Cockroach Eggs: What Do Cockroach Eggs Look Like, Terminix

What Do Cockroach Eggs Look Like?

Finding a cockroach in your home is a clear sign that you might have a few roaches. On the other hand, finding cockroach eggs in your home is a telltale sign that you have a cockroach infestation. The difference can be downright frightening, so the sooner you look for and address roach eggs in your home, the safer your family will be from the disease and filth roaches carry with them.

Roach egg basics

Roaches don’t just lay one single egg at a time, they lay multiple eggs. These eggs are all contained in one single casing, called an ootheca. Oothecae are made of a protein substance produced by the female roach. As this substance ages – often just a few hours – it hardens, keeping the cockroach eggs inside safe from predators and the elements.

The number of eggs inside each ootheca – and where the ootheca can be found – differs by cockroach species. Some roaches have higher reproductive rates, while some multiply slower. This means some oothecae you find will have a higher number of eggs inside. Some types of roaches carry their ootheca around with them until the eggs inside are ready to hatch, while others attach the ootheca to sheltered hiding places. This means that the oothecae of certain roach species will be much harder to find and eliminate before they hatch dozens of roach nymphs.

Cockroach eggs by species

To illustrate the differences in cockroach reproduction, here’s a look at some basic information on roach eggs by the species.

The most common roach in America is the German cockroach. German cockroaches mate quickly. One female and her offspring can infest a home with more than 30,000 cockroaches in just a single year. German cockroach oothecae hold between 20 and 40 eggs each. The adult female roach carries her ootheca around with her until the eggs are ready to hatch. The egg casing can be seen protruding one-quarter of an inch out of her abdomen. About 24 hours before the eggs are ready to hatch, the female drops the ootheca in a concealed location. This short window makes these particular cockroach eggs extremely difficult to find and eradicate, further increasing your risk of infestation.

The brown-banded cockroach attaches her reddish- to yellowish-brown oothecae to walls, ceilings, crawl spaces, furniture, bedding and other objects around your home. If these items are moved, the roach infestation quickly spreads to other rooms around the home. The average brown-banded female produces around 20 oothecae in her lifetime, each containing between 10 and 18 roach eggs.

The Australian cockroach drops oothecae in sheltered areas of your home, close to food sources. The female hides the egg casings in tight crevices and underneath refuse or pliable material (e.g. moist wood). This makes these oothecae extremely hard to find and treat. About one month after an ootheca is hidden, between 16 and 24 nymphs will hatch and crawl out. Since adult female Australian cockroaches drop one ootheca every 10 days, they can produce between 12 and 30 oothecae during their lifespan. That’s as many as 720 roaches in 300 days, from just one female.

An Oriental cockroach produces an ootheca that is dark reddish-brown in color. This egg casing is slightly more inflated than other species’, because the eggs are vertically lined up in pairs inside of the casing. Each ootheca contains approximately 16 Oriental cockroach eggs. The female carries her ootheca around between 12 hours and five days, and then deposits it in a warm, sheltered area that is close to a food source. On average, a female Oriental cockroach will produce eight oothecae during her lifetime, but can produce many more.

There are many other species of roaches, including the Asian cockroach, Cuban cockroach, Florida woods cockroach, smoky brown cockroach, Surinam cockroach and the wood cockroach. Each type of cockroach has distinctive reproductive traits, but their oothecae are fairly similar across the species. Here’s what else you need to know about finding and getting rid of roach eggs.

How to identify cockroach eggs

Oothecae vary in appearance by the species. In general, most oothecae are very small, between 0.07 and 0.19 inches in length. When first formed, they can be white in color, but as they age, they darken and harden. Many species of cockroaches produce dark brown to reddish-brown oothecae. Some of these egg casings have ridges, such as those produced by the brown-banded and German cockroaches. Other oothecae are bloated and have no ridges, such as the ones made by American and Oriental cockroaches.

Where to look for roach eggs

Where roaches deposit their oothecae also varies by species, but in general, they will not make it easy for you to find. Some species carry the egg cases around with them until the cockroach eggs inside are near ready to hatch, but most deposit the oothecae in secure locations, away from harm.

You should look in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, attics and any other areas where you’ve found evidence of cockroaches. Many oothecae will be placed close to cockroach food sources by the female. This is because most nymphs will be left to fend for themselves once they hatch, so the mother at least places them in areas where they will be able to easily find food. Of course, the oothecae are also likely to be camouflaged and even ‟glued” to the item they are attached to, so you’ll have to do more than just scratch the surface.

