How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches: Detailed Identification & Removal Guide

There are thousands of cockroach species in the world today, and the most common among them is the German cockroach. This cockroach can be a big nuisance if it appears at home or in your workplace. Even worse is the fact that they carry viruses, bacteria, and parasites on their bodies and in their waste.

If you let them breed in your house, you can easily end up catching all sorts of diseases, including diarrhea and dysentery. If you have an infestation of these cockroaches, your biggest problem right now should be how to get rid of German roaches fast. And that is why I have written this article today.

My name is Nicholas Martin; I am an entomologist. Besides working as an insect surveyor, I offer consultation services to private pest control agencies. I specialize in farm pests, as well as urban pests – I have carried out thorough research on them over the past two decades.

What Are German Cockroaches and How Do They Look?

German cockroaches are small insects that like to stay in dark areas of buildings. They will usually hang around places of human habitation and can easily move from building to building. The insects are about half an inch long, and their bodies are elongated. Their bodies are of a light brown. The characteristic which makes them stand out from the crowd is the presence of two dark stripes on their backs.

german cockroch close look

You may spot the female roaches carrying their egg cases as they move around. These eggs are where the lives of the roaches start. An average female German cockroach can lay up to 400 eggs in its lifetime. The eggs are held in casings known as ootheca, which are about 7 mm long and 2 mm wide. The eggs are carried by the female roaches until they are about two days to hatch. At this time, they will be deposited in a place that seems to have good conditions for the coming nymph.

The nymphs slowly darken but remain wingless. They molt about 6 or 7 times within 100 days, and in their last successful molting, they become adult roaches. As adults, they will have fully developed wings and will measure about 15 mm long.

Do German Cockroaches Bite or Fly?

German cockroaches have wings, but they rarely fly. Their wings seem only to help them land safely when they glide downwards. Similarly, the cockroaches rarely bite, and whenever they do bite, they will only leave small marks. The bites are also harmless.

German cockroaches will only nibble on your skin when they are extremely deprived of food. If you suffer from a German cockroach bite, you may be living in a place with a very high population of cockroaches. These insects will not nibble on your skin if there is an alternative food source available.

What Causes German Cockroaches?

What Causes German Cockroaches?

German cockroaches are commonly found in houses. This is because our dwellings provide the ideal conditions for the survival and thriving of these insects. Cockroaches need food, warmth, shelter, and moisture, and these are easily available in our houses. These insects will usually be attracted by dirty dishes, small food crumbs, and an environment that has food leftovers.

They will also be attracted to environments that have a lot of moisture. A house with leaky pipes and wet bath mats will serve as a great breeding environment for cockroaches.

German cockroaches are not seasonal and will be around all year long, as long as they have a good source of food and shelter. That being said, they don’t fare very well in colder months. In warmer seasons, you should keep your house even cleaner than it usually is.

It is worth noting that German cockroaches can come into your house even if you observe very high levels of cleanliness. They can come in through cracks and crevices, and you might even carry one from the shopping center. Cleaning your home will reduce the chances that they will ever show up, or at least it can reduce the length of their stay.

baby german roaches

What Damage Do German Cockroaches Cause?

German cockroaches are a big nuisance. They will leave their droppings in the worst of places and will hide their eggs in your storage shelves. But their damage extends far beyond such inconveniences.

As the roaches walk around trash and other forms of dirt, they can pick up many different types of germs. They can spread about 33 types of bacteria, six types of worms, and several other pathogens. This means that they can easily cause a disease outbreak in your house.

Also, the roaches release proteins, which can cause allergic reactions in human beings. These insects have been noted to increase the severity of asthma.

How to Identify German Cockroach Infestation

Cockroaches don’t like coming out in properly-lit places, and that implies that you may not notice them until the population grows. When the population rises beyond a certain level, the available shelter may not be enough. This is when you will see some roaches crawling around the place. So, how can you identify a roach problem before they start coming out? Here are some methods:

  • Look for cockroach droppings;
  • Check for dead roaches around the house;
  • Check for the egg casings;
  • Try to pick up musty smells in hidden sections of your home.

dead german roach

How to Eliminate German Cockroaches

Getting rid of German roaches can be tough, especially since they can go for months without food. The roaches can go for two weeks without getting a single drop of water. They also stay in anything they can find and will multiply rapidly. So, what kills German roaches?


Many of the best killer for German roaches available today fall in this category. German cockroach baits can be highly effective, even on their own. These treatments come in different types.

A bait station is made up of plastic housing that has roach poison. The insects will attempt to retrieve the poisoned food and will be eliminated. You should position these baits in areas where roaches frequently appear, such as cracks in the walls. You can also check where the roach droppings are located so that you can determine the best places to apply the treatment.

