Baby cockroaches, or nymphs, make up much of an established German cockroach population. Baby German cockroaches share most of the same features as adult cockroaches but are a fraction of the size. Both immature and fully grown German cockroaches have flat, hard-shelled bodies, a pair of long, thin antennae, and six spiny legs. Baby German cockroaches are round in shape whereas adults are oblong. The young cockroaches start out dark brown in color but lighten to medium brown or reddish-brown after several molts. Directly after molting, young German cockroaches appear white in color but darken as their new shells harden in several hours. Unlike adults, baby German cockroaches are wingless.
Depending on the environmental conditions, nymphal German cockroaches take between six and 31 weeks to develop into adults. In that time, the adult female may lay several more egg cases. The pests breed continuously, and populations consist largely of varying stages of developing nymphs.
German cockroaches avoid light and are usually scared off by human activity (reclusive). However, infestations may be detected well before seeing the pests in the home. Molting nymphs leave behind cast skins, which provide a clear sign that cockroaches are breeding and established within the residence. The discarded skins are brittle, reddish shells that look like small cockroaches.
The most effective way to keep baby cockroaches from appearing in the home is to eliminate elements that facilitate cockroach breeding, namely food and clutter. Discarded food is the major factor that promotes cockroach procreation, and the pests thrive when rotting food is in abundance. To prevent cockroaches from entering and breeding, homeowners want to clean up any crumbs and spills and avoid leaving food and dirty dishes out overnight. Additionally, trash containing organic materials needs to be taken out as often as possible.