A cockroach is not a sight that anyone ever really loves to see. Whilst a bumble bee can fly into your kitchen and back out again, simply eliciting a ‘eww,’ or a ‘uck,’ the sight of a cockroach is enough to make a grown man or woman run.
Somewhere on the scale between a snake and a spider, a cockroach is a feared insect. The thing is, they should be feared in many ways – not because they can be harmful, but because getting rid of them can be a major task in itself.
The sight of just one baby roach, should have you springing into action. Why? Because if you see one, there are bound to be countless more hiding in their nest, somewhere in your home. Big problem.
It doesn’t matter where you see the baby roach, anywhere in your home it is an issue, but the kitchen is probably the biggest issue. You prepare all of your food in the kitchen, so of course you don’t want any type of insect getting in there and contaminating your foodstuff, let alone a cockroach. Baby roaches in kitchen spaces are indicators that you have an infestation awaiting to burst from its banks, and these are likely to be either German or American roaches.
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The reason for this assumption is because these types of roaches like the kitchen type of environment, e.g. somewhere humid and warm, where they can find food and water with ease. They will eat the scraps of food which get left behind, so the kitchen is the ideal place for them to roam.
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Baby Roaches Multiply Fast
You see insects all over the place and you don’t need to have a meltdown as such, so why is the presence of a baby roach in the kitchen something to fear? We mentioned that seeing one baby roach means there are bound to be more – a baby roach doesn’t suddenly break free from the nest, travel miles and then decide to dwell in a house, they always come in multiple numbers, sometimes highly multiple. Of course, there is the chance that the rogue roach was transported into your home by accident, e.g. in a box, but that is quite an unlikely scenario in the real world.
Cockroaches are fast reproducers. Think about rabbits and put it on high speed and you’re somewhere close! A female cockroach’s egg pouch holds 16 eggs in total, and they produce two of these pouches a week. Can you see how fast that number multiplies? The multiplication goes on, and with half of these babies maturing fast and having their own babies; the risk of a severe infestation is quite high. In addition, if you have German cockroaches, you should worry further, because a female of this type can hatch around 300,000 babies every single year. So, you can imagine the sight of just one baby should have you trying to figure out the best cockroach traps around.
The bottom line here isn’t that a cockroach should have you worried in terms of harm, because they aren’t going to hurt you, other than give you a mild heart attack when you see it scuttling across the floor. The problem is more about the sheer number of them, and how difficult it can be to rid you home of them once the infestation takes hold, which it can do quite rapidly if action isn’t taken.
What Does a Baby Roach Look Like?
Everyone knows what an adult cockroach looks like. Big, black or brown, very fast moving, long antenna, and basically quite ugly indeed. This is not an insect that is likely to win a beauty pageant. On the other hand, a baby roach is so small that it could very easily be mistaken for a less worrying type of insect, such as a harmless small bug.
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What the roach looks like depends on how old it is. As it gets close to maturity it is going to be easier to identify, because it will have that rather worrying cockroach appearance. When a baby roach is younger however, they can be tricky to pinpoint.
When a baby roach is born they are tiny, at only 3mm in length. They don’t have any markings on their bodies and they are smooth in appearance. Their color totally depends on the type of cockroach species they belong to. A baby roach will grow quite quickly however, but it will go through a few shedding phases before it reaches maturity, which comes at around 40-160 days after birth. As they grow, they can change color, grow quite large, and they can have different markings, depending on their species.
For instance, a baby German roach, one of the most common found in a kitchen, will appear grey and as it gets larger you will see a stripe going down its back. An American roach, another you might see in a kitchen, could be grey or grown, but will turn a red/brown shade as it nears maturity.
A baby cockroach can’t fly, which is at least one blessing. They don’t have wings, and they’re likely to simply crawl around in the shadows, not really confident enough to stroll around in daylight just yet – that comes much later!
Can a Baby Cockroach be Harmful?
We mentioned that a cockroach isn’t particularly harmful, but by that we were of course talking about bites and stings. Any parasite or insect in your home can be harmful in some ways, and when it comes to baby roaches, you do need to be cautious in terms of diseases being introduced into your home.
