Seeing a large cockroach in your home can be disconcerting, but seeing baby cockroaches might be even worse! Baby roaches are a sure sign that there is a cockroach population that is living and reproducing in your home. One female German cockroach can produce 300-400 offspring in one year! Getting an early jump on the problem is critical. So, what do baby cockroaches look like and what should you do if you see them?
The life cycle of a cockroach begins when a female lays an egg case. This case is called an ootheca. It may be deposited immediately or carried around by the female until she finds a safe place or until the babies hatch. A cockroach ootheca is typically oval shaped and brown in color. They vary in length, depending on the cockroach species, but generally range from 5-10 mm long. These egg cases can often be found in dark, moist areas that attract roaches like under sinks, behind appliances, in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Cockroach ootheca by Happy1892 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
What Do Baby Cockroaches Look Like?
After 24-38 days, the baby cockroaches will emerge. Baby cockroaches are called nymphs. Cockroaches undergo what is called incomplete metamorphosis. This means that the babies are very similar to the adults, except they are much smaller, have underdeveloped wings and are not sexually mature. Some of the features that all cockroaches, including nymphs, have are:
- Flat, oval-shaped bodies
- Small heads covered by a shield-like pronotum
- Chewing mouthparts that face downwards
- 6 spiny legs with small claws at the end
- Large compound eyes
- 2 long, flexible antenna
When cockroach nymphs first hatch, they are soft and pale in color, but within hours, they will start to harden and get darker. The size and color of the nymphs vary by species, but coloring will generally be similar to adults. As the nymphs develop into adulthood, they will shed their skin (molt) several times. Immediately following molting, cockroaches may again appear pale white in color, but they will quickly darken. Cockroaches are generally fully mature and able to reproduce within 2-3 months.
The control of cockroaches should involve an integrated approach that includes sanitation, exclusion, and chemical methods. Keeping the home clean and free of excess moisture is an important first step. Next, make sure that the home is sealed so that cockroaches and other pests cannot enter. Lastly, there are many different chemical means to treat cockroaches. From liquid sprays to boric acid tablets to powders and gels, there are many approaches that can be beneficial. If you are seeing a lot of cockroaches, especially babies, around your home, hiring a professional exterminator may be your best bet. The experts at Radar Pest Control will come to your home to perform an inspection. Our friendly technicians will identify problem areas and work with you to create a comprehensive plan to get rid of the roaches. We serve the great people of Bli Bli, Nambour, Buderim, and everywhere in between. If you are in need of Sunshine Coast Pest Control, contact Radar Pest Control today.