How Do Cockroaches Give Birth?

How-Do-Cockroaches-Give-BirthEver wondered how cockroaches give birth? At any point in your life, you surely have!
Of course, they don’t give birth like humans. Instead, cockroaches’ birth process depends on their type and environment.

Generally, cockroaches reproduce pretty fast, which makes them a deadly pest in any household. They are also responsible for spreading allergens and diseases by contaminating your food and living space.

Once a female cockroach gets pregnant, it takes around two months for a cockroach nymph to hatch from the egg. Generally, these insects reproduce sexually but can also do it asexually. That mainly happens when the female has to live without a male for at least three years.

Want to know more about how a cockroach gives birth to its babies? This guide has all your answers. So let’s dive in.

The Birthing Process of Cockroaches

The reproduction cycle of cockroaches is short and quick. When the male cockroach impregnates the female cockroach, she keeps the egg in her ootheca for two to three days. Then, she attaches the egg sac to any safe place for it to hatch eggs.

Such places are called “roach nests,” which include furniture, cabinets, cardboard boxes, and any dark and humid area.

However, the cockroach birth process might vary from one species to another. For instance:

  • American cockroaches produce offspring every eight months through ootheca.
  • Brown-banded cockroaches will have around 90 to 276 offspring in their adult stage in warm climates.
  • German cockroaches produce nymphs every 28 to 30 days through the ootheca.
  • Oriental cockroaches can make six to eight others in their adult stage or have an ovoviviparous birth.
  • Smokey brown cockroaches take 50 days to incubate their egg case.

With the proper environmental conditions, these cockroach species reproduce fast, resulting in a full-blown infestation within 35 to 45 days. Additionally, these cockroaches have a white body right after hatching but turn brown or black within a few days.

So, make sure to keep an eye out for creepy white crawlers as well while dealing with an infestation.

Did You Know? Even a Dying Cockroach Can Give Birth

A dying pregnant roach can give birth if the ootheca is intact and the eggs are close to hatching. However, this is a rare phenomenon and does not happen with every cockroach.

It is important to dispose of the dead cockroaches properly to ensure the egg case is not left behind to hatch. The nymphs born after the mother dies are usually weaker and do not live long.

Reproduction Process for Different Types of Cockroaches

As mentioned above, different cockroaches have different incubation and hatching times. Here is what you need to know about it:

American Cockroach

American cockroaches are one of the most common cockroach species. They have a longer life and reproduce more often than other breeds of cockroaches. An adult American cockroach lives up to 1 year and can produce over 150 to 160 offspring in its lifetime.

Average Hatching Time

Female American roaches store the nymphs in ootheca till they are incubated for 44 days. After that, immature cockroaches will appear from the egg case that usually has a white color.

Brown-Banded Cockroach

The brown-banded cockroaches are small cockroaches with an average lifespan of one year. Adult female cockroaches keep the ootheca attached to the end of their belly for 24 to 36 hours. Later it attaches the egg case to a piece of furniture or coarse cardboard box.

Average Hatching Time

The offspring complete 37 to 103 days of incubation and then hatch into small, golden-tan nymphs. Some eggs might need more time to incubate if the environment is cold.

German Cockroach

German cockroaches are also a species of small cockroaches that live for only five to seven months after reaching adulthood. During this time, a female German cockroach produces seven to eight ootheca, which contains 30 to 40 eggs per case.

Average Hatching Time

The average incubation period of German cockroaches is 28 days at room temperature. The nymphs are white and have no wings.

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental cockroaches are not commonly found in houses, but that doesn’t mean they can’t infest your home. An adult oriental cockroach produces around eight egg cases, with 16 eggs per case. It means an average oriental cockroach gives birth to 128 to 130 nymphs in its lifetime.

Average Hatching Time

An oriental cockroach egg incubates for 60 days on average at an ideal temperature. The egg will take longer to hatch if the environment is too cold.

Smoky Brown Cockroach

The smoky brown cockroach is a large type of cockroach which is not as common as the other species mentioned above. It takes a smoky brown cockroach 320 days to reach adulthood when they can mate and produce around 20 nymphs per ootheca.

Average Hatching Time

The average incubation period of the smoky brown cockroach is 45 days at a warm temperature. Nymphs that hatch from the eggs have a slight mahogany tan color.

What Is the Life Cycle of a Cockroach?

The life cycle of a cockroach depends on three developmental phases, that are:


The eggs of a cockroach are encased in the ootheca attached to the female roach. Whether the egg case stays attached to the cockroach’s body depends on its species. Most females carry the egg for a few days and then attach it to a rough surface in a warm environment to incubate.


Once the eggs incubate for a specific period, they are ready to hatch. White or translucent nymphs come from eggs that do not have wings. The baby roaches get bigger and develop a darker color as they age.


It is the last stage of the cockroach’s life cycle. In this stage, adult male and female cockroaches mate to produce offspring. Therefore, the adult longevity of the adult cockroach life differs from one species.

7 Hot Spots for Cockroaches to Give Birth

The main points for pregnant females to lay eggs are:

  1. Cabinets
  2. Cardboard boxes
  3. Pipes
  4. Below the bed
  5. Behind the sink
  6. Garbage bins
  7. Under the dishwasher

You can use high-strength pesticides and IGRs to kill pregnant cockroaches before they lay eggs.


How Many Roaches Does a Roach Give Birth To?

A cockroach gives birth to about 16 nymphs at a time. Each case carries more than 12 to 16 young roaches. An average adult cockroach can produce around 16 to 18 egg cases in its lifetime, which speeds up its reproduction process.

The maturation period of an American cockroach lasts about 600 days, and it takes them one to two years to reach adulthood. A female roach and its offspring might generate 800 more cockroaches in just one year.

How Does a Roach Get Pregnant?

A roach gets pregnant similarly to many other species. However, their reproduction mainly depends on the female’s eggs and the male’s sperm. The female cockroach typically emits pheromones to draw a male.

Some male species might even engage in combat to win the attention of available females. However, the exact course of events leading to mating differs from one species.

How Long Does It Take For a Cockroach To Give Birth?

The birthing and hatching time of the eggs is different depending on each species. For example, it takes 28 days for a German cockroach to give birth to its eggs, an American takes a week to lay eggs, and a brown-banded roach takes a day or two.


Cockroaches can make your house look unsanitary and spread numerous diseases. The birthing process of cockroaches depends on their species and the environment.

  • American cockroaches produce offspring every eight months.
  • Brown-banded cockroaches will produce around 90 to 276 offspring in their adult stage in warm climates.
  • German cockroaches produce nymphs every 28 to 30 days through the ootheca.
  • Oriental cockroaches can produce six to eight others in their adult stage or have an ovoviviparous birth.
  • Smokey brown cockroaches take 50 days to incubate their egg case.
  • Sometimes the egg case can have live nymphs even if the mother cockroach is dead. So, it is important to discard dead cockroaches to avoid infestation properly.
  • There are three stages in the lifecycle of a roach: eggs, nymphs, and adults.
  • Roaches reproduce rapidly, so you must notice the signs of their population growth. These include musty odor in the house, baby cockroaches in different parts of the house, and finding ootheca attached to furniture or cardboard boxes.