Nothing brings more horror than having cockroaches invade your home. They are one of the hardest pests to kill, and their filthy smell and habits can make you want to squash them under your foot. While crushing them seems like a good idea, you can’t help but wonder if their eggs can stick to your shoes and make the problem worse.
Squashing cockroach eggs won’t cause them to stick to your shoes or spread around the house. Smashing or stomping on a cockroach ootheca can kill all the eggs in the case. However, it’s not the best method to get rid of them as it’s a bit messy, and there’s likely more where that came from.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to identify cockroach eggs, where to find them, and how to get rid of their eggs and the entire colony. You’ll also discover how to prevent another cockroach infestation after getting rid of them.
How to Identify the Types of Cockroaches
Female cockroaches lay eggs in a purse-shaped egg casing, called an ootheca. This egg case or sack is made of a hard, protein substance that protects the eggs from any form of harm. An ootheca is not the greatest thing to find in your house as it can contain up to 40 eggs, depending on the cockroach species.
There are different types of cockroaches, but you’ll most likely come across American and German cockroaches. Other cockroach species that lay eggs include the Oriental and the Brown-banded cockroaches.
German cockroaches are the most common in the United States. You can quickly identify German cockroaches by their pale brown body and small size. They prefer indoor environments and can produce up to 30,000 young cockroaches per year, which is the most for any cockroach.
German cockroaches carry their eggs with them until they are ready to hatch. They only release their egg cases in a safe corner about 24 hours before they hatch. Sometimes, the eggs hatch while still attached to the cockroach’s body. This behavior can make it more difficult to find and eradicate these cockroaches and their eggs.
American cockroaches are usually about 1.5 to 2.5 inches (3.8 to 6.4 cm) in length, but some adults can grow more than 3 inches long. They have reddish-brown wings and a yellowish band behind their heads. While they naturally live outdoors in warm and damp environments, they will enter homes to look for food and water.
An American cockroach’s ootheca is characterized by a dark brown color containing up to 14 to 16 eggs. They carry their egg cases around for just a few hours to a few days before dropping them in a concealed location.
The ootheca of brown-banded cockroaches is usually reddish to yellowish-brown in color and around 5 mm. The females attach their casings to ceilings, walls, crawl spaces, bedding, and furniture. Moving these objects around your home can lead to a large cockroach infestation.
Oriental Cockroach Eggs
Oriental cockroaches produce dak reddish-brown ootheca that can contain up to 16 eggs. They carry their egg cases about 12 hours and six days before releasing them in safe and sheltered places, usually close to a food source.
Where Do Cockroaches Lay Eggs?
Most cockroaches, regardless of their species, will naturally look for a warm and moist environment where they can get food and water for their eggs. Naturally, female cockroaches will drop their ootheca in secure places where you can’t easily find them.
The first places that come to mind are the kitchen and bathroom. However, you may also be able to find cockroaches and their eggs in places such as:
- Basements and crawl spaces
- Laundry rooms
- Plumbing cabinets
- Water heater closets
- Floor and tub drains
- Recycling bins and trash cans
- Pantries and storage areas
We also suggest checking areas where you’ve seen signs of cockroaches or their droppings. Female cockroaches will place their ootheca close to food sources so that the nymphs can look for food themselves when they hatch.
Can Cockroach Eggs Stick to Your Clothes?
As mentioned earlier, roaches look for warm, dark, and moist areas. These places can include cracks, crevices, and any other hidden areas. They also prefer laying eggs in places that can absorb their strong odor.
So, roaches will not necessarily lay eggs in your clothes unless you store them in old boxes, paper, cardboard, or wooden dressers. In most cases, the ootheca will be hidden out of sight at the back of the drawer.
Also, cockroach eggs won’t stick to your clothes as the protective shell itself isn’t sticky. If cockroach eggs get into your clothes, the best way to kill them is to wash the infested clothes in hot water (at least 140 ℉ or 60 ℃) and follow it up with at least 30 minutes in the dryer.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches and Their Eggs Permanently
Now that you know where cockroaches lay their eggs and understand how to identify them, let’s take a closer look at the most effective way to get rid of them. While squashing their eggs is one way to deal with them, there are more effective methods.
Use Cockroach Baits
Cockroach baits are essentially poisonous bait traps you set to kill the mother cockroaches and eradicate their egg nests. They’ll be enticed by the smell and taste of the bait and take it back to their nets. Once they start ingesting the food attachment, they’ll crawl away to die. When used correctly, baits can kill off cockroaches within one to three days of application.
Cockroach baits contain ingredients that may be harmful to children or pets, so be sure to keep them out of their reach. You can place the bait under the sink or in the corner of a cabinet. Other targeted areas include behind dishwashers, refrigerators, and stoves, and other common trouble spots.
Use an Insect Growth Regulator
These types of insecticides will disrupt the growth and reproduction of the female cockroaches. Insect growth regulators help prevent the production of eggs in the first place and allow you to get rid of the adults with regular insecticides. A can of regular insecticide is enough to kill them for good. Insect growth regulators may also cause cockroach eggs to abort.
Try Boric Acid
Boric acid is one of the most effective ways to get rid of cockroaches. You can easily prepare the solution by mixing three teaspoons of boric acid with three teaspoons of sugar. Make a dough by adding about three teaspoons of water but ensure it is not runny.
Boric acid can kill cockroaches 72 hours after they ingest it. Boric acid can also kill cockroaches when they contact it as their body will naturally absorb it. Apply the acid in different spots around the house and don’t use it too much in one place. For large infestations, you can use boric acid in combination with other baits or traps.
Seek Professional Help
Depending on the level of infestation, you may need to call a professional for help. This approach will cost you more, but it’s the best thing to do if you try all the methods above without success.
How to Prevent Cockroaches From Getting Into Your Home
After dealing with the cockroaches and their eggs, the best way to prevent another infestation is to practice good sanitation and regularly maintain your environment. Here are some tips you can use to keep your home safe from cockroach infestations:
- Block off cracks and crevices where cockroaches can enter your home. Even the smallest opening can be an entry point for cockroaches.
- Thoroughly clean your home. Wipe up any food spills, crumbs, or leftovers immediately. Avoid dumping food plates or wrappers around the house.
- Get rid of any standing water. Fix leaky pipes, sinks, refrigerators, and appliances that hold water.
- Wash dirty dishes, cups, and cooking items immediately after use and take out your trash daily.
- Recycle any empty boxes you have in your home or garage to eliminate any cockroach hiding spots.
When it comes to getting rid of cockroaches and their eggs, it’s important never to ignore the problem as they can quickly grow into nasty proportions. If you’re dealing with a large invasion, your best option is to use cockroach baits to eliminate the entire population.
Cockroach eggs won’t stick to your shoes if you squash them; however, using boric acid or an insect growth regular are more effective methods. Proper sanitation and good maintenance practices will help to prevent future roach infestations.
- Terminix: What Do Cockroach Eggs Look Like?
- Orkin: Cockroach Egg Facts & Information
- Insider: 7 ways to kill a cockroach in your home
- Prevention: Here’s What Cockroach Eggs Look Like—And How to Get Rid of Them for Good
- Business Insider: The Worst Way To Eliminate A Cockroach
- Terminix: What Homeowners Should Know About Cockroach Eggs