Cockroach Eggs: Know Them, Kill Them



The legend about how hard it is to get rid of a cockroach is no myth at all. Roaches have been in existence longer than most other insects and have developed some of the most amazing adaptability skills to extreme environment and circumstances. A cockroach for example can survive for over a week with head removed, or stay alive while submerged under water for almost 40 minutes. Finding cockroach eggs is a very bad sign that indicates the presence of adults roaches in your premises, endangering you and your loved ones to the potential hazards and diseases they could easily spread once they hatch.

In order to find cockroach eggs and kill them one has to be able to effectively identify them first. The eggs laid by the female roach have a distinctive look, as they are resident in egg cases also known as Ootheca.  This case serves as a protective shield against adverse conditions. The various kinds of cockroach eggs are as follows:

cockroach eggsSource:

German Cockroach Eggs

The German roach is the most common specie in the United Kingdom, and is found in all kinds of places both indoors and outdoors. A single sack usually comprised of up to 50 eggs, is held by the mother roach in its belly till it’s ready to hatch. The sack which is one of the thinnest looking among all the other roach species gets produced by a female adult after every three to four weeks. And once hatched a nymph only requires a little more than 30 days for it to mature and continue populating.

This is why the German cockroach, one of the most prolific multipliers, is a menace wherever they are spotted. Once hatched the baby roaches are usually white in color, but later develop their adult color. But in rare cases albinism occurs when this baby color refuses to give away.

Oriental Cockroach Eggs

The egg sack of the oriental cockroach has a distinctive dark black-brown color, and is a bit longer than the egg sack of most other species. It is around 12 mm in length, containing 17 eggs and is laid by the female adult within 24 hours of mating. The eggs inside are initially bright yellow in color, but later transform into its native dark brown.

The oriental cockroach eggs are not a big fan of the cold.  They refuse to hatch whenever temperatures drop to sub zero levels, while they hatch optimally with temperatures close to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, 43 days after they’ve been laid. Anything colder than that and the hatching period almost doubles to more than 80 days at least

American Cockroach Eggs

The American and German cockroach eggs look very similar and are produced in almost identical fashion. However, for the American cockroach, the number of eggs in each Ootheca is about 90, almost twice that of its German cousin. At around 0.35 inch, the egg sack has a unique brown color and is shaped like an L. The nymphs take as long as eight weeks before they are able to venture out of the case. And its period of maturity is even slower than its German counterpart, taking almost two months to transform into a full-blown adult. An adult female is able to produce up to 150 offspring in its lifetime, a really impressive haul.

Brown-Banded Roach Eggs

Another native of the UK, this special cockroach specie has been a subject of interest from scientists due to its unique sex pheromones.  Recognizing its egg is extremely important as it will be crucial when it comes to effectively eliminating it. The sack has a light red color with a shade of brown on some spots. They are quite short, usually less than 0.5cm (0.020 inch) and contain around 20 eggs in a single case. The nymphs of this roach are easily identifiable with bright yellow bands across its abdomen, and have one of the longest life spans.  They need about half a year alone to mature. The female adult carries the egg sack for less than two days before laying them and it can lay up to 20 in its reproductive lifetime.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Eggs

This roach specie is quite unique in that you never see its eggs lying around, but are carried along in the body of the adult female till the nymphs are ready to strike out, which in some ways resembles birth rather than hatching. The egg sack which is flat in form remains within the body of the female adult, going almost its full body length. The egg can contain up to 60 nymphs, who never venture out of their mother’s body until they are strong enough to strike out on their own. So the only way to find a Madagascar Hissing roach’s egg is by finding the adult female.

cockroach laying eggs


Where to Find Cockroach Eggs

Most cockroaches lay their eggs in places where they can be protected from predator insects, and other adverse natural conditions. They also lay them in places with generous supply of oxygen which is vital for the development of the nymphs. Some of the places to look for when searching for cockroach eggs include:

  • In Pipes
  • Wall Cracks
  • Tiny Crevices in furniture
  • Under piles of food waste
  • Inside electronics and other dark places

How to Kill Cockroach Eggs

Without adult roaches, there won’t be roach eggs, so the first point of attack in controlling the infestation of cockroach eggs is by eliminating their laying adults. Once this is done, you can then turn your attention over to the eggs themselves.

Killing eggs is a bit harder than killing live roaches because they are hidden from sight and have hard casing which make it difficult to anticipate like you do for adult roaches. So one needs to find their suspect locations and identify them, then suck them out from their hiding holes using vacuum cleaners. Once extracted, you can use any of the following means to kill the cockroach eggs and curtail their future spread.

  • Crush them but only outside and far away from your home
  • Burn them (also outside)
  • Use powerful insecticides on them
  • Cover them with boric acid
  • Abort them early using insect growth regulator

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