There and then, you saw something you hadn’t seen before. You might probably be curious and scared at the same time. And what might this be?….. A white cockroach.
Not that roaches are anything new. However, a white roach is definitely something you want to know about. Are they different or more dangerous than the usual brown roaches you see all over the place?
White roaches have been called albino roaches by people. Well, why not? It fits the criteria. Although are they really albino roaches or there’s something else going on?
Let’s take a deeper dive into these white roaches and see what they’re all about.
What Are White Roaches?
A white roach is just a cockroach in a transition phase. It may look like a different specie or a totally different insect altogether. However, white cockroaches are just roaches that have shed their old exoskeleton.
Shedding off the outer exoskeleton will reveal the inner but less mature exoskeleton. This is what gives them that white color. In essence, the brown pigmentation roaches are known for is attributed to their exoskeleton. Over time, this new and immature exoskeleton starts acquiring pigment, and the brown scurrying insect we all hate is back as we know it.
This process might take anywhere from minutes to hours. This phase of a cockroach’s life is called an “instar”. This just means that a fully mature cockroach has undergone this process so many times. It is essentially the mode of growth for roaches.
White Roach Vs Albino Roach
In as much as people interchange the names, is a white roach the same as an albino roach? Well, the answer to that is no.
The word albino defines a lack of pigmentation due to a genetic defect. Therefore these animals or insects can not produce pigments like their normal counterpart which makes them appear white. From this fact, you can see that white roaches are not albino because they have no genetic anomaly. Their white exoskeleton is just a normal part of their growth.
There has been no scientific documentation to support albinism in roaches. Hence, albinism is far from the cause of white roaches. While albino roaches might be a possibility, science is yet to prove it.
How Do White Roaches Come About?
If you know anything about insects, you’d know that they do not grow bones as mammals do. However, for support, they depend on the exoskeleton which is the hard shell that covers an insect’s body. Being a non-living component of a roach’s body, the exoskeleton does not grow with the body.
Therefore as cockroaches mature and outgrow their exoskeleton, they’d have to shed it and acquire a new one. This process is called molting where roaches get rid of the outer exoskeleton and develop a new one. So growth in a cockroach means molting several times to achieve maturity and mating capabilities. Depending on the species, about 5 to 14 molts will be required to reach this stage.
Within that few minutes or hours where roaches shed their exoskeleton for a new one, a white roach is created. It is not an albino or different insect, just a cockroach trying to grow.
Are White Cockroaches Rare?
It is indeed true that you do not see white roaches as often as the pigmented ones. And this might lead you to think they are rare or even convince you that it’s a different species.
However, white cockroaches are quite common but not in the space. At that stage of a cockroach’s lifecycle, it is vulnerable to literally anything. Due to their frail new exoskeleton, they can easily dry out or be unable to run from predators.
The muscles of cockroaches are attached to this hard exoskeleton allowing them to move about. When the exoskeleton isn’t yet strong as seen in white roaches, it becomes difficult to move. At this point, they become easy prey for predators.
Due to such vulnerabilities, cockroaches tend to be extra cautious and seek out safe spaces to avoid drying out or being eaten by predators. They lay low until their new exoskeleton hardens and darkens. This might take minutes or hours. And in no time you’ll see them scurrying around your living place again. White cockroaches are not rare, however, you won’t see them around in open spaces.
Are White Roaches Dangerous?
It’s easy to think so. They are white and creepier than their pigmented counterparts. However, that’s not a fact. White cockroaches are not known to be more dangerous than others. They do not have stingers or are known to bite.
Even though they are not more dangerous, they can still serve as a source of health hazards to you. In as much as you don’t see them scurry around, they can still carry diseases. Their feces and even shed exoskeleton can be an allergen or worsen asthma.
Whether white or brown, you definitely do not want any roach scampering around your kitchen, pantry, or anywhere in your home.
What Is The Significance Of Seeing An “Albino Roach” In Your House?
Finding any cockroach in your home whether white or brown should be a cause for concern. The presence of roaches in your house could suggest several things and they should not be taken lightly.
First of all, the sight of a white roach means there’s a shed exoskeleton somewhere. Therefore if you’re asthmatic or prone to allergies, it might worsen it. Additionally, the feces and eggs of roaches can cause allergy flares and worsen asthma.
The shed exoskeleton could be harboring diseases. They can easily come into contact with food through wind, pets, or human interference. Therefore once you see a white roach you should take note of every possible shelter in your home and clean it up.
One thing about cockroaches, once you spot one, then there are others. So seeing one white cockroach means there’s a bunch of others hiding somewhere. The white roach signals that growth is occurring within the group and you might have a roach problem sooner than later.
How To Prevent White Cockroaches
You can prevent white roaches from entering your home just the way you do others. Roaches thrive in dirty and unsanitary environments. While it might look filthy to you, roaches enjoy it just fine.
Therefore the best way to prevent these scurrying bugs in your home is to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Keep the kitchen sink clean and dry, clean the bathroom and sweep off every food crumb in the kitchen.
To prevent infestation, make sure to seal all food in an airtight bag, put pet foods in a container with a cover, cover trash cans, etc. This will reduce the incentives for cockroaches to enter your home. Moreover, seal all the cracks and holes in the walls as these are hiding spots for white roaches. All these steps will help curtail roach infestation. If these do not work out, then you’d have to move to extermination.
Exterminating White Roaches
When your attempts at preventing roach infestation fail, then you would have to get rid of them. White roaches hide so well, therefore if you spot one then you should know there’s fire on the mountain.
Currently, there are several ways to deal with cockroaches. They include home remedies, poisons, chemicals, etc. These would probably be effective if the infestation isn’t large. If you have a serious infestation, it’s best to call professional exterminators.
Final Thoughts: White Cockroach
Roaches in general are a pain in the ass. It never is a good sight to put on the light and see insects scurrying all over the place. It is usually common in filthy houses. However, you can still be as clean as possible and still have roaches.
White roaches signify a maturing group of roaches. Therefore the sight of one is enough to be alarmed. What next?
With an infestation already going on, the best course of action would be extermination. However, keeping your house clean can go a long way in minimizing the burden of the infestation.
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