Cockroaches are common pests in homes and apartment buildings across the country. In order to get rid of a roach infestation, you must take care of all stages, including the adults, nymphs, and eggs. This can be difficult because eggs are often hidden away in areas that are difficult to find. With a little bit of knowledge and some great roach control products, you can kill roach eggs and stop an infestation in its tracks.
Cockroaches lay their eggs in cases known as oothecae. The egg case has a protein layer on the outside that becomes hard to protect the eggs from predators while they develop. Oothecae are typically brown or reddish in color and 5-10 mm in length, depending on the species. The number of eggs in an ootheca also depends on the cockroach species, but usually ranges from 16-40. Some species of female roaches will carry the ootheca around with them, and others will find a good hiding place to deposit it until the eggs hatch.
Cockroach with ootheca by Toby Hudson [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Oothecae are most often deposited in dark, moist areas that are secluded. These areas may include: behind appliances, under sinks, in cupboards, in basements, around pipes, amidst paper and garbage, in crawl spaces, in wall voids, and many other areas. These are the areas that you should search if you hope to eliminate cockroach eggs.
If you find a cockroach egg case, use one of these tips to kill the eggs:
- Crush the ootheca by stomping on it or squishing it, and then carefully vacuum up the pieces and dispose of it in an outdoor trash can. This method can be a bit messy, but is immediate.
- Douse it with residual pesticides in the form of sprays or aerosols, which will kill the embryos. Follow all label directions.
- Cover it with boric acid. Boric acid comes in gel, powder, and dust form. Dusts are common in pest control, and a thin layer can be spread in hard to reach areas where cockroaches hide. The dust will cling to the roaches as they walk through it. When the roach grooms itself, it will ingest the boric acid and die. Although boric acid does not destroy the eggs immediately, it will quickly kill any nymphs that hatch and can remain effective for years as long as it remains dry.
- Spray it with an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). IGR’s interfere with the development of insects by disrupting the molting process. This makes it so they can not develop properly and cannot reproduce. IGR’s can also cause the eggs to abort. Be aware that IGR’s may take slightly longer to kill cockroaches than other traditional pesticides.
Finding cockroach egg cases can be difficult, so other methods of cockroach control like sanitation, exclusion, and baiting should be ongoing to prevent and kill roaches you may miss. Harris home pest control products are a cost-effective solution to get rid of all your troublesome pests. Skip the expensive professional treatments and perform your own pest control with exceptional results.