Fun German Cockroach Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 20, 2022 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
German cockroach facts, such as they have flat bodies, are truly interesting.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.3 Min

The German cockroach, Blattella germanica, is a monomorphic creature with an oval-shaped body. It has a flattened body, spiny legs, and two long antennae.

German cockroaches are considered household pests, like all other cockroaches, and are often mistaken for an Asian cockroach species. Adult German cockroach identification can be done by their coloration and the parallel lines that run from their head to the end of the wings.

This is the 'shield' behind the roaches’ heads.

German roaches have a light brown coloration and are usually 1 in (2.5 cm) or smaller in length. When identifying German vs American cockroach, an American cockroach can be identified with its reddish-brown body and faded yellow thorax end.

German cockroach populations are found all around the world, mostly in warmer tropical climates and an infestation may need pest control. This cockroach species lives outdoors or in the cracks and crevices, stacked cardboard boxes, moist cupboards in homes.

A German cockroach infestation is a major household pest problem people face. In most cases, professional German cockroach extermination is the only option for Blattella germanica pest management.

Although German cockroaches have wings, they are not good flyers. Populations of these pests grow quickly if timely cockroach control is not done.

If you wish to read more such posts, check these hissing cockroach facts and oriental cockroach facts.

German Cockroach Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a German cockroach?

German cockroaches or Blattella germanica, are light brown insects that are considered household pests. It is a common species of cockroach found in almost all countries around the world, thriving mostly in milder climates.

What class of animal does a German cockroach belong to?

Blattella germanica belong to the insect class, meaning they are insects. Cockroaches are ancient animals and their fossils indicate that they existed 320 million years ago. The spread of German cockroach populations can be attributed to transportations. These small insects enter homes in shopping bags, cardboard boxes, and other similar ways.

Once these pests have entered a house, a German cockroach infestation happens quickly if no cockroach control action is taken. If you're wondering where German cockroaches nest, it's usually in dark and moist places like cracks and crevices, kitchen or basement cabinets, and near water sources.

Early signs of infestation can be recognized from their tiny, coarse black powder-like droppings, egg cases, and musty odor.

How many German cockroaches are there in the world?

It is not possible to tell the exact number of German cockroaches or Blattella germanica. They hide in cracks and crevices, garbage bins, cabinets, and in all dark and damp spaces they can reach.

German cockroaches are one of the most widespread invasive cockroach species in the world and may number in millions. Pest management techniques have to be used to check their growth and to get rid of them from homes.

Where does a German cockroach live?

German cockroaches thrive most in the warm tropical climates and any mild climate. Their favorite hiding places are dark, quiet corners away from people. However, German cockroaches are found everywhere humans live, in apartments, farms, restaurants, and homes. To thrive, they need to be close to humans where food and water are available in plenty.

German cockroaches can easily move in and out through tiny cracks because they have flat bodies. Other favorite hiding spots include wiring areas and gaps in electronics like the television, in the kitchen under sinks where they can find food and water.

What is a German cockroach's habitat?

German roaches can live anywhere indoors and outdoors. They are mostly found in lawns, basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Even adult German cockroaches can easily move through narrow cracks. Due to their nocturnal behavior, they mostly come looking for food at night and can be spotted around the sink, garbage bin, behind the refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher.

In the daylight, they mostly go into hiding. German cockroach egg cases and droppings are signs of their presence in your home. These pests have wings but do not fly around the house. They like to use their legs instead of their wings.

Who do German cockroaches live with?

German cockroaches live in large family groups.

How long does a German cockroach live?

As adults, German cockroaches or Blattella germanica can survive for around 100-200 days. In this short duration, a German cockroach life cycle of eggs to adults is completed.

How do they reproduce?

German cockroaches are known for their quick population growth. Their reproductive behavior is unique. German cockroach stages take around 100 days to turn into adults from eggs.

Females only require mating once and then produce four to six egg cases or ootheca, on an average during their lives. The egg cases hold 30-40 eggs. The egg cases remain attached to the adult female’s body until they are ready to hatch. Soft, white nymphs come out of the eggs.

Nymphs are tiny and do not have wings. As they grow, they develop a light brown color as well as their wings. When the final molting takes place in the German cockroach nymphs, they consume their cast-off skins as food. They then look similar to the adults and are ready to fly and reproduce.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of German cockroaches is of no concern at all as their populations are found in all countries with mild or warm weather. Various baits and pest control methods are used to eliminate these pests.