Gel baits are different from station baits. They are sold in tubes and should be squeezed out in the paths of the cockroaches. Some areas you can apply the best gel bait for German roaches include the drawers, cabinet doors, windows and door trims, and under the sinks. Note that children and other incapacitated people should not come into contact with the gels.

maxforce german roach bait

Dust baits are similar to gel baits, but they come in the form of a powder. They should also be applied in high-traffic areas to capture as many roaches as possible.


When researching the best treatment for German cockroaches, you will probably come across traps. I`ve come across many people who use these tools to eliminate roaches, and that is a big mistake. These tools are meant to help you determine the locations with large German cockroach populations in the house. Even the best roach traps for German roaches will not be effective at eliminating severe cockroach infestations.

sticky traps for german roaches

The way these tools work is that they attract roaches with a specific scent. In the trap, they will be stuck by a glue. Eventually, you will determine which traps had a high density of cockroaches, and then you will be able to determine how you will apply the other German cockroach treatments.


There are different types of German cockroach sprays. They include residual sprays and contact sprays. As you may have guessed, a contact spray is meant to be sprayed on the cockroach directly. These sprays will kill the roaches immediately they come into contact with the cockroach.

On the other hand, a residual spray is meant to be applied on surfaces in the house, including the kitchen cabinets. They need to be reapplied every three months for the best results.


These products are not the best way to get rid of german roaches. Roach foggers are products that create an insecticide fog when applied. They offer a quick knockdown of German cockroaches and could be the best way to kill German cockroaches if only they reached all the pests hiding in cracks and crevices.

Unfortunately, using foggers alone you won’t be able to kill all the roaches. Moreover, insecticides used in such foggers may be harmful to your health so you will need to use personal protective equipment.


Bombs are also referred to as total release foggers. They are made with aerosol propellants and will quickly release their contents to fill a room. All corners of the rooms will be reached by the chemical since it is in the form of a gas. The best bug bomb for German roaches can eliminate an infestation in a building.


German cockroaches insecticides are applied in different ways. They work by messing up the impulse conduction in the nervous systems of the insects. This way, they can lower the cockroach population in your house. Insecticides are quite common among people who have a small infestation. The best insecticide for German roaches can significantly lower the cockroach population.

Natural Remedies

I should point out early enough that natural remedies are not as effective as the other methods mentioned above. But they are typically very cheap. Although natural remedies will not kill German cockroaches fast, they are the best for households that have children. This is because natural remedies are not toxic to humans or pets.

One of the most common natural remedies for cockroaches is a combination of baking soda and sugar. In this case, the sugar will work as the bait, and the baking soda will kill the roaches. This mixture will kill the roaches slowly over a period, so you need to be consistent.

Boric acid is another natural remedy that can be used in a moderate German cockroach infestation. I should mention that while this is a natural substance, it is toxic to human beings and should be handled carefully. You should get the acid in powder form and apply it to the cockroach trails. It will get stuck in their legs and will be ingested during grooming.

You can also use coffee grounds. This will not be effective in a serious German cockroach infestation. The coffee grounds should be put in a jar, and then you can half-fill the jar with water. Roaches are naturally attracted to coffee grounds and will drown in an attempt to get to the coffee grounds.

Natural remedies can also be effective in preventing roaches from entering your house. Treatments like bay leaves can deter cockroaches from entering your house since they work as cockroach repellents.

Top 8 Best German Roach Killers

If you have been searching for the best way to kill German roaches, you are probably overwhelmed by a large number of choices available. As a specialist and consultant on urban pests, I have had the chance to deal with roaches on many occasions. I can comfortably recommend the seven products below:

1. Maxforce FC Select – The Best German Roach Killer

If you don’t want to search for each roach separately to kill it, you may use this gel. It attracts these tiny pests with a pleasant smell and offers them poison they can’t resist. After one roach touches this gel, the domino effect begins. The active ingredient of this product, Fipronil, is spreaded from one pest to another.

This remedy is recommended for both private houses and big companies and works great in buildings with poor sanitary conditions. I also advise you to use this tool for big territories. You don’t have to apply it everywhere, just in the most cockroach-visited places. Try to find their harbors for a better effect.

You may use it both indoors and outdoors. There is a caution on the pack. You have to avoid clothes and textile while applying the Maxforce FC Select, as it leaves stains. And since this gel contains chemicals, I suggest you apply it in protective gloves. Keep it far from the eyes. Cover your skin with fabric as well, to prevent skin irritation. You will see results in a few days.

  • Highly effective ingredients;
  • Works indoors and outdoors;
  • Simple to use;
  • Helpful in poor sanitation.
  • Contains powerful chemicals.

2. Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait- Best Bait for German Roaches

This product comes with 18 station baits, and they have to be used at the same time. The baits should be placed strategically in places that receive high traffic of cockroaches. They should be separated from each other by a minimum of 1 and a half feet, and they should touch the walls.

