How Do Cockroaches Reproduce?

Asexual cockroaches reproduce in a similar way to sexual cockroaches. They lay eggs, called ootheca, in a dark, protected place. The eggs incubate for several weeks. Male cockroaches produce an aphrodisiac pheromone and attract female cockroaches to them.

Cockroach reproduction depends on two important factors – eggs from females and sperm from males. Cockroaches can produce either one or both sexes, so it’s best to identify the sexes you are dealing with before you try to kill them.

Cockroach eggs are laid in protective protein capsules referred to as oothecas. The female cockroach will cling to a surface to place the ootheca. Her saliva helps glue the egg case in place. The eggs contain sufficient water to sustain the baby roach until they hatch, and then they forage for food and water.

Female cockroaches lay multiple eggs at a time. Depending on the species, female roaches can lay between six and fourteen eggs per ootheca. A German roach ootheca can contain up to 48 eggs, while an American roach ootheca contains anywhere from 14 to 16 eggs. These eggs hatch after three to six weeks, but can take longer for some species.

Cockroaches eat virtually all organic material. Their mandibles are used to chew and digest food, and their maxillae are lined with small teeth. Unlike humans, cockroaches can survive without food for at least a month without feeding.