Spotting something you think might be roach eggs may mean one or two things. One is that there is a likely roach infestation in your vicinity. Or that you are paranoid and mistaking something else for roaches.
But the thing with pest invasions is that one cannot be too careful. It is often better to be paranoid and wrong than to be laid back and unknowingly let an infestation grow.
So, we put this guide to help you identify roach eggs and show you how to prevent an infestation. Enjoy the read!
- Unlike some other household pests, roaches do not lay individual eggs. Instead, the female species lay eggs in a cocoon or casting, called an ootheca.
- The roach ootheca looks like a small brown or black pill. Depending on the roach specie, a single ootheca can hold anything from 14 to 48 individual eggs. These eggs are arranged into two neat rows, and their number varies, depending on the species.
- Each roach species deposits its eggs in different places. Some even hold on to these eggs until they are ready to hatch.
- But the best places to find roach eggs are in warm, moist spots like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. These areas provide them with enough shade and nutrients that they need to survive.
In the next headings, we will discuss several ways to identify roach eggs and what to do after discovering them. After this, we will answer other common questions about the infestation of these small-bodied critters. Here we go!
Do Roaches Lay Eggs?
Unlike some other animal species, roaches do not lay individual eggs. Instead, the female species lay eggs in a cocoon or casting, called an ootheca.
An ootheca is a hard material that provides sufficient covering and protection to fragile roach eggs. That way, predators cannot get to them while they develop into baby roaches.
A single ootheca can hold up to 40 eggs, enough to trigger a full-blown roach infestation. But what does this look like at first glance?
Let’s find out in the next section.
What Do Roach Eggs Look Like?
The roach ootheca looks like a small brown or black pill. The length of a single ootheca depends on the specific specie in question.
For example, German and American roach ootheca can grow 8 mm long. Then, Smokybrown roach ootheca is longer, measuring about 12 mm.
Some other species, like Brown-banded roaches, are much smaller, measuring only 5 mm. So, size is often not the best way to identify a roach ootheca.
Instead, look for a small ridge that runs down the length of the egg casing. This is the point where the nymphs emerge after they hatch.
When baby roaches are grown enough to resurface and move around, they break free from the ootheca. Before emerging, the ripe nymphs swallow enough air., making themselves bigger and expanding the egg casing.
As it expands, a visible crack appears on this egg casing or ootheca until it breaks and the roaches escape. Soon after, the empty sac returns to its original state, and the crack closes.
So, an empty roach ootheca can look like one with many eggs. But, whether empty or full, spotting a roach egg casing in your house is often the first sign of trouble.
What Inside a Roach Ootheca Looks Like?
A single roach ootheca can hold anything from 14 to 48 individual eggs. These eggs are arranged into two neat rows, and their number varies, depending on the species.
German roaches — some of the most common species — can lay up to 48 eggs in one ootheca. Then, the Smokybrown roach, for example, lays about 20 eggs, less than half of that number.
American roaches lay an even smaller number of eggs than these. A single cocoon can hold between 12 to 16 eggs. But they make up for these numbers by producing many egg cases over their lifetime.
As we said earlier, roaches lay multiple eggs inside a single cocoon. But what lies inside a single egg?
One egg nested within an ootheca contains a growing roach nymph. This nymph breaks out of the cocoon and forms a tiny baby roach.
Where To Find Roach Eggs?
Before we go into likely spots where you can find roach eggs, we must make a distinction. Female roaches do not always leave their egg capsules for you to find. In some cases, they may carry these cases around with them.
But other times, they find a safe, dark place to stash them for incubation. Let us look at where you can find roach eggs in your house.
Each roach species deposits its eggs in different places. Some even hold on to these eggs until they are ready to hatch.
But the best places to find roach eggs are in warm, moist spots like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. These areas provide them with enough shade and nutrients that they need to survive.
The female roaches look for potential food sources when deciding where to lay their eggs. This is because, after the eggs hatch, the newly-released nymphs need food to survive.
Thus, their mother deposits them near areas where finding food is easy, increasing their chances of survival. That way, they do not have to run around, exposed to predators while still young and vulnerable.
They often always disguise these oothecae or egg capsules, making them sometimes difficult to find. These egg capsules are glued to certain items and often hidden in plain sight.
So, even searching for roach eggs, look out for cabinets, furniture legs, pipes, baseboards, and bedding. These are potential spots where you may find roach eggs hidden.
Check storage areas with papers and boxes, debris, and even trash.
As a rule of thumb, identify areas where the female roach considers to have warm temperatures and sufficient food. These are places where you are likely to find roach eggs in abundance.
What To Do After Finding Roach Eggs?
If you find roach eggs in your house, you must eliminate them before they hatch. The presence of roaches in human dwellings can pose serious health risks, especially for vulnerable people like children.
You can use DIY roach traps and insecticide to treat the infestation yourself. Or, call pest control experts to assess the situation and recommend the best cure.
However, the best way to control the spread of roaches in your house is to prevent them. Seek out their potential food sources and eliminate anything that may attract them to your home.
These include garbage, stagnant water sources, and food spills. Then, remember to keep plumbing areas clean and dry.
Also, reduce clutter around your house and storage areas to reduce the chances of a roach infestation.
Roaches leave their calling cards wherever they go. These can be tiny droppings, shredded exoskeletons, or even eggs.
Above, we discussed roach eggs from many angles. We expatiated how they can be the first sign of a potential infestation and how to identify them.
To recap, we did say that roaches leave their egg capsules in hidden, warm, moist spots. These capsules hold multiple eggs at once and are often hidden in kitchens, storage units, and bathrooms.
This is enough to identify roach eggs. Use the information here to correctly identify and eliminate these egg capsules to avoid a full-blown roach infestation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Roaches Lay Eggs in Clothes?
You may find roach eggs hidden among clothes in storage. This is because roaches look for dark, forgotten spots to lay their eggs.
How Can I Destroy Roach Eggs?
You can crush roach eggs under your foot to destroy them. Alternatively, seal the eggs in a plastic bag and place them in a freezer to die off.