The Bug Doctor minute; Follow the fecal matter

German roaches are sneaky and can hide in some of the oddest places. Over the years I’ve searched high and low and found them hiding in spots like coffee makers, knife blocks, microwave ovens, clocks, light switches, curtain rods, boxes, flower baskets, the brown paper bags people famously fold up and store between the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinet and even in my spray equipment. This roach is what we call ‘thigmotropic’ which basically means they like to be touching on all sides. So when they are at rest they feel best in the tightest of cracks or crevices and seek out just such a site in which to call home. This spot is not exclusive to just one roach, if one finds it stimulating others will as well and many roaches will be attracted to the same place and bada boom bada bing, you have a roach nest.

Since the german roach likes this environment they have become quite good at squeezing in to some of the smallest of cracks. It’s not unusual to find dozens or sometimes hundreds of roaches in a gap that’s barely thicker than a credit card. Even most of the do it yourself pest control products and application tips are not made to successfully treat this small of a crack so often times even if you could find the nest the roaches are protected because nothing the homeowner does can effectively get to them.

So how do you find a roaches nest that can be in such a hidden place? The answer is fecal matter. German roaches are famous for marking their ‘territory’ with their own waste and you’ll see it right at or very close to the entrance. Their markings actually serve a very important purpose for the roach. It’s like a homing signal that they can smell or detect which will lead them home later in the evening after a hard nights work of finding food all around your kitchen. The more roaches that join the nest the stronger the odor will be. At times the infestation level can get so out of control that the odor is actually very strong and humans can smell it as well. It is very distinct and once you’ve smelled it, you’re not soon to forget.

I put together another Bug Doctor Minute and illustrated what the fecal matter looks like and just how you can use this to hunt down the roach nests in your home and improve your german cockroach treatments. You’ll be able to find the illusive roach much easier and be able to treat more effectively. It’s all about knowledge when it comes to successful roach control and I hope this minutes worth of instruction will help you out.

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. 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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  • Bobby

    ive also had them behind the electrical socket that the insect repellers plugged into before they called me out lol, fire blankets in restaurants and behind the stainless steel sheets in restaurants, even the display in the cash register when the customer went to pay his bill, just goes on and on if you want a game of hide and seek well try taking on the german roach…. lol

  • I’m still amazed even after 30 years.