How to Get Rid of German Roach vs American Roach?

Different pest control measurements are required for different types of roaches. If you can not tell the differences between American and German cockroaches, you may end up using the wrong methods and failing to get rid of them.

That leads up to the question: What are the differences between German Roach vs American Roach?

German roaches are mainly different in size and color from American roaches. The German roaches are typically smaller and light brown. At the same time, the American roaches have a dark reddish brown appearance.

Another major question is, how to get rid of American cockroaches vs German roaches? Let’s first discuss the differences in detail, and then I will tell you how you can prevent these roach infestations at your home.


American Roach Vs German Roach: Quick Comparison Chart

CharacteristicGerman RoachesAmerican Roaches
SizeSmall (1/2 in)Large (1-2 in)
ColorLight brownDark reddish-brown
Body ShapeOval, flattenedOval, more rounded
Geographic DistributionWorldwideMostly in the southern U.S.
HabitatPrefer warm, humid environments like kitchens and bathroomsPrefer cool, damp environments like basements and sewers
Activity LevelVery activeLess active
Feeding HabitsPrefer sugary, starchy foodsWill eat almost anything
Nesting BehaviorPrefer to live in large groups in tight spacesTend to live in smaller groups
Health Risks and ConcernsCan carry diseases and trigger allergiesCan carry diseases and trigger allergies
Prevention and ControlProper sanitation and hygiene, use of insecticides and professional pest control servicesProper sanitation and hygiene, use of insecticides and professional pest control services

How to identify American roaches vs German roaches?

Before you take any action to eliminate the roaches in your house, it is essential to identify what roaches you have. You can identify them by watching their physical characteristics and other behavior.

Here is the detailed difference between American and German cockroaches:

Physical Characteristics

German and American roaches share a lot of physical differences. Some of them are:

  • Size: German roaches are usually smaller than American cockroaches. An American cockroach can be up to 2 inches in size, but a German roach is only about half an inch.
  • Color: German roaches are light brown in color, but American roaches are dark reddish brown. Besides, the former has parallel lines that start from their head and go through the end of their wings.
  • Body shape: Both cockroaches have oval-shaped bodies, but German roaches have flatter bodies compared to American ones.

Not to mention, both roaches have wings, and American roaches are better fliers than German roaches. But none of them are regular fliers. They prefer to crawl with their six legs.

In short, if the roach is light brown and small, then it is German. But if it is large with dark brown color, then it is American.

These are enough to identify a German roach and an American roach. But let’s dive a little bit deeper to know more about them.

Habitat and Geographic Distribution

German roaches mostly live indoors near food sources. But you will find American roaches both indoors and outdoors.

The former prefer a warm and moist environment. They are often found in kitchens and bathrooms.

On the other hand, the American types are commonly found in sewers and basements. They can also invade your bathroom or kitchen when there is a lack of food sources outdoors.

In terms of geographical distribution, you will find German cockroaches all over the world. But American roaches are mainly found in the US and that is why they are called American roaches.


Both types of cockroaches are pretty active all day. But they are most active during the night. If you have a roach infestation at your home, it is highly probable that you will encounter some of them at night.

However, comparatively, German roaches are more active than American roaches. They often hang around in the kitchen and bathrooms to find food, and they are more likely to jump on you.

Feeding Habits

Both American and  German roaches are omnivores, and they will eat anything they find. But German roaches prefer sugary or starchy foods, whereas American roaches will eat anything starting from fruits, and regular human meals, to soap, paper, and everything else.

Health Risks and Concerns

Both German and American roaches carry salmonella, dysentery, and gastroenteritis, which can cause allergic reactions, especially in people with asthma. That’s why it is essential to get rid of them ASAP.

Which is worse: American or German cockroach?

Out of the two, German roaches are worse than American roaches. They are likely to reproduce faster and fill your house with their families if you do not exterminate them timely.

German roaches take only three months to reach adulthood and start hatching new eggs. It is less than half the time other roaches, such as Americans, take.

These roaches infest quicker than others, making it harder to get them. But it is not impossible.

How to get rid of German roaches?

Oily or musty smells with cockroach droppings are some of the common signs of German roach infestation. The droppings will be small and dark, similar to pepper.

When you see a roach, you can match its physical characteristics, such as its small and light brown color. If it’s a German roach, you can start extermination.

There are various ways to kill or repel German roaches from your home. Using bets is one of the most efficient ways to get rid of German roaches. All you have to do is place the bait and relax. But what is the best German cockroach bait?

  1. Advion Cockroach Gel Bait

Advion Cockroach Gel Bait is one of the most popular German Roach Pest Control baits available in the market. It is a gel bait and comes in tubes.

How to use: Apply it in different places at your home where you have seen roaches. It will lure the German roaches, and when they take the bait, they will die out of dehydration and suffocation. The bait uses indoxacarb poison, which is safe for use around people.

However, if you have pets at home and are worried about them, then you can read my article on pet safe roach killers.

  1. Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait

Combat Max Roach Killing Bait Station is an excellent bait to kill roaches that is safe for use around kids. It includes bait stations, inside which the bait will be. As a result, pets or babies cannot access the toxic bait.

How to use: Combat Max Roach Killing Baits are super easy to use. All the bait stations will come attached together. Separate them and place them in various locations where you have seen roach infestation. Then sit and relax; the bait will do the killing job.

How to get rid of American roaches?

If you see large roaches with a reddish brown appearance, then it is an American roach. They mostly hide in dark areas and will leave droppings there.

However, there is not much difference in methods to get rid of American and German roaches. You can use the above-mentioned baits as well to eliminate American roaches.

Here are two additional options to kill roaches at your home:

  1. Bengal Gold Roach Spray, Odorless Stain-Free Dry Aerosol Killer Spray

When roaches invade my home, I prefer using roach sprays so that I can kill them on sight. A combination of roach bait and roach spray can be super effective. If any roach does not go near the bait, kill him with the spray.

Out of numerous options, I have found the Bengal Gold Roach Spray to be the best. It kills roaches on contact. Besides, it does not leave too much greasy residue like other sprays. The best thing is that you also can use it to kill other insects such as ants, spiders, lady beetles, and more.

How to use: Whenever you see an American roach, point the nozzle toward it and spray. It will kill the roach within a few minutes. Besides, you also can spray in crevices, cracks, or in other places where roaches are hiding. It goes into the deep and kills the roach infestation.

  1. Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter

American roaches can be both inside your home and outside. In that case, the Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer can be a lifesaver for you.

If you have a heavy roach infestation, this one will be better than others. The best thing is that it kills various other insects as well, such as ants, spiders, fleas, and ticks.

How to use: It comes with a sprayer. Use that to spray it in different places where you have seen roach infestation. Then also, spray it around your house to prevent outside roaches from coming in.


How did German cockroaches get to America?

While most people say German cockroaches directly came into America without any stoppages, others guess they came from somewhere in Asia by way of Russia. Doesn’t matter which route they took, they are annoying, and you should try to get rid of them ASAP.

Which type of roach is more common in homes?

German roaches are more common in homes than in other types. They infest in kitchens, bathrooms, wall cracks, and in similar places. They live in homes to stay close to the food sources.

Are American cockroaches hard to get rid of?

American roaches can reproduce quickly and can be hard to get rid of. However, if you have spotted them earlier in your home and taken necessary action to exterminate them, then they are not too tough to eliminate.

Should I be worried if I see a German cockroach?

German roaches carry bacteria that can cause various diseases. Therefore, it is okay to worry if you see one. Take necessary action to eliminate them, or they can multiply super fast. 

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