Most babies in the animal kingdom are adorable, but baby cockroaches? Far from it. Its not necessarily their appearance thats alarming although they can be creepy, too. Whats most concerning is the fact that baby roaches usually mean you have a nest somewhere in the house.
Youre not dealing with an isolated visit from Bob and Nancy Roach. No, the entire family has taken up shop in your home somewhere you cant see.
If youve never dealt with a cockroach invasion before, you may be wondering what a baby, or nymph, roach looks like and how to get rid of them for good.
Like other animals, baby cockroaches are just miniature versions of adult cockroaches. The primary difference between the two (aside from size) is that babies lack the wings their adult counterparts have.
Babies may also be lighter in color than adults. The baby German cockroach, however, is usually darker than adults.
These photos will give you a better idea of what baby roaches look like:
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An adult cockroach has an oval-shaped, flat body thats oily to the touch. These critters have small heads and are covered by a pronotum. Their mouths are backwards and directed down.
Roaches have six legs that are long and spiny, so they can quickly skitter across surfaces. They also have special little pads at their tarsi that let them walk across ceilings and up walls.
Some roach species have wings that lay flat against their backs, but not all of them use their wings for flight.
Female roaches are usually bigger than males. In some species, the females dont have wings, but the males do.
To help you get a better idea of what adult roaches look like, here are a few descriptions of the most common species:
If youre seeing tiny roaches in your home, theres a good chance theres a nest in the walls or near your home. Knowing what cockroach eggs look like can help you identify a nest if youre trying to tackle the problem at its root.
A female cockroach produces an egg case known as an oothecae. A single oothecae can have a large number of eggs, and each is enveloped in a protein substance. That substance eventually hardens to create a protective casing. Some females will drop the egg case, while others will carry it with them until the eggs are just about ready to hatch.
Female American roaches will leave dark brown oothecae that are about 8mm long. A single female can make between six and 90 of these cases in her lifetime, and they carry the case with them for anywhere between a few hours and a few days. When shes ready, the case will be deposited in a hidden location.
Each oothecae contains about 15 embryos. Babies will emerge from the oothecae in 24-38 days.
The oriental cockroach produces a dark reddish-brown egg case that measures 8-10mm in length. These oothecae have a slightly swollen appearance and contain about 16 eggs.
Females will produce anywhere between one and 18 oothecae in their lifetimes.
Oriental roach nymphs take about 600 days to reach full maturity, but the length of their development is largely dependent on their environment.
The brown-banded roach species creates a light reddish-brown egg case thats about 5mm long. Females can make up to 20 oothecae in their lifetimes, and each one contains between 10 and 18 embryos.
Nymphs are easily identifiable because they have a signature yellow band across their upper abdomen.
It takes three to six months for brown-banded nymphs to grow into full adults.
Female German roaches produces an oothecae thats brown in color and between 6 and 9 mm long. These females will actually carry the eggs inside until theyre ready to hatch.
Each oothecae can contain up to 50 eggs. It takes about 103 days for a German roach to go from egg to adulthood.
With so many eggs in one oothecae, German roach populations can grow very quickly. Because these are the most common species to invade homes, its important to tackle the problem early on before the infestation becomes a serious one.
Roaches are just like other insects in that they reach adulthood by going through several molting processes at different stages in their lives. Nymphs hatch from their eggs after 20-60 days.
Eventually, babies will develop wings and complete a series of molts to grow into adults. Theres a transitional phase in between each molt known as an instar. Usually, a baby will go through six to seven instars before becoming a full-grown adult. This process takes between 40 and 160 days, depending on the species of the roach and the temperature of the environment.
No one likes having roaches in their home, but can they be a risk to your health? What about baby roaches? Can they cause damage, too?
Yes, yes and yes.
Baby and adult roaches can both carry disease, which can spread quickly throughout your home if you dont act swiftly.
And if you fail to take care of your baby roach problem, youre going to wind up with a serious infestation in the very near future. If youre seeing small cockroaches, it means the adults are reproducing and theres a nest nearby. They certainly wont stop reproducing because you ask them to. Youll need to take care of the problem sooner rather than later.
You know that German roaches can lay up to 50 eggs at a time. Imagine having 50 new baby roaches suddenly emerge in your home not a pretty picture. And females will produce several egg cases throughout her lifetime.
The bottom line? Dont wait around to see if these risks emerge. Get rid of the roaches as soon as you see them to prevent a serious infestation.
Now that you understand the risks of letting roaches hang around, its time to start taking steps to get rid of them. Having a good understanding of how roaches behave and operate will help you find the best strategy to chase them out of your home for good.
