How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches? | Effective Methods and Prevention Tips

Written by George Climer

Cockroaches are excellent survivors and as soon as you see them running around your house, you should immediately understand that the battle against them is not going to be easy.

German cockroaches are the worst type as they multiply fast, which means that you have to take immediate action as soon as you identify them.

How to get rid of German cockroaches?

  1. Make your home inhospitable: Keep your living space clean, free of food scraps, and well-organized. Make sure to seal gaps and cracks where roaches can hide.
  2. Set up bait stations: Purchase commercial roach bait stations and strategically place them in high-traffic areas to lure the pests to their doom.
  3. Dust with insecticide: Apply a layer of insecticidal dust, such as boric acid, to hidden spaces like wall voids, behind appliances, and beneath cabinets.
  4. Disrupt their lifecycle: Use insect growth regulators (IGRs) to prevent roaches from breeding, ultimately reducing their numbers.
  5. Stay vigilant: Monitor roach activity and replace bait stations or reapply treatments as needed to maintain a roach-free home.

In the following sections, we have prepared step-by-step instructions for you that you can easily follow. With our guide, you will be able to resolve a smaller German cockroach infestation.

Keep on reading to discover some cool home remedies, the best prevention methods for German cockroaches, and much more. Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

German Cockroaches – Information

What Does a German Cockroach Look Like?

What Does a German Cockroach Look Like

An adult German cockroach has a light brown to almost black body that is around 0.43 to 0.63 inches long. The back has two parallel stripes, the stripes are more visible on more undeveloped or younger German cockroaches as seen in the picture above. By the way, the females of German cockroaches tend to be a bit darker than the males.

Do German Cockroaches Fly?

The German cockroach has a pair of wings but it can barely fly. Do bear in mind that these insects can use their wings to glide if disturbed by something or someone.

How Long Do German Cockroaches Live?

A male German cockroach lives for about a hundred days. However, the female can live up to 200 days!

Do German Cockroaches Bite?

Thankfully, it is not common for a German cockroach to bite a human. In fact, when such an incident occurs, it is certainly more of an exception. If the population is too big and had outgrown the normal food sources, then these insects might be forced to seek things to eat on the human body.

For example, cockroaches can eat eyelashes, fingernails, and hair. A cockroach would definitely prefer to feast on any type of rotting matter. German cockroaches can bite a sleeping person while feeding on the food residues located on the hands and face. They can also snack on dead skin particles.

What Do German Cockroaches Eat?

Unfortunately, German cockroaches eat almost anything. They certainly do prefer sugar, starch, meats, and gravies. But they will feel absolutely fine feeding on glue, dust, decaying plants, etc.

Where Do German Cockroaches Live?

These insects can be found in a lot of different places, but you’ll most likely see a German cockroach in a warm, humid area. Cockroaches love kitchens and bathrooms.

How Do You Get German Cockroaches in Your House?

How Do You Get German Cockroaches in Your House

The German cockroaches might have already been in the house when you moved in. Or you could have brought them inside in a grocery bag or a piece of furniture. Moreover, cockroaches can easily get in the house through various entry points such as plumbing, drains, sewers, or any cracks in the walls, around the windows, and doors.

Are German Cockroaches Dangerous?

German cockroaches won’t bite you to death, but you should remember that these creatures can carry dangerous bacteria on them. These insects live in areas that are filthy and full of nasty micro-ecosystems (like drains and garbage cans). Unfortunately, German cockroaches can easily carry the bacteria to your house and even contaminate your food.

How to Find German Cockroach Nests?

German cockroaches don’t build typical nests. The “nest” for them is simply a group of cockroaches that is living together (usually, in hard-to-reach places). The nests can be found in dark rooms, not far away from a food source. That can be under your refrigerator, or stove, behind cracks and crevices, and so on.

How to Kill German Cockroaches – Instructions

Step 1: Clean Your House

Before carrying out any kind of chemical control, you should first properly sanitize your home. Cockroaches like places that have plenty of food and water. You should do the following things:

  • Clean the house, so that there is no dust, grease, oils, or food crumbs.
  • Make sure that your meals are stored properly.
  • Wipe all surfaces and keep them dry.
  • Regularly take out the trash and vacuum the house.