Inspect pantries, closets, cabinets, drawers, crawl spaces and basements. Check around baseboards, pipes, stairs, furniture legs, picture frames, clocks and bedding. Look underneath curled wallpaper and floor tiles. Check around food preparation and storage areas. Any areas where garbage or debris is stored should be thoroughly investigated, as should other storage areas containing papers and cardboard boxes. Essentially, roach eggs can be attached anywhere the female roach feels is a favorable environment – out of the way, warm temperatures, ample food nearby and either very dry or very damp, depending on the species.

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What to do if you find cockroach eggs

Finding cockroach eggs is a hallmark sign of a roach infestation. One is either underway or about to explode into an invasion of filth that puts your entire family in jeopardy. The first and only thing that you should do when you find roach eggs, is to contact Terminix®. Get your free pest estimate today, because the only eggs you want in your home, are the ones in your refrigerator.

Cockroach Eggs 101: What They Look Like & How to Get Rid of Them

Cockroaches are possibly the most common indoor pests. The worst thing is that they are very hard to kill completely. This is partly because these pests preserve their eggs well. Even with insecticides, the cockroach eggs can easily survive.

In the USA, people are most familiar with the German cockroach as it is quite common. This particular species is attracted to environments that are warm and humid, and they will also reproduce quickly if they can access food. You should note that these insects are not just a nuisance in living spaces. They also spread several bacteria, meaning you might end up contracting some diseases if you don’t kill the pests.

I’m an entomologist, so people often ask me about how to get rid of cockroaches. It is crucial to note that any extermination effort must target the eggs, in addition to the live cockroaches. In case you are unable to eliminate them, the oothecae are going to restart the roach problem. This short guide will help you understand how to get rid of these annoying insects and how to kill cockroaches’ eggs. Also, I will give you a comprehensive answer to the question: What do cockroaches eggs look like?

Do Cockroaches Lay Eggs?

Yes, they do. The egg marks the first stage in their lifecycle, after which they will go through the nymph stage, then mature into adults. They don’t go through a roach larvae stage. The eggs are carried in capsules that get harder as they age. The hardened shell helps to protect the roach from predators and other elements.

How many babies do roaches have?

Cockroaches never lay single eggs. In a single setting, a female cockroach can lay 10 to 60 eggs, and these will be subjected to an incubation period of between 24 and 215 days. German cockroaches typically lay 30 to 40 eggs in single settings.

So, how many roaches in an egg? A roach egg will only contain a single cockroach, but this does not do much to ease the already dire situation. Even with a single cockroach egg sack, you can potentially have 60 new roaches to deal with. On average, males have shorter lifespans compared to female ones. Females can live for two years. If you locate the oothecae within your living space, you are likely to have a serious roach problem.

What Do Cockroaches Eggs Look Like?

There is a popular misconception that cockroach eggs cannot be seen with the naked eye. It cannot be further from the truth. Others have the wrong idea about the appearance of these sacks, and that can affect the efficiency of their extermination strategy.

The cockroach eggs size ranges from 5 to 13 mm, and they have a brown to dark color. German cockroach eggs are easy to differentiate from American cockroach eggs. The German ones are small, narrow, and less dark. American cockroach eggs are almost black. These characteristics refer to the cockroach egg case. Oriental cockroach eggs have a red to brown color, and the oothecae look more inflated than those of other species. An ootheca of an oriental cockroach will usually carry about 16 eggs, and these are lined up vertically in the sack. The best way to learn the differences between these oothecae is by taking a look at some pictures of cockroach eggs.

With an average infestation, you will not be able to see the eggs since they are stored in corners and other locations of the house. If you spot a cockroach egg in an open area, you can be certain that you have a serious infestation.

How Long Does it Take for Roach Eggs to Hatch?

A female cockroach will typically lay a new set of eggs every six weeks. These eggs take about four weeks to hatch into baby cockroaches. I should mention that eggs of German roaches hatch faster than American and Oriental cockroach eggs. American eggs can take 8 weeks to hatch. A female American roach will lay more eggs in their lifetime, and they also tend to live longer than German roaches. In optimal conditions, an American cockroach can live for three to four years.

Where Do Cockroaches Lay Eggs?

You may spot a cockroach now and then in your house, but locating the eggs is usually difficult. That’s because they are deposited in dark and concealed spots like cracks and the back of pictures. Some common areas you should check include under the sink, near pipes, and underdrawers. The oothecae are usually camouflaged, so you have to look thoroughly. The eggs are attached to the surfaces they are deposited on. This is done with some sticky substance, and that means you cannot remove the eggs by just scratching the surface.

