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.


  • They search for food at night and prefer the darkness
  • They are rarely found outdoors, and gain access through grocery bags, used furniture, etc
  • They are responsible for transmitting food-borne illnesses and triggering asthmatic reactions

German Cockroaches in Iowa

The German cockroach is one of the most commonly seen roaches in the Des Moines area. This species is infamous for its rapid rate of reproduction–a single female and its offspring can produce well over 30,000 offspring each year. For this reason, their infestations can grow to huge numbers. They are very prevalent around homes, apartments, supermarkets, food processing plants, and restaurants. These roaches prefer warm humid environments and infestations are frequently found in residential and commercial kitchen environments, and bathrooms. When infestations are large, they can spread to other parts of a building.

German cockroaches will eat a wide variety of foods from sweets and starches to breads, meats, gravies, and pet food. They can also survive without food for several weeks.

German Cockroach Habitat

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. Because their infestations can be so large, they can easily move to other parts of the home. Their small bodies makes it easy for them to traverse through small cracks and crevices.

German Cockroach Behaviors & Threats

For the most part, German roaches will leave you alone. They rarely bite and tend to scuttle around humans. They are most feared for being 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. Seeing even just a few German roaches often indicates there are many more hidden in other areas. For this reason, it’s best to always contact your local cockroach control company for assistance.