What They Look Like and What You Need To Do

Cockroach eggs are not a happy discovery in any home. They mean that roaches are nearby, that they’re breeding, and that they’ll soon multiply.

If you’ve found what you suspect to be a cockroach egg, you’ll want to identify it, assess how bad the problem is, then quickly remedy the infestation if it exists.

Let’s begin with the basics:

Do cockroaches lay eggs? Yes and no. Females don’t actually lay individual eggs. They lay an egg case or sack called an ootheca which contains up to 40 eggs. The ootheca is made of a hard leathery material that protects the eggs inside from both predators and insecticides.

What do cockroach eggs look like? Cockroach eggs look like small tan, brown or black capsules shaped something like a pill or a purse.

German and American cockroach eggs are approximately 1/3-inch (8 mm) long, while those of the Oriental and SmokyBrown cockroaches are slightly longer, reaching lengths of almost ½ inch (12 mm).  Brown-banded cockroaches have smaller egg sacks less than ¼ inch (5 mm). 

Roach eggs have a small ridge called a keel running down their length. This is a weak point in the case where nymphs emerge. When it’s time to leave the egg case, hatched nymphs swallow air to make themselves bigger. This causes the egg case to expand and break open along the keel, allowing the nymphs to escape.