German Cockroach


Actual Size: 1/2″ – 5/8″

Characteristics: Pale brown with two dark longitudinal stripes behind head.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Prefer humid, warm areas. Often found in residential and commercial kitchens as well as bathrooms. Usually in areas where people eat and drink.


  • Their small size and flat bodies allow them to exist in the smallest of secluded cracks and crevices that are near heat, moisture, and a wide variety of food
  • They are rarely found outdoors, and gain access through grocery bags, used furniture or equipment, cardboard boxes, or through pipes shared by neighboring apartments
  • Responsible for transmitting food-borne illness, but most importantly are responsible for severe asthmatic reactions in public housing

German Cockroaches in Virginia

The German cockroach is one of the most common types of roaches. They are infamous for infesting homes, apartments, supermarkets, food processing plants, and restaurants. Ships, especially cruise ships and naval vessels can also be heavily infested. When infestations are large, they can spread to other parts of a building. This species reproduces the fastest of the common pest cockroaches—a single female and her offspring can produce over 30,000 offspring in a year. The German cockroach eats just about anything. They gravitate to starchy items, sweets, meats, breads, pet food, and even glue or book bindings.

German Cockroach Environment

German cockroaches are found primarily in kitchens, bathrooms, or other areas where daily access to water is available. If sanitation is poor, the German cockroach can successfully expand its normal habitat to include all portions of a structure where adequate food, water and shelter exist. German cockroaches prefer to hide in wooden and paper materials, as well as electrical equipment. These roaches can also be found hiding in cabinets, drawers, up under sinks and inside heat-producing appliances like dishwashers, microwaves, and coffee makers. Like other roaches, they prefer the dark and often scatter when a light is flipped on.

German Cockroach Habits & Dangers

German cockroaches are not known to bite humans. That said, foraging cockroaches are vectors of disease, depositing germs or bacteria in areas they inhabit. German cockroaches can also cause allergic reactions due to the insects leaving fecal matter and cast skins around the home, causing skin rashes, watery eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion and asthma. In addition to spreading disease, German cockroach infestations may cause human psychological stress because their infestations can be in very large numbers. If you’ve noticed a few German roaches in your Virginia property, it’s likely there are many more nearby, necessitating a call to your local cockroach exterminator.