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Cockroach Eggs: Pictures & Facts

Cockroaches are one of the many nuisances that can disrupt our home or place of work. Nobody likes to see cockroaches roaming around the living room or kitchen.

But we all know, just like every other insect, their life also starts with an egg. A female roach lay their eggs in an egg sack called an ootheca.

If somehow you manage to identify and remove the roach egg sack, it can prevent an infestation. I had a personal experience with an infestation in my storeroom due to seepage.

I was lucky enough to find it at the early stage to avoid a significant issue. If you come across some broken egg cases, there is a chance of an active infestation.

The American Cockroach aka palmetto bug has an egg case light tan in color when deposited and turns to dark brown in a day or two. It is about 8 mm long and 5 mm high.

what do roach eggs look like? Cockroach eggs look more like a Tan or brown capsule or pill with sequential saw-like teeth. They are usually found in cabinets where stored food is present or in the wooden closet where dresses are held. You can quickly identify the egg sacks due to their segmented capsule or pill-like appearance; using pesticides or simply crushing their egg cases is a way to get rid of them.

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4. Ortho Defence Outdoor Roach Killer (Prevent Roaches)

Cockroach Eggs Size and Facts

Following is a table summarising a cockroach egg’s size and how long it takes for each egg to hatch. The table also shows how many eggs a cockroach will lay in its lifetime. I have also mentioned the incubation period of time for each egg to hatch.

Different species of cockroaches will lay eggs at a different frequency, but most of them will lay an egg case every 3-7 weeks.

Cockroach TypeEgg Sacks in lifetimeEggs per caseIncubation PeriodShape & Size
American Cockroach8-12 Cases14-16 eggs40-50 DaysSquarish
8mm x 5mm
Smoky Brown Cockroach10-16 Cases18-22 eggs45-50 DaysLong
10mm x 5mm
Oriental Cockroach12-18 cases 16-20 eggs42-81 DaysLong
12mm x 5mm
Florida Wood Cockroach8-14 Cases20-24 eggs45-50 DaysLong
12mm x 6mm
German Roach4-6 Cases30-50 eggs28-30 DaysLong 8mm x 3mm
Pennsylvania Wood Roach6-10 Cases32-36 eggs28-34 DaysLong 12mm x 4mm
Australian Cockroach12-18 Cases20-26 eggs36-42 DaysLong 11mm x 5mm
Asian Roach4-6 Cases30-40 eggs28-30 DaysLong 7mm x 3mm
Dubia Roach6-8 Cases30-40 eggs28-32 DaysLong 16 mm x 4 mm
Red Runner Roach8-14 cases20-30 eggs32-40 DaysLong 8mm x 4mm
Brown Banded Roach10-14 cases10-16 eggs30-46 DaysSquarish 6 mm x 4 mm
Cockroach Eggs Facts (Size, Quantity and Time to Hatch)

Where roaches lays Eggs?

The cockroach egg sack is mainly attached to some substrate like a wooden log or fibrous material. A female palmetto bug will glue it using a special secretion from her mouth. The ootheca has a water source, which the substrate maintains to over-dry or over hydrate.
These substrates or locations can be anywhere in a dark, humid, and hidden place.

Typically, a roach will lay its eggs where it hides or hangs out most of the time. For example, the eggs can be inside cabinets, behind pantry, behind sinks, or other hidden places inside the kitchen and bathrooms. Here is a complete article on how to conclude a palmetto bug infestation.

But, usually, large species of roaches do not infest homes, so they will lay eggs where they are found. That’s inside the sewer system, under decaying logs, bushes, etc., outside your home.

Palmetto bugs, unlike German Cockroaches, won’t carry the egg case with themselves but will deposit it as soon it’s ready.

Cockroach Eggs Images

All species of cockroaches have similar anatomy. Roaches lay eggs inside a sack called ootheca.

Few species of roaches will lay down the sack and glue it with its saliva onto a substrate. The other will carry the ootheca with them attached to their backs. Some species will keep the egg sack inside them.

American cockroach Eggs Pictures

Below are images of American roach egg sacks. American roach will lay its eggs in a safe spot near a food source.

German cockroach Eggs Pictures

German cockroaches have a high ratio of hatched eggs since a german roach keeps its egg cases attached to itself.

Asian cockroach Eggs Pictures

Asian cockroaches are a lot similar to german and wood roaches and have almost similar eggs.

Images of Asian cockroach from different angles shown in a single image

Oriental Cockroach Eggs Pictures

What do roach eggs look like: Size, Shape and Color

So the shape and size is the most significant identifier of the type of roaches and confirms its infestation. And there is a lot of chance that you will spot the bugs themselves when looking for the egg cases.

Here are a few attributes of the main species of cockroach egg casings.


So as explained above, different types of roaches have various sizes of egg cases. Below are the main ones.

Cockroach TypeShape & Size
American Cockroach8mm x 5mm
Smoky Brown Cockroach10mm x 5mm
Oriental Cockroach12mm x 5mm
Florida Wood Cockroach12mm x 6mm
German Roach8mm x 3mm
Pennsylvania Wood Roach12mm x 4mm
Australian Cockroach11mm x 5mm
Asian Roach7mm x 3mm
Dubia Roach16 mm x 4 mm
Red Runner Roach8mm x 4mm
Brown Banded Roach6 mm x 4 mm
Cockroach Eggs Facts (Size, Quantity and Time to Hatch)

The American cockroach has the smallest egg casing amount of the species of palmetto bugs.

