Where Do Professional Exterminators Find German Roaches?

If you were a professional exterminator where would you look to find and treat German roaches? No doubt, this question, or some reasonable facsimile of it has crossed the mind of many a pest control do it yourself person as they’re plunking down big bucks on some professional grade chemical.

It’s one thing to be able to buy the products the pros use but it’s a whole other ordeal to figure out just where to put them. It’s for this reason I believe most all of the Diy attempts at pest control fail. It’s not uncommon at all for me (or other pros) to be called out on a job where the home owner has already spent $200 , $300 or more already to get rid of a problem. By this time the frustration level is very high and soured looks often accompany the realization that the pro they’ve just hired for $200, $300 or more is going to use the very same products they have just tried and failed with.

The right tools- in the right hand make all the difference… perhaps it’s time for a lesson from the pros. The following is the result of a survey conducted of almost 1000 pest control professionals from literally all around the world. They responded to one question from pestcemetery.com about where is the #1 place to find German roaches — but they couldn’t hold back and what they provided was so much more.

The Question

survey question http://pestcemetery.com/

survey choices http://pestcemetery.com/

The Answers Came In Waves

We were surprised at the many responses that included either multiple locations or much more specific spots than we asked for. Surveys are a great tool for assessing and measuring but it’s somewhat unexpected to get so many comments above and beyond what was asked for. If you ever doubted your local bug mans willingness to help…. you shouldn’t anymore.

Areas Added To The List

Back splashes above kitchen counter, electrical sockets & switch plates, trim work, curtain rods, dog bowl holders, under tables and chairs as well as door moulding all received a significant write in. Pros thought these areas were frequented enough that they needed to be mentioned.


In tenth place of our survey was the pantry. This may seem odd because of the amount of food available. However the lack of moisture and the distance from a moisture source may be the reason this ranked last on our list.


Ninth place was somewhat close but a bit surprising. Although closely associated with food the microwave ranked 9th in our survey. Of note, the switch plates (which were not on the list) were mentioned as being close to this appliance in many responses.


Our area that ranked 8th was the oven. Remember, the scenario suggested in this study was a moderate infestation that hasn’t gone “viral” yet…;)  Apparently the heat of the oven or lack of moisture isn’t the most ideal choice for the roaches when so many other places are available while just starting out.


The 7th and 6th choice were very close but the knife block takes this spot. This nesting location is almost always overlooked by the DIY ‘er. “Why would any roach be in there?”

Your pro knows that not only do the thin channels that the knife blades get placed in provide the perfect place for a german roach to answer a built in biological need. (see thigmotropic definition) but they know also that a roach is related to the termite in that it can ingest and digest cellulose–wood. Guess two favorable reasons are good enough for the roach.


A common spot and this is where the votes and comments began to increase. The coffee pot (and surrounding area like switch plates showed up strong as a place pros search out for roach control and or monitoring. The shell of this appliance offers many hiding places, the warmth (although not constant) is a plus but the moisture the brewer makes is irresistible for the german roach.


Choices four and five were also pretty close and very active centers of discussion. Both are almost always adjacent to each other and offer the same benefits a roach would be looking for however one seemed to give just a bit more. Number 5 on the list was under the sink while 4th on the list was the dishwasher. Reason that the dishwasher wash chosen over the sink area wash pretty much the dishwasher door itself. The many seams and voids were perfect places for the roach to hide and escape the way to hot and violent water action while providing a safe spot to hide yet still soak up all the steamy moisture in the air.


Maybe a surprise your average homeowner but a no brainer for the pros who participated in this survey. Overloaded cabinets was a strong 3rd place and this even though in most cases moisture is not a major contributing factor. The need for roaches to be touching on all sides is pretty over whelming for them. I suppose, if given the choice to hide in plain sight or at least somewhat in the open even with moisture present, they’d prefer to lay low in an area where they feel comfortable and safe, that is, at least according the information gathered.


The 2nd most frequented spot by both the want to be hiding and surviving roach and the “I’ve been hired to find and kill you” pro is cabinet hinges. Specific hinges or cabinets were not (surprisingly) a major comment — It seems for the same reason german roaches congregate in over crowded cabinets they also like cabinet hinges. It’s a great spot to stay close to everything while still being protected. If you wanted to find the most gel bait in a kitchen it would no doubt be the hinges of each and every cabinet bar none.


And the number one spot to find a german roach according to our survey was overwhelmingly the refrigerator motor. It wasn’t even close. In fact this area also received most of the comments as well. The fridge offers the perfect combination of all those listed on the questionnaire. Hiding places galore from just the motor housing and parts itself to the ready made food source, the ‘cardboard’ dust shield found on the back of the fridge over the motor. And moisture is no problem as either the condensation tray gives it to them or the line for the ice maker. This line will also either have condensation or lead straight to the mother of all moisture sources…the kitchen sink. Food is a cinch in this area as much spillage occurs. Both dried and liquid goods are constantly spilled in, under or behind and quite often not cleaned up due to the huge inconvenience of moving the big appliance.  Often times a pro will find whole loaves of bread or sleeves of cookies etc. wedged in between the wall and fridge, or any number of other items. It’s rare this appliance gets moved for cleaning or treatment by the home owner so the roach thrives and multiplies with ease in this area and from there spreading worse and worse.

Please note; This survey was phrased in the context of a moderate infestation or one pretty close to just starting out. This was done because in my mind this is the best, if not the only shot a DIY pest control attempt would succeed. Once a german roach infestation rises to any level above this it’s almost impossible for the average homeowner to rid themselves of 100% of the problem. They’re just that difficult. Don’t believe me? Ask the pros, we did….. 😉

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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