Baby Cockroach: 7 Facts, What they Look Like & 7 Pictures

Written by Sadie Dunlap
Published: December 27, 2021
Image Credit Georgy Dzyura/Shutterstock.com
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Baby cockroaches are very interesting little creatures. Did you know they predate the era that held the death of almost all life? Or what about the fact that baby cockroaches may or may not have a dad? We’ve got seven amazing facts and pictures of baby cockroaches so let’s jump in a learn a bit about them!

#1: A Baby Cockroach is Called a Nymph!

baby cockroach colony
A cockroach is called a nymph as a baby!

iStock.com/Dmitriydanilov

First, a baby cockroach is laid as an egg and hatches after about twenty to forty days. Once hatched, the baby cockroach is called a nymph and remains a nymph until it reaches adulthood. 

To make room for new growth, nymphs molt. Molting means that they shed their shells to expose a new, larger shell that lies underneath. Nymphs can molt five to ten times before they’re considered adult cockroaches. 

The adult cockroach is just called an adult, they don’t have a special term. 

#2: Young Cockroaches are Incredibly Sneaky

Baby Cockroach - Cockroach Lifecycle
Cockroaches lay eggs that become nymphs.

VectorMine/Shutterstock.com

Chances are if you see a few baby cockroaches roaming around, there are many, many more underneath the surface. Cockroaches go out of their way to keep themselves hidden from your line of sight. 

Baby cockroaches are also very fast, which is another defense mechanism. Since cockroaches are so susceptible to being killed by other animals and humans, they must get creative to ensure their survival. Their speed and ability to hide help them protect themselves from threats.

If you’ve seen some around your home you should take that as a sign you could have a nest. 

#3: You Cannot Sneak Up on a Cockroach Nymph

baby cockroach portrait
Cockroach nymphs are some of the sneakiest animals on Earth.

iStock.com/ViniSouza128

No matter how hard you try to be stealthy when sneaking up on a baby cockroach nymph, you will never be sneaky enough. The hairs on a baby cockroach alert them when there is movement in the air. 

This special ability makes it virtually impossible for a cockroach to be caught by surprise. This is just another example of a way that the baby cockroach defends itself.

#4: Cockroach Nymphs Can Live Without a Head

Baby Cockroach - Cockroach Egg
Cockroach eggs are large when compared to full grown cockroaches.

Georgy Dzyura/Shutterstock.com

Because cockroaches breathe through small holes all over their body and can last up to a month without food, a cockroach doesn’t necessarily need its head to survive. However, it can only go for one week without water. 

So what does that mean for a baby cockroach? They can live up to a week completely headless!

Some species of cockroaches have even been known to regenerate their limbs if lost for some reason. They can also compress their bodies to fit in very small spots that you would never be able to find them in. Cockroaches can fit in cracks that are as small as .33 millimeters wide – that’s about half the width of a penny!

#5: Baby Cockroaches can be Born Without a Dad

baby cockroach feast
Cockroach babies can be conceived without the help of a male adult cockroach.

iStock.com/gan chaonan

Parthenogenesis is the process in which a female cockroach can reproduce without the help of a male cockroach. If you’ve ever wondered how in the world cockroaches can multiply so quickly, this is a huge contributing factor.

However, not all species of cockroaches have this ability. Of the few that can, the most popular type is the American Cockroach.

#6: Cockroach Nymphs are Nearly Indestructible and Very Old

baby cockroach family
Cockroaches are extremely adaptable and have been around for millions of years.

iStock.com/Puripatch Lokakalin

It’s thought by scientists that cockroaches are extremely old, dating back to the Carboniferous Era, which was almost 300 million years ago. There’s certainly a good reason for this. 

If you’re wondering how that’s possible, the answer is simpler than you might think. Baby cockroaches have many evolutionary abilities that make them nearly impossible to kill off. For example, baby cockroaches can survive in the water for up to thirty minutes. The reason they can live without ahead is the same reason they can survive underwater, they breathe through small holes in their bodies. 

#7: Cockroach Babies Have Wings

baby cockroach egg
Even cockroaches who cannot fly still have wings!

iStock.com/VitalisG

All cockroaches have wings, but not all of them can fly. Cockroaches, both baby, and adult, are extremely food motivated and most would rather spend their time walking around searching for a meal. Some species of cockroaches that can fly well are the Asian cockroach, the brown roach, wood roach, and many more.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are baby cockroaches called?

A baby cockroach is called a nymph. A mother cockroach lays an egg that hatches in about a month. After hatching, they’re called nymphs until the point that they become adults. It can take up to a year for them to reach adulthood.

How much do baby cockroaches weigh?

Baby cockroaches weigh less than one gram and they’re only a quarter of an inch long. That’s less than the weight of a paperclip! Of the over 4,000 species of cockroaches, most only weigh a few grams when fully grown.

What do baby cockroaches eat?

Some of a cockroach nymph’s favorite foods are bread, fruit, and sugary foods. However, cockroaches are not known for being picky with their meals. They’ve been known to eat hair, shoes, paper, and even decaying matter. 

Where do baby cockroaches live?

Baby cockroaches prefer warm, moist, and, dark places to live and grow. The floorboards, crawl spaces, and basement are all great places for cockroach nymph to make it’s home in a home. 

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