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How To Know if You Have German Roaches

Cockroaches Sittting On White Wooden

German roaches are night crawlers. They are typically not seen during the day except when their nest is overcrowded. For this reason, it is often hard to tell if your house has a German roach infestation problem until it is too late.

Are there any distinct signs that differentiate German roaches from others? Find out in this guide!


Although nearly invisible, German roaches tend to leave calling cards wherever they go. To tell if they are the roach species infesting your home, check out for droppings, egg casings, and even foul odor.

  • Back pepper and coffee seeds-like droppings in visible spots like room corners, windows, drawers, cracks, on top of doors, etc.
  • Offensive and musty smells in the house.

These are some signs specific to German roaches. However, this specie has other infestation signs similar to other roaches. These include sighting shed skins and dead roaches around the house.

In the following sections, we will consider some tell-tale signs of roaches that you can not miss and answer some common questions about the infestation of these nocturnal animals. Happy learning!

8 Ways To Know if You Have German Roaches

German roaches are one roach specie you don’t want to share your home with. If allowed to wander freely throughout your house, these silent creatures can spread toxic bacteria causing severe illnesses like asthma. Thus, being conscious of their presence in the house is vital.

Below, we compiled eight tell-tale signs of these notorious pests that you can’t miss.

1. Roach Sightings During the Day

Cockroach Side Building

If you spot a roach scurrying across your house, a colony of roaches is probably hiding nearby. But how do you identify which are German roaches?

Easy! These roach species are light-brown shade and have two darker lines running through their heads. You can easily distinguish German roaches by their oval-shaped bodies, six legs, long antennae, and exact color.

Unlike other roach species, they don’t fly much, even though they have wings. You will typically find these German roaches in humid areas like kitchens and bathrooms because they love moist, warm places.

2. Roach Droppings

Cockroaches Egg Feces Dirty Nasty

Another tell-tale sign of a German roach invasion is their droppings, similar to black pepper or coffee seeds. They leave these in visible areas like room corners, windows, drawers, and cracks on top of doors.

When left unnoticed for a long time, these droppings leave dark stains as they dry. Thus, creating a mess for you to clean. The size and number of droppings you find can indicate whether or not you are dealing with a full-blown infestation.


Be careful when cleaning roach droppings, as they often contain bacteria that can quickly spread via physical contact. When cleaning these droppings, ensure you:

  • Wear protective gloves
  • Wash your hands properly after the cleaning

3. The Presence of a Strong Odor

Musty Smell

Like most other pests, German roaches have an offensive odor due to the chemicals they release into the air. As a result, houses with a German roach infestation tend to have a musty smell.

This smell is not easy to spot, especially when there are few roaches. But, when they establish a colony in your house, the odor can get overwhelming.

The longer they stay in a house, the stronger the smell gets until the place becomes inhabitable. So, once you start perceiving this terrible smell, take steps to trace the source and exterminate the roaches on time.

4. Dead Roaches

Caught Dead Cockroach On Dustpan

When German roaches overflow their colony, their resources become limited. At this point, there won’t be enough food for all the roaches. So, over time, some will die of starvation.

So, seeing dead roaches littered at different corners of your house is another sign of a German roach infestation. At this point, many people assume the problem has taken care of itself. However, I do not think seeing dead roaches means the problem has taken care of itself.

That would be a wrong assumption. Seeing dead roaches isn’t a sign that the bugs are gone. In most cases, it indicates that more are hiding at different corners of your house.

5. Shed Roach Skins

Cockroaches Molting Isolated On White

From their conception, roaches go through different development stages until adulthood. At various points in this journey, they shed their old skin for new ones.

Skin shedding takes place at least five times in a lifecycle, from nymph until the adult stage. As a result, the discarded skin looks like a flat roach, only that it is typically white.

Spotting these shed skin around your house could mean that German roaches are multiplying in your home.

This is a clear sign that there is a budding infestation problem requiring your urgent attention.

6. Roach Egg Casings

German Cockroach Egg Case

German roaches multiply fast and lay their eggs in special casings or ootheca that can hold many eggs simultaneously. Most roaches species drop their egg casings after laying the eggs.

But, the female German roaches hold on to their eggs until they reach the hatching stage. Then, they discard the egg casings as soon as the baby roach emerges.

These egg casings indicate that roaches are growing in your building. It is time to call in experts to inspect and prevent these roaches from spreading further.

7. Signs of Damage

Cockroach Bites Paper Box

German roaches invade houses to seek food and shelter. To reach their food sources, they tend to bite through things.

So, spotting visible signs of damage on your food packaging may indicate a possible roach infestation. These roaches go for other things like paper and leather, where human food is unavailable.

So, you may want to conduct a thorough inspection of your house once you suspect a roach infestation.

8. Finding Tiny Roaches in Your House

Tiny Roaches

Sighting tiny roaches may not seem problematic at first because of their size. However, their presence may mean that others are hiding in different corners of your house.

These tiny roaches will eventually grow into adult German roaches that are difficult to exterminate. In addition, you may find small roaches in your kitchen or bathrooms because these areas hold moisture and plenty of food sources.

These roaches can eat crumbs off your kitchen counters and nibble on bits of soap and toothpaste in your bathroom. But the good thing is that getting rid of them at this stage is easier. So, exterminate them before they mature into grown roaches.


Although nearly invisible, German roaches tend to leave calling cards wherever they go. These include droppings, egg casings, and even foul odor.

These signs and more are ways to know if you have a roach infestation on your hands. Once you notice any signs discussed in this article, contact expert pest exterminators to deal with the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do German Roaches Spread Diseases?

German roaches spend the bulk of their life in unpleasant places like sewage and dumpsters. As a result, they transmit different bacteria and parasites, which can make children and other vulnerable persons sick.

How Can I Get Rid of German Roaches?

There are many ways to deal with a German roach infestation. These include DIY traps and chemical baits, hiring pest control services, and even proper sanitation.

What Attracts German Roaches to Houses?

German roaches are attracted to food sources and warm, moist environments. They eat anything from spoilt food to spilled drinks, paper, and plastics.

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