Cockroaches arent particularly social creatures, but they do prefer to live in groups. Interestingly, roaches make the decision of where to live as a group. In one study from Free University of Brussels, researchers found that when a space was large enough, the entire group stayed there. When a space was not large enough, the larger group split up into two smaller groups to fit into the enclosures comfortably.
Other studies suggest that roaches may actually have collective intelligence thats based on the decisions of individual roaches.
A group of researchers in Europe created a roach robot that mimicked their behavior. Pheromones were applied to the robot, so the other roaches would accept it as one of their own.
The researchers found that that act of the robot roach influenced the behavior of the group overall. For instance, the robot roach convinced the group to move from darker areas to lighter areas.
Researchers say they may be able to use this to their advantage to control roach populations.
Want to learn how to get rid of baby roaches in the house? The process is no different than what youd do for adult roaches, and every method will work just as well no matter whether the roaches are in the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom.
Use the methods below to effectively kill and get rid of the roaches in your home.
Read more about Kill Roaches
Caulk and foam will keep new roaches from getting into your home. And if they havent set up a nest inside your home yet, caulking may be the only thing you need to do to get rid of them.
The first thing you need to do is locate any potential entry points for the roaches. These are areas that may have cracks or gaps that these critters can crawl through, including:
Go through each of these areas with a fine tooth comb to look for cracks or holes, and mark off which areas need to be treated.
The next step is to fill in the gap with either caulk or foam. Which one should you choose?
Once youve sealed up all the cracks and gaps in your home, its time to tidy up the place. Keeping your home clean is the first (technically, second) step to getting rid of cockroaches.
Roaches are only in your home for three reasons: food, water and shelter. You have plenty of each. If you eliminate food, they have little reason to stick around. And if you can also keep them from getting to any water sources, theyll be out even quicker (or theyll be dead).
Experts suggest using traps before you run around spraying roaches with bug spray or laying down powders. Why?
Traps will let you see if youve caught any roaches, and how many you may be dealing with. If you havent caught any of these critters, you can move the trap to a new location to find out where theyre coming from.
Once youve figured out where the cockroaches are coming from, you can use powders or sprays if you like.
If youre not keen on the idea of spraying poison or laying down powder throughout your home, there are natural roach repellents you can use. Research has shown that the following repellents are actually effective:
Natural repellents are great for keeping roaches out of your home, but do be advised that this is not the best route to take if youre dealing with an infestation.
Borax is another simple solution that can get rid of roaches relatively quickly. This simple powder, which is typically used as a household cleaner and laundry booster, dries out the roachs exoskeleton, so they dehydrate and die.
Borax isnt an instant killer, but they will drag the powder back to their nest where they may infect other roaches.
Sprinkle borax where roaches tend to frequent behind or underneath appliances, kitchen counters, etc.
While borax is mostly non-toxic, you should not leave it out where kids and pets can reach it.
If youre dealing with just a few roaches, you can use a simple soap and water spray to kill them. Yes, roaches can survive in water, but its not the water thats supposed to kill them.
The soap clogs their pores, which causes them to suffocate and die.
Boric acid is another excellent roach killer, and it works in a similar way that borax works. But boric acid is more toxic than borax, so keep that in mind and do remember to keep it out of reach of kids and pets.
The boric acid will kill the roach, but the sugar is what will attract him to the area.
Once the acid comes in contact with the roach, it will dry out its exoskeleton, causing it to dehydrate and die.
The only downside to using this method is that youll have to clean up a lot of dead roaches in the morning.
Tip: Please do take the time to clean up the dead bodies. Other living roaches have no problem eating their dead, so youre leaving behind a food source for nest mates to come feast on. Also, dead roaches can produce a stench that no one wants to deal with.
If the roaches arent after food, theyre definitely after water. If you have standing water anywhere in your home, youre basically inviting roaches to come inside and stay awhile.
Something as simple as soaking water in the sink or forgetting to let the water out of the bathtub can attract roaches. And if you have leaky pipes, youre just asking for an invasion.
Fix any leaks and stop leaving standing water in your home to deny roaches the water they desperately need to live.
You can also go the extra mile by using a dehumidifier in your home to get rid of any moisture in the air that may be attracting these pests.
Sometimes, the DIY approach does not get rid of the problem especially if you have a serious infestation. In this case, youll need to hire a professional exterminator to get rid of your roach problem once and for all.
And if you live in an apartment building, an exterminator may be your only real option.
A professional will have the tools, skill and knowledge to know where to find the nest and the best possible strategy to eliminate roaches from your home.
Please note that exterminators will use chemical sprays, or poison, to get rid of the roaches. Let them know if you have pets or children, so you know how to proceed without putting anyone at risk.
Some exterminators may offer alternative solutions, but most will go with the tried-and-true chemical spray to get rid of the roaches.
Read more here:
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