Cockroaches are considered to be insects that pose a threat, and we have all dealt with cockroach infestations in our homes. Roaches or cockroaches belong to the superorder Dictyoptera’s suborder Blattodea. The Dictyoptera class of insects includes cockroaches and mantids, which are distinguished by their flat, oval-shaped bodies, leathery wings, and lengthy antennae. Understanding their past is crucial for having a better understanding of these insects. One of the oldest insects, cockroaches has 320 million-year-old fossils.
Despite having lived on earth for a very long time, they are disliked everywhere they go. In addition to damaging household food products and leaving behind a foul smell, cockroaches are also thought to be disease carriers. Let’s now examine the cockroach life cycle to gain better knowledge.
Life Cycle of a Cockroach:
The Eggs (Ootheca) – Stage 1 –
The ootheca, or eggshell covering, is found in the female cockroaches’ abdomen. An ootheca sack contains about 50 eggs that are produced by the fertilised female cockroach. In order to safeguard the eggs until they reach the nymph stage, the cockroaches transport them in the ootheca. The amount of eggs an ootheca can carry varies from one species to the other. Depending on the environment they reside in, these eggs may hatch into nymphs.
The Nymph – Stage 2 –
The cockroach enters the second stage as a tiny nymph. The nymph cockroach undergoes several stages of moulting and shedding of skin. It transforms into a white-coloured body with each moulting. Gradually the nymph becomes larger in size and its exoskeleton becomes more rigid and darker in colour. The time period for the nymph stage varies from one species to another. It also depends on environmental factors and the presence of predators. The nymph stage lasts for a span of 11 to 14 months. Once the nymph finishes multiple stages of moulting and develops parts like wings, it enters the adult stage.
The Adult – Stage 3 –
The nymph cockroach’s two wings are one way to differentiate it from an adult cockroach. Different cockroach species have different life spans. While some species only survive for two months, others can thrive for nearly two years. Cockroaches are omnivorous by nature and will eat everything, including leftover meals from the previous night and even thin strips of paper. A mature female cockroach can give birth to 300 to 400 young ones during her lifespan.
Cockroaches usually prefer a warm, dark-dingy and humid climate to survive. Cockroaches and termites are similar but termites feed on wood, unlike omnivorous cockroaches.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Cockroach Life Cycle
Where to look for cockroaches in households?
The nooks and cracked floors of the bathroom, kitchen, basements, and garages are the highly likely areas around your house where you will find cockroaches.
Are cockroaches able to fly?
It is not true as the ability of cockroaches to fly depends on the species. Not all species of cockroaches can fly. The American cockroach can glide short distances and the Australian cockroach can fly.
Can cockroaches bite human beings?
Due to its omnivorous nature, it feeds on anything and everything. Thus a cockroach can bite human beings. This is another reason cockroach infestation should be eradicated as soon as possible.