If you’re trying to deal with roaches, you should also be asking how to kill cockroach eggs. Why? Because one “egg” can become 50 roaches. However, there is a proper way to deal with them and that is what I’ll be talking about. It’s important to know how to do it right, so you can avoid wasting all your efforts and allowing even more roaches to hatch from the eggs.
Do cockroaches lay eggs?
Do cockroaches lay eggs? Yes, they do. In fact, they actually “lay” many eggs at a time. Roaches produce an egg sac, called an ootheca, that holds a bunch of eggs. The ootheca is basically a protective case. It’s a protein layer that hardens to become a protective case for eggs within. The exact number of eggs in a roach egg sac varies depending on what kind of cockroach you are dealing with. I’ll cover the four most common roaches that are pests to us.
- The American cockroach lays about 16 eggs in one case.
- Brown-banded cockroaches will produce about 10 to 18 eggs per case.
- The Oriental cockroach lays about 16 eggs in a case just like the American cockroach.
- German roaches, are the worst of them all, and lays up to 50 eggs in one egg sac.
Not sure which type of roaches you’re dealing with? You’ll want to identify them fast to better your chances. The best way to catch them for identification is with a bunch of sticky traps. Use Trapper Max unscented glue traps and place them in areas where you frequently see them. Once you’ve caught a few, you can identify them based their physical characteristics here.
As you can see from these numbers, you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure these eggs don’t hatch. The best way to make sure they don’t hatch is with an insect growth regulator spray. Gentrol is the best I’ve seen, so I highly recommend you try them.
What does an egg sac look like?
What do cockroach eggs look like? What color are they? What are they shaped like? How big are they? These are questions you should be asking and I’ll be answering them.
The shape is pretty much the same for all of them. It is elongated and resembles a pill. Picture a Tylenol. It is the color and the size that are different between each of them.
- American cockroach oothecae are dark brown in color. They are about 8 mm in length.
- The Brown-banded egg sac is a little lighter in color. It is more of a light brown color and has a small hint of red. It’s slightly smaller than the American cockroach’s and measures about 5 mm.
- The oriental roach egg sac is a darker reddish brown color and measures between 8 to 10 mm.
- German cockroach eggs measure 6 to 9 mm and are generally brown.
Regardless of whether those eggs belong to an American cockroach or a German cockroach, Gentrol will stop them from hatching. For any that you find, a good stomp will usually take care of it. But the problem is the few eggs you happen to chance upon. The problem is the many many eggs that are hidden from plain sight; and often hard to find. You want to make sure those don’t hatch as well. The only way to do that is to use a little educated guessing combined with a few cans of Gentrol IGR spray. How do you make these educated guesses? By reading below to learn about locations that are commonly known to hold roach eggs.
How to find them?
How do you find these eggs? They don’t exactly come out at night or anything like that. You’ll have to know where to look for them, but to do so you need to understand something important. You see only some roaches will carry their ootheca until they’re ready to hatch. Others will only carry it from a few hours to just a couple of days. After that they hide it away in a safe location. It varies depending on which type of cockroach you are dealing with.
- The American cockroach will carry their ootheca for a brief period and then deposit it in a safe location.
- The Oriental cockroach is the same as the American cockroach. It will hide it away after a few hours of carrying.
- The German cockroach will carry its egg sac up until it is a few hours away from hatching. Then it will drop it in a safe location. This makes them even more difficult to find them because the eggs are always moving from place to place.
- The brown-banded cockroach will also deposit its egg sack in a safe place, but it carries it a little longer than the other two. It will carry it around for a few days before depositing it.
Where are these safe locations?
For the three that will deposit their eggs in a safe location, how do we find the locations? Where in your house will they consider it safe to leave their precious babies?
To be honest, determining the exact location would be impossible to do. Who knows what goes through their head when they make up their mind and determine that they’ve found the safest spot. That doesn’t leave us completely in the dark though. We can still make some educated guesses.
We already know where they like to hide and what kind of environment they prefer. We also know of common locations where we can find them hiding. We also know about common areas where many eggs are frequently found. Using these bits of information increases our chances from our efforts.
These pests usually like to hide in dark places with plenty of cover from us, so common locations like cabinets and behind baseboards (where the wall meets the floors) are some good places where they might hide their egg sacs. I’ve already covered these potential locations on my other page, so read it to learn more.
How to kill? What to do?
I need to make one thing clear. The usual methods used to kill cockroaches will not work on the eggs. It will still hatch and those tiny little pests will come crawling out. They’ll quickly grow to become adults and reproduce to create even more of them. Of course, that doesn’t mean you don’t use them. In fact, spraying a contact killer like Demon Max will help to quickly kill juveniles once they hatch and start crawling around.
How do you kill these eggs so they don’t hatch then? The only sure way is to place the egg on the sidewalk, leap as high as you can and bring down all your weight on to the egg. In other words, crush it with all your might until you feel you’ve done enough crushing. Well that’s if you can find the egg anyways. However you choose to crush it, make sure you don’t just toss it outside. It will hatch and there’s a good chance they’ll move right into your home.
Okay, so since the chances of actually finding an egg to crush are pretty slim there’s got to be something else we can do right? Yes, there is something else that you can do. And this is where it is important to pay attention because a lot of people assume that you just do the same thing as you would when dealing with roaches. They use the same treatments, the same chemicals, etc. While these work great for adult roaches and even juveniles, they’re not real effective against roach eggs. What you need to do is treat the eggs with growth regulators. The best brand that I trust is Gentrol.
Using the right stuff
You may be wondering, “aren’t insect growth regulators for juveniles”? Yes they are for juveniles, but some of them are also effective at treating roach eggs. If you use the right stuff, exposing an egg to these insect growth regulators will cause it to become sterile. That means they won’t hatch and if they don’t hatch then you won’t have more roaches to repeat the whole reproduction cycle again. So basically it “kills” the roach eggs.
You do have many options, but I highly recommend you try Gentrol IGR concentrates. It’s what the pros count on for results and it’s what I use personally. I’ve had great results with them and they haven’t failed me yet.
Make sure you read the label and instructions carefully before applying it.
By now, this post combined with my other post that I recommended, should provide you with enough information about where to use this stuff for the best results. You should now know how to kill cockroach eggs the right way.
Photo Credit: Matt Reinbold