Step 2: Get Rid of the Leaks and Cracks

This step will take a bit more time and effort. Have a careful look at your plumbing system. If there is any leakage – get rid of it. After that, explore the house to find all cracks and crevices that the cockroaches can use as an entry points. If you see any, seal those holes immediately.

Step 3: Insecticides

You can use baits, aerosols, dust, and insect growth regulators to get rid of German cockroaches. The combination of two of them will help make sure that you have total control over the infestation. German roaches can be resistant to one method but sensitive to another.

Cockroach Baits

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Advion Cockroach Gel Bait, 4 Tubes x 30-Grams, 1 Plunger and 2 Tips, German Roach Insect Pest Control, Indoor and Outdoor Use, Roach Killer Gel for American, German and Other Major Cockroach Species
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  • EFFORTLESS APPLICATION: With a plunger and user-friendly tips...
  • CONVENIENT PACKAGE: This package includes four 30-gram syringes...
Sale 2
Combat Roach Killing Bait, Roach Bait Station For Large Roaches, Kills The Nest, Child-Resistant, 8 Count,Insects
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  • Easy-to-use, no-mess baits do not require activation.
  • Simply place them wherever you see or have seen roaches and relax...
  • Best used in areas like under sinks, behind toilets, and behind...
  • This package contains 8 large roach killing bait stations.

Typically, bait contains an attractant that the cockroaches enjoy. They will consume the bait and as a result, German cockroaches will die. You can place the bait in cabinets, under sinks, and around appliances.

Insecticide Dust

Delta Dust Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide Dust, 1 LB
  • Delta Dust Bed Bug Insecticide - 1 lb.
  • Yield: 1 lb. of Delta Dust covers about 2,000 sq.ft.
  • Target Pest: Ants, Bed Bugs, Boxelder Bugs, Cockroaches,...
  • Active Ingredient: Deltamethrin, 0.05%
  • Cannot ship to NY or CT.
Sale 2
Rockwell Labs CXID032 CimeXa Dust Insecticide, White
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  • Ants, crazy ants, cockroaches, firebrats, silverfish
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  • Ticks, and dry wood termites. Kills bed bug adults
  • Bed Bug nymphs hatched from dusted eggs

Dust can be easily applied inside cracks, crevices, and other hard-to-reach places. A duster will come in handy.

Insect Growth Regulator

Sale 1
CSI Tekko Pro IGR Insect Growth Regulator 16 Oz
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • For use on furniture, carpets, kennels
  • Inhibits re-infestation of fleas for up to seven months
gentrol Aerosol Insect Growth Regulator ZOE1005
  • Hydroprene 0.36%.
  • Including but not limited to: Apartment buildings, bakeries,...
  • Shake well before use. As a general surface spray or spot...

An insect growth regulator interrupts the lifecycle of the insects. Place the IGR in places where you know there is German cockroach activity (like kitchen drawers and cabinets, for example).

Spray for Cockroaches

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Raid® Ant & Roach Killer Spray, Fragrance-Free, 17.5 Oz, Pack Of 2
  • Keep your home or office pest free without leaving an unpleasant...
  • Insecticide with residual action kills ants and roaches on...
  • Aerosol spray can enables easy application over a broad area.
  • Outdoor fresh scent leaves a pleasant aroma behind.
Sale 2
Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter2 with Comfort Wand, Controls Ants, Roaches, and Spiders, 1.1 gal.
  • Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter2 is a bug...
  • Provides a long-lasting bug barrier of up to 12 month protection...
  • Apply this pesticide anytime as a preventative treatment or after...
  • Use this pest control spray with confidence indoors (kitchens,...
  • The easy-to-use continuous spray Comfort Wand helps you control...

Apply the spray over baseboards and other surfaces. Make sure to stay away from the chemical solution and pay extra attention to the kids and pets (aerosols, baits, IGRs, and dust can be poisonous). Of course, you should carefully follow the instructions that come with the product.

Step 4: Preventative Measures

To ensure that the German cockroaches don’t return to your house, you should maintain the place clean and sanitize it regularly. Immediately seal any new cracks or holes. You can use the insecticide spray and apply it around the house every six months as an additional preventative measure.

How to Get Rid of German Cockroach Infestation?

