What Do Baby Cockroaches Look Like

A German cockroach and her young can produce 300,000 more roaches in one year, while an American cockroach can produce a comparatively small 800 new roaches per year.

Statistically speaking, there are millions of ‘baby cockroaches’ scurrying around after birth all the time. 

But what do baby cockroaches look like?

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Are they as stubborn and ravenous as their full-grown counterparts? How can you differentiate a baby from a small-sized adult cockroach?

Let’s find out. 

What Are The Stages of a Cockroach’s Life Cycle?

A cockroach has three stages during its life cycle: egg, nymph, and adult. Read ahead to understand the detailed evolution of a cockroach from birth to death. 


Within three to seven days after mating, female cockroaches produce eggs- called ootheca, which are enveloped by a protein substance that gradually hardens into a protective casing. 


Cockroaches prefer to safeguard their eggs by keeping them in warm, moist surroundings. Under ideal conditions and optimal temperatures, immature cockroaches, also known as Nymphs, will emerge within 24 to 38 days. 

These baby cockroaches gradually undergo metamorphosis, which is the process of developing structural and biological changes. 

They do this by shedding their exoskeleton. By the time they are adult roaches, this will happen 10 to 13 times, slowly pushing the infants toward adulthood. 


After undergoing their final evolution, the cockroaches are ready to venture out into the world.

By this time, they have developed fully and now come equipped with wings and reproductive capabilities. 

cockroach life cycle
Cockroach Life Cycle

How to Identify Baby Cockroaches

Often, the key to avoiding or combatting an infestation is to keep your eyes open and regularly search your house for baby cockroaches. 

Cockroaches invade our homes and make those intimate spaces their own. They also carry bacteria that can cause salmonella, staphylococcus, or streptococcus infections

Plus, they can be vectors for intestinal diseases like dysentery and cholera. 

Finding Nymphs in your home indicates a larger infestation and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. 

The following indicators will help you identify a baby cockroach and plan your future tactics to deal with its eradication. 

American Cockroaches

The nymphs of American Roaches are quite small, measuring only up to one-quarter of an inch in length. As time passes and they gradually progress toward adulthood, they change color, shifting from a black-brown shade to a more identifiable reddish-brown color.

The process of shedding their exoskeletons to allow their physiques to expand is called molting. Like adults, American Nymphs also have a halo marking behind their heads in the later stages of their development. 

German Cockroaches 

These nymphs are markedly smaller at birth than their American cousins. They grow barely up to one-eighth of an inch long. 

Unlike the American nymphs, these babies are dark brown, having a shell that is almost completely black. As they mature, black stripes develop behind their heads. 

On reaching adulthood, their color slowly lightens, changing to the pale brown color of adults.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

The Brown-banded cockroach nymphs are quite similar in size to the German nymphs, measuring approximately one-eighth of an inch in length. 

However, they gain their adult shade early on, being brown from birth. 

They also have two broad, light-brown colored bands behind their heads.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroach nymphs resemble American cockroach babies, measuring about one-quarter inch in length. They are usually reddish-brown in color at birth. As they undergo rapid metamorphosis, their color darkens, with the adults becoming almost pitch black in color.

Smoky Brown Cockroaches 

Smoky brown cockroach nymphs are the largest of the lot, measuring about three-eighths of an inch long.

They are dark brown to black in color at birth, with white markings all over their body. As they mature, they change to lighter shades of mahogany, finally becoming the smoky brown color of adults.

Final Words

Having a scientific approach to combat your enemy is always advisable. 

Maintaining hygiene and regularly checking your house for baby cockroaches is the number one solution to avoid a major outbreak. 

The key to controlling roach infestations is early detection. It’s important to understand the life cycle of cockroaches and also learn the major reasons for inviting cockroaches inside your home. 

Photo of author


Daniel White
I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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