Pest Identification

Learn More About the Pests Invading Your Home

What to Do If You Find Cockroach Eggs

If you’ve seen more than a few roaches around your house and yard it’s very likely your abode is harboring roach eggs. As the old saying goes, if you see one roach, you have thousands nearby. This is especially true if you see roaches during the day. The critters might have been forced out into the open by overcrowding! But even if you just see a single roach, it’s best to make a full-house inspection to search for cockroach eggs. But these aren’t single white eggs like chickens lay. Cockroach eggs are contained within a light to dark brown, ½-inch, bean-sized protective sac called an ootheca.

Female American cockroaches deposit oothecae in hidden locations. You might find them under furniture, baseboards, or in the dark corner of your basement, bathroom, or kitchen. And they aren’t just lying on the floor. Roaches stick them into place with their glue-like saliva. To find the oothecae you need a good flashlight, rubber gloves, and possibly knee pads. Search for the little brown beans around water and sewer pipes, under furniture, in cabinets and food lockers, and around baseboards.

When the ootheca is popped it produces a slimy white blob of goop. After about a month, little grey-white larvae emerge. They can be seen squirming around the bean. If you spot these mini-horrors—or fresh oothecae—pick them up with a rubber glove and flush them down the toilet.

A single ootheca from an American cockroach can produce 15 greyish-white cockroach nymphs. The ootheca of the smaller German roach can produce 40 nymphs. While that might not sound like a lot, a single German cockroach and her offspring can produce around 100,000 cockroaches per year.

After your search is over, it’s time to take preventative measures. Purchase some cockroach bait stations and place them wherever you discovered oothecae. Roaches will take the insecticide-laden bait back to the nests and it will kill off the colony.