control substance. Apart from having a strong smell that chases a German roach, vinegar is acidic enough to kill roaches on contact.

You can either spray raw vinegar in hiding places or use it to clean up surfaces. For surface cleaning, mix it with equal parts of water and wipe down your kitchen and bathroom surfaces. The German cockroach will disappear with time.

3. Baking soda

Baking soda is excellent for killing roaches, but it’s used with something sweet: sugar. Unfortunately, the combination of baking soda and sugar is lethal for any German cockroach, and here’s why.

The German roach ordinarily will avoid baking soda because it doesn’t smell and taste excellent. But when sugar is added, it will readily eat up the mixture. Eventually, it dies after some minutes, not knowing what hit it.

4. Essential oils

Essential oils have a wide variety of uses in hair, beauty, and cooking. But did you know they could kill German cockroaches too?

Essential oils are naturally powerful oils, some of which contain chemicals that will wipe out German roaches from your home.

What kind of essential oil can you use? You can use peppermint, eucalyptus, or catnip oil to deal with these pests.

Rosemary is also great for roach control. To use any of these oils, mix a few drops with 100ml of water. Then, put the mixture in a bottle and spray it all over your home as much as you would like.

5. Bay leaves

These potent leaves pack a punch when trying to get rid of German cockroaches. In addition, Bay leaves have an aroma that can be used in food as a pest control method for a long time. There are three ways you can use these leaves.

You can crush bay leaves and place the pieces in hidden corners like your kitchen cabinets and close to appliances. Or you can squeeze whole bay leaves into cracks and crevices where cockroaches stay.

Bay leaf water is also effective in German roach control. You can boil them in water and spray the water like you would with essential oils.

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Do German cockroaches carry disease?

Yes. German roaches are filthy creatures and can host a lot of diseases.

These insects get into drains, toilets, and gutters, carrying waste matter along with them. They spread diseases by touching your food or climbing over your surfaces.

German roaches can cause diseases that involve food poisoning. They also pass on bacteria that cause dysentery, diarrhea, and cholera in humans. In addition, cockroach presence alone can cause allergic reactions and asthma, particularly in younger children.

Their excrement can cause problems for your home. For example, German roach excrement can cause allergic reactions such as rashes and sneezing.

How to prevent German roaches from coming back

It’s not enough to get rid of all the roaches in your home. If you’re not careful, you could have another German cockroach problem on your hands in a matter of weeks. Here are the steps you can take to make sure that doesn’t happen:

  1. Clear out the clutter as quickly as you can. It’s easier for roaches to breed in cluttered spaces than de-cluttered ones. To arrange items well and ensure only useful things occupy your space.
  2. Tidy up trash immediately. If you have any food remnants or garbage lying around, put them in a trash bag as soon as possible. Cover your indoor dustbin tightly or empty it daily to get rid of cockroaches.
  3. Do the dishes frequently. Cockroaches love dirty dishes. Clean your dishes after use and avoid piling them for too long. Preferably, please clean up your dishes after every meal and avoid leaving them on the sink with food overnight since roaches are primarily active at night.
  4. Keep your food well covered. Use tight-fitting lids for your food containers as a cockroach control method, so these insect pests don’t crawl in and feast on your food.
  5. Repair spoilt pipes and sinks. Leakage causes moisture which attracts a German roach. It will use such a place as a water source and continue to thrive in your home.
  6. Regularly maintain and clean your electrical appliances, especially your kitchen appliances. Inspect them for any sign of cockroach infestation. If you find a high number of roaches hiding in one, switch it off and clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Clean up after your pet. Cockroaches use pet food as food sources so that a dirty environment will bring them back. It also helps to inspect pet food and litter boxes for any sign of roaches.
  8. Clean up your house at least every day to catch food remnants or crumbs on the floor and surfaces. Sweeping or vacuuming handles tiny crumbs that cockroach populations use as food sources.


It is not easy to get rid of adult German cockroaches, but it’s worth the effort. The pest control methods in this article will indeed reduce the roach population.

If you can’t handle a large roach population, you should seek the services of a professional exterminator. We hope you find this helpful!