I’ve always been relentless when it comes to keeping my home pest-free, so imagine my horror when I found a nasty cluster of what I later identified as cockroach eggs! I knew they were ticking bombs waiting to explode into a full-blown infestation, so I had to act fast!
Today, I’ll be sharing with you all the ins and outs of how to kill cockroach eggs to help you, as well, exterminate this stubborn plague.
What Are The Cockroach Eggs?
To defeat the enemy, you first need to understand the enemy. This means figuring out exactly what cockroach eggs are, and to do this, we’ll need to back up a bit into the lifecycle of a cockroach.
Now, there are numerous species of roaches, for example, you probably have heard of the German Cockroach or American Cockroach, the two most common species out there.
While each species of cockroaches demonstrate some distinct aspects of growth or behavior, generally, they go through the same 3 stages of life: the egg, nymph, and adult. Of course, the main focus here is the roach eggs.
Female cockroaches don’t carry eggs individually, but rather in a sort of oblong sac called the ootheca (a protective shell that encloses a cluster of roach eggs). After fertilization takes place, the female cockroach bears the ootheca on its abdomen for a certain period before the eggs are ready to be deposited.
Some species wait until the eggs are close to hatching (such as the German roach), while others (such as the American roach) lay their eggs just hours after they were formed.
How many eggs does a cockroach lay?
The number of eggs inside an ootheca egg sac also varies according to the species. The German cockroach egg sac, for instance, contains about 40 eggs which typically hatch in a months’ time.
On the other hand, a species such as the American roach holds around 16 eggs inside its ootheca egg sac, taking approximately a month or two to hatch.
What Does It Mean When You Find Roach Eggs?
Cockroaches as insects aren’t the “cleanest” type. Unlike, say bees, roaches are notorious for being “gross” or “nasty” insects, which is true considering how they’re associated with carrying pathogens and causatives of various diseases.
This also applies to their egg sacs, which means that if you find roach eggs, yours, as well as your loved ones’ health is in jeopardy, especially if someone suffers from allergies. Cockroach eggs may induce allergic reactions including itching, swelling of the eyes, and respiratory conditions.
Another thing you should be realizing once you notice the presence of roach eggs is that you may be already facing a cockroach infestation, or about to for that matter. As we established, a common cockroach can lay an ootheca sac with a number of eggs between 16 and 40, that’s 40 more cockroaches capable of laying just as many, and soon enough it’s going to be a mega invasion.
On the other hand, if you’ve just been done with handling a previous roach infestation, then obviously, finding roach eggs is a sign of an incompetent job from your pest control methods or service. This usually means the crevices and cracks, where cockroaches could potentially enter your house from, also weren’t properly sealed.
Moreover, female roaches tend to deposit the egg sacs in dark, humid spots that you’re very likely to miss when you go on a house cleaning mission. Finding cockroach eggs inside your home should give you a “gentle” reminder that your cleaning skills need to be improved or your range should be more thorough.
What Cockroach Eggs Look Like?
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s a misconception that female cockroaches lay “eggs” per se, I mean they do, just not in a conventional way or look you’d imagine an animal or insect laying eggs. How so? Well, the eggs aren’t deposited individually, but rather in a case called ootheca that contains said eggs, a whole lot of them.
So if you’re expecting to see a million tiny eggs, think again. Then what do cockroaches eggs look like? Well, there’s no one general answer to this question because the appearance of a roach’s ootheca differs according to its species. To help you identify cockroach eggs, here are the 3 most common types you’re likely to encounter:
German Cockroach Eggs
The ootheca of a German cockroach is brown in color or a sort of dark yellowish/light brown color. If you look at it up close, you’ll notice the ootheca shell to have ridges all over. Each roach egg sac typically contains about 40 to 50 eggs.
As for the size, a German cockroach egg sac is smaller compared to other roach species, measuring somewhere between 6 and 9 millimeters with a purse shape.
The egg case of the German roach is particularly alarming to witness, this is because a female cockroach doesn’t deposit the ootheca until shortly before hatching time. The incubation period, in this case, is around 28 days.
American Cockroach Eggs
The American cockroach ootheca is usually ranging from a dark chocolate brown color to reddish-brown color, coupled with smooth outer shells and a glossy appearance. A single egg sac may contain up to 16 eggs.
Here, the size of an American roach egg is approximately 8 to 9 millimeters, larger than the German cockroach eggs. The mom roach carries the ootheca only for a few hours or days before sticking it somewhere safe.
Oriental Cockroach Eggs
The Oriental cockroach egg sac is a dark reddish-brown color, similar to that of its American counterparts. However, the ootheca produced by an Oriental roach is bigger the American, ranging between 8 to 10 millimeters in size.
They tend to appear somewhat inflated, containing around 16 eggs in total. Female Oriental cockroaches will tuck their egg sacs away in a cold secure spot. It takes an egg around 42 to 81 days to hatch.
How To Find Roach Eggs?
If you have a reason to suspect the presence of cockroach eggs in your home, such as roaches always coming back after you seem to have gotten rid of them, or you’re simply dreading the nasty nightmare of roach infestation, then you most definitely want to find those stubborn cockroach eggs.
Obviously, you should first be able to tell whether or not what you’re seeing is actually eggs of cockroaches. This means you have some homework to do, but fortunately, I’ve already discussed identifying the various common cockroach eggs so you should be all set!