They will attract the roaches and make them pick up the bait, and this bait will later be shared with other roaches. This can help to get rid of roaches from the source of the infestation. If you have a serious German cockroach infestation, you can expect to kill many roaches in just a few hours. With this insecticide, you will be able to keep the pests away from your house for at least 12 months. After this period, you can replace the baits.

You should avoid using sprays on the baits since that will reduce the effectiveness of the bait. Also, you should try to keep the baits away from children and pets. One problem with this product is the fact that it is expensive. You will need to purchase multiple boxes if you want to cover many sections of your house, and the price can quickly add up.

I would say that this is the best bait for German roaches. It quickly eliminates cockroaches from the source and prevents them from re-emerging for at least 12 months. With this bait, you will not have to worry about roaches again.

  • keeps roaches away for long periods;
  • prevents roaches from re-emerging;
  • works quickly.
  • toxic for humans.

3. Harris Boric Acid Roach and Silverfish Killer Powder – Best Insecticide for German Roaches

This can be an important product in your attempt at getting rid of German roaches. It is sold as a powder and works for weeks after the application. It does not work as fast as the other alternatives, but you can be sure that the roaches will be dead within 72 hours after coming into contact with the powder.

German roaches will naturally be attracted to the powder since it is made with a food-grade lure. To make sure that the product works perfectly, it should be kept dry.

The product is manufactured in the USA, and it is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Harris has been running since 1922 and has been recognized by multiple bodies for their strong roach killers. They have even been enlisted to kill roaches in government buildings like the senate office and the department of justice.

This particular insecticide can be used in houses that have pets and children since it is only poisonous to roaches.

I would suggest using this product if you have a light infestation. The powder is strong enough to kill just about any pests that are bothering you in the house, but it can be a little slow. You also should note that it will not be effective if used in places that are usually wet.

  • kills roaches within 72 hours;
  • attracts roaches effectively;
  • manufactured by a reputable company;
  • strong enough to kill many other pests.
  • cannot work well in wet surfaces.

Other German roach products

4. Advion 4 Tubes and 4 Plungers – Trustable Roach Gel with Domino Effect

This cockroach killer comes with syringes and should be applied in the corners and highly infested areas of your house. You can apply a small portion of the treatment every three feet instead of applying it all along the trail of the roaches. The chemical works fast, so you can expect to see a sizeable population of roaches dead within the first 24 hours. You should also apply it in the hiding spots of the roaches as it will help to kill them and drive out a sizeable population.

The advantage of this product is that the roaches will spread it to each other, effectively clearing out the insects. One drop is spread to 30 other roaches through contact and excrements. Some roaches will also eat other individuals that have consumed the poison, and that will help to clear the pests.

Advion gel has a special ingredient known as Indoxacarb, and this is what makes it an excellent roach killer. This ingredient was developed by the DuPoint company and has proven to be a breakthrough in pest control.

In my opinion, this is the best product to kill German roaches on the market today. It is quite expensive, but the results make it worth every cent. You should make sure you apply it in the right places to make sure you get the desired results. That being said, it might not be necessary for a minor German cockroach infestation.

  • highly effective;
  • works fast;
  • easy to use;
  • offers value for money.
  • expensive.

Read our comprehensive Advion cockroach gel bait review.

5. Raid Max Ant & Roach Killer – Best Spray for German Roaches

This product kills roaches on contact and will still stay effective for a maximum of 6 months. Make sure you reapply the treatment every six months, but if you are using it on plywood, you should reapply every four weeks. This spray can get rid of many different pests, including ants, crickets, spiders, and waterbugs.

To make sure you get the expected results, you should spray on cracks, cabinets, and other similar places. You have to spray until the surface becomes wet. You can also spray it directly on roaches, but that will not be effective if you have a sizeable roach population. By spraying it in places where roaches frequent, you will be able to eliminate roaches that come into contact with the poison. This product is manufactured with a lemon scent, and that means it will not leave an unpleasant smell in the house.

I would classify this product as the best spray for German roaches available today. It has been tried and tested and has been proven to be highly effective. Also, I am inclined to trust the manufacturer, SC Johnson, since they have been in existence for over 50 years. Their reputation is profoundly positive.

  • can be used for multiple pets at once;
  • very strong;
  • made by an old and reputable company;
  • eliminates roaches instantly;
  • can work for a maximum of 6 months after spraying.
  • harmful to humans and pets.

6. Bayer- Suspend SC – Best German Roach KIller for Large Cockroach Populations

No products found.

If you have been wondering how to get rid of German roaches fast, then this is the secret. This product is used by many pest control companies to get rid of German cockroaches. The product is used to make solutions, and a single pint can produce 64 gallons of solution. You should make sure the concentration is suitable for German roaches. Other pests may require higher or lower concentrations.

