Baby roach or baby cockroach is an informal name given to a cockroach nymph While the name might sound cute, these tiny roaches are just as fierce and nasty as adult roaches.
It’s a rule that whenever you see a baby cockroach around, it’s a sign of a bigger problem. It can only get worse if you don’t act fast.
At the sight of baby roaches, your house is already cockroach-infested or will soon be. Now, it all depends on how fast you take action.
This guide will show you how to identify baby roaches and the different types, their nesting place, possible methods of eradication and prevention.
However, let’s give an overview of how fast roaches reproduce. This will show you the magnitude of the problem we’re about to tackle.
- The Life cycle Of A Cockroach
- How Many Babies Can A Cockroach Have?
- Conducive Conditions For Breeding Roaches
- What Do Baby Roaches Look Like?
- How Big Is A Baby Cockroach?
- Can Baby Cockroaches Fly?
- How To Get Rid Of Baby Roaches
- How To Prevent Baby Roach Infestation
- Common Myth About Roaches
- Other Bugs That Look Like Tiny Roaches
The Life cycle Of A Cockroach
Under the right conditions, roaches live for about 6 – 18 months. This variation also depends on the species.
Roaches like many other insects have a three-phased life. It is important to know its life cycle as it is vital to its eradication.
This is the first stage in the life of roaches. The adult roach can lay about 50 eggs at once under suitable environmental conditions. And this will be a warm humid condition.
Places with such conditions include;
- Furniture joints
- Ceilings and walls
- Kitchen cabinets etc
Once laid, the egg takes about two months to hatch. Most cockroaches can lay eggs multiple times in their lifetime. Some don’t even need a male partner after initial mating. This explains the ease and fastness of roach infestation.
Otherwise called baby roach or tiny roach. This is the phase between egg and adult roach. It is the phase of maximum growth achieved by several sessions of molting.
At this stage, they gradually develop adult features after every molt. Additionally, these tiny roaches are also vulnerable during this phase. Especially just after molting, because they’ve shed of their old skin.
Here, these small roaches also develop coloration unique to their species. We’ll talk more about the different species later.
Once all the adult features have been attained, the baby roach becomes an adult. In this phase, they barely come out except during the dark to look for food. All they mostly do is rest and breed.
However, an adult cockroach can stay for weeks without eating and still survive, especially if it had a good last meal. Some species of cockroaches have wings to fly. Some others can lay eggs continually after only a single mating process.
How Many Babies Can A Cockroach Have?
Now, this depends on the species. Roaches lay their eggs in cases or ootheca. Therefore each case contains a certain amount of eggs for each species.
The German cockroach although smaller than the American cockroach, lays more eggs per case. Each case of the German cockroach contains about 30 – 40 eggs. This means they can lay over 300 eggs in a lifetime.
On the other hand, each case of an American cockroach contains only about 15 eggs. This makes it only able to achieve half of what the German cockroach can during its lifetime.
Asides from the fact that they lay more eggs, German cockroaches are more common and likely to survive because the females carry the egg until they hatch.
P.S: German cockroaches don’t come from Germany.
Conducive Conditions For Breeding Roaches
Now, nobody wants roaches living with them. However, certain conditions encourage their breeding. We’ll just breeze through a few things that support cockroach breeding.
Temperature: Roaches thrive best a room temperature but can tolerate temperature slightly below that. This explains their prevalence in equatorial and tropical areas. Very cold or hot places are not ideal for their growth and breeding.
Humidity: Although they do not like overly wet places, these insects love damp places. This is why you’ll see them in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, etc
Dark Places: Roaches love the dark. Whenever you bring light, they start running helter-skelter. This is why they stay in hard to reach areas like below the sink, furniture joints, cracks in walls, etc
Food: Of course every living thing needs food to survive. Cockroaches nest and breed where food is available. Usually, they feed on scraps or decaying organic substances.
What Do Baby Roaches Look Like?
As I’ve said earlier, the life of a baby roach begins immediately after it hatches from the egg. At that point, it is usually white no matter the species.
However, it takes on color as time passes on depending on its species.
A good way to tell a nymph roach from an adult is the presence of wings. Baby roaches have not yet developed wings, you’d only see a hard external shell where the wings are supposed to be.
Although not all species of cockroaches develop wings even I’m adulthood.
These tiny roaches also have two anterior antennas and two organs posterior called cerci. This is used for navigation by sensing vibration in the surrounding.
These features are identical across all species of cockroaches.
To make this simpler, we’ll talk about the two most common species of cockroaches you can find in households.
The German cockroach is the most common species of roaches in households. Like the others, a baby German cockroach is white at hatching and almost too small for the eye to see.
They have a banded look ( a tan stripe) on their body that helps differentiate them from other species. A baby German cockroach is darker than an adult.
They’re browner and lacks a reddish tint unlike some other species of cockroaches
The American cockroach is the next most common roaches found in households. A baby American roach also comes out of its egg appearing white although bigger than the German roach.
Early into their molting cycles, they develop a reddish-brown tint. They also have a light yellow marking on their body just behind the head.
Just like the German cockroach, it also has a banded look. This differentiates them from other species like oriental and brown smoke which have solid colors, black and brown respectively.
How Big Is A Baby Cockroach?
