As the cockroach species most commonly found indoors, German cockroaches often enter and infest homes throughout New England. The household pests also regularly inhabit apartment complexes, grocery stores, hospitals, and restaurants in the region. Smaller than other structural infesting cockroach species and therefore capable of hiding in tinier spaces, German cockroaches frequently leave behind easily identifiable evidence to detect an infestation. Because the insects grow by molting, discarded skin cases serve as one of the primary signs of a German cockroach infestation. Prior to adulthood, German cockroaches typically molt (shed exoskeleton skin) six or seven times. The egg cases, or oothecae, carried and eventually deposited by adult females also signal a German cockroach infestation. Other signs include the presence of feces (looks similar to ground black pepper) as well as the distinctive and offensive odor characteristic of large cockroach populations. Cockroach activity occurring during daytime hours is another indicator of an severe infestation, as German cockroaches are naturally nocturnal and usually avoid the light.
The German cockroach prefers environments with ample warmth and humidity. As scavengers, the insects also prefer to reside near established sources of food and moisture. Consequently, when German cockroaches gain access to the indoors, the pests tend to infest kitchen and bathroom areas . Generally preferring to hide together in clusters, German cockroaches remain concealed in cracks, crevices, and other small spaces during the day. Ideal hiding places include areas in or around kitchen cabinets, drawers, and appliances. Moist locations under sinks and around plumbing fixtures also make suitable habitats for German cockroaches. Although the German cockroaches are found most frequently in bathrooms and kitchens, German cockroaches may seek refuge in other areas of buildings when infestations become severe.
Effective management of German cockroaches entails preventing an infestation from occurring in the first place. Preventative measures like storing edible items in sealed containers, promptly cleaning up spilled foods and liquids, regularly taking the trash out, and vacuuming often serve as easy ways to make an indoor area less susceptible to a German cockroach infestation. Homeowners should also remove all clutter, both indoors and outdoors, that could potentially conceal the scavenging insects. The removal of clutter includes trimming shrubbery and eliminating densely overgrown plants from the immediate vicinity of the house. Residents should seal cracks and crevices in the walls and foundation, as well. If a German cockroach infestation arises, New England home and business owners should contact a professional pest control service, as cockroaches may quickly become too overwhelming to handle due to their high birthrate, short life cycle, and ability to remain hidden for long periods of time.