Female cockroaches also like to deposit their eggs near pieces of food since the baby cockroaches have to find their food when they hatch. You should also note that many roaches carry the oothecae till they hatch. Sometimes, the eggs will even hatch while being carried by the female roaches.

There are a few signs that can help you determine how close a deposit of cockroach eggs is. These include:

  • Shed skin. If you notice that a particular spot in your house has many shed skins, you can almost be sure that a cockroach egg is close by. It can also indicate where the roaches like to hide and will make it easier for you to exterminate them.
  • Roach feces.Droppings of roaches look like small black spots. If you notice that there is a concentration of roach droppings in a particular part of the house, you should scan the surroundings thoroughly. This is because the eggs may be close by.
  • A strong and musty smell. It is a well-known fact that cockroaches smell. Their eggs emit a musty smell, so you can look out for that as well.

Which is the Best Way to Kill Roaches and Eggs?

Cockroaches reproduce fast, and a few can easily create a big population with quick reproduction. A single ootheca that is ignored during the extermination process may hatch into 50 roaches, and that is more than enough to restart the problem. You need to get rid of every single roach and all the eggs in the house otherwise, your efforts will not have lasting results.

Fortunately, there are some ways of killing cockroaches along with their eggs. Make sure you apply these methods correctly as you don’t want to spend time and still end up where you started.

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Many of the usual methods used to kill roaches do not affect the eggs. If a female roach dies while carrying the ootheca, the eggs can still hatch. It mostly happens if the eggs were close to hatching when the female roach died. The eggs will also survive if they are not crushed when the mother is killed.

1. I can recommend using roach baits. These are poisons developed to attract roaches. They kill them over time. The baits are carried to the hiding spots of the roaches and are shared with other members of the population. This way, every roach in the population will get poisoned and will die over time. If there are eggs in the place, the first meal the baby roaches will eat will be poison, so they won’t be much of a problem.

2. If you can locate them, you can crush the eggs with a shoe. It should be done with a lot of strength since there is a chance that the eggs can hatch outside the ootheca. This should also be the case when crushing pregnant cockroaches. Also, you should dispose of the crushed eggs and roaches properly. In case they still manage to hatch, they should be as far away from your house as possible. The one downside of this strategy is that it is hard to find a cockroach egg in the house.

3. Another effective method is using insect growth regulators. These are chemicals that cause the roaches to become sterile, and that can put an end to the cycle of reproduction. Insect growth regulators can be quite effective at killing roach eggs. With these chemicals, the only way roaches can grow their population in your home would be by inviting new roaches. If you make your house less conducive to roaches, the entire population will die out over time. For a better effect, you can also combine insect growth regulators with other methods that kill the roaches directly.

4. Sprays are highly inefficient when dealing with insect eggs. They are meant to kill roaches on contact, but they can only destroy one roach at a time. In many cases, a pregnant roach will still leave healthy offspring after they are killed by this method.


Cockroaches lay many eggs in a single setting, and they also lay eggs frequently. It means it can be a challenge to control their fast-growing populations. To ensure you get rid of all the roaches in your house or workplace, you will need to target the eggs, as well as the roaches already living in your space. Effective methods to achieve this include using insect growth regulators and baits.

To determine how serious your infestation is, you will need to identify roach eggs. Looking at some roach eggs images may help, but you should remember that the eggs of different types of cockroaches look different.

Do you have any experience dealing with roach eggs? Are there any mistakes you have made when exterminating roaches from your space? Let us know in the comments below.

Cockroach Eggs

Egg Case

Female cockroaches produce egg cases, known as oothecae. Oothecae contain many eggs and are enveloped by a protein substance that gradually hardens into a strong, protective casing. Some cockroach species drop the egg case, while other species carry it until the eggs are ready to hatch.

What Do Cockroach Eggs Look Like?

The American cockroach’s ootheca is dark brown in color and averages 8 mm in length. One female may create six to 90 oothecae in her lifetime. The female American cockroach carries the ootheca for a few hours to a few days, at which point she deposits the egg case in a safe, hidden location. The American cockroach ootheca contains approximately 15 embryos and remains in place through the use of the female’s saliva.

How Long Does it Take Cockroach Eggs to Hatch?

Immature cockroaches will emerge from the ootheca within 24 to 38 days.

