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German Cockroach Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from German cockroaches by learning techniques for identification and control.

German cockroach illustration
Blattella germanica
Light brown or tan
2 black stripes behind head
13 to 16 mm
Prefer to run than fly


How do I get rid of German cockroaches?

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin Pro is trained to help manage German cockroaches and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique cockroach treatment program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep German cockroaches in their place…out of your home, or business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding German Cockroaches


  • Color: Adults are easily recognized by their light brown or tan coloration with two black horizontal stripes located on the pronotum immediately behind the head, The young, or nymphs, are darker, almost black in color, also with the black stripes behind the head.

  • Size: Adults grow to a length of 13-16 mm.

  • Wings: While adult German cockroaches have wings, they rarely fly, preferring to run.


Although capable of living outdoors in tropical environments, German cockroaches are most commonly found indoors, with a preference for the warmer and more humid areas of a structure. In homes, these cockroaches will typically be found in kitchens and bathrooms, but can move to other areas of a home if food and moisture are available.


German cockroaches are scavengers, capable of feeding on most any food source available. The pests will eat:

  • Bindings of books

  • Crumbs missed during cleaning or on dirty dishes.

  • Soap

  • Toothpaste

Life Cycle

Each egg case, or ootheca, contains approximately 30 to 40 eggs. This egg case is then carried by the female until 1 to 2 days before hatching. Depending upon the conditions, the average time for development, from egg to adult can range from 54 to 215 days, with an average of approximately 100 days.


German cockroaches are known for their ability to reproduce quickly. Females only need to mate once for the production of young. After mating, and under normal conditions, they will produce, on average, 4 to 6 egg cases during the course of their lives.


As adults, German cockroaches can survive anywhere from 100 to 200 days. Read more about the life cycle of the German cockroach.

German Cockroaches vs. Asian Cockroaches

Asian cockroaches, a pest of the southeastern United States, are often mistaken for the German cockroach. Similar in appearance, the main differences between the two cockroaches are evident in their behavior.

While German cockroaches are known as a pest of structures, found frequently in areas of high humidity and temperature, Asian cockroaches are most frequently found outdoors, and only occasionally make their way into structures. In addition, Asian cockroaches are known for their ability to fly, whereas German cockroaches rarely use their wings for flight and prefer to run from danger.

More Information

German Cockroach Diseases

German Cockroach Life Cycle

German Cockroach Nests

German Cockroach Nymphs

German Cockroach vs. American Cockroach

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