Sure enough, these tiny roaches are way smaller than the adult form. However, you shouldn’t underestimate these small roaches. They pose a great danger (probably greater than the adult) to your household.
Baby roaches are less cautious than adults so they tend to run freely across your house even in daylight. This means they can easily contaminate your food and other things. And remember, they never stay babies forever!
A baby American cockroach measures about 1.6 inches, which is bigger than other species. The baby German cockroach averages about one-quarter of an inch. The oriental and brown-banded cockroach measures the same as the German cockroach.
As they molt, the American cockroach can grow up to a size of 3 inches. That’s scary huge! It is the biggest of all species of cockroaches.
The oriental and brown-banded species grow up to a size of one to one and a half inches. The German cockroach is the smallest only grows to about half an inch in length.
Can Baby Cockroaches Fly?
The answer would be no. A cockroach can’t fly until its wings are fully developed. And a flying roach has gone through most of its molting cycle essentially making it an adult.
The American cockroach is well known for flying and is better at it than others. Some species just glide with their wings while others don’t use it at all.
How To Get Rid Of Baby Roaches
You’ve probably established that you have a roach problem, so how do you get rid of it. Well, there are several methods you can apply to solve your roach problem.
It’d be best to first locate the nesting area of these tiny roaches. The best places to look are dark and moist areas such as under the sink, bathrooms, basement, furniture joints, kitchen cabinets, etc.
Next is to exterminate them either with traps, baits, chemicals, or natural formulations. Let’s start with chemicals.
There are several anti-roach sprays available in the market. They are known for immediate effectiveness and are also suitable for her to reach areas such as wall cracks.
Even after killing two roaches with this spray, the residue prevents others from coming to the area.
Another method is by using baits. This works to eliminate the source of infestation. When a roach eats this bait, it goes back to the nest and others become affected. This happens when they eat the cockroach droppings or body when it does.
Therefore you should put these baits on different areas from where you sprayed your anti-roach spray. Remember that the anti-roach spray has a residual roach repellent property, so if you put your bait in that area, no roach will consume it.
Cockroach traps are cuboid structures with several openings. They contain poisonous substances in their inner surfaces. You want to place this trap as close to the breeding nest as possible.
For those who hate contact with chemicals, there are organic homemade formulations that can be used for roach infestation. Though it is worthy to note that these methods aren’t as effective.
Examples include catnip, vinegar, garlic, etc.
When all is said and done, if you feel you can’t handle this problem, then it’s best to call a professional exterminator. It will do more harm than good if you half-ass the extermination of these tiny roaches.
How To Prevent Baby Roach Infestation
If you have recently taken care of your roach problem, then you wouldn’t want it to reoccur. There are some basic things you need to do to word off these tiny miscreants.
Roaches enter your home mainly in search of food, water, and shelter. When you eliminate these things, then the likelihood of you having a roach problem drops drastically.
1. Clean Regularly: Make sure to thoroughly clean your house and don’t leave any food lying around. Get rid of food crumbs and properly clean up spills. Put away pet food properly and seal. Use a vacuum cleaner while cleaning, you might even scoop up some roach eggs.
2. Remove Moisture: Do this by always making sure your sink is dey after use. Empty any standing water, fix leaky pipes, etc.
3. Remove Clutter: Clutter serves as a potential hiding space for these small roaches. Therefore you shouldn’t leave any paper, carton, or cardboard lying around. Store your things in plastic bags with a seal.
4. Seal any holes or cracks in your wall that might serve as a route of entry. Also, check your doors and windows for potential space.
5. Additionally, you can also use baits. You can never be too careful with these baby roaches.
If you keep to all these, then the probability that you will have a roach problem is very low.
Common Myth About Roaches
Like many other things, there are several misconceptions about roaches. We’ll just tackle a few here.
1. Size is all that matters
Many people think that the roach problem goes with size. That is to say the bigger the cockroach, the worse the problem is. That is not true. Even the smallest of roaches can put you at so much risk. They can transmit diseases and serve as allergens to allergic people.
2. Clean Houses Don’t Get Roaches
Cleaning your house will indeed reduce your likelihood of getting roaches as they like living in dirty places. However, this doesn’t mean that clean houses can’t have roach problems. They do too.
3. Cockroaches are invincible
This is wild but it is believed that cockroaches can’t be killed.
No, cockroaches can be killed. Some other insects like the centipede even serve as their natural enemy.
4. Cockroaches Can Live forever
This is not true as well. Cockroaches live for about 6 – 18 months. Cockroaches don’t live for decades as is widely believed.
Other Bugs That Look Like Tiny Roaches
A key factor in controlling your roach problem is determining whether you have a roach in your house or another bug. Several other bugs look like baby roaches.
These bugs share some of the features of a cockroach nymph such as dark color, small size, and oval or oblong shape.
- Red flour beetle
- Carpet beetle
- Drug store beetle
- Bed bugs
- Book lice
Therefore, to start solving your problems you first have to make sure you’re dealing with baby roaches.
As you’ve seen, there’s nothing cute and attractive about baby roaches. They’re just a signal to a much bigger problem.
Tiny roaches are to be taken care of ASAP before the complete infestation of your home occurs. As already stated above, there are several ways in which you can do this. If you can’t, then just call a specialist.