So you just spotted a roach in your place of living- now what?

Well, if you’ve found yourself here, then you’re already a step in the right direction. The most important part of commencing the extermination process is to first properly identify exactly what kind of roach you are dealing with. All roaches are different, and require their own specific treatment procedures. Pinpointing the exact type of bug you are dealing with ensures that you will be targeting them in a way that is both brisk and effective. 

In this article, we will delve deeper into how to identify German roaches, and take an in depth look on how to exterminate German roaches from the home using Alpine insecticide products. 

How to identify German roaches 

The basic criteria for what a German roach looks like goes as follows: 

  • Light brown color 
  • Six legs 
  • Oval shaped 
  • ½” to 5/8” inches long
  • Two antennae

German roaches are one of the most common types of roaches found in homes across the United States, the other being American cockroaches, more familiarly known as Palmetto bugs. German roaches are a light brown to darkish-tan color, and have two black, parallel stripes adorning their backs. The coloring can vary slightly from males to females and nymphs to adults. Female roaches are typically darker in color than the male roaches, and German roaches in their nymph stage will appear to be dark brown or even black in coloring, although they will still have the two darker lines seen going down their back. German roaches also have wings, but it is rare that they will use them. Majority of German roaches will stick to running on the floor rather than going airborne. 

Where do German roaches hide inside the home? 

The most predictable areas for a German roach infestation to occur inside of the home are in kitchens and bathrooms. German roaches like to live in places that are warm, humid, and provide easy access to food and water. Living in a kitchen environment  makes the most sense, because that is where the most human food is stored, however roaches have a broad palate and can actually survive off of eating things like soaps, toothpastes, glues, and other similar bathroom products. Although it is less common, it is also possible for roaches to create infestation sites in dining rooms, bedrooms, living rooms, and others of the sort. Roaches can thrive in any area where people usually eat and drink inside the home, surviving through the small crumbs that are left behind. Roaches can even live in cracks or crevices located near food and water sources. Be mindful of cracks and openings in walls or behind wall mirrors, because German cockroaches all vary in size, and even the biggest are able to fit through an opening as small as 3/8 inch in width inside your home. 

Aside from spotting a roach crawling around in your kitchen or bathroom, other tell-tale signs that you have a roach infestation are by the droppings they leave behind. German roaches tend to leave behind feces droppings wherever they go, so look out for small “pepper-like” droppings on countertops, inside cupboards, or at the bottom of drawers. There may also be fecal staining, which will appear as dark smears or splotches scattered near room corners, small cracks, wall openings, tops of doors, etc. 

Another sign of a roach infestation is an unidentifiable musty odor inside your home. In large quantities, German roaches will produce and put out a musty, pungent smell that lingers near the infestation sites. Not only is this smell bad to breathe in, but when it is present in kitchen spaces, it can also affect the taste of foods. 

Now that you know all about likely sites for German cockroach infestations and how to identify German roaches in your home, Alpine insecticide products can assist you in the upcoming extermination process. 

What is Alpine insecticide?

Alpine WSG is a water-soluble granule insecticide that targets German cockroaches. It is a non-pyrethroid product, meaning it will kill any roaches that have become resistant to the ingredients in typical insecticide products. It is also a non-repellent broad-spectrum insecticide, so rather than working simply to repel the cockroaches from your home (which is often faulty and does not always get the job done), this insecticide will actually kill German roaches during use. It maintains these effective qualities through its active ingredient, Dinotefuran, an insecticide developed for the control of indoor and outdoor pests. 

Being a water-soluble granule solution, Alpine will not clog any of your spraying equipment during extended use. It does not require any rinsing once it is applied, allowing for a more stress-free application. The finished solution of Alpine WSG also will not settle once it has been mixed during its initial preparation.

More Pros of Using Alpine WSG

  • Odorless
  • Non-staining
  • Residual activity of 30 to 60 days
  • Pet safe (if used as instructed on label)

With its water base, Alpine insecticide products have even been granted a Reduced Risk status for public health use by the EPA. Insecticides with a Reduced Risk status have been tested and proven to present less risk towards human health and the surrounding environment than existing alternative products. Alpine can be purchased both in select stores or online in a tip and pour bottle, sachet, jar, or case. Alpine also offers German cockroach gel bait 

How It Works 

Like most German roach control methods, the goal is for the cockroaches exposed to the applied insecticide to live long enough afterwards to bring the insecticide back into the infestation site. Most infestation sites are hidden in inaccessible areas of the home, which makes it hard for you to actually apply insecticides directly on the site. 

This is why Alpine WSG products have a slow approach. German cockroaches that touch the insecticide will not immediately die upon first contact. The ingredients slowly work into their system as the contaminated roaches return to their breeding site. This allows them time to spread insecticide all over the hidden sites and onto the other roaches living there. Within 24 hours, all roaches that have faced contact with the insecticide will die. The remaining others will continue to leave the site, make contact with the insecticide, and repeat the cycle until they have all been exterminated.  

There are also additional methods of action you could take, such as using Alpine WSG Cockroach Gel Bait. This is another one of Alpine’s products that aids in getting rid of German roaches. Applying pea-sized amounts of the roach gel bait in cracks and crevices where German roaches hide is another way to kill the wandering roaches. The gel will disguise itself as a delicious tasting food, and once ingested by the roach, it can cause death in as little as 30 minutes. Just make sure that you do not spray other Alpine products over the bait once you have put the bait down, because it will make the bait taste bad and then the roaches will not be tricked into eating it. 

Where can I apply Alpine WSG?

Alpine insecticide products can be applied in a wide array of places both indoors and outdoors. 

