What To Do When You Find a Pregnant Roach

What-To-Do-When-You-Find-a-Pregnant-RoachWondering what to do when you find a pregnant roach? You can stop the infestation from growing by getting rid of cockroaches. Roaches run quite fast and multiply within a few hours. So, you need to work on your actions as soon as possible.

But how do you know if a cockroach is pregnant? Well, the answer lies in the cockroach’s appearance. If you have ever noticed protrusion at its back like a brown bean or a little bag, it means the cockroach is pregnant.

Seeing pregnant cockroaches means you must act quickly, or your home will soon welcome lots of baby cockroaches.

This article includes everything to help you find a pregnant roach and the necessary steps for its elimination.

What Does a Pregnant Cockroach Look Like?

A pregnant cockroach might be a rare sight. However, when a female roach is pregnant, it has an egg sac attached to its back that keeps those eggs inside until they are ready to come out.

This pill-shaped protrusion also looks like a small bean that stays connected to the female’s body. This sac is known as ootheca. It has a hard cover that keeps the eggs safe inside. One sac contains around 20 to 40 eggs that require time to mature.

However, in some regions, you can find ovoviviparous cockroaches that have egg sacs inside their body. Therefore, it is hard to tell whether the cockroach is pregnant.

How To Identify Different Types of Pregnant Roaches?

Our homes typically have two types of cockroaches: German and American. Both are alike, but they do have a few differences in appearance. Thus, a pregnant German roach may look different from an American.

Let’s understand the lifecycle of both roach species to prepare yourself for the battle:

German Cockroach Life Cycle

The German cockroach is one of the most common types of roaches found in the house. They have a tan to dark brown body with distinct parallel lines on the back. Female German cockroaches are darker than the male versions and have a dark brown or tan egg sac, depending upon the color of their body.

Their life cycle depends on the conditions around the German cockroach. It usually consists of three levels, which are:

  • Egg
  • Nymph
  • Adult

This cycle is completed within 100 days. After this, the female adult German roach is ready to reproduce. They reproduce continuously, which makes their population grow 10 folds within days.

American Cockroach Life Cycle

American cockroaches are the second most common type of domestic pest. These species have a large body and commonly infest houses, ships, and even industrial buildings due to their quick adaptability.

An American cockroach has a dark brown egg the size of a small bean. Female American cockroaches are smaller in length than their male counterparts. Since males have longer wings, their bodies appear longer and more prominent.

Like the German cockroaches, the life cycle of American cockroaches is also divided into three stages:

  • Eggs
  • Nymph
  • Adult

This lifecycle till they reach adulthood is based on 600 days. Once they become adults, they have 200 more days to reproduce and grow their population.

What Should You Do After Seeing a Pregnant Roach?

You should kill a pregnant roach immediately once you see it to stop it from laying eggs and giving birth to numerous baby roaches. If you find a pregnant cockroach, it means the pest infestation in your house will boom.

These pests reproduce rapidly by laying 15 to 16 eggs per day. A female can lay eggs for a few days and then stick the egg on a surface like furniture, a cabinet, etc.

Like any other species, the mother cockroach protects her eggs from any possible damage. Therefore, it can be a bit tricky to get rid of them. Luckily, killing a pregnant cockroach is similar to eliminating a normal one. So you don’t have to do anything extra.

You can quickly get rid of a pregnant roach by:

  • Using a trap
  • Spraying IGR
  • Applying pesticides
  • Calling an exterminator

You must also find their hiding spots, which are usually behind the stove, in the drains, clothes, and pantry. Then, you can effectively target the hot areas and eliminate the growing cockroach population.

How To Get Rid of Pregnant Cockroaches?

If you want to kill a pregnant cockroach, you can use the methods for killing a regular cockroach. You only need to get rid of the cockroach egg sacs. If you leave the egg sac behind, it can still hatch.

Here are the 5 most effective ways to get rid of pregnant cockroaches:

Use Cockroach Killing Traps

Manual and automatic cockroach-killing traps work great for eliminating bigger cockroaches. Since pregnant cockroaches are adult females, they can easily get stuck in such traps. Therefore, sticky traps are one of the most effective ways to capture cockroaches.

Here is how they work:

  • First, add food or gel bait to attract cockroaches to the trap.
  • Once the cockroach steps on the trap, the strong adhesive will catch their legs, making them unable to move.
  • The glue will also cover the egg sac, making it difficult for the nymphs to come out.
  • When the female cockroach dies, its offspring dies along with her.

Using a trap does not require constant vigilance but can spread an unpleasant smell in the area. Therefore, getting rid of the old trap and placing a new one every day is essential.

Spritz an IGR Spray

Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) effectively inhibit growth by weakening the eggs and baby cockroaches. These sprays mimic hormones in young cockroaches that affect their development. With abnormal growth, the cockroaches are unable to reproduce.

