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Outsmarting the German cockroach with creative solutions

By Austin M. Frishman, Ph.D.

German cockroaches do not roll over easily. That’s why it’s important to get creative with solutions on how to get rid of them. If you approach your problem from a different angle, as demonstrated in the following situational examples, you can outsmart these stubborn pests.

Situation #1: Cockroaches are continually showing up in a garbage chute and basement garbage room.

There are three likely causes for this:

  1. Individual apartments are infested, and their tenants are sending more cockroaches into the chute every time they throw out garbage.
  2. You are not eliminating this existing population by just placing some bait in the garbage room and around the shoot. You’ll need a dust treatment whereby the inner liner of the garbage shoot is reached with a registered pesticide dust.
  3. One or two apartments are so heavily infested that the apartment closets adjacent to the chute are loaded with cockroaches. This population is continually pushing new cockroaches into the chute. You’ll have to get into each apartment, inspect and treat as necessary.

If you do not seek out the source, the cockroaches will win.

Situation #2: A German cockroach population in a private house’s simple kitchen can’t be eliminated.

It’s possible you only placed bait in easily accessible areas. Another possibility is there’s a false bottom under the kitchen sink cabinet that appears sealed, but isn’t. The cockroaches could be thriving in that hidden void. You can solve this problem by drilling a small hole and applying a dust treatment. Follow up with sticky traps to ensure you got them all.

Sometimes the source is hidden, so check all possibilities. As with Situation #1, seek out the source. Remember: out of reach, out of sight and out of mind results in out of control.

Situation #3: A greasy, cluttered kitchen has German cockroaches. It’s well-baited, but the cockroaches don’t seem to be eating the bait and the population continues to grow.

The problem here is the fresh bait is quickly covered with grease and other debris in the area, or the customer may have created an environment that made the bait undesirable, such as spraying on top of bait applications. Keep the bait fresh and protect it by placing it in small rodent bait stations or containers.

Cockroaches were on this planet long before humans. There’s a reason they continue to succeed, and we must use our brains to take on this enemy. When something isn’t working, you have to outsmart them and change your approach to achieve success.

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