Full-Sized German Cockroaches Can Traverse Through A Home Within Spaces As Small As 1.6 mm In Width

German cockroaches are the most common roach pests of homes and buildings throughout the US, and they are one of the very few pest species that dwell primarily within homes, buildings and other manmade structures. Cockroach pests accumulate a variety of disease-causing microorganisms due to their habit of congregating in filthy environments, like sewers, outhouses, and garbage receptacles, making them a potential medical hazard within human dwellings. Since it is advantageous for German cockroaches to exploit human living conditions, they are not regular sewer dwellers, as American, Oriental and smokybrown cockroaches are. Despite this, German cockroaches are still filthy, as they indulge in the mutual consumption of excrement and they frequently graze on filthy materials.

Due to being well adapted to thriving within human dwellings, a massive number of German cockroaches can maintain concealed indoor harborages, particularly within wall voids. Amazingly, thousands of German cockroaches can inhabit well concealed and usually inaccessible areas in even relatively small homes. German cockroach infestations can advance to unmanageable levels rapidly, as it only takes one single female and a few of her offspring to produce hundreds of thousands of roaches in one year. These roaches have also learned to avoid foraging in open living spaces during daytime hours when they are likely to be noticed by humans. At night, foraging cockroaches emerge from their hiding spots, and it is not uncommon for the pests to establish harborages near or within pantries and cupboards where food sources can be readily obtained.

In one particular infestation case, a pest control professional discovered numerous open packages of food items on a shelf during a home inspection. Initially, conditions appeared to be normal, but a massive congregation of countless German cockroaches were found after the operator peered beneath the shelf. The food items had undoubtedly become contaminated with roach excrement, body fragments, shed skins and pathogens that can lead to food poisoning. Surprisingly, the tremendous number of roach pests had managed to remain completely hidden within a 2 to 3 mm space between the shelf and wall. While German cockroaches are relatively large at ½ to ⅝ of an inch in length, studies have shown that German cockroaches remain mobile within concealed indoor spaces that are only 1.6 mm in width.

Have you ever discovered that your stored food items have become contaminated with cockroach excrement?