Cockroach Eggs: What Do They Look Like and Where to Find Them

Once an adult female cockroach breeds, she will produce an egg sack known as ootheca. Ootheca can contain up to 50 juvenile cockroaches waiting to hatch. Within just three months time, those juvenile cockroaches will reach adulthood and create egg sacks of their own. Knowing what ootheca (egg) look like and where to find them will help you identify a cockroach infestation and hire a cockroach exterminator in Toronto for help.

What do cockroach eggs look like?

Female cockroach eggs are produced as egg cases, also known as Ootheca. The cockroach egg (Ootheca) contain many eggs that are enveloped by a protein substance that will with time harden into a strong protective casing. Some species of cockroaches are known to drop the casing, while other species will carry the eggs until they are ready to hatch.

Cockroach egg cases are dark brown in colour and average 8mm in length. One female cockroach may produce up to 90 oothecae in its lifespan. The American Cockroach is known to carry its Ootheca for a few hours to days, after which, it will be deposited in a hidden safe place. This particular egg case normally has about 15 embryos and remains in place through the use of the female cockroach saliva.

German cockroach egg

The German cockroach egg is brown and typically measures less than 6 to 9 mm in length. The female German cockroach carries the Ootheca until the eggs that are inside are ready to hatch. The German cockroach Ootheca contains as many as 50 eggs in a single egg case. It takes the German cockroach 103 days to transform from an egg to an adult. Since they produce so many eggs, that develop quickly, their population is known to soar rapidlywhen there is no intervention.

American cockroach egg

The females of the American cockroach lay their eggs in a hardened case that is shaped like an egg also known as the Ootheca. After a week of mating, the female produces an ootheca during the peak of her reproductive cycle. The female may form up to two oothecae per week. These oothecae are deposited near sources of food and sometimes glued onto a surface with secretion from her mouth. This hardened case contains water that is sufficient for the eggs to develop without additional water from the substrate. The egg case is normally brown when it is first deposited, but over time (day or two) it will turn to black. The American cockroach egg is about 8mm long.

Brown-Banded Cockroach Eggs

The brown-banded cockroach egg is reddish-brown in colour and measures about 5mm in length. The females of these species produce up to 20 cases of eggs in their lifespan, and each Ootheca carries 10 to 18 embryos. The Brown-banded nymphs are normally identifiable by the two yellow bands that cross their upper abdomens. The nymphs develop fully into adults in a span of three to six months.

Oriental Cockroaches

The Oriental cockroaches Ootheca is reddish-brown and is about 8 to 10 mm in length. These oothecae appear slightly inflated, and they each contain about 16 embryos. The Oriental cockroach female deposits these egg cases are strategic locations immediately after they are produced. One Oriental female cockroach can produce about 18 egg cases in its lifetime. The Oriental cockroach nymphs will take up to 800 days to become full adults. However, it’s important to note that their development is dependent on environmental conditions.

different types of cockroach eggs
different types of cockroach eggs

Where Do Cockroaches Lay Eggs?

The female cockroaches tend to deposit their egg cases in protected locations such as cracks and crevices. However, some female cockroach will carry them until they are about to hatch, and in some rare cases, the eggs will hatch while the female is still carrying them. You will be able to spot female cockroach eggs anywhere these insects frequent, including your kitchen, bathroom, near pipes, under your sink, dark areas of your pantry and drawers.

How Long Does it Take Cockroach Eggs to Hatch?

After mating, the female cockroach will deposit the eggs in a hardened case known as the Ootheca. When the eggs are about to hatch, the females of most cockroach species will either drop the egg close to food sources or use secretions from their mouths to glue them onto suitable surfaces. Nymphs or immature cockroaches will begin to emerge from the Ootheca within 24 to 38 days.

Ootheca Identification

The identification of egg sacks will differ depending on the type of cockroach that invades your home. Eggs may appear similar with their capsule-like shape, but they aren’t. Most popular cockroach species include:

If American cockroaches are your issue, the egg sacks will be roughly 8mm in length and a dark brown colour. On average, the sack may contain roughly 15 baby cockroaches. The female can also produce up to 90 egg sacks in her lifetime, which equates to over 1,500 babies.

The German cockroach also produces a brown coloured egg sack that ranges between 6 and 9mm in length. Typically, the female will carry the egg sack around with her until the babies are ready to hatch. The sack will contain up to 50 eggs and the female can produce up to 6 sacks in her lifetime.

Finally, there is the Oriental cockroach. This cockroach produces a much larger sack, ranging from 8 to 10mm in length. The sack is often a reddish brown colour and appears inflated, making it look much larger than the American and German cockroach egg sacks. Generally, the sack contains up to 16 eggs and the female can produce up to 18 sacks in her lifetime.

Ootheca Locations

The location of the egg sacks will also depend on the species of cockroach you have in your home. Most cockroaches, however, no matter the species, will try to hide their eggs as best as possible to keep them safe from harm. You may find sacks behind objects on your counter or in your cabinets.

They are also often found in cracks and crevices, within waste piles, or inside pipes. The German cockroach is one species, however, that does not often hide ootheca in a safe place. Since they typically carry the sack around, you are likely to squash it if you happen to squash the female carrying it. Of course, the female may attempt to eject the egg sack if she perceives a threat, which is why you sometimes find them sitting in the open, such as on a counter.

If you happen to spot any eggs sacks in your home, make sure you pick up the phone and contact an exterminator immediately. An exterminator can assist you in getting rid of a cockroach infestation in your home. Most extermination methods will kill off live cockroaches and any unhatched baby cockroaches, too. If, however, you spot a baby cockroach after extermination, the professional may need to come back and repeat the process again.

You found cockroach eggs – what to do next?

large scale cockroach infestation
large scale cockroach infestation

Finding cockroach eggs is a sign that you have a loaming infestation. Organisms tend to breed when conditions are right, meaning the cockroaches in your home are having the time of their lives. While simply getting rid of them by vacuuming, squashing or burning them will work, you will not have dealt with the full situation.  If you notice cockroach eggs in your home, it is a good idea to call an exterminator. Eggs are always a bad sign, and almost always signify an infestation. The best way to get rid of cockroach eggs is to destroy them completely so that there will be no future generations to contend with. Here are a few effective methods you could use to eliminate them:

  • Crush them: You can simply stump them with a heavy object and even your shoes. However, this could be a bit messy, be sure to clean up the squashed egg cases since they may serve as a snack for lurking roaches.
  • Burn them: You could set them on fire, but it’s advisable to do this outside. While this method might be satisfying, it’snot very practical. You might also not enjoy the smell of burning Ootheca.
  • Pouring boric acid over Ootheca: It’s a very effective method of killing cockroaches of any ages, size including the eggs. All you will need to do is pour boric acid over the cases ensuring they are covered completely.
  • Spray them with pesticides: Commercial grade potent pesticides will work on cockroach eggs and will kill the nymphs as they hatch out. You also need to make sure the potent pesticides are used in the last couple of weeks to hatching to be effective.
  • Exterminator: This is perhaps the most effective method to completely get rid of the eggs and cockroach problem for good. Getting rid of cockroach eggs is effective, but what good is it if a few live cockroaches are still breeding and laying eggs? Exterminators will not only get rid of the eggs but the entire colony, which will stop your cockroach problem for good. They will also implement preventive measure to ensure they do not return.

If you still can’t get rid of the cockroaches, then it might be best to get professional help. Pest control can take care of the problem in a fast and efficient manner. Call The Exterminators: 647-496-2211. or browse our online store for pest control products.

 

Article Updated: November 1st, 2018

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.