Brown-Banded Cockroach Eggs

The brown-banded cockroach’s ootheca is light reddish-brown in color and measures approximately 5 mm in length. Females of this species produce up to 20 cases in one lifetime, and each case hatches 10 to 18 embryos. Brown-banded nymphs are identifiable by two yellow bands that cross their upper abdomens. Nymphs develop fully to adults within three to six months.

Oriental Cockroach Eggs

The Oriental cockroach creates a dark reddish-brown ootheca that is 8 to 10 mm in length. These oothecae appear slightly inflated and each contains approximately 16 eggs. The female deposits the egg case in a favorable environment after it is produced. Females produce between one and 18 egg cases in a lifetime. Nymphs typically take around 600 days to become adults, although their development is dependent upon environmental conditions.

German Cockroach Eggs

The German cockroach’s ootheca is brown in color and typically measures less than 6 to 9 mm in length. The female German cockroach carries the ootheca until the eggs inside it are ready to hatch. One ootheca can contain up to 50 eggs. Egg to adult takes 103 days, on average. Because they produce so many eggs that develop so quickly, their population grows very rapidly.

Do Cockroaches Carry Diseases?

Do Cockroaches Carry Disease?

Do cockroaches carry disease while walking around your home? The answer is YES, they should not be taken lightly.

American Cockroach. By American-cockroach.jpg: Gary Alpertderivative work: B kimmel (talk) – American-cockroach.jpg, CC BY 2.5

It is common knowledge that cockroaches are invasive pests that can cause a range of health problems. Roaches will survive out of your trash, leftovers, and discarded household items. They usually wander around at night and that is when they scavenge for food. Cockroaches often live in sewers and this is one of the reasons why they carry diseases that can be spread to humans.

Imagine a cockroach feeding off your garbage. The same cockroach will then go to your kitchen’s countertop, looking for more food. It’ll step all over your utensils, which you’ll later use. Cockroaches also prefer dirty and humid places such as bathrooms.

Cockroach bites are not what cause diseases in humans and they are not vectors. It is the different bacteria that cockroaches end up carrying on their body that can contaminate human food and water. Cockroaches are commonly associated with lack of hygiene and for a good reason. Every year, thousands of people are sent to the hospital because of health problems caused by roach infestations in their homes.

Why Cockroach Infestations Can Be Dangerous

Cockroaches are one of the primary pests that impact people’s health. As explained above they carry and transmit diseases that are dangerous for humans. Having a roach-infested home is not only disgusting but also a threat to you and to your family.

If you own a business, having a roach infestation can be even more dangerous as it could potentially impact your customer’s health. No one would eat at a restaurant where there are roaches in the kitchen. A hospital full of roaches – imagine how horrid that would be! Cockroaches are clever and sneaky – they can invade almost any place.

Cockroach Infestation. By Rachel So – Flickr: Audubon Insectarium, CC BY-SA 2.0,

What Diseases Do Cockroaches Carry?

Their dirty living environment is the reason why they end up being carriers of infectious microorganisms. Roaches have been known to carry around 33 kinds of bacteria and almost six parasites. Even E.Coli has been found on them! Thus roaches are not just tiny annoying pests – they are dangerous pests that should be taken seriously. A roach infestation can literally destroy your house and your body!

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Here’s a list of diseases roaches carry:

Cholera: Spread through contaminated food and water; cockroaches can spread this through their feces.

Plague: Cockroaches have been known to carry the bacterium that spreads the bubonic plague

Typhoid fever: Symptoms are headaches, muscle cramps, exhaustion, diarrhea

Dysentery diarrhea with blood: spread through the unhygienic environment and food)

Gastroenteritis: Also known as stomach flu

E. Coli infections: E. Coli has been found on the bodies of roaches

Food poisoning caused by contaminated food or water

Salmonellosis caused by eating contaminated food; symptoms similar to food poisoning

Allergies: Cockroaches trigger allergic reactions in people. Their body and saliva can cause asthma-like problems. Asthma is a respiratory disease that can be deadly if not treated on time.

Cholera: Consuming cockroach contaminated food or water can ruin the functioning of your digestive system. Cholera is a scary disease caused by a cockroach and they also carry E.Coli . Other gastric problems can increasingly bring down immunity. People have been admitted into ERs because of severe health problems caused just because of roach infestations that went unaddressed.

Common Cockroach Disease Symptoms

  • Stomach cramps
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Blood in stool or vomit
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Rashes on the skin
  • Discoloration of skin

Do Roaches Bite? What Do the Bites Look?

