German Cockroach Outbreak in South Africa – What You Need to Know and How to Control It

German Cockroach Outbreak in South Africa – What You Need to Know and How to Control It

South Africa is currently experiencing an outbreak of German cockroaches (Blattella germanica). These pests infest homes and commercial buildings, posing a significant health hazard as they can carry and transmit various disease-causing organisms including viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Here’s what you need to know

German cockroaches are light brown or tan, have two distinctive parallel stripes on the back of their head, and are around 12 to 15 mm long. They prefer warm, humid environments and are often found in kitchens and bathrooms. They reproduce rapidly and can survive in a wide range of temperatures. In South Africa, they thrive in both summer and winter, provided they have access to a warm, humid environment, food, and water.

Controlling an Outbreak

A multi-pronged approach is required to get an infestation under control. This involves sanitation, eliminating hiding places, and implementing targeted treatments.

  • Sanitation:

Cleanliness is critical to controlling the German cockroach population. Regularly clean floors, countertops, and other surfaces with soap and water to remove food debris and spills. Store food in sealed containers and take out the trash daily. Eliminate bacteria by regularly sanitizing with any of one of the following HYCHEM products (depending on the location and application):


  • Eliminate hiding places:

Cockroaches like to hide in dark, warm, and moist places so seal any cracks or crevices in walls, baseboards, and around pipes. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal gaps around windows and doors. Keep clutter to a minimum.

  • Regularly inspect for signs of cockroaches:

Routinely check for signs of cockroaches such as droppings, egg cases, or live cockroaches. If you spot any, take immediate action to eliminate them.

  • Implement targeted treatments

It is recommended to contact a professional pest control company for assistance with infestations. Targeted treatments by professional pest controller include insecticides (sprays and baits), sticky traps, growth regulators, and desiccants.

By following these steps and maintaining cleanliness, you can help prevent cockroach infestations and protect your home from these health hazards.

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