What Homeowners Should Know About Cockroach Eggs
While large American cockroaches are most likely to scare or surprise us when they show up inside our homes, the smaller German cockroach is the greater threat. That's because German cockroaches are the most common indoor cockroach species in the United States.
A single female German cockroach and her offspring can produce up to 30,000 cockroach young each year. This pest likes to hide in the tiny cracks and crevices around the homet, making the German cockroach difficult to spot and control. And though German cockroaches have lower egg production than other species, they have longer development times, meaning it takes longer for the population to become large and noticed.
The good news is that there are ways to help stop or eliminate a German cockroach infestation. The process begins with knowing how and where to look for these small roaches, including how to identify cockroach eggs.
The German female cockroach likes to lay her eggs in humid and warm areas of the home such as the kitchen or bathroom. The egg capsule, which contains around 40 young cockroaches, is light brown in color and about a quarter-inch long.
Females are capable of producing a new egg capsule every few weeks under favorable conditions. The mother carries the capsule until a day or two before it hatches, then deposits it in a crevice or another protected place once hatching begins.
This ongoing birth cycle is one reason a few small roaches can quickly turn into a roach infestation. A German female cockroach that continues to produce and hatch eggs over her 30-week lifespan can spawn two additional generations. Even if she doesn't produce the highest numbers of offspring possible, her efforts (and those of her descendants) can still bring in at least 10,000 new cockroaches to life within a year.
Where to look for small roaches and cockroach eggs
German cockroaches prefer a moist, warm environment near food and water. This is why cockroach eggs and young cockroaches are commonly found in the kitchen or bathroom. Small roaches can also cluster in cracks and crevices and seek out wet or humid parts of the home.
Wherever you notice small roaches or cockroach eggs, a roach infestation may be taking hold. Be sure to check the following areas of your home regularly for signs of roach activity.
- Sinks and counter tops
- Drawers, cupboards and pantries
- Floor and tub drains
- Plumbing cabinets and water heater closets
- Trash cans and recycling bins
- Consistently damp areas such as the basement, laundry room or mud room
- Any part of the house where meals or snacks are consumed, including the living room, dining room and bedrooms
Helping prevent or control a roach infestation
German cockroaches are difficult to eliminate because they multiply rapidly and are excellent at hiding. However, you can help stop them from ever moving in. A little maintenance, some good sanitation practices and a reduction in clutter can all help prevent roaches from getting comfortable in your home. Here are some good tips to follow:
- Seal small cracks and crevices where roaches can enter, deposit eggs or hide.
- Inspect grocery bags, boxes and luggage before bringing them inside the home.
- Wipe up crumbs, seal up leftovers and clean up spilled food or drinks immediately. Don’t leave used food plates or wrappers around the house.
- Wash dirty dishes, glasses, cups, utensils and cooking items as soon as possible after use.
- Empty the kitchen and bathroom trash daily, sealing the bags before placing them outside. Empty recycling bins each day as well.
- Vacuum up cockroach egg capsules, young cockroaches and adults when possible. Use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to help reduce cockroach debris that can become airborne and trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic to roaches.
- Get rid of boxes, bags, newspapers and other clutter to help eliminate roach hiding places. Leave room between boxes and packages when storing items in an enclosed space.
Of course, there are more cockroaches than just the German cockroach that can be a pest in your home. Here are some tips to help you determine the different types of cockroaches.