Here is how these sprays work:

  • IRS can deform the eggs in pregnant cockroaches by weakening the nymph’s internal organs.
  • You can also use IGRs with cockroach traps. This way, if the trap fails to catch a few cockroaches, their offspring cannot multiply further. Again, it is the best way to prevent further roach population growth.
  • IGR absorbs into the cockroach’s outer shell and the egg case to prevent future generations from reproducing.
  • Most cockroach eggs that come in contact with IGR may never hatch, But if they do hatch, the nymphs barely survive.

IGRs can be a permanent solution for getting rid of cockroaches after several uses. However, you must pay attention to sanitization to ensure the baby roaches do not have a suitable growing environment.

Spray Effective Pesticides

An effective pesticide will kill the mother cockroach instantly, and her eggs will die. These insect-killers come in the form of liquids, powders, or sprays that can be harmful if you have pets or children at home.

Using pesticides is ideal for places with adults only who have no allergies to pesticides. Here is how pesticides work:

  • Pesticides directly affect the nervous system of a cockroach, which either results in starvation or brain damage.
  • Most pesticides also dry out the cockroach’s exoskeleton, leaving its inner body vulnerable to damage.

Some cockroaches can develop a resistance to pesticides if they survive after coming in contact with pesticides. It happens when they still find a suitable environment to grow in your house.

Therefore, make sure to take proper care of sanitization to prevent the pest from developing resistance.

Opt For Natural Remedies

You can also use natural remedies to get rid of cockroaches. Natural remedies are ideal for houses where people are allergic to pesticides. They are effective for normal and pregnant cockroaches both. These remedies can kill eggs, nymphs, and adult cockroaches.

The two most effective ones include:

  • Opt for boric acid to dry and kill the bugs
  • Use diatomaceous earth (DE) to kill cockroaches. DE’s smell attracts cockroaches, and as soon as the cockroach ingests it, it dehydrates their body, killing them within a few minutes. This way, the egg sac also gets dehydrated, leaving almost no chances for the offspring to survive.

However, proper cleansing and disinfection of the house are necessary to ensure these remedies work.

Call a Pest Exterminator

When nothing else works, you can always take help from a professional exterminator. These individuals are trained to use high-tech machines and strong chemicals to eliminate cockroach populations.

Some benefits of calling a pest exterminator are:

  • The professionals are trained to kill pregnant cockroaches and dispose of their egg sacs, so there is no chance of nymphs hatching from the eggs.
  • They help you eliminate other pests, like flies, ants, etc., from your house.
  • Some exterminators also use high or low temperatures to kill cockroaches instantly.
  • They use industrial-size machines to tackle large portions of your house.
  • They remove all the egg shells and cockroach droppings from your premises. These egg cases and droppings carry bacteria that can infect us with severe diseases. So it is important to get rid of them professionally.

Hiring an exterminator can be expensive, but it’s worth all the hassle.

Pro Tip: Always Dispose of Pregnant Roaches Properly

You must properly dispose of the dead pregnant cockroaches and their egg cases. Even though the chances of the nymph’s survival are rare, the egg case can sometimes hatch even after the mother dies.

The nymphs that hatch from such eggs are weak and don’t live for a long time. However, you still don’t want tiny cockroaches crawling around your house, no matter how weak or strong they are.

Once the female cockroach is dead, gather the other dead cockroaches in one place through a brown and put them in a sealable plastic bag. You need to ensure that there are no oothecae left behind. It will eliminate all chances of nymphs showing up in your house.


How Long Does a Roach Stay Pregnant?

A cockroach stays pregnant for around a day or two and then secures the egg case to hidden surfaces around your house. The female roaches stick the ootheca on rough surfaces like a piece of furniture in your home, boxes, cabinets, etc. Then, in roughly 40 to 50 days, the eggs slowly hatch. However, this period varies from one species to another.

What Happens If You Squish a Pregnant Cockroach?

When you squish a pregnant cockroach, the eggs will perish along with the mother roach. You must have heard the popular myth that the eggs will instantly hatch and have a higher chance of living, which is rarely true. Although, once in a blue moon, a few nymphs might survive.

How Many Babies Can One Roach Have?

One American roach can have 224 babies, resulting from about 16 eggs a female cockroach lays at a time. A female American bug typically produces 6 to 14 ootheca throughout her lifetime, with 44 days for incubation.

German cockroaches typically contain 30 to 48 eggs. A single German mother roach can give birth to between 120 and 384 nymphs.


Even a spotless home can feel disgusting due to cockroach infestations. Not only do cockroaches contaminate the food sources and your living space, but they also put you at risk for diseases like asthma and allergies.

Now that you’ve learned how to get rid of them, you’re ready to deal with roaches and their eggs lying around your house.

When you find a pregnant roach, you’ve got no time to waste.

  • Choose your bait
  • Set an effective trap
  • Spray IGR, and get rid of them quickly!

With the help of this guide, you can prevent the overpopulation of cockroaches in your house!