The scientific name of a German cockroach is Blattella germanica (Linnaeus). All of us have an idea of how dangerous German cockroaches can be to your houses and families. The German cockroach egg can be equally devastating. They are usually found in clusters or colonies and infect the surfaces of your house. If you or the members of your family come in contact with those bacteria, you can fall sick. German cockroaches are never alone. Baby roaches are called nymphs and they take about two months to grow into full adults. Once they become adults, they start finding mates for themselves. It doesn’t take much time for them to find their partners. Impressive! right?
The real deal begins after the cockroaches have mated. After the mating process, the female cockroaches lay egg cases that are called Oothecae. The oothecae contain a large number of eggs that are wrapped in a layer of protein that, in the later stage, forms a hard and protective shell. Each egg case, that a female cockroach lays, contains around 50 eggs in it. Some species of cockroaches leave the egg case after laying it, whereas, other species carry the cases with them until they hatch. German cockroach eggs produce German cockroach babies that can be your worst nightmare ever.
A female German cockroach lays eggs in areas that are warm, moist and humid. Therefore, if you want to look for cockroaches, look in such areas. The egg shell or the capsule is pale in colour. The Female German cockroach can produce new egg shells every week if it breeds under favourable conditions. The life cycle of a German cockroach is continuous and goes on without a pause. This is another reason why one single cockroach can turn into a breeding machine and fill your house with German cockroaches if not taken care of.
The size of an egg case is 8 mm in length, 3 mm in height and 2 mm wide. It is brown in colour and looks like a small, purse-shaped capsule. Often, the eggs hatch from the Oothecae when the female cockroach is still carrying it in her genital chambers. It takes around 103 days for an egg to turn into an adult. In this article, we will talk about various aspects of a German cockroach’s egg, their gestation period and the stages of growth that it goes though.
Gestation period of a female German cockroach
Gestation period is the time span during which the child-bearer carries their young ones in their uterus. Insects do not have a well-build uterus, therefore, they are not said to be gestating. However, because the process is of giving birth, a lot of people term the development of the eggs in Cockroaches as “gestation”.
A female cockroach starts its gestation period when it creates Oothecae, that contains half a century of eggs. Maximum of the female cockroaches leave their Oothecae in a safe place so that they can hatch without any problems, but there are also female cockroaches that hatch their eggs while they are carrying it with them, or carry the egg case along until the egg hatches. Female German cockroaches are mostly seen doing this.
After the egg case hatches giving birth to nymphs, they are ghostly white in colour and soft in nature. They only get dark-skinned when their exoskeleton becomes hard and sturdy. The nymphs shed their exoskeletons 5-6 times before they become proper adults and go for mating. You can distinguish a baby cockroach from an adult cockroach by their size and many a times, their wings.
The nymph of a German cockroach
The life cycle of a German cockroach starts with it inside the egg case. The egg case breaks open due to all the nymphs pressurizing the shell. Once the egg case hatches, the baby of the cockroach is called a nymph. They are white in colour and they shed their skin multiple times while reaching adulthood. If the baby cockroach doesn’t get enough food in the first 12 hours after its birth, it can have problems in growing up into a proper adult.
The nymph of a German cockroach is pale brown in colour and every time it sheds its exoskeleton, it turns darker in colour. The development of a nymph to an adult takes about a year. The size of German cockroach nymphs when they hatch is about 3 mm long. After they darken their skin and colour, two stripes on their body occurs, stretching from their heads to their rears. The colour of these bands is usually dark brown or black.
The stages of a German cockroach’s life
A cockroach goes through egg and nymphal stage before turning into an adult. The number of Oothecae that a cockroach’s egg case carries depends solely on its species. The species of the female German cockroach carries around 50 nymphs in an egg case. Nymphs writhe and wriggle collectively inside the egg case to free themselves. The nymphs are similar to the adult German cockroaches in their looks and nature, the only exception being that they are smaller in size.
After undergoing a series of molts, the nymphs finally become adult cockroaches. There are a few species of cockroaches that also gain wings after their final molt. The average lifespan of a cockroach is around a year, but this factor also depends on the species of the cockroach. A lot of factors contribute to the lifespan of the German cockroach like temperature, environmental conditions, etc. Adult cockroaches are also called scavengers and they are known to be reproducing in large numbers.
German cockroaches, as a matter of fact all cockroaches, are nocturnal insects. They hide in closets and dark corners in the daytime and come out to look for food only in the night. That doesn’t mean that the tiny pests you spot in the daytime are not harmful. You should get rid of all of them.
How to get rid of German cockroach eggs?
German cockroaches lay eggs which turn into nymphs and then adults in no time. Therefore, it is very important to nip their breeding in the bud. If you ignore a baby cockroach, or a cockroach egg shell, assuming that it will do no harm, you are in for a huge surprise. These eggs hatch up to 50 nymphs at a time. Here are some ways to prevent the egg shells from hatching in your house.
- Fill and fix the crevices and holes in your kitchen, bathrooms, and in and around closets.
- When you bring in things from outside, inspect all your bags and plastics to see if there are any small cockroaches or egg shells attached to it.
- After you work in the kitchen, or eat something, make sure you wipe up all the leftovers of food, crumbs and other particles clean. Otherwise, cockroaches will feed on them and survive peacefully in your house. This will also lead to them laying eggs more frequently.
- After eating or cooking, do not keep the dishes and utensils in the sink for long. Wash them as soon as possible. If you keep them unattended, cockroaches will feed themselves and their colonies and breeding will increase.
- Do not keep the trash of the bathroom or kitchen in the bin for a long time. Dirty places attract cockroaches and they tend to lay eggs on them. Therefore, dispose the daily trash to prevent the breeding of cockroach eggs.
- You might find the shells of egg capsules and dead or alive baby roaches. Vacuum the house with a high-efficiency particular air vacuum cleaner filter. This will help to restrict the shell of cockroaches from being found here and there.
- Do not keep cartons, newspaper stacks, and other dumping stuff in any corner of your house. These become places where cockroaches lay their egg shells. When you are placing clusters of boxes and newspapers in your house, keep them at a distance.
These were a few ways to get rid of German cockroach eggs. If you want to live in a cockroach-free house and environment, never forget to keep your surfaces clean and hygienic. Any dirt or leftover food can attract cockroaches and lead them to lay eggs and multiply in numbers.
The life cycle of a German cockroach egg is quite interesting, owing to the different challenges that if faces and overcomes in its lifespan. You might be really scared of cockroaches but you will also be fascinated by their lives at the same time. You need to about the German cockroach egg if you want to exterminate their colonies from their house. Therefore, the next time you see a baby cockroach or an adult cockroach in your house, try to nip their egg shells and see how the breeding stops. You can find a lot of DIY ideas to get rid of cockroach eggs.
We hope this article was useful to you in understanding the structure and anatomy of a German cockroach.
Also read our article on German cockroach bites.