Cockroaches reproduce rapidly, especially in human homes. They are capable of producing hundreds of offspring in just six months. A single female can lay up to 300 eggs in her lifetime. In fact, the average female cockroach produces over 200 eggs a year. These offspring are deformed and have a shorter lifespan than their parents. Most of their eggs are non-viable and not fertilized. Female cockroaches rarely mate outside of their breed and species.
The cockroach nymph stage lasts from about eight weeks to two and a half months. They look much like the adult but are smaller and have no wings. The nymph will molt five to six times during its development. During each molt, the nymph will shed its old shell. Once it reaches sexual maturity, it will be lighter in color and eventually have wings. It is possible to kill cockroaches in their larval stages by soaking them in a boron solution.
Although most roaches won’t make it past their first year, those that survive to adulthood are capable of producing several generations each year. A female roach may have six to eight egg capsules in her lifetime. Each capsule will produce between 200 and 300 offspring, meaning that in a year, she can produce more than three hundred thousand roaches. This is considered the fastest reproduction rate of all insects.