Now, we arrive at the juicy part, locating those little eggs of horror. It’s actually less of a “how” question and more of a “where” situation. Female cockroaches across every species have a habit of depositing their eggs in hidden spots away from human reach, so you need to understand the egg sacs won’t be sitting in plain sight, you’ll have to work for it.
That being said, here are a few places you’re most likely to find eggs that have been laid:
Cracks and Fissures
One of the hottest spots where roaches typically keep their egg sacs is none other than cracks in your floors and walls. Think about the last time you looked into that 5-year-old hole in the wall? Yeah, it’s been a while huh.
This is exactly what makes such places perfect for keeping cockroach eggs. Humans usually ignore them altogether, which means the offspring will be protected until they hatch and spread.
An ootheca won’t be just sheltered from prying eyes but also nestled in away from light and possible predators. Cracks and fissures usually develop around window and door frames, on the ceiling, and old furniture.
As disgusting as it may sound, your kitchen, unfortunately, could be the headquarters of dirty roach egg sacs. And why not? Kitchens provide warmth, food, and the back of their cabinets never see the light, ideal conditions for breeding. I mean, when was it that you cleaned or even reached back there?
Additionally, if you’ve installed high cupboards, you may want to search for egg cases on their tops.
Admittedly, pipes may not be a place that most people would suspect, but if you think like a cockroach, it’s absolutely legit. Sewage or drainage pipes offer a dark, moist home roach eggs with virtually zero disturbance chances, so what’s not to love?
I know what you’re thinking, “I empty my garbage cans on a semi-daily basis, there’s no way a cockroach would lay eggs in these!” And, you know what? You’re right!
Female cockroaches wouldn’t deposit their eggs somewhere so frequently visited. However, garbage cans are considered a great source of food that roaches may end up laying eggs in close by dark and moist areas.
Following a trail can lead you to find a cockroaches nest, and consequently, where eggs would be kept. If you see tiny black droppings, shed skins, or catch a smelly musty odor from a certain area, then you’re probably very close to hitting the target.
How To Kill Cockroach Eggs?
Ah yes, the million-dollar question, how to kill cockroach eggs? While killing them is the main issue today, you should think even bigger as in how to get rid of roach eggs once and for all! It’s a mission made up of 3 steps: killing the egg sacs, eliminating any adult roaches, and finally, dealing with whatever caused their presence in the first place.
Let’s start with killing the little devils! The process of exterminating cockroach egg sacs surely isn’t easy since there’s not much you can do before actually finding them. They don’t move, so you can’t chase them around with a flip flop or lure them out using traps. Moreover, their shells are fortified to withstand all sorts of unfavorable conditions as well as resist most insecticide and pesticide products.
Cockroach egg sacs are one tough cookie, however, once you find them, it’s a different game.
Right off the bat, the minute you’re able to locate the spots cockroach egg sacs are hidden, you should be ready to vacuum or collect them as quickly and as soon as possible. Now that you got those roach eggs in the bag, here are a few methods you can choose from to make the kill.
Sounds satisfying, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it surely is, especially if you’ve been fighting a long war!
As simple as this method is, it’s even quite effective. All you need here is a pair of sturdy shoes or boots and you can stamp on the egg sacs till you’re pleased. Also, you can use a heavy object to crush them with.
Of course, this can get a little messy, so it’s best if you do it outside your house and clean up very carefully afterward to avoid attracting a new wave of roaches.
Another way to kill roach egg sacs is to set them on fire, which is also a great way to get some satisfaction if you’ve been holding a grudge for too long. However, I urge you to take the action outside and away from your home to avoid burning anything else by accident, as well as to save yourself from the stench of charred cockroach eggs.
Bath them in boric acid
If you’ve ever wondered what kills roaches and their eggs, low and behold, the powerful boric acid. It’s a guaranteed chemical approach that’ll kill a cockroach through any stage of life, so even if some eggs were to hatch, the emerging nymphs would still die.
What you need to do here is put all the egg sacs that you’ve collected in an acid-resistant container (some sort of PVC will do), then proceed to pour acid on top of them, and voila! You’re basically done.
Make sure you’re using enough acid to completely submerge the egg sacs and ensure maximum effect.
Use a potent pesticide spray
If you’ve already sprayed your house with commercial-grade pesticides within the last few weeks of your battle with roach egg sacs, then this is one additional method that you can try.
Spray the collected cockroach egg sacs with a type of potent pesticide that’s used by professional services and it’ll probably do the trick, killing any hatchlings in the process.
Use an insect growth regulator (IGR)
Many people consider insect growth regulators the best way to kill roaches and eggs, and rightfully so. IGRs are chemicals that disturb or prevent the life cycle of cockroaches, and thus, they can be used to control or kill the stubborn insect.
IGRs come in liquid form, which means you can pour it over the roach egg sacs to stop them from ever hatching into baby crawlers.
After you done with cockroach eggs
After you’ve successfully exterminated cockroach egg sacs, you’ll need to deal with any remaining adult roaches to ensure that you won’t have to go through the frustration of fighting egg sacs again.
The final step to getting rid of cockroaches and their egg sacs comes down to your lifestyle. Always make sure to perform regular check-ups around your house for early signs of a problem. Also, don’t forget to keep your kitchen tidy and free of dirty dish piles to avoid the attraction of lurking pests.
Well, that’s about it folks! Your personal guide on finding, identifying, as well as killing cockroach eggs. It may not be the easiest task, however, I’m confident this article can be a huge help in taking down the nasty invaders.