August 18, 2021
Cockroaches have existed for over 300 million years and are even older than dinosaurs. They have been able to survive for that long due to their ability to withstand harsh living conditions. For example, they can survive without eating anything for almost a month and even stay alive after being frozen. Their long existence is also a result of their fast and high reproduction. Now that cockroaches live in our homes, it is good to understand how they reproduce to control them better. Knowing their breeding habits will help you quickly identify roach eggs and take the proper steps to discard them before cockroaches massively infest your home.
The Life Cycle Of A Cockroach
A roach has three major life stages – egg, nymph and adult.
The Period It Takes For Cockroach Eggs To Hatch
Different types of cockroaches have different breeding habits. Let us look at each type to clearly understand the duration it takes for roach eggs to hatch.
Females lay their eggs in a hard capsule known as ootheca, which they produce a week after mating. They create a single ootheca monthly for ten months, with each capsule containing 16 or so eggs. Pregnant cockroach usually carry the egg case for several days before depositing it in a safe location. American roaches have a gestation period of about 44 days.
A German roach lays more eggs per capsule compared to all other cockroach species. Each egg case holds about 30 to 40 eggs. Females carry the egg case until it is ready for hatching. To ensure the safety of hatchlings, German cockroaches hide before dropping the egg case. These roaches have a gestation period averaging 28 days.
These lay around 16 eggs per ootheca. The female carries the ootheca with her for one day or two. Then it hides the capsule somewhere safe, like under a piece of furniture, on a wall corner or a rough surface, mainly cardboard. The gestation period lasts about 50 days.
About 16 eggs per ootheca is common among oriental roaches. Females usually drop the egg case in a warm area with plenty of food so that nymphs do not have trouble finding something to eat right after hatching. Their gestation period runs for about two months.
Cockroach Eggs Size
The appearance of roach eggs is a brown, tan or black pill-shaped capsule. American and German cockroaches lay eggs that measure 8 mm or one-third of an inch long. The eggs of smoky brown and oriental cockroaches are a bit longer, measuring up to 12 mm or half an inch in length.
How Do You Identify Cockroach Eggs?
Egg capsules differ in appearance depending on the species of cockroach. Capsules are small in size, ranging from 5 to 14 mm long. When they form, they are white, but with time they become darker and harder. Most types of roaches produce reddish-brown to dark-brown egg cases. Some of the egg casings feature ridges, for instance, those of German and brown-banded roaches. Others do not have any ridges and appear swollen like the ones produced by oriental and American cockroaches.
Where To Find Cockroach Eggs
The way cockroaches deposit their eggs varies depending on the type of cockroach. But one thing is for sure – they do not make it easy for you to find the eggs. Some cockroach species carry their eggs until they are ready for hatching. Most usually lay their eggs in safe places where they cannot be easily located and eventually harmed.
Some of the areas you are most likely to find cockroach eggs include attics, kitchens, basements and bathrooms. Cockroaches also leave ootheca (egg cases) near food sources. They do so for the nymphs to feed themselves after hatching as it becomes easier and faster for them to find food. Egg cases are camouflaged and glued to surfaces. Therefore, to remove them, you have to scratch the surface.
Nymph Stage Of A Cockroach Life
After gestation, cockroach eggs hatch into nymphs. Here is the process for different types of cockroaches:
Nymphs and adults look alike. But the nymphs are wingless and smaller in size. Before nymphs become adults, they moult 6 to 14 times. It takes about 600 days for an American roach to go from egg to adult.
The nymphs of German roaches have darker bodies than those of adults. There is also a tan stripe on their back. On hatching, they begin looking for food right away and can grow fast in favourable conditions. They moult or shed skin almost six times in the nymph stage. When they shed skin for the final time, they develop wings. It takes up to 103 days for a nymph to grow into an adult.
Within a period of five to six months, nymphs moult up to 8 times. After the last moult, they start reproducing immediately. It takes about 276 days for them to reach adulthood after being laid.
Oriental cockroach nymphs thrive during spring and summer. Their lifecycle takes 300 to 800 hundred days, from an egg to an adult, depending on the season. Colder weather prolongs the process while warmer weather shortens it.
Steps To Take When You Find Roach Eggs
When you identify cockroach eggs, you should discard them promptly. Get rid of the eggs by vacuuming. Use a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner to minimise roach debris from getting airborne and triggering allergic reactions.
Apply boric acid around the area with the eggs. However, take great care as this compound can pose harm to your family and pets.
Call A Pest Control Company
The most effective and surest way to eradicate cockroaches and their eggs is to hire a pest control service. Professionals understand everything about roaches, including how to deal with eggs and nymphs. They know how to identify cockroach infestation and keep it under control by ensuring no more egg-laying and hatching in your home.