An image showing size comparison of cockroach eggs. The image has eggs of smoky brown cockroach, oriental cockroach, American cockroach, Florida wood cockroach, German cockroach, Australian Cockroach, Brown Banded Roach, Wood Roach, Dubia Roach and Red Runner
Cockroach Eggs Sack Size Comparison


All cockroaches have an identical shape of eggs, including palmetto bugs. The primary identifier is the multiple small teeth on one side like a saw. The number of teeth and size of those can be different for different types of palmetto bugs.

Overall, it’s like a capsule. Below is an image to elaborate more. The shell is hard, mostly shinny. The overall appearance and shape vary from one species to another.


Most egg capsules are dark reddish, brown, or blackish. Initially color of the roach case is light brown or tan, but after a day or two, it changes into black color. This color remains the same in the entire incubation period.

Palmetto Bug Egg Case Just After Being Laid

Empty Cockroach Egg Case

An empty cockroach egg case looks like a filled egg casing after the baby nymphs are gone. The keel closes again once the roaches escape from them. However, the empty casing won’t last for long before it starts to decompose or crack.

Below are images of empty cockroach egg casings.

Empty Cockroach Egg Case broken into pieces
An image of an Empty Cockroach Egg Case
Broken Empty Cockroach Egg Case

How long can cockroach eggs lay dormant?

A cockroach egg will hatch in 30-50 days when left dormant, but if it dehydrates too much, the embryos inside them won’t survive to hatch into baby roaches. In that case, the outer shell of the dormant cockroach egg will completely decompose in 3-4 years.

Roach eggs need a proper substrate, humidity, and temperature to survive and hatch into babies.

How many eggs do cockroaches lay?

A cockroach lays a different number of egg sacks concerning its species. Below is a table summarising the number of eggs per roach in its lifetime. The table also summarizes how many eggs are in each egg sack for each species.

Cockroach TypeEgg Sacks in lifetimeEggs per case
American Cockroach8-12 Casings14-16 eggs
Smoky Brown Cockroach10-16 Casings18-22 eggs
Oriental Cockroach12-18 Casings16-20 eggs
Florida Wood Cockroach8-14 Casings20-24 eggs
German Roach4-6 Casings30-50 eggs
Pennsylvania Wood Roach6-10 Casings32-36 eggs
Australian Cockroach12-18 Casings20-26 eggs
Asian Roach4-6 Casings30-40 eggs
Dubia Roach6-8 Casings30-40 eggs
Red Runner Roach8-14 Casings20-30 eggs
Brown Banded Roach10-14 Casings10-16 eggs
Number of eggs a cockroach will lay in its lifetime

How long does it take for roach eggs to hatch?

The duration of egg hatching is almost the same for all types of roaches. The Oriental cockroach may take a little longer to hatch, but most will hatch between 30-50 days.

The duration varies from one egg case to another due to multiple factors like temperature, when was it laid, etc. Below is a table summarizing the time for roach eggs to hatch.

Cockroach TypeIncubation Period
American Cockroach40-50 Days
Smoky Brown Cockroach45-50 Days
Oriental Cockroach42-81 Days
Florida Wood Cockroach45-50 Days
German Roach28-30 Days
Pennsylvania Wood Roach28-34 Days
Australian Cockroach36-42 Days
Asian Roach28-30 Days
Dubia Roach28-32 Days
Red Runner Roach32-40 Days
Brown Banded Roach30-46 Days
Cockroach Eggs Facts (Size, Quantity and Time to Hatch)

Here is a complete article on baby roaches.

Hatched Palmetto Bug Egg Case

Eggs in a single case

So as explained earlier, each cockroach egg case consists of individual eggs. An American cockroach has around 14-16 eggs per case. All of them may not hatch due to different internal and external factors.

Interesting Read: How Many Roaches are in One Egg?

A Florida wood cockroach has around 20-24 eggs per case. An Oriental Cockroach has 16-20 Eggs, and Smoky Brown has approximately 18-20 eggs.

Inside Egg Structure, Palmetto Bug

The eggs inside an egg case are arranged in two layers—half at one side and a half at the other. Before hatching, the egg case wide opens, and the little offspring crawl out.

Getting rid of cockroach eggs

Getting rid of the cockroach eggs is relatively straightforward. Some of the easy methods are mentioned below.

  1. Crush the egg case or use pesticides.
  2. Use of desiccants such as boric acid or silica, which dry out the substance that directly contacts them, and as a result, death occurs due to dehydration.
  3. You can also use an air busters tube or a vacuum cleaner which can easily wipe them off.
  4. Use of Hydroprene, a growth stimulator that does not directly kill them but induces their growth, which leads to their death.
  5. Extreme hot (above 115F) and cold temperatures (Below 45F) are helpful to dispose of them.
  6. You can also keep the bugs at bay using some natural palmetto bug repellents.

Read More: How to Get Rid of Roach Eggs?

What if someone accidentally eat a roach egg?

Suppose someone or your kids ingest a palmetto bug egg case; it’s not a big concern. The egg is mainly made of proteins or natural ingredients. Even in some parts of the world, people do eat cockroaches, yaakh!

Our stomach contains HCL and several enzymes which will dissolve the egg case with the eggs inside it. The HCL will absorb through the hard eggshell and will destroy the eggs inside it. The egg will either be absorbed by the body to form energy or will be excreted out.

So the eggs can not hatch inside your stomach due to the presence of extensive acids and enzymes.

Read More: Are Cockroaches Dangerous?