The product does not have an odor, so you will be able to rest comfortably in the house. It also does not have a visible residue. Since it has a flexible label, you will be able to use it in food service areas and sleeping areas.

It can kill more than 50 types of domestic pests, so you can use it if you need to eradicate more than just roaches.

In my opinion, this roach killer is the best one for large cockroach populations. It is way too strong for getting rid of small infestations. You can read about the concentrations before making the solutions since some proportions may not effectively put an end to your roach infestation.

  • professional-grade;
  • can work on porous surfaces;
  • does not have an odor;
  • can be used in food-handling areas.
  • Expensive.

7. Syngenta A20378A Advion Cockroach – Best German Cockroach Control Formula

This product is developed with a superior formula that attracts all species of cockroach. Some people have even reported that the roaches were racing for the bait, even in broad daylight. This means it will effectively end your cockroach population. It can be used in the house or outdoors and is approved for commercial use.

One bag of this roach treatment contains 60 baits that are to be placed around the house. If you have a serious infestation, you will need to monitor the baits since the roaches will keep finishing the poison. Within three days of putting out baits, you can expect to see dead roaches lying on the floor.

In my opinion, this treatment would be ideal for places with large cockroach populations. It works slowly and allows the cockroaches to transfer the poison to other roaches in the colony. This way, the product will eliminate the entire population from the nest.

  • eliminates the colony entirely;
  • used for commercial purposes;
  • can get rid of many other types of pests;
  • effectively attracts roaches.
  • expensive.

8. Hot Shot Indoor Fogger – Best Fogger for German Roaches

This is the best fogger for German roaches on the market today. It is meant to control large cockroach populations and will be effective for about two months. Don’t worry about the smell since it is developed with an odor neutralizer. Similarly, it will not leave a residue or stain on your walls and surfaces.

Being the best fogger for German roaches on the market, you can expect this product to penetrate the crevices of your house. It can be used to kill almost all domestic pests, including flying insects. The only common pests that cannot be killed by it are bed bugs, so you can find a different product for such pests.

This roach killer is also budget-friendly as a single can will treat up to 2000 cubic feet of space.

I would recommend this product to people who need to clear cockroaches in large halls or buildings. It can get rid of roaches quickly and easily without having any negative side effects.

  • highly effective;
  • kills the most hidden roaches;
  • does not have an odor;
  • does not stain surfaces;
  • can clear large rooms.
  • you have to clean utensils and other items after using the treatment.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

German cockroach control can be a challenge, especially since these insects breed very fast. They can attack you even if you keep your house sparkling clean, and a few eggs can lead to a serious German cockroach infestation. In addition to the best treatment for German cockroaches, you should consider buying preventive products.

In my opinion, Advion is the best German roach killer on the market today. Even though it is expensive, you can rely on it to clear the cockroaches in your house. A single drop of this treatment can potentially kill more than 30 roaches, and that makes it highly effective.

As I have already mentioned, you can identify German cockroaches by their caramel brown colors and the two lines on their backs. It may not be easy to distinguish these roaches from other roach species, but you should note that German roaches are the most common in households. But you should not worry if you are unable to determine the type of cockroach bothering you. Most of the roach treatments available on the market are universal for all species of roaches.

Related Post: Bengal Roach Spray Review: Is It Effective?

Do you have a favorite among the products listed above? Is there anything else you need to know about German cockroach control? If so, please leave a comment below.


  • Cockroaches Growing Tougher To Kill, Why This Is A Problem (Forbes):
  • German cockroach (Steven Valles, USDA-ARS, Gainesville, Florida):
  • Cockroaches – pest control (Victoria State Government):
  • How to Kill German Roaches (WikiHow):

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

  1. I could not possibly assume that the roaches that live in my house are German Cockroaches. I did not know that there are thousands of different species and they carry viruses on them. Of course they are really ugly, but dangerous? That’s something new! Well, I had to find the best german cockroach killer. Thanks to you I found advion gel. It helped. It does not cost much, so I even bought two packs.

  2. Hello! Thank Nicholas for the great piece. My story of a german roach infestation started from a horrific episode. Everywhere they write that these cockroaches have wings, but rarely use them. I came across an exclusive. At night I went to the restroom, felt for the switch somehow, and as soon as the light came on, a mustachioed monster rushed at me. I woke the whole house and firmly decided that I would not survive the second incident. At first, I used fogger, but it didn’t help at all. Fortunately, Advion helped me, and I’m sure that my horror story won’t repeat.

  3. I will try advion on my restaurant
    I hope this will work
    Base on your research .

  4. Thank you so much for this article! Your information was so detailed and concise, making any doubts about your credibility disappear- and all my German roaches went with it! I took the Advion gel route, and have been roach free for 3 months after using the gel for only a week in my shower. To anyone wondering if this is worth it: it really works!

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