Watching eggs hatch can be fascinating and exciting – but not when they are cockroach eggs! That is one kind of egg you definitely do not want to hatch and it is worth doing whatever it takes to destroy them before they can spill their loathsome contents. But firstly you need to know exactly what roach eggs look like. Once you are sure about what you are dealing with, then you can set about getting rid of them. Cockroaches breed and multiply at an extremely rapid rate, so chances are, if you have seen some cockroaches scuttling about in your home, then pretty soon they will be laying their eggs. Here are some tips and pointers to help you identify the eggs and then destroy them.
What do Roach Eggs Look Like?
There are four main types of cockroaches, which most commonly appear in domestic homes and living areas. They all lay egg sacs which are called oothecae. An oothecae actually contains multiple eggs. These egg sacs are elongated and look a bit like a pill. The variations among the four types of cockroach egg sacs will be described below.
- The eggs will hatch within 24 to 38 days.
- Each egg sac can contain approximately sixteen eggs.
- The female American cockroach will carry her egg sac for a short while (a few hours to a few days) before finding a safe place to deposit it, such as a dark corner or behind a cabinet or baseboard. Then the female secures them in place with her saliva.
- They are dark brown in color.
- Each egg sac, or oothecae of the American cockroach is about 8mm in length
- One female American cockroach is capable of producing anything from six to ninety egg sacs in her lifetime.
- A German cockroach egg sac is about 6mm to 9mm in length.
- They are brown in color.
- The German cockroach female keeps her egg sac safely attached to her body, until it is almost time for it to hatch and then she will hide it away somewhere dark and quiet.
- There can be as many as fifty embryos in one egg sac. How many egg sacs per adult: The adult German cockroach female can produce between four and six eggs sacs during her lifetime.
- Within 103 days the German cockroach hatchling will reach maturity and is then ready to start reproducing (that is if you don’t kill them before then!)
Brown Banded Cockroach
- The brown banded cockroach egg sac is about 5mm in length.
- It is light brown in color with a tinge of red.
- Brown banded females tend to carry their egg sacs for a few days and then deposit them in a carefully chosen spot, away from the light and in a concealed area.
- There are usually about ten to eighteen eggs in one egg sac.
- The adult female brown banded cockroach can produce up to twenty egg sacs during her lifetime.
- The Oriental cockroach egg sacs can be 8mm to 10mm in length.
- They are dark reddish brown in color.
- After carrying the egg sac for a few hours the Oriental cockroach female will deposit it in a safe location.
- Like the American cockroach, each egg sac of the Oriental cockroach contains approximately sixteen eggs.
- An adult female Oriental cockroach can produce up to eighteen egg sacs in her lifetime.
How to Destroy Cockroach Eggs
Now that you have identified the type of cockroach eggs you are dealing with, it’s time to get rid of them! The best way is to destroy them completely so that there will be no future generations to contend with. Here are some of the most effective methods of eliminating them:
- Crush them: Yes, you can quite simply stamp on them with your shoes or find some other heavy object to crush them with. This could be a bit messy, so be sure to clean up the smashed egg cases afterwards, or they may serve as a snack for any lurking roaches.
- Vacuum them: Vacuuming up the cockroach eggs can be another option, although it will not kill them and you could very well end up with hatchlings inside of you vacuum cleaner! So if you go this route, be sure to empty the bag somewhere safe and then dispose of the eggs so that they don’t hatch.
- Burn them: You could try setting them alight, but please do this outside and be very careful that you do not set anything else alight by mistake. Sure, this method might be slightly satisfying, but it’s not very practical. You also will not enjoy the smell of burning roach eggs.
- Pour boric acid over them: Boric acid is an effective method of killing cockroaches of all ages and sizes, including the eggs. You would need to pour enough acid over the eggs in order to cover them completely. Even if a few were to hatch, they would soon die due coming in contact with the boric acid.
- Spray them with pesticides: Potent, commercial grade cockroach pesticides can be used to spray on the eggs and this will often kill most hatchlings that crawls their way out. Remember, this is assuming the egg sac was sprayed with a potent pesticide within the last couple of weeks.
The Best Way to Destroy Them
The best way to deal with roach egg sacks is to use an insect growth regulator (IGR). Insect growth regulators are normally used to prevent juveniles from reaching adulthood and thus preventing further reproduction. However, IGRs can also be very effective in treating the cockroach eggs. It can usually be obtained in liquid form and when placed on the eggs it causes them to become sterile. In effect, the eggs are killed and so there will be no unwanted crop of baby cockroach hatchlings.
After you deal with the eggs, you need to go after any hatchlings (baby cockroaches). Inevitably, you may not be able to eliminate all the cockroach eggs in your home, and so you need to have a backup plan to go after any hatchlings. By using insect growth regulators, and placing cockroach bait in all the likely cockroach friendly locations, any babies which do emerge will be lured by the bait and then after eating it they will soon die.
Now that you know how to identify and destroy any cockroach eggs you may encounter in your living space, you can look forward to a rapid decrease in the cockroach population. Don’t forget about the adult population though. If you’ve got roach eggs, you likely have to deal with adult roaches as well. With careful perseverance there is no reason why you shouldn’t soon be relaxing and enjoying a roach free zone in your home.