Indoor Application 

  • Attics and eaves 
  • Carpets 
  • Rugs
  • Floors
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Pet beds 
  • Cracks and crevices 

Outdoor Application 

  • Sidewalks
  • Driveways 
  • Patios and porches 
  • Exterior sides of buildings 

Applying this insecticide to all possible infested areas is the main key in killing the German roaches. It will kill them upon contact and its effects will last from 30 to 60 days after it is applied. 

It is extremely important to use insecticide products with caution and follow all the instructions as stated on the product label. Although this product has been given a Reduced Risk status, it is still a pungent insecticide that contains serious chemicals. This product should not make contact with human skin, animal skin, or even human clothes during the application process. This product should not be used inside of any aquatic encasements such as fish tanks or ponds, as it will harm and kill anything inside of it. 

After usage, Alpine WSG should be stored in a cool, dry environment. Once the insecticide concentrate has been diluted, the solution has a shelf life of 10-14 days. This insecticide maintains residual activity for 30 to 60 days, however depending on the severity of the infestation, it may require multiple reapplications. 

Linked below you can find the printable PDF version of Alpine WSG’s official label. The document touches on more information regarding application, safety instructions, and the storage and disposal process. 

Apline WSG Product Label: 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q- How did I get German cockroaches? 

Answer- There are several ways for you to bring roaches into the home. German cockroaches tend to hide or make home in cardboard boxes, grocery bags, drinking cartons, etc. Reusing plastic bags or taking in a package that was left on your doorstep are both simple, unsuspecting ways to accidentally bring roaches or roach eggs into the home. Roaches can travel via luggage and furniture, too. They can be passed down through second hand appliances like refrigerators, televisions, microwaves, etc.

However, you do not need to live in fear of tracking roaches into your home each time you leave the house. It is just important to be aware of how roaches can be brought into the home and take better precautionary measures, such as thoroughly inspecting grocery bags, cardboard boxes, and luggage before bringing them inside. If you have used cardboard boxes lying around under the guise of “maybe I’ll need this for something one day”, sometimes it is better to just throw them away!

Q- How do I prevent German cockroaches from re-infesting my home?

Answer- Once the infestation has been properly exterminated and there are no signs of any more bugs present, the best way to prevent German roaches from coming back is practicing good sanitation. This means cleaning up stray crumbs, not leaving dirty dishes in the sink for extended periods, wiping up spills, vacuuming frequently, etc. German roaches thrive in messy environments, and taking these simple precautions will help maintain a cleaner atmosphere and make it harder for roaches to thrive if they try invading your home again.

The question above this one, “How did I get German cockroaches,” also goes over the many ways that roaches can be brought into the home. It is helpful to be aware of how German cockroaches hitchhike into living spaces, so that you can take extra safety precautions and prevent this from happening to you. 

Q- Can I squish a German roach? Will squishing a cockroach release its eggs?

Answer- Yes you can squish a German roach. Squishing a German roach will not release its eggs. German roaches use a hard casing called an ootheca to hold their eggs, which is what they eventually deposit and attach to different areas of whatever space they have infested. If you squish a German roach that still has its eggs bundled in the ootheca inside them, typically, all the eggs will be squashed as well. 

However, it is notable that this method is not preferable. Squishing a roach is a difficult task in itself, and it is not the most pleasant thing to clean up afterwards. Roaches carry all sorts of parasites and bacteria that could be transmitted if not careful. Make sure to thoroughly clean up the surface once the roach has been killed to prevent the transmission of bacteria and dispose of any possible in-tact eggs that were left behind. 

Q- Why are German roaches so hard to get rid of?

Answer- The reason German roaches are so hard to get rid of is because of their rapid reproduction rate. Once a single roach or egg has been brought into the home, it is able to burrow away somewhere hidden from view and begin reproducing. The typical environment of a human household does not present any natural predators or threats, which allows the roaches to grow in numbers before ever being discovered by those living in the house. Roaches are not typically seen wandering around the house until the infestation has reached its peak and they are coming out in search of new food sources and places to burrow. 

Q- Do German roaches bite? Are German roaches dangerous?

Answer- No, German roaches do not bite humans. However, German roaches are dangerous because they carry and spread bacteria, human pathogens, parasitic worms, and have been indicative of bringing illness and allergens into the home. German roaches pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decayed matter and sewage in the outside world. Apart from their contaminated outer-body, German roaches will also spread bacteria and pathogens through their feces and saliva, which they leave in their wake when they travel through the home.  

With the kitchen being the most common infestation site, once inside your kitchen the roaches spread these bacterias over your food surfaces, onto exposed foods, and crawl into foods that have been poorly packaged. This leads to you unknowingly ingesting the bacteria and pathogens, compromising your state of health. During an infestation it is important to frequently clean up the kitchen area to manage the spread of bacteria. Avoid leaving foods out on the counter and avoid using easily accessible packaging that the cockroaches would be able to get into. If you roach poop in the form of pepper-like black dropping, dispose of it immediately and disinfect the surrounding area.

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Dusty Showers has been in the urban nuisance wildlife and pest control field since 1993. Taught by Garon Fyffe, a pioneer in humane nuisance wildlife management, Dusty has a passion for finding humane solutions to human & wildlife conflicts. Dusty was the only individual invited by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission in the lat 1990's to help write legislation for legal protection of Florida bats. With an instinct for solving wildlife, Dusty found pest control to be an easy "add-on interest". Dusty started his first business "Animal Instincts Wildlife & Pest Management" in the Tampa Bay, Florida area in 1995. Eventually selling Animal Instincts in 2002, Dusty went on to start Creepy Creatures Termite and Pest Control in 2009, which he still owns and operates today in Palm Harbor, Florida.

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