Female roaches do not lay individual eggs like most insects. Instead, they lay egg sacks called ootheca, which protect the eggs until they are ready to hatch.
Typically, a single egg sack holds between 14 to 50 eggs depending on the roach species. An average American roach produces about 16 eggs, while the German cockroach produces up to 48 eggs.
If you come across any egg sack in your home, it is clear that you have an infestation, and you should call an exterminator immediately.
There are approximately 4,500 different species of roaches in the world, each laying different number of eggs. The table below shows the average number of baby roaches in one egg case in selected species.
|Number of baby roaches in one ootheca
|48 baby roaches
|16 baby roaches
|15 baby roaches
|24 baby roaches
|16 baby roaches
|Smoky brown roach
|25 baby roaches
What Do Roach Eggs Look Like?
Roach eggs look like small inflated bean-like capsules which can be tan, red, brown or black in color. Each egg is slightly different in size, color, and appearance. The ootheca is usually made of protein that hardens over time, protecting the eggs from predators and insecticides. Below are a few examples of what roach eggs look like.
German roach (⅓ inches/8mm)
American cockroach (⅓ inches/8mm)
Brown-banded roach (¼ inches/5mm)
Australian roach Australian roach (¼ inches/5mm)
Oriental roach (½ inches/12mm)
Smoky brown roach (½ inches/12mm)
Life Cycle of Roaches
Although different roach species have slightly different reproductive cycles, the development stages are quite similar: egg, nymph, and adult.
Generally, female roaches lay eggs around every six to eight weeks, depending on the species. The eggs hatch after about 28 days.
These insects live for around 6 to 15 months, but their lifespan varies depending on their species, temperature, and moisture during their development. One female roach can produce between 8 to 15 egg cases (around 200 to 300 baby roaches) throughout its lifespan. So, if your home offers these pests a favorable environment, you are likely to have thousands of cockroaches within one year!
Where Do Roaches Lay Their Eggs?
Cockroaches like to hide in warm and humid places, close to reliable food sources. Places like the kitchen and bathroom offer a perfect breeding site for these pests. Some of the common areas you should look for roach eggs include:
- Drawers, pantries and cupboards. These offer privacy and access to food and water.
- Inside kitchen appliances like microwaves, toasters, range stoves, and even washers and dryers.
- Bathtub, floor drains and baseboards
- Water heater closets and plumbing cabinets
- Eating areas
- Trash cans
However, the exact place you will find the roach eggs depends on the species. For example:
- American roaches lay eggs near food sources and tend to glue the egg case to hard surfaces like cupboards.
- Brown-banded roaches attach their eggs to rough surfaces. The eggs are usually in clusters if the area is heavily infested.
- Oriental cockroaches deposit their eggs in warm, secluded places, near food and water sources.
- Smoky-brown roaches lay eggs in humid places.
- German roaches hide their eggs in tight, hidden crevices like kitchen cabinets and bathroom sinks.
While most cockroaches detach from their eggs as soon as they lay them, the German roach remains attached to its eggs until they are about to hatch. Sometimes, German roach eggs hatch while still attached to their mother’s body.
How Long Can Roach Eggs Lay Dormant?
Roach eggs cannot stay dormant for too long. If the incubation period is over and the eggs don’t hatch, baby roaches may not appear at all. Also, if the female cockroach drops the egg case too early, it can end up drying up, and the embryos will not fully develop.
What To Do When You Find Cockroach Eggs
Once you find cockroach eggs, you should get rid of them immediately to prevent or control an infestation. You can collect them or use a vacuum cleaner fitted with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to vacuum the eggs, baby roaches and adults if possible.
Some people are allergic to cockroaches, so the HEPA filter helps reduce debris that may cause respiratory problems like asthma attacks.
Once you gather all the eggs, throw them in the trash can, away from your home, to prevent roaches from invading your house once they hatch.
How To Get Rid of Roach Eggs
Roach eggs are easier to deal with than fully developed roaches. Once you find the eggs or ootheca, you can destroy them and prevent a future infestation.
Here are methods to get rid of cockroach eggs.
Clean Your House Regularly
Besides aesthetic appeal, cleaning your house helps keep pests at bay. Most pests are attracted to filth, so by cleaning often, you will prevent them from invading your space. Roaches, for instance, tend to hide in clothes, drawers, the kitchen, the bathroom, etc. If you constantly clean these areas, you will reduce the chances of roaches living and breeding in your home.
Do Regular Checkups
Roaches love warm, humid areas that are close to food sources. Well-hidden places like inside cupboards, drawers, furniture and the back of your fridge are great hiding places for these pests.
It is essential to regularly check and clean these areas to prevent and control an infestation.
Fix Cracks and Leaks on Time
Cockroaches can fit in tiny cracks and crevices. These small gaps can be an access route for these pests from the outdoors.
Also, since roaches love humid areas, leaking pipes can be a good breeding place.
Fixing cracks and leaks on time will reduce the chances of an infestation.
Vacuum the Eggs Out
Vacuum cleaners can come in very handy in eliminating roach ootheca. For narrow places, you can use mini vacuums to remove the eggs from hard to get to places where cockroaches like to nest. Before using the vacuum cleaner, make sure you set it to the recommended settings.
Eliminate the Eggs
Once you bring out the eggs, the final remaining step is to get rid of them. You can either throw them away in the trash can, burn or squash them to permanently destroy them.
You can also use poison to destroy the eggs. However, if you are unsure of what poison to use, make sure you ask for guidance from a professional.
The best option is to call a pest control professional to get rid of cockroaches and their eggs.
How To Prevent/Control a Roach Infestation
Preventing or controlling a roach infestation is easier said than done. Roaches love food, and most people tend to leave lots of crumbs and water sources in their kitchen and dining areas.
Here is how you can prevent or control a roach infestation in your home.
- Keep your house clean at all times, especially your kitchen.
- Always cover leftovers and wipe up spilled food and crumbs immediately.
- Eat in one room or area to limit spills and crumbs.
- Store your food in sealed containers
- Regular roach exterminator visits.
- Empty and clean your trash cans regularly and make sure the lid fits tightly
- Vacuum your kitchen floor before you go to bed to get rid of any food crumbs, roach eggs or adult cockroaches
- Seal any gaps or crevices and repair leaking pipes
- Call a pest control expert to evaluate the infestation and create an effective treatment plan for the bugs.
What Is the Best Way To Get Rid of Cockroach Eggs?
The best way to eliminate roach eggs is by hiring a pest control expert. You can find a reliable expert in your locality either by searching on the web or asking for recommendations from family and friends.
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Yes. However, roaches do not lay individual eggs. They lay eggs in an egg case called ootheca, containing between 14 to 48 eggs depending on the roach species.
One of the best ways to kill roaches and their eggs is using Diatomaceous earth. This powder is toxic to cockroaches and hydrates ootheca, thus killing them. Make sure you use the food-grade version of the Diatomaceous earth as it is safe for humans.
No, roaches do not lay eggs when killed. When it dies, the eggs may not be fully developed, so they will not hatch. Also, if you crash the roach, you are likely to crash the eggs as well.