Tips & Tricks To Kill German Cockroaches Once They've Appeared In Your Home

Have you recently turned the light on in your kitchen or bathroom, only to notice a cockroach scurry across the floor and escape into a crack or crevice? If you've spotted one cockroach in your home, chances are that there are more lurking around than meets the eye. The most common type of cockroach that you'll find in the United States is the German cockroach. Despite its name, these cockroaches are believed to have originated from either Asia or Africa. Unfortunately, they still cause homeowners a lot of headaches today. Compared to the American cockroach, these cockroaches are significantly smaller — they're only a 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch long. You can also identify German cockroaches by their light tan color and the two side-by-side black lines that appear on their heads and backs.

Not only can these cockroaches give you the creeps, but they can also be dangerous as well, since they contaminate food and spread bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. Their presence can exacerbate respiratory problems and cause allergy-like symptoms. When it comes to German cockroaches, it's always best to prevent them in the first place. However, if you already have an infestation on your hands, you'll want to take steps to eliminate them as soon as you notice them.

How to kill german cockroaches

There are many ways to get rid of unwanted cockroaches. Some commercial pest control products to consider include insecticide sprays, insecticide gels, and cockroach baits. When using these products, a roach will come into contact with a poison and then carry it back to their nests. Sticky traps and some sprays will eliminate just one cockroach at a time. However, these can be handy if you've already made use of other methods and have just a few stragglers left to get rid of. Keep in mind that cockroach bombs usually aren't very effective. These won't penetrate the walls, so they'll only eliminate cockroaches that are out in the open.

Additionally, there are several natural products you can use to eliminate German cockroaches. Consider spreading boric acid in small amounts in areas where you notice cockroaches. Boric acid attacks their digestive and nervous systems and kills them. However, be careful using it if you have pets and kids around since it can be toxic to them as well. Another alternative is to use a common sugar and baking soda hack. Combining these two ingredients works well because the sugar will attract roaches while the baking soda will kill them once they ingest it.

When using any pest control products or ingredients, target spots where you've already noticed activity. The bathroom and kitchen are particularly favored among these pests. Keep an eye on cracks and crevices and use pest control products close to common hiding spots.

How to discourage and prevent cockroaches

As mentioned above, it's best to prevent a German cockroach infestation in the first place rather than taking a reactive approach. However, taking preventive steps will likely help with an ongoing infestation as well. Primarily, remember to keep your home clean and tidy. Clean regularly and thoroughly eliminate crumbs and anything else that could attract cockroaches. Dispose of garbage quickly and reduce clutter in your home as much as possible. Keep food sealed tightly and stored away.

It's also important to get rid of standing water and eliminate dampness in your home. Allowing water to pool up in the sink or in other areas of your home can attract roaches and other bugs since they'll be able to use it for a water source. Repair any plumbing leaks you notice as quickly as you can. Also, eliminate any entry points you can and avoid leaving windows and doors open. Think about whether German cockroaches may be entering through vents or pipes and consider sealing cracks around your home's foundation with caulk. You may also want to add traps to these areas. 

You can also use some natural ingredients to naturally repel German cockroaches. Tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, and lavender oil can all help keep cockroaches at bay, as can cinnamon and the smell of citrus fruits. Adding these scents to potential entry points and around your home could deter cockroaches and be useful, especially when used with other methods.