Fact vs. Fiction: German Cockroach


July 11, 2014

Fiction: If you have cockroaches, you don’t have to worry about bed bugs.

Fact: Cockroaches do eat bed bugs; however, we’ve seen firsthand where the cockroaches couldn’t keep up with the site’s bed bug population growth. A more reliable form of integrated pest management (IPM) would be more prudent.


Fiction: Chinese restaurants have more cockroaches than other types of eating establishments.

Fact: Cockroaches don’t necessarily favor particular cuisines, but their presence can indicate the effectiveness of a restaurant’s sanitation protocols. PMPs serving commercial accounts need regular contact with client site managers and familiarity with the facilities’ sanitation and operation practices.


Fiction: Vacuuming cockroaches in a kitchen is like shoveling snow before it stops falling.

Fact: Vacuuming too often is a lost art in the pest management world. Thorough cleaning using a vacuum outfitted with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter removes and contains airborne allergens and odors associated with cockroaches, and sucks up plenty of the target pests.


Fiction: I read somewhere that cold is not a very effective way to control cockroaches, that heat is better.

Fact: Heat is highly effective for large areas when properly employed. However, if you’re in electronic rich environments (such as commercial kitchens, hospitals, mobile medical facilities, etc.), a CO2 freezing wand will not damage expensive equipment. CO2 snow delivers highly controlled frozen particles and can be sprayed directly into wall voids, electrical outlets and conduits as well as computers and electronic equipment. When properly applied, the frozen particle contacts the insect and immediately drops its body temperature to -108F. The pest doesn’t die because it’s cold; it dies because its body can’t take the transition. Regardless of whether you choose heat or cold, the method needs to be one part of an IPM process, not a stand-alone service.

You can reach the McGoverns at jeffreymcgovern@mindspring.com.

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