What’s scarier than 13 cockroaches scurrying across the wall? Answer: Finding a single baby cockroach. If you are ever unlucky enough to set your eyes on a white cockroach nymph (often confused with albino cockroaches) then you can safely assume that the presence of this one immature roach baby means a hundred more hidden roaches you cannot see are creeping around somewhere. You quickly realize cockroaches have become comfortable enough to breed freely in your home. Baby cockroaches are really bad news for home owners!
Why? Keep reading to find out all the details, but it basically, finding baby roaches in your home or apartment means several cockroaches (likely 10 or possibly much more!) are planning on staying and spreading in your house or apartment unless you do something about it quickly!
How do cockroaches reproduce so fast?
It all starts with an adult female cockroach releasing pheromones to attract males. They mate and the female stores the sperm for egg production. About a week after initially mating, she will produce her first ootheca or egg pouch. These pouches can hold about 16 eggs each and a female in her prime will produce one or two per week, averaging one per month throughout her life cycle. American cockroaches have a life expectancy of a year up to a year and a half. You can see how this is a very efficient way of bringing hundreds of roaches into the world with minimal effort on the mother’s part. One adult female is responsible for adding a couple of hundred baby roaches to the population of which roughly half again will be female and thus the cycle continues.
American cockroach females deposit the egg pouches rather quickly, while female German cockroaches carry the pouch around attached to their abdomen for a few days before finding a suitable hiding place to deposit it. The numbers of offspring they can produce also varies largely. Where a German cockroach and her line can produce a staggering 300,000 new roaches, the American cockroach only brings up about 800 in one year. It is, therefore, no surprise the German cockroach is one of the most prolific pests in the world today.
What happens after the babies hatch?
The baby roaches, or nymphs remain in the egg pouch for about three weeks but can take up to two months to hatch, depending on species and environmental conditions. They emerge as white nymphs, and it takes a few minutes for them to gain use of their limbs. They darken into the brown roach color after a few hours.
Freshly hatched cockroaches and each molting stage thereafter are called instar nymphs until they reach adulthood. The nymphs move around soon after hatching looking for their first meal. Since cockroaches are insects, they cannot grow without shedding their skin. A cockroach nymph has to molt several times during the growth process and it takes about a year for a cockroach to be fully grown into adulthood.
Each molt means the cockroach has to grow a new skin underneath the old one, which then splits open and the newly formed roach in its next growth stage emerges. Cockroaches are white and soft immediately upon molting, just like the babies that just hatched from their egg pouch. It’s not uncommon to find a white roach in a home that’s heavily infested but due to the fact that nymphs are most vulnerable right after molting, they usually tend to molt deep within their harborage area.
Adult cockroaches have wings and depending on the species; they will sometimes fly or glide. Nymphs don’t have this luxury. Cockroaches don’t develop their wings until the final molting stage into adulthood.
What to do if you see a baby cockroach
Spotting a cockroach nymph is a good indicator that you have a well established colony inhabiting your home.
The nymphs are comfortable enough, and the population is prolific enough for the juveniles to not feel threatened by leaving the safety of the nest. This is obviously not a good sign for your home. The best way to deal with a prolific roach infestation like this is to kill them right at the heart of their harborage. The simple act of trapping and killing roaches that may wander through your home is not enough to stem the flow of newborn babies and eggs that are still hatching at the nesting area.
Different types of bait are designed to not instantly kill the roaches on contact but to be carried back into their hiding places where they are intended to be ingested by other individuals in the colony.
The simple act of killing roaches that may wander through your home is not enough to stem the flow of new baby roaches that come from their harborage.
It’s important to take advantage of the roaches propensity to eat dead or dying individuals in an attempt to keep the safe haven clear of carcasses and debris. This just results in the pesticide getting spread further around the colony. If left alone at this stage, a mature colony may quickly rebound because eggs may hatch on a delayed schedule after bait is distributed and dissipates through the colony.
The types of roach bait available over the counter are often times not strong enough to eliminate a full blown infestation and more aggressive pest control is necessary. A trained professional has access to a much larger arsenal and can combine different methods, such as fumigation, bait and trap, to eliminate an overwhelming roach problem once and for all. A multi-prong attack strategy is usually the only way to ensure success.
Baby Cockroach Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do cockroach mothers take care of their cockroach babies?
Why are baby cockroaches called “nymphs”?
What do roach nymphs look like?
My house is very clean but I found a baby cockroach in my kitchen yesterday… how did this happen?
I found a baby cockroach in my house, does this mean I have a roach infestation?
How small can baby cockroaches be?
What do cockroach eggs look like? Can you see them with the naked eye?
Is this a Silverfish or a baby cockroach?
How many baby cockroaches does a female cockroach usually have?
How long does it take cockroach nymphs to reach maturity?
How can baby cockroaches get inside a human ear?
Can cockroaches hurt my baby?
Is this a baby cockroach on my bed? I think I found one crawling on my mattress!
Can baby cockroaches jump or hop or could this be a springtail?
What does it mean if I found baby cockroaches in my bathroom?
Additional Resources About Cockroach Nymphs
- Cockroach Frequently Asked Questions – University of New England
- Difference between Palmetto Bugs and Cockroaches
- List of Different Bugs that Look Like Cockroaches
- Dealing with Cockroaches – Removal and Prevention
- Life Stages of Cockroaches: Incomplete Metamorphosis – Ask a Biologist