German roaches - cat food?

Old 01-02-18, 05:25 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,584
Received 4 Upvotes on 4 Posts
German roaches - cat food?

I have a single family home that's a rental and occasionally (once a year, once every 18 months) would have a German roach issue.

It's been the same tenant for 5 years, and year 1 had no issue, prior to year 1 with other tenants no issue.

The exterminator who I hired told me that German roaches are "brought in" usually by people in grocery bags.

Once the exterminator sets their baits the problem goes away.

Then it comes back may be a year later, may be 9 months later...

This last time I noticed a pattern. The roaches seem to come after the tenants took a long vacation - a week to 10 days.

This time they called and said roaches are back was right after a vacation, last time they had the issue was also after a vacation, and I think the time before that. So I am wondering what could cause that? This is what I know that could be related:

(1) When they took vacation, the house is vacant except for a cat. They use those wet cat food in a can. They have a friend who stop by every day or so, and empty a new can or two on the plate and fill a water bowl. The plate basically lay on the kitchen floor. I don't know if the cat eats all the food right after to a clean plate, or not, and if left over cat food sat on the plate 24/7 for two weeks. Would the cat food and water at the same spot attract German roaches?

(2) Or could it be the roaches can detect human presence and when they notice the place is vacant they intrude? It would seem when vacant there is no trash and therefore no food it's less likely to have roaches coming in?
Old 01-02-18, 06:43 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,416
Received 786 Upvotes on 689 Posts
I used to live in central fla and I'm not sure you can ever be totally roach free that far south I remember it was more common to see a roach in the middle of the night than in the daytime. I suspect they wait to come out when there is no or little human activity. Do you spray for bugs on a monthly basis?
Old 01-02-18, 07:53 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1,898
Received 102 Upvotes on 95 Posts
I've always been skeptical of the “grocery store bag” theory, especially here in the northeast. Grocery stores, especially the large ones, are generally on top of pest control issues based on my professional experience. Same with beer distributors, who too easily get blamed for the same thing. Now being as far south as you are I concede that the geography and year round temps would be a big factor. The “corner” store would be more likely culprit in my opinion. Could they get them when on vacation? That’s certainly possible though we travel a lot since I retired and it’s not happened to us. We could spend much time and effort “chasing our tail” pursuing the “chicken and egg” question. My resolution this year is to use more analogies... (just kidding!).

Pet food and moisture would be a feast for roaches even if plate is licked clean as whatever is dried to the plate would be a major feast for insects anyway. The gel baits are so successful because of their moisture content.

Learn about and how to use Victor Roach Pheromone traps. They are specific to german roaches and are amazing tools as they lure German roaches in with a pheromone that they can’t resist. Should be changed every three months or sooner if damaged. Can last a little longer if they are dry and sound. Used strategically they can show you from what direction the roaches are coming from which is helpful on small roach jobs when it isn’t apparent. Having these traps in place year round will lure the German roaches in as soon as they arrive, however they do that. If this house shares a common wall with another house, then place traps accordingly, especially there are walls that share plumbing and other penetrations. Attic space in warmer climates can be a good harborage too.

Be aware that Florida, especially souther Florida, has Asian roaches which look much like German Roaches. I’m not sure if Victor traps would attract them or not. Not to challenge your pest control guy, but I suggest getting another confirmation as to the species. Take some to your local county agricultural extension office. They are an objective source.
Old 01-02-18, 07:57 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1,898
Received 102 Upvotes on 95 Posts

For storage these must be kept well sealed otherwise the 3 month clock will be running on the entire box at the same time. Keep in moderate temperature while in storage. Don’t spray anything, pesticides or strong cleaners anywhere near them. If cleaning is necessary around and under then remove them for cleaning and put back when dry.

If there is a chance that you have Asian roaches or another specie, call the company and run that by them.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: