100% of the people can get rid of 95% of the German roaches

“It is the mark of a true professional who can get rid of the last 5%”


I did not coin this phrase or idea but I agree with it whole heartedly. Actually I believe it was Dr. Austin Frishman, a pioneer and respected leader in the pest control industry who said this or something pretty close. With any severe German roach infestation this truth is confirmed time and again regardless if the treatment is done by a professional or home owner but for our example will explore the typical experience of the DIY pest controller.

Armed with a gallon sprayer and perhaps an aerosol can it’s actually easy to get hundreds of roaches scurrying up and out of their hiding spots and trying to escape your liquid death assault. German roaches hide in some pretty obvious spots when populations get out of control and even break some ‘nocturnal’ rules for scavenging because of the competition for food. Even a sloppy spray job will hit a lot of them and within minutes just about anyone can have the roaches doing the ‘twitchy dance of death’ and falling from the ceiling. Results seem great and you’re amazed at how many are coming out, this pest control thing is a breeze.

Fast forward 10 days or so and let’s see what we have. 10 days is a good barometer because during that time our rookie will still be seeing dying roaches and so he may not be done yet patting himself on the back. Also many products will take longer once dried to enter into the roaches system and instead of the twitchy dance the roach might just do the half back flip and shake his legs for a few hours. Now maybe the roaches aren’t so obvious on the cabinet doors and you may not see them as much when you reach for a plate or open a drawer. You realize however that they are still there because you catch a few of them in the dish strainer late at night when you come down for a glass of milk. Also you notice some fecal matter build up in the microwave clock window and the number of dead ones although dwindling, is still steady. You determine that this weekend you’ll load up the sprayer and hit them again.

The weekend comes and we’re at day 15 or so and you once again blast the kitchen but not nearly as many scurry and for all the work the results are less than satisfying. You give it a few days and the evidence of fresh and alive roaches is frustrating. The microwave window is getting dimmer and you can actually see some live ones in the digital display like looking into a fish tank. You also notice roaches in places that you might not have seen before and it’s like deja vu all over again because you’re no better off than at the end of your first 10 day period.

This is a crossroads point for many people and the road goes 2 ways. You can continue trying with what got you to this point or as most do, try a new chemical. Many people erroneously believe that roaches become immune to chemicals quickly and that is the reason their spray work is failing. Others blame it on the product itself and as far as they are concerned it is branded a bad chemical from then on. So off to the store where you load up on new roach sprays, baits, gels, it doesn’t matter, just as long as it has a different sounding name.

Day 20 and you’ve arranged for the house to be empty and you are now armed with new chemicals, advice from the guy who came over from the plumbing dept. and all your vast knowledge picked up from the world wide web. With new resolve you bait, spray, fumble with a bottle duster and place sticky traps on every level surface. You get some satisfaction because you’ve found a new nest of 50 or 60 behind a seldom moved box and indeed the effect seems to get them going like when you first sprayed. The results are still not stellar considering the money you spent and it’s now time to spend the next hour or two putting everything back in place so this is getting more and more tiresome.

The young man from plumbing told you to wait 10 days and do it again but you’re not about to pull all the food and dishes out again and besides, your sticky traps have only caught 30 or 40 so you tell yourself it is getting better. So following the advice from a man in a smock you re-spray and it seems hopeless because hardly anything is chased out. The ones you do see are alive and well and don’t seem any worse for all you’ve done. Before day 30 comes to a close you head to the kitchen for your nightly glass of milk. There on the counter near the still wet wash cloth you see what seems an impossibility. 20 maybe 30 baby roaches just as happy as can be getting their nightly drink as well. On the refrigerator door another roach seeks shelter in a door hinge and you recognize her as a mama roach because of the huge egg capsule attached to her hind end. Ootheca means egg capsule and it seemed liked a nice word to learn from that web site but it hardly matters now. Two more scurry under the stove and you look to check the time but the microwave clock reads like a hieroglyphic.

With time the roaches still get worse and perhaps you invest in some foggers but at some point you¬†decide you’ve sunk enough money into this losing effort. No matter how thorough and what you try you still can’t get over that hump. The light at the end of the tunnel is something you can see but can never get to. You’ve called 2 or 3 pest control companies and were shocked at the price and hold off hoping against hope that your last 1/4 gallon of spray will get them. In this endeavor the homeowner will almost always relent and allow a professional in to get rid of the roaches once and for all. In a perfect world all bug men would be able to do this but sadly there are even some with a license that do not have what it takes to exterminate the last 5% but I believe it is just a few.

Either way don’t feel to bad as you tried your best and got to the same point as millions of others have before you. German roaches are successful for many reasons and just one escapee can re-infest your home in a short amount of time. You are not alone in the failings of German roach control but just another person in a very long line with many more to come after you. Some have gone to greater lengths than you have and spent 10 times the amount of money but that last 5% still eluded them too. The line has been growing for about 350,000,000 years and I suspect there is always room for one more.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • guest

    I don’t understand the point of this article. I kept waiting for the solution. How depressing.

  • Sorry your depressed, the title wasn’t “How To” or “3 Easy Steps”, it was pretty clear what was going to be discussed. But be happy— maybe these links might cheer you up. They actually are articles on the ‘how to’ I think you’re looking for.¬†http://pestcemetery.com/3-easy-ways-rid-german-roaches/

    Life’s to short to be depressed all the time

  • Zach Winderzight

    what a load of bs and pointless article. I have gotten rid of German roches before. Takes an inmense amount of effort but it xan be done. No need to be glorifying it. Just beclean and consistant with your killing methods. 3 months they will be gone.

  • “An immense amount of effort” I believe was your exact words and I agree. So just how many people do you think will put forth such effort? How many will take the time to learn anything about what or how? Your comment is short sighted or at best anecdotal.. But hey!! Thanks for stopping BYE