Cockroach larvae

6 minutes. for reading

For humans, cockroach larvae sometimes pose a much greater threat than adult cockroaches. Firstly, their destruction is much more difficult than adult insects. Secondly, they introduce a significant amount of pollution from public places into the apartment and food. In addition, cockroach larvae are a powerful source of allergens and can cause allergic rhinitis and even asthma in residents. Children are especially sensitive to these allergens.

Cockroach larvae have outstanding vitality, so it is not surprising that cockroaches can return even after successful pest control.

In this article we will tell you what these cunning cockroach larvae look like, how you can get rid of them, and how to ensure long-term freedom from these unpleasant “neighbors”.

Cockroach breeding cycle

Even after effective disinfestation, you cannot be sure that at least one female cockroach did not leave offspring, and in the near future the nymphs will not turn into adults, again taking over the entire apartment. Why do cockroaches reproduce so quickly?

The female cockroach has a special reproductive system structure. Inside it there are special cavities where the male’s sperm can be stored for a long time. Thanks to this, the female is able to reproduce alone until the end of her life cycle, even if she was fertilized only once.

The insect bears a special chitinous sac with eggs of future cockroaches, called an ooteca, the duration of gestation is 10–14 days. Then the female sheds the ootheca in a secluded, dark and warm place, where they develop independently.

The ootheca looks like an oblong cocoon about 2 cm in size and usually contains from 30 to 45 eggs. These eggs may later hatch into nymphs.

Ootheca is almost impossible to destroy due to chitin, which protects it from adverse conditions and even the effects of toxic insecticides. Unfavorable temperatures can only affect the timing of the development of ootheca and the birth of nymphs. At favorable temperatures, cockroach larvae can appear within 7–10 days. In cold conditions, the birth of nymphs may be delayed indefinitely.

In appearance, nymphs are almost identical to adults. Almost all types of cockroaches are born white, but after a few hours their color begins to darken, becoming the familiar brown.

The insect larva grows for about two to four months. With each molt, it gets rid of the old chitinous shell and acquires a new one. Molting is necessary for the larva, since as it grows, the old chitinous shell becomes cramped for it. It is the shed shells that can cause allergies or even asthma in people.

How to detect cockroach larvae?

Finding adult cockroaches in the home can often be difficult due to their speed and mobility. Often we discover them only at the moment when their number becomes too large. Finding cockroach larvae is even more difficult, especially if you don't know what they look like.

Many of us may not notice small dark bugs on the walls or baseboards. And even if we notice them, we often do not realize that these are cockroach larvae, or nymphs. Knowing the appearance of nymphs allows you to quickly identify their presence in the apartment, cause alarm and prevent the rapid spread of these unpleasant insects.

In the initial stages of development, the cockroach larva is light brown in color and has one or two stripes on its back. Its size usually does not exceed 1 mm. The growth of the cockroach larva continues for four months.

Unlike adult cockroaches, nymphs lack wings and their antennae are poorly developed and short. The larva looks compact and well-fed, and its color is much paler compared to adults.

Larvae prefer an active night life, just like adult cockroaches. Therefore, the easiest way to detect them indoors is at night.

How to destroy oothecae and larvae of cockroaches?

We have already discussed that the ootheca, which is a durable cocoon, is practically invulnerable at this stage of the life of cockroaches. At this stage it can be extremely difficult to get rid of pests. Neither extreme temperatures nor the use of poisonous insecticides bring the expected results.

Even if you have recently carried out pest control against cockroaches and are happy with the result, it is likely that several females have managed to lay oothecae. You may be sure that the cockroaches have left your apartment, but suddenly they appear again.

To avoid the need to constantly seek help from specialists or handle it yourself, we will tell you about the temperature conditions under which cockroaches and their larvae die. In the next section, we will also discuss industrial and folk remedies for controlling nymphs and adult cockroaches.

Disinsection at low temperatures

The difference between larvae and adult insects, perhaps, comes down to the size and shades of the shell. The larvae have a lighter shade. In general, the organisms of adult pests and their nymphs function in the same way. This means that both nymphs and adult cockroaches respond to the same stimuli.

There are many methods of struggle, both folk and industrial. The main thing is to find out what insect larvae and ootheca look like, and take the necessary measures in a timely manner.

If you have already carried out disinfestation using toxic drugs, but found several larvae, there is no need to again resort to substances harmful to humans and animals. You can try to destroy the nymphs by exposure to low temperatures. Cockroaches cannot survive in the cold.

If you want to get rid of adult cockroaches and insects in the larval stage using low temperatures, simply leave all the windows in the apartment open during the cold season and leave the room for several hours.

If you are fighting adult cockroaches, this procedure should be carried out every day for a couple of weeks until the insects are completely gone. Two or three such impacts are enough for the larvae. At such temperatures, small insects cannot survive.

The disadvantage of this method of disinfestation is that the residents themselves will be very cold in the apartment after such a procedure. This method may be suitable if you can temporarily leave the apartment, for example, while going on winter vacation.

Chemical disinfestation of larvae

We mentioned earlier that the larva is susceptible to the same influences as an adult cockroach. Many modern insecticidal sprays have a prolonged action, which ensures high efficiency in the fight against the offspring of cockroaches, even if the female managed to leave an ooteca and the larvae hatched from it. If the desired result is not achieved and nymphs appear, it is possible to use other chemical means.

There is a varied selection of insecticides on the market:

  1. Insecticidal traps: Long-acting products presented in the form of flat plastic washers. They contain bait with a poisonous substance inside. Effective for several months, ensuring maximum destruction of cockroaches and their larvae.
  2. Poisonous gels: Apply to secluded insect habitats. They contain toxic substances that remain active for several months. Prevents the proliferation of cockroaches, preventing them from re-invading the premises.
  3. Cockroach chalk: Widely known remedy.
  4. Adhesive traps: Adhesive tape with a scented bait tablet. Cockroaches and nymphs are attracted to the smell, get stuck on the tape and die. Also effective against ants, flies, wood lice and other pests.

Placing multiple traps in different locations will ensure effective control of pests while preventing them from being disturbed.

Traditional methods of pest control

Not everyone shares the statement about the advisability of using toxic substances to protect against pest invasion. Many people prefer simpler traditional methods.

Folk remedies for controlling cockroaches and their larvae include:

  1. Treatment with boric acid solution.
  2. Treatment with turpentine.
  3. Use of plant essential oils.
  4. Use of kerosene and gasoline.
  5. Use of pyrethrum.
  6. Application of ammonia.

It is very likely that using these simple remedies will achieve the desired result, and the insects and their larvae will finally leave your space.

Cockroach laying eggs, eggs hatching


What to do with cockroach eggs?

When people talk about a “cockroach egg,” they most often mean a special cocoon with larvae, from which they hatch later. Ootheca are extremely resistant to external influences, therefore, when carrying out disinsection, it is recommended to use long-acting agents. Such preparations will effectively destroy young insects immediately after hatching from the ootheca.

How long do cockroach larvae live?

Once the larvae (nymphs) leave the cocoon, their life span before reaching the adult stage is especially up to four months. At this stage of development, cockroaches become more amenable to detection and complete extermination.

How many eggs can a cockroach lay?

A female cockroach can lay four to eight eggs in her lifetime. Each of these eggs, or ootheca, can contain at least 20 future larvae. On average, one egg can contain from 30 to 45 future nymphs.

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