Although it’s very unlikely for these pests to bite humans, yes, they can bite us if there’s a large cockroach infestation and the food sources become limited. They usually take a bite on fingernails, toes, hand, feet, and face such as mouth and eyelids. Mostly, roaches are attracted to bite while we’re sleeping at night and in specific parts where there are food remnants left on our body.

That’s why it’s essential to always wash our hands and mouth after eating to prevent roaches scurrying over our body to taste the food we ate. Cockroach bites are similar like mosquito bites, only slightly larger than the bloodsucking critters. The bites appear like swelling red bumps followed by itchy rashes. Cockroach bites aren’t considered venomous as their bites pose no direct threat to humans. However, roaches are nasty pests which carry a lot of bacteria and germs. Therefore, there’s always a risk of infection due to irritation and lesions.

Signs That You Have A Roach Infestation

  • Feces left behind by the roaches (looks like pepper)
  • A peculiar odor around the suspected infestation site
  • Dead bodies of roaches
  • Different parts of roaches that they may have shed (like a few legs lying here and there)
  • Roach eggs in nooks and crannies of your building

Cockroach bites are similar like mosquito bites, only slightly larger than the bloodsucking critters. The bites appear like swelling red bumps followed by itchy rashes.

How Long Will Roaches Live for?

Roaches are resilient insects. You probably don’t know that cockroaches actually can survive a week without its head. And, they can survive a whole month without food. In terms of how long they will live, it depends on several factors such as the species, environment, and diet. American cockroaches usually will live for 6 months to a year. If their surrounding conditions provide them with an ample food and the weather is humid, the adult females can live more than 700 days. Other species of cockroach: German cockroach can live less than a year, approximately 200 days, while Oriental cockroach can live around 160-18- days.

How Fast Do They Breed?

Cockroach breeding habits vary depending on their species. German cockroaches have a shorter lifespan than any other species in North America, but they have the highest reproductive rate. Females can lay up t0 40 eggs in one ootheca (egg capsule) and they can produce five to seven ootheca in their lifespan. American cockroaches can produce two oothecae in a week, each containing 16 eggs. In their lifespan, females can produce up to 150 offspring. Meanwhile, female Oriental cockroaches can lay up t0 16 eggs in one egg capsule and produce eight capsules during their lifetime.

How Do Roaches Invade Human Spaces?

There are about 30 different types of roaches that are considered pests today. They are found all over the world, especially in warm and humid places. They are extremely good at hiding and they have adapted to the modern day lifestyle. Around 80% of the homes in urban spaces have or have had a roach infestation. Cockroaches look for three simple things – food, water, and shelter. In search of these three essential items, they can end up breaking into any place.

Cracks in the windows, damaged doors, easily accessible basements, and attics, leaky pipes, broken toilets, garbage bins, cockroaches can enter your living space through a variety of ways. It is important to constantly be on the lookout for roaches, as having a roach infestation can destroy your living environment and your health.

If their surrounding conditions provide them with an ample food and the weather is humid, the adult female American cockroaches can live more than 700 days.

Do Roaches Damage Houses?

The damage roaches cause to your house might not as severe as what termites do. Roaches don’t chew on the wooden structures of your home. However, if there’s a massive cockroach infestation when they find it more difficult to seek food, they will consume literally anything including natural-based materials such as furniture, rugs made of nylon and other fibers, clothing, wallpaper and other paper products made from cellulose. Not only that, but roaches can also feed on the insulation which will cause electrical issues for your household appliances.

What Can You Do About It?

Preventing roaches is the best way to ensure that you won’t suffer from the diseases that they transmit. Follow the tips below to avoid a roach infestation:

  1. Keep your surroundings clean
  2. Fix all broken windows and doors
  3. Clear out the garbage every day
  4. Keep all empty boxes and containers tightly sealed
  5. Make sure your surroundings are uncluttered
  6. Keep garbage bins away from the main living space
  7. Keep the kitchen clean
  8. Make sure the refrigerator is functional and clean
  9. Don’t leave any windows or doors open at night
  10. Attach mesh wires of any openings in the building

Keep the Roaches Away, Keep Your Own Self-Safe

Always keep an eye out for roaches. It is always better to stop an infestation in its initial stages. Choosing to use the services of a professional pest control company is the best way to contain and eliminate an infestation. Handling a cockroach infestation on your own can be quite futile and risky. The damage caused by roaches to human health should not be underestimated. Remember to always be aware of roaches in your home!

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