How to Identify Cockroach Eggs

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Seeing a cockroach at home is never a pleasant experience. Usually, when you spot a roach, it means that there may be a few more around. However, finding an egg is a sign that you have an infestation. The sooner you find and take care of the eggs, the safer you will be from these nasty bugs.

What do cockroach eggs look like

In the cockroach kingdom, the females produce egg cases, called ootheca. Depending on the cockroach species, the ootheca has a different size and colour. Most often, the egg cases are reddish-brown to dark-brown and range from 5 to 13 mm, depending on the type of cockroach. The ootheca can be easily seen by the naked eye. However, it won’t be easy for you to find as cockroaches usually hide them well when it’s time to lay them. If you’re trying to determine what type of roach species has infested your home, the appearance of the egg cases can help you identify them.

Types of cockroaches and their eggs

  • German Cockroach
    This type of cockroach mates extremely fast. It’s the most commonly seen species. The ootheca is light brown or yellow and about 7-9mm in length. It can have between 20 and 40 eggs inside. A female adult can produce up to 30000 eggs in a single year. The female carries the eggs inside of her until it’s time for them to hatch.
  • Australian Cockroach
    With this species, each egg case can contain between 16 and 24 nymphs. The ootheca is dark brown in colour and can be up to 11mm long. The Australian cockroach drops the ootheca in sheltered areas of your home, close to food sources. The female hides the egg casings in holes and tight crevices. This makes them hard to find and treat.
  • American Cockroach
    The egg sack of the American roach is reddish or brown. The size of the ootheca usually ranges from 8 to 10mm in length. The females carry the eggs for a few days before dropping them in a safe place. It will take another 2 months for the babies to hatch after being dropped.
  • Brown-Banded Cockroach
    The ootheca of the brown-banded cockroach is light reddish-brown and about 5mm in length. A female can produce up to 20 cases during her lifetime. One case contains from 10 to 18 embryos. They are easily identifiable due to the two yellow bands that go on top of their abdomen.
  • Oriental Cockroach
    The ootheca of the oriental cockroach is dark reddish-brown in colour. It’s 8-10mm long. This roach’s case looks a bit inflated and has approximately 16 nymphs inside. These species can only live in a warmer environment and their development depends vastly on that.

Where do cockroaches lay their eggs

Most cockroaches drop their eggs in protected places close to a food source, as the babies will usually be left to take care of themselves after they hatch. They prefer a moist, warm environment near water such as the kitchen, bathrooms or laundry areas. Be sure to check under the sinks and countertops, behind appliances, baseboards, plumbing cabinets, water heater closets, and rubbish bins.

If you spot a small roach or an egg sack, an infestation may be taking place. In this case, it is best to act on it right away. If you suspect there is a bigger infestation already, it may prove challenging to handle it alone. Still, if you want to be prepared, we have some important tips on How to Get Rid of Cockroaches that can come in handy.

What to do if you find a cockroach egg

As we previously mentioned, finding cockroach eggs in your home means that it’s infested. You will have to get rid of the adult roaches in order to stop them from mating and reproducing. Getting rid of these pesky insects can be very hard. If you’ve already tried battling them but it’s been unsuccessful, we recommend that you turn to a professional pest control expert.

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