German Cockroach Fun Facts

What do German cockroaches look like?

The German cockroach lifecycle consists of several stages. As nymphs, they are tiny and light-colored. The exoskeleton hardens and becomes darker as they grow into adults.

The adults are light brown or tan in color, with two parallel lines running from the head through their wings. Females usually have a darker coloration than males.

German Cockroach

How cute are they?

German cockroaches are not cute at all.

How do they communicate?

Like other cockroaches, German cockroaches communicate through pheromones. They hang out in groups and use a pheromone to send messages, intentions, warnings, and suggestions.

How big is a German cockroach?

Megaloblatta is the biggest cockroach species measuring about 3 in (7.6 cm), that’s double the length of a German cockroach at 1.5 in (3.8 cm). The German cockroach is just slightly smaller than the American cockroach which is 1.6 in (4 cm) long.

How fast can German cockroaches move?

German cockroaches rely more on their legs than their wings. They can run at a speed of 3.4 mph (5.5 kph). Can a German cockroach fly? The answer is yes, but they rarely do it.

How much does a German cockroach weigh?

German cockroaches are tiny and weigh only 0.004 oz (0.12 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of this species do not have any special names.

What would you call a baby German cockroach?

A baby German cockroach is called a nymph.

Female adult German cockroaches produce eggs in oothecae or an egg case which they carry along for a while. The egg cases are held in a protruding manner from the female German roaches’ body. From the German cockroach eggs, hatch out white and soft nymph. With age, their exoskeletons become hard and turn to light brown.

What do they eat?

German cockroaches are scavengers. They eat a variety of food starting from meat, bindings of books, crumbs from dirty dishes, toothpaste, and soap.

Insects like beetles and spiders eat German cockroaches. Amphibians like frogs and toads also eat German cockroaches.

Are they harmful?

German cockroaches are harmful. They spread various diseases. These pests can contaminate food and water and also invite allergies and asthma.

Most German cockroaches carry harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. When these pests touch uncovered food or come in contact with utensils, the sink, and other surfaces, they contaminate them. A German cockroach infestation can be a reason for food poisoning and stomach problems.

Would they make a good pet?

Don’t go by the German cockroach size. They are not pets but are considered pests. They contaminate food and spread diseases.

Did you know...

Biting is not a regular roach behavior. However, cockroaches are known to bite and eat living and dead humans when they are hungry. Most such cases happen on ships. Usually, German cockroach bites can be found on fingers and toenails as they eat away the skin.

While adult German cockroaches have wings and can fly, they do not do so and, in most cases, run when they sense danger.

Why do I have German cockroaches?

German cockroaches enter homes through various means. German cockroach eggs, adult German cockroaches, and juveniles may come inside the house with grocery bags and boxes, or luggage. Their rapid growth and breeding rate takes only a few months for a home to get German cockroach infestation.

Homes with open garbage bins, open pet food bowls, moist, dark corners where dust accumulates, are more susceptible to infestation by various cockroach species.

Before you start a pest control plan in your apartment or home, it is important to take care of the sanitation measures. These roaches prefer moisture, food, and warmth.

Following their usual behavior, these light brown, small roaches come out of their hiding places at night. They leave droppings which may cause asthma and trigger allergies. When cockroach droppings or egg cases are noticed, they should be cleaned immediately.

How to get rid of German cockroaches

If you spot too many German roaches in your home, you may have a roach infestation that needs immediate pest management. Their favorite hiding places are dark areas in the kitchen and the bathroom, where they get a continuous supply of food and water. Cockroaches even eat soap and toothpaste if they cannot find anything else.

The best method to get rid of German cockroaches is to place good quality commercially produced German roach baits.These are nothing but German cockroach killers that will help in eliminating roaches from your space. There are several insecticides available in the market to fight a German cockroach infestation.

Cockroach traps also work extremely well as a German cockroach killer. This kind of cockroach pest trap comes with pheromones, and slow-acting insecticides, often coupled with some food baits to attract the pests. German cockroach baits should be placed carefully away from children and pets.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our click beetle fun facts and darkling beetle surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable German cockroach coloring pages.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

Aashita Dhingra picture

Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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