Cockroaches, like other insect pests like termites, bed bugs, and ants, reproduce quickly and can quickly infest a home or business. Cockroaches have plenty of time to multiply and spread an infestation since they are tough to eliminate with household treatments and prefer to hide in dark, out-of-the-way places. The life cycle of a cockroach is explained in detail here.
Mating and Eggs
Cockroaches have a unique ritual for mating. The male shows off to the female by flapping its wings, exposing its abdomen, and even nibbling at the female. Once the two have mated, the female will create a tan-colored egg capsule or case called an ootheca that can hold anywhere from 16 to 40 eggs, depending on species. It then finds a dark, secluded spot and glues the ootheca to a surface with saliva to allow the eggs to incubate.
- German cockroaches lay 20-40 eggs at a time, with an incubation period of about 28 days. The female can lay four or five egg cases in a lifetime, which means it can produce an average of about 200 young total.
- American cockroaches Approximately 16 eggs are laid at a time, with a 44-day incubation period. In her lifetime, the female can lay six to fourteen egg cases, resulting in an average of 224 progeny.
- Oriental cockroaches Approximately 16 eggs are laid at a time, with a 60-day incubation period. In her lifetime, the female can produce eight oothecae, or 128 offspring on average.
- Brown-banded cockroaches Depending on the temperature of the surroundings, they lay about 10-18 eggs at a time, with an incubation period of 37 to 103 days. In her lifetime, the female can produce 14 oothecae, or roughly 200 offspring on average.
When cockroaches hatch, they are known as nymphs, and they begin growing right away. Cockroach nymphs travel through multiple developmental stages, called instars, before reaching adulthood and shed their exoskeletons. When cockroaches are young, they are usually white or cream-colored, but as they grow older, they turn black, brown, or gray. Before becoming an adult, a nymph cockroach will molt numerous times.
- German cockroaches molt six or seven times before reaching maturity, over a period of about 103 days.
- American cockroaches molt ten to thirteen times before reaching maturity, over a period of about 600 days.
- Oriental cockroaches molt seven to ten times before reaching maturity, over a period of about 589 days.
- Brown-banded cockroaches molt six to eight times before reaching maturity, over a period of up to 276 days.
Adult Cockroach Lifespan
Once cockroaches reach adulthood, the cycle repeats again, if they can obtain food and water and are not exterminated from their preferred habitat. Adult female cockroaches often live longer than adult male cockroaches, however the length of each species’ lifespan varies.
- Adult German cockroaches Both males and females have a lifespan of less than 200 days.
- Adult American cockroaches Males can live for 362 days, while females can live for 700 days.
- Adult Oriental cockroaches Males can live for about 160 days, while females can live for about 180 days.
- Adult Brown-banded cockroaches Depending on the climate, it can live for up to 206 days.
Cockroaches are hardy insects that are difficult to eradicate from a home or business. If you have a cockroach infestation, it’s better to contact a professional. We have over 12 years of experience dealing with cockroaches at Dodson Pest Control, so we can build a tailored plan to get rid of them for you.
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