Do cockroaches lay eggs? All Your Questions Answered.

The rapidly growing nature of cockroaches and how they become unending after infesting your home will raise questions on how they breed. Do cockroaches lay eggs or do they give birth to cockroach nymphs? 

Cockroaches do not give birth to babies. They are not like humans who have birthing experiences. They are insects and would, under normal circumstances lay egg capsules or cases. 

Breeding stages for the lifecycle of all roach species that infest your home are three; egg, nymph, and adult. The insects lay their egg sacs on almost anything in your home. 

Usually, the egg case of a female cockroach houses numerous eggs inside of it. The case is often called an ootheca. The number of eggs in the egg case is dependent on the species. They could be more, they could be less. The egg case would take different shapes, colors and would appear different. 

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What do cockroach eggs look like?


Cockroach eggs look like small tan-like capsules in the shape of a purse or pill, with different colors like black, brown depending on the species.

Some cockroach species include; German cockroach, the American cockroach, and the Australian cockroach. You should know that each of these roaches has its method of reproducing. Their eggs differ from each other because of the biological process involved in the breeding process. 

Do German cockroaches lay eggs?

This species is the most common insect that infests people’s homes all over the world. German cockroach egg cases are about 1/3 inches long. A tiny brown case, the shape of a purse. A German female cockroach lays an ootheca that houses about twenty to forty eggs inside it. 

Do American cockroaches lay eggs?

The American cockroach is distributed largely around the world. Most American roaches live in tropical areas. The egg case of this species is dark brown and about 38 mm long. This egg case is larger than that of the German cockroach but houses about fourteen to sixteen eggs in one ootheca. 

Do Australian cockroaches lay eggs?

This species is pretty similar to the American cockroach but smaller in body size. It is also dark-colored. The egg case or ootheca is about 9mm long with a reddish-brown color. A single ootheca can contain about 22 – 24 eggs produced by the female Australian cockroach.

A cockroach egg case has a small ridge known as a keel. It runs to the end of their length and it is the weak point where the hatched nymphs eventually come out from. 

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Where do cockroaches lay their eggs?

Female cockroaches due to their nocturnal nature will lay eggs in dark areas, a place that is hidden and out of reach from humans.

After mating, the female cockroach like the American female cockroach (10 days after mating) finds a comfortable corner in your home to lay her eggs. In dark corners, chest drawers, garbage cans, cracks, kitchen cabinets, to mention a few.

German female cockroaches are very much protective of their eggs and would not readily want it out of their sight. They fancy dark, humid, warm areas as well as kitchen cabinet crevices and bathroom sinks. A German female cockroach will carry her eggs on the back end of her body for some weeks until the eggs are due to hatch. 

American female cockroaches would often lay their eggs on rough surfaces such as furniture, cupboard, and also close to food areas in your house. They usually glue their egg case to these tough surfaces, making it difficult to remove. 

Australian female cockroaches would lay their eggs on tree barks, moist wood, and tight sheltered areas. It makes their ootheca quite difficult to take off. 

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Do cockroaches lay eggs in clothes?

Just as these insects can live anywhere as long as it is comfortable for them, they are also capable of laying their eggs in places where they feel it would be safe.

Yes, cockroaches lay eggs in clothes. When there are heavy infestations, cockroaches would spread their breeding areas to places like your bedroom and dressing area and can lay eggs in your clothes. 

Do cockroaches lay eggs in food?

Female cockroaches do not exactly lay their eggs in the food. However, they lay their eggs near food sources. The American cockroach as well as the Oriental cockroach will lay or deposit their egg cases on hidden tough surfaces near food. 

READ MORE: How long do cockroaches live?

How often do cockroaches lay eggs?

Female cockroaches lay eggs as often as they mate. Some species of female cockroaches are even capable of storing sperm and laying more ootheca without necessarily mating. The American female cockroach produces one egg case every week and on some occasions two. For German cockroaches, they produce new egg cases every six weeks. 

How long do cockroach eggs take to hatch?

The duration of time for ootheca to hatch into cockroach nymphs is dependent on the species of cockroaches. While some take a longer time to hatch, others take a shorter time.

The German cockroach egg takes about 28 days to hatch and about 20 – 40 cockroach nymphs from a single egg case/ootheca. 

For the American cockroach, it takes about four to eight weeks for the egg capsule to hatch out baby cockroach nymphs. 

Do cockroaches lay eggs when killed?

Cockroaches will not lay eggs when killed as they most often place their eggs on hard surfaces after laying them. If you kill or squash a female cockroach, and you are scared that you may have worsened the situation, know that cockroaches do not lay eggs when killed instead, if the female cockroach was at the verge of laying an egg case before being killed, both the cockroach and egg will die, she cannot lay them. 

Are cockroach eggs dangerous?

Cockroaches are unhealthy scavengers capable of transmitting diseases. They are harmful to humans and contaminate foods. That being said, cockroach egg capsules are no different.

The ootheca causes coughing, skin rashes, nasal congestion, ear infections, and so on. The cockroach egg cases are as harmful as the cockroaches themselves and are also capable of contaminating foods. 

What kills cockroaches and their eggs?

There are insect killers that are effective for killing cockroaches and their eggs. They include boric acid, diatomaceous earth, an insect growth regulator.

  • Diatomaceous earth

Cockroach ootheca is most often laid in dark, moist, hidden places such as wooden surfaces, under appliances, etc. Apply diatomaceous earth substance to these affected areas to get rid of both cockroaches and their eggs.

  • Boric acid

You can use boric acid to kill egg cases you come across. After crushing these eggs, apply the boric acid to kill them completely. 

You can also apply for an Insect Growth Regulator to get rid of them. Usually, the IGR will interfere with the growth of these insects by distorting their molting process so they are unable to develop properly. This would halt their reproduction. It is a good method to stop infestation but it takes longer to work. 

You can also use insecticides to kill these insects faster. After using killer sprays, vacuum clean your home, the edges of hidden surfaces in case there are still egg cases that are stuck to them. Conduct proper sanitation as egg cases are sometimes hard to locate. The best way to stop an infestation is by keeping your home tidy and clean at all times. 

Because cockroaches are capable of living in your clothes, boxes, shoes, etc. ensure to bring out old boxes, empty them, and get rid of any cockroach egg you come across. Clean your wardrobe and dressing room, under and behind your bookshelves as well. 

What to do about cockroach eggs in your home?

Use the necessary cockroach-killing agents listed above, conduct proper sanitation, and free your house of these cockroach eggs. After you have successfully cleared up these egg cases, gather them properly and throw them in your garbage. Endeavor to dispose of them far away from your home to avoid another form of infestation. If possible, you can burn your waste to get rid of them.


We are put off by the thought of these insects invading our home, not to talk of when these pests have infested and are breeding more pests. Cockroaches breed fast and can easily infest our homes heavily. They will not hesitate to lay their eggs anywhere they deem fit; in your clothes, boxes, etc. 

To prevent this from happening, make them feel unwelcome and uncomfortable in your home. Conduct a thorough clean-up as often as possible to avoid breeding. Keep your surroundings clean, empty your garbage, seal cracks and openings in walls. These sanitary measures cannot be overemphasized. 

In situations where there already is an infestation, use the various methods listed above or hire a pest control team to handle it. 


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