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches in the Car?

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches in the Car

Simply cleaning the car is not enough as German cockroaches can hide in the car frame, under the seat, and even in the speakers. However, you should definitely start by cleaning the vehicle and getting rid of any spills and crumbs.

Now you are ready to set out the bait stations. Place them in the corners of the trunk and under the seats.

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches in the Kitchen?

Make sure that the kitchen is squeaky clean. There shouldn’t be any crumbs and grease. Store the food properly, so that the roaches can’t reach it and get rid of any spills and leakage. Overall, keep the kitchen clean and dry. After that, you can place gel baits in the cabinets. Use insecticide dust for places that are hard to reach (under appliances, for example).

Related: How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Kitchen Cabinets

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches in RV?

Clean the whole RV and don’t forget to vacuum it as well. By the way, you might want to empty the bag as far from the vehicle as possible (not into the RV garbage can).

Next, place roach baits all around the RV. If you don’t use your RV all year round, it might make sense to spray the whole thing with an insecticide spray every six months as a preventative measure.

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches from Your Yard?

Keep the yard area clean and free of any clutter. Don’t forget to keep an eye on mulch. The farther away from the house you store the logs, the better. If you have a compost pile, Cover it and turn it over as often as you can.

Try applying diatomaceous earth around the yard. It is a natural method that helps cope with cockroaches – the particles of diatomaceous earth are, basically, super tiny blades that damage the exoskeleton of the roaches. Of course, you can also use the baits and sprays but they can, unfortunately, also harm the beneficial insects in your yard.

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches in a Restaurant?

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches in a Restaurant

A German cockroach would be happy to live in a restaurant. In fact, they do infest restaurants pretty often. When it comes to their prevention, sanitation is key yet again. To get rid of the German roaches in restaurants, you would have to try a combination of the methods that we have mentioned earlier.

Put the baits in the cabinets and corners of the restaurant. Apply the spray over the skirting boards, use insecticide dust to get under appliances, and don’t forget about an insect growth regulator. At the same time, you have to make sure that you keep the chemicals away from the food as we don’t want to poison anyone, right?

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches in Microwave?

First things first, unplug the microwave. After that, get the removable components out (like the plate, for example). Use a cleaning solution that has bleach in it to fully clean the microwave. Wait for about 5 to 10 minutes before you wipe the solution off.

Now you are ready to use the cockroach spray. Don’t forget to take the microwave outside before you spray it thoroughly. Now, get rid of any dead cockroaches. Use the cleaning solution again and leave the microwave outdoors for a whole day.

How to Get Rid of German Cockroach Nymphs?

The nymphs are similar to adult German cockroaches but smaller. You can eliminate the “babies” the same way you would get rid of the adults. Use a combination of chemical methods like dust, sprays, bait, and an IGR.

How to Get Rid of German Cockroach Smell?

Unfortunately, German roaches do produce a smell, especially, if the infestation is severe. Some people describe the odor as “musty and oily”. Of course, the first thing you got to do in order to get rid of the smell is to eliminate the roaches.

How to Get Rid of German Cockroach Smell

After that, thoroughly vacuum the area (appliances, inside drawers, and the areas under sinks). Try to find their nest. If you have no idea, where it might be, set out a few new traps and see which one gets more of them – and focus on that area. Disinfect that area, wipe it dry, and then use soap and water to scrub the place down. Spray the disinfectant one last time.

Related: How to Get Rid of Cockroach Smell? | Natural and Chemical Solutions

How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches with Electronics?

Don’t apply any insecticides inside or on your electronics as it can damage them. Instead, place the bait on a piece of paper, for example, and then move the paper close to the device. Apply the residual spray in areas around your electronics as they will leave that area.

How to Kill German Cockroach Eggs?

If you have found an egg case, there are a few things that you can try to do. Of course, you can always simply smash the case and kill them. Or you may apply a spray all over the case.

Boric acid will also help, just cover the whole ootheca with it. Boric acid won’t immediately destroy the eggs, but it will certainly kill any nymphs that get out. You can spray the case with an IGR. It will either disrupt the molting process or cause the eggs to die.

