German Cockroach Life Cycle

The German cockroach, or Blattella germanica, remains one of the most established andwell-distributed pests throughout New England, as well as the rest of North America. The insect has three developmental stages which include the egg, nymph, and adult phase. Female German cockroaches carry (and eventually deposit) an egg capsule, which may hold up to 48 eggs. Typically taking up to a month to hatch, an egg capsule generally appears light brown in appearance, and each female may produce four to eight capsules in a lifetime. The German cockroach breeds continuously, leading to large populations over short periods of time.

Once the eggs hatch, nymphs appear white in color until the exoskeleton hardens and the color becomes brown. At this point, the nymph looks like a small, wingless adult. Each nymph goes through six or seven growth stages (molts), called instars. This developmental process often takes from six to about 31 weeks for a German cockroach to become an adult (depending on environmental conditions). Most growing populations are made up of larger percentages of nymphs than adults. All cockroaches typically feed on available food sources, including detritus (any rotting organic material), starches, grains, and meat products. The typical lifespan for a German cockroach ranges from 100 to 150 days for males, while females typically live longer, up to 200 days.