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Cockroaches in your own home are never a pleasant situation. If the cockroaches are roaming your home, multiplying rapidly and using up your food supplies, you need to do something. The health hazard posed by the cockroach alone requires action. Before you take measures against the insects, you should know whether an infestation by cockroaches in Germany is notifiable.

Cockroaches in the house: reportable?

Many people wonder whether you have to report cockroaches to the public order office or not. This question is very important, as there are different answers, which are highly dependent on the specific case. In itself, an infestation with cockroaches does not have to be reported if you either get it under control yourself as a private person or contact an exterminator who does not have to rely exclusively on chemical mace to combat it. This is especially the case if you are the owner of the property, as you have to bear the costs entirely yourself. If you are renting, things get a bit complicated as you are not the owner of the premises. In this case, the following points are used:

  1. As soon as you notice an infestation, you must contact your landlord or the responsible property management. You should do this as soon as possible, as cockroaches reproduce extremely quickly throughout the year.
  2. The landlord must now initiate pest control. This is done either by your own measures or by a professional.
  3. If the landlord does not respond to the fight, you as a tenant should contact the public order office. Since cockroaches can carry disease and spread throughout the building, something needs to be done about it as soon as possible.

Either the landlord or the tenant is responsible for the costs of the fight. The tenant bears the costs if it is clearly established that the infestation has started in this apartment. If, on the other hand, several apartments are occupied, it is not possible to identify a landlord as the cause. In this case, the landlord bears the costs.
Note: The best way to prevent a cockroach infestation is to keep your home clean and dispose of rotting food rice. It can help if you keep all your groceries tightly closed so that the cockroach doesn't have a chance to pick up a "track" that will lead them into your four walls.

Special case Berlin

If you live in Berlin, there is a legal obligation to report any cockroach infestation. This obligation is integrated in the "Ordinance on the Control of Health Pests" (Pest Control Ordinance) of the Senate Department for Health, Environment and Consumer Protection in Berlin. According to this, you must report the occurrence of cockroaches and other health pests such as rats to the responsible health department. It doesn't matter whether you own a house or rent it.

notice: A similar obligation exists in the Austrian capital Vienna. In Vienna, there is a legal obligation to register for businesses and private individuals and if this is not done, the responsible magistrate can initiate pest control and the owner or subtenant of the living space must then bear the costs.

Duty to report in business

Nowadays many people use their own home for their own job. They receive customers, manufacture products that reach consumers or teach children subjects such as music or tutoring. At first glance, it would appear that it would be necessary to report the infestation immediately in such a form of work. However, this is only the case if you have a hospitality business. That means if you own a small confectionery shop in your home, the infestation is reportable by law. This also applies if you offer your apartment as a holiday home. Every hospitality industry must draw attention to the infestation as soon as a cockroach is discovered so that there are no legal consequences for you.

notice: Cockroach infestations are not reportable if you work from home and have no real customer contact. Even if you have registered the business, you do not have to contact the regulatory office here because you do not operate a hospitality business.

Reporting requirement: Kind crucial

Before you pick up the phone and contact the local law enforcement agency, you need to be sure about the species of cockroaches you've spotted in your home. There are numerous species within the order of cockroaches (Blattodea) and of these, only five purposefully dwell in human habitation. Of these five, there are three that pose a particular danger, as they feel very comfortable in your home within a short time and multiply rapidly. These are:

  • German cockroach (Blattella germanica)
  • Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis)
  • American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
  • Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)
  • Furniture or brown-band cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis

The German, Oriental and American cockroaches are the largest storage pests among the cockroaches. They are among the species most commonly referred to as cockroaches. The other two species also behave in a damaging manner, but are not as common as the others. Only the species mentioned in the list have to be reported, as these cockroaches see your home as the ideal habitat. Other species such as the lapland cockroach (Ectobius lapponicus) or the wood cockroach (Ectobius sylvestris) accidentally get lost in your premises and try to escape from them again. You can recognize the above taxa by the following characteristics:

  • several specimens to entire colony
  • traces of eating on food
  • Dirt and excrement can be found
  • Ootheca (packets of eggs) can be found

It is at such points that you can tell that settlement is taking place. The other cockroaches don't actually hang out near people and get their food mostly from nature. In addition, they hardly ever appear in groups in your apartment. Nevertheless, you should always check whether other cockroaches or whole nests can be found in your premises as soon as you become aware of cockroaches.

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