Related: What Does a Cockroach Look Like? (With Pictures)

How to Naturally Kill German Cockroaches? | Home Remedies

Not all of us are ready to use dangerous chemicals. Thankfully, there are quite a few natural remedies that will help you get rid of cockroaches (and the best part is that you might already have these ingredients at home).

Diatomaceous Earth

Before you apply diatomaceous earth, you have to make sure that the area is clean and dry. Lightly apply the dust all over the spots where you have seen cockroaches or where you tend to drop food, for example.

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You can also go outside and apply the dust on the basis of your house. Make sure to put a light layer as the German cockroaches won’t step on the dust if it has been heavily applied.

Boric Acid

Boric acid should be applied only over dry areas, otherwise, it won’t work its magic. Put the powder in the corners and under the appliances. Please do remember that boric acid is poisonous, so be careful.

Baking Soda

Mix equal parts of sugar and baking soda. The sugar will attract the roaches and make them eat the mixture. Once the insects get thirsty, the reaction of water with the baking soda will make them “explode”. Place the plate with the sugar and soda close to another one with water.

Bay Leaves

The leaves won’t kill the German cockroaches but it will keep them away. Crush a few bay leaves and sprinkle them anywhere you have previously spotted these pests. You can also boil some leaves and make a spray.


Put eight tablespoons of catnip into a liter of boiling water and leave it for around 10 minutes. Once the solution has cooled down, you can spray it all over your house and it will repel roaches.


Mix neem oil with water and spray it around the house. Or you can simply sprinkle the natural remedy if you have it in powder form.

Peppermint Oil

Mix salt water and peppermint oil and spray it on the infested areas. You will have to reapply the solution quite often in order to see a difference.

What Will Kill German Cockroaches?

What Will Kill German Cockroaches

Does Boric Acid Kill German Cockroaches?

If applied correctly, borax acid will kill German cockroaches. Once the insect crawls through the substance, it will get powder all over its body. Boric acid would, later on, get ingested. This substance affects the insect’s nervous and digestive systems and consequently leads to death.

Does Borax Kill German Cockroaches?

Yes, borax can be used on its own or with an additional sugary component to kill the German roaches. Once ingested, the powder will damage the insect’s gut and its exoskeleton.

Will Bifenthrin Kill German Cockroaches?

This pyrethroid insecticide can be used to kill German cockroaches as well. Moreover, it has residual power. The substance will destroy the nervous system of the insects and then continue to work its magic for a certain period of time (just in case other roaches appear).

Will Bug Bombs Kill German Cockroaches?

Bug bombs are not an effective method for coping with roaches as these things fail to get into cracks and crevices – the places where German cockroaches are most likely to be found.

Can I Use Alcohol to Kill German Cockroaches?

You can use rubbing alcohol to kill German roaches, but it needs to be applied right on the body of the insect. Use a squirt bottle with a tight spray to fully cover the roach. The alcohol will fill up the spiracles that they use to breathe and quickly suffocate them.

Does Baking Soda Kill German Cockroaches?

Baking soda can certainly be used to get rid of roaches. Once the insects eat the substance and mix it with water, their stomach will explode.

Does Bleach Kill German Cockroaches?

Bleach will destroy German cockroaches only if you manage to soak them. You can use a spray bottle to apply bleach on the cockroaches that you see running around your house.

Does Cold Kill German Cockroaches?

German cockroaches can’t survive extreme cold very well. However, the cold can kill these creatures only in case the temperatures have dropped drastically very fast. Cockroaches have special mechanisms that help them cope with the cold if the temperature gradually gets lower.

A certain piece of furniture that has been infested can be placed outside when the temperatures drop below zero. In a few days, the cold might kill the German cockroaches.

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill German Cockroaches?

Yes, the diatomaceous earth powder breaks down the waxy layer of the German cockroach’s exoskeleton. The creature will then die of dehydration.

Does Home Defense Kill German Cockroaches?

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter2 with Comfort Wand, Controls Ants, Roaches, and Spiders, 1.1 gal.
  • Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter2 is a bug...
  • Provides a long-lasting bug barrier of up to 12 month protection...
  • Apply this pesticide anytime as a preventative treatment or after...
  • Use this pest control spray with confidence indoors (kitchens,...
  • The easy-to-use continuous spray Comfort Wand helps you control...

Ortho Home Defense is a liquid insecticide. It comes with an easy-to-use wand that you can use to apply the insect killer into crevices, cracks, and other hard-to-reach places. It works amazingly against German roaches.

Does Normal Pesticide Kill German Cockroaches?

Only certain active ingredients can destroy cockroaches. But you should try out different options. Roaches have the ability to develop “cross-resistance” to various chemicals, so some of them can become ineffective.

Does Raid Kill German Cockroaches?

Raid Ant & Roach Killer Lemon Scent (1.09 Pound (Pack of 2))
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  • Leaves no lingering chemical odor
  • This easy-to-use roach spray can be applied to surfaces where...
  • Retreat every 4 weeks as necessary to maintain control of indoor...

Raid comes in the form of a gel or a spray. You can certainly use it to get rid of German roaches. Moreover, it can be used in hard-to-reach places. The spray, for example, has residual action that works for up to 4 weeks.

Will Demon WP Insecticide Kill German Cockroaches?

Syngenta Demon WP Insecticide 2 Envelopes Containing 4 Water-Soluble 9.5 Gram Packets Makes 4 Gallons Cypermethrin 40%
  • Quick knockdown and long-lasting - 90+ day residual
  • Can be used inside and out
  • Size: 1 Envelope contains Four 9.5 gram water soluble packets
  • Yield and Mixing: One 9.5g packet mixed with 1 gallon of water...
  • Target Pest: Ants, Aphidsc, Assassin Bugs, Boxelder Bugs,...

This insect killer will help you get rid of most types of roaches. The active ingredient is Cypermethrin – it is very effective against German cockroaches. Mix the insecticide with water and spray it around the house.

How to Prevent German Cockroaches?

All the preventative measures are quite “boring”. You should definitely keep your place as clean as possible. Take the trash out on a regular basis, vacuum frequently, keep the food in sealed containers, don’t leave out the pet food for too long, sweep daily, keep the kitchen and bathroom dry (you can even buy a dehumidifier), seal any cracks and crevices, and try to store soap out of reach.

Can You Get Animals to Control German Cockroaches?

We have already briefly mentioned that some insects in your garden or yard can help you get rid of roaches (like parasitic wasps and fire ants). But those are not exactly the creatures you would want to be around, right?

Unfortunately, most animals don’t like to eat cockroaches. However, hedgehogs and geckos would be happy to snack on them. Will these animals help you control an infestation? Not really, but they can kill a dozen or a few.

What Repels German Cockroaches?

Different oils (peppermint, lemongrass, oregano, etc.), and bay leaves are great natural repellents that can help you keep German cockroaches away.

Do Frequency Emitters Work on German Cockroaches?

Electronic cockroach repellents emit high-frequency sound waves. Those are safe for humans but can, on paper, confuse or even kill roaches. Unfortunately, the majority of frequency emitters are not effective at all, especially when it comes to German cockroaches. Moreover, these devices work only on small distances and can easily be blocked by any household item.

Do Orange Peels Repel German Cockroaches?

It looks like roaches can’t stand the smell of orange oil. You can simply blend the orange peels and water together or make a proper orange oil spray. Peel the orange rinds and get rid of the white parts. Bring the peels to a boil and let them simmer for 5 minutes. Leave the solution for about a day.

After that, strain the mixture through a sieve and pour it into a spray bottle. Don’t forget to shake the thing before use.

Can You Ever Get Rid of German Cockroaches?

Roaches will be our neighbors on this planet forever. But you can surely keep these annoying creatures away from your house.

Can Pest Control Get Rid of German Cockroaches?

Can Pest Control Get Rid of German Cockroaches

Pest control will help you eliminate German cockroaches for good. The professionals will use a combination of techniques. Moreover, they know exactly what places need some extra attention. Many of the insecticides that pest control uses remain effective for months.

List of Sources

Valles S., German cockroach – Blattella germanica (Linnaeus), University of Florida

Jacobs S., German Cockroaches, College of Agricultural Sciences – The Pennsylvania State University

German Cockroach: Biology, Identification, Control (Blattella Germanica), NC State University

Effective Management of Cockroach Infestations, County of Los Angeles – Department of Public Health