You wouldn’t allow a rat to roam free in your home or garden because of the risk of the diseases they may carry, and a baby roach is the same. In addition, a baby roach carries a certain type of bacteria on its body, which could be troublesome to anyone who suffers from asthma or other respiratory problems. The risk of developing a virus as a result is also a possible risk, especially if you have anyone in your home who has a low-functioning immune system, anyone particularly elderly, or very young children.
Of course, we mentioned that baby roaches shed their skin several times as they mature, and that shell and skin has to go somewhere. That means it is going to lie around your home, albeit is very tiny and unnoticeable. As they grow however, you probably will be able to see it with the naked eye. If you have a baby roach problem in your kitchen, this could easily find its way into your food and contaminate anything you eat, as well as the things you prepare food with. Basically, it’s super unhygienic.
The biggest problem with having baby roaches in your home is that it is a precursor to a much bigger problem. When they mature and begin running free around your home, they will multiply even further. This is going to cause distress for anyone in your home, and will be a very big problem to tackle, as it grows in severity. For that reason, action immediately is vital.
How to Get Rid of Baby Roaches
We’ve talked about what baby roaches look like, why they are an issue, and how they grow, but we now need to know how to tackle the problem at hand. You cannot ignore the fact you have spotted a baby roach in your home, whether in your kitchen or anywhere else. The fact you have seen the baby means that you need to do something about it, and fast.
So, what can you do? There are many cockroach traps and best roach killer products on the market, and it’s really a case of figuring out which option is best for your home. You also need to think about if you have pets roaming free, or small children. If that is the case, finding the best roach killer for your circumstances is going to take even more research and care.
What you do need to do however, is focus on the bigger problem at hand, even if you haven’t seen more than one or two. You therefore need to turn your attention to destroying the nest and the colony, not just the one or two you have seen. It might be quite tempting to simply spray the baby roach when you see it and then breathe a sigh of relief, but all that means is you have killed one, out of possibly hundreds more waiting behind it, multiplying and populating all the time. It’s quite a large and daunting task, but it is one which can be tackled.
The first thing you can do is ensure that your kitchen space, if indeed this is where you are spotting the roaches mostly, is super clean. Never leave any spills or grease stains anywhere, and always ensure that you wipe up after you’ve cooked, with a good quality kitchen cleaner. This will cut out of the chances of the roaches heading towards the kitchen to snack on whatever is left behind. It is also going to clean the area where a roach may have already roamed free.
In addition, look for any holes or cracks which might be in your kitchen walls or cupboards, as this could be where the nest is hiding, and the roaches are getting in from there.
Those are the basics; now let’s get into how to actually exterminate those baby roaches.
These sprays are designed to work on small nests and infestations, so that means you need to know where the roaches are coming from in the first place. If you have figured it out, a killer spray could be a good option, and one which is very readily available and quite lost cost. You should certainly target the popular areas for roaches to hand out too, such cracks, doors, windows, and crevices. If you see a roach running free, spray it too – bear in mind they are very fast, despite their size
The word ‘bait’ gives it away. You’re basically luring them out so you can kill them from the source. This method is also much cheaper than hiring an exterminator to come into your home, so this is a good first option before you realize you need to up your game even further. Cockroaches aren’t the easiest things to kill, so it could very well be that you need to enlist the help of the professionals in the end, if your efforts haven’t worked, and if the infestation is growing.
Cockroach bait works on the idea that when baby roaches come out of their nests looking for something to eat, they will take the bait and go back to their nest with it. Not only will this be poisonous to that particular baby roach, therefore killing it, but it will also go back to the nest with them, and kill even more, therefore targeting the source. We should also mention that it is not unusual for adult roaches to kill their own offspring if they are hungry enough, so if a roach has gone back to the nest and died, eating that dead roach will mean that particular roach also dies, by proxy.
Of course, you will need to set the bait around your kitchen, or wherever they are, and you will need to be careful that small hands, e.g. children, or pets don’t come into contact with the bait accidentally. Gel baits are very popular and they are quite low cost too, so this is something you could think about, provided you’re careful with the aforementioned pets and children around your home, of course.
When is it Time to Call in The Experts?
At the end of your efforts, if you are still seeing baby roaches in your house, or if you are noticing the problem growing, it’s time to throw in the towel and hand it over to the experts. This means hiring an exterminator, who will use professional methods to attack the infestation in your home. Yes, it costs money, but in order to get rid of a huge problem, it is more than worth it.