A nymph is the newly hatched egg of an insect. It has some semblance with the adult though wingless. The cockroach nymphal stage is the second stage in the life cycle of a roach.
It serves as the prelude to adulthood. When hatched, a roach nymph is a bright white in color. As it feeds and molts, it darkens. The more it molts the darker it becomes.
When a female cockroach lays eggs, they are enclosed in casings called oothecae. Each ootheca depending on species contains from 10 – 40 eggs. Unlike mammals or some animals, cockroaches do not tend their young.
They rather lay the eggs near food items so when they become cockroach nymphs, they forage them. In some situations, the nymphs feed on the droppings of the mother for the first few meals after hatching before foraging for food.
Everything about Cockroach Nymphs
The Incubation period
Birds are knowns to incubate their eggs themselves. The chicken, for instance, spends about 21 days to incubate its eggs before hatching. Cockroaches do not incubate their eggs themselves. The egg capsule (ootheca) is kept somewhere hidden and can spend up to 24 – 38 days before hatching.
Though the eggs are kept in places with average temperature, the ootheca regulates the temperature of the eggs.
Some roach species like the German roach interestingly do not lay eggs. They carry the ootheca in their bellies until the hatching period. Supposing one squash a pregnant German roach, a bloodline of roach is exterminated and one is invariably saved from the infestation that could have caused.
Metamorphosis to Adulthood
Maturation varies in different roach species. The Oriental roach nymph can take up to 600 days to mature into an adult. Apart from this species determinism, other environmental and nutritional factors play important determiners to the maturation rate of roach nymphs.
A roach’s growth rate can be determined by how regularly it feeds. Some species like the American roach mature into adulthood in a matter of months if they feed well and the environment is friendly.
As nymphs morph into adults, they undergo a process of skeletal shedding known as molting a number of times. To molt is to shed the outer skin (exoskeleton) for a new one. Usually, before molting, a new skin forms behind the outer skin. Once a roach molts, it hides somewhere cool to enable the new skin dry and thicken.
Characteristics of a Roach Nymph
A roach nymph is still developing. It may look like an adult roach but doesn’t yet possess all adult organs.
It is sexually inactive.
It is wingless
It molts. It’s the last molt is when it matures fully into an adult
Roaches and bites
A roach generally will not bite humans because they perceive human movements as threats. But in cases of extreme infestation, roaches bite people when there is limited availability of food. Roaches have been particularly noticed to have bitten those at sea for reasons that border on inadequate food supply.
Their bites are irritative and can cause swellings. Nymphs are not totally immune from biting humans when there’s extreme infestation and inadequate food for them, nymphs may bite eyelashes and fingertips.
Getting rid of roach nymphs
For every roach you see around, there are most like scores of other oothecae hidden in inconspicuous places around the house. Which is why you probably are worried that the more you kill and squash them the more they appear.
If you happen to find them around, the best way to get rid of them is by targeting the eggs. Look for them in dark hidden places in the house. This is because it is the eggs that hatch into the many nymphs that metamorphose into adults which in turn will lay eggs for new one roaches.
The best way to get rid of roaches is by keeping your environment dry and clean. Ensure food wastes are properly disposed of Roaches are attracted to a wet and dirty environment so you don’t want to give them that pleasure.
You may also want to hire the services of an exterminator. As a professional, the exterminator knows their very hideouts and where their eggs are most likely hidden.
Ensure you seal up every crack and hole they may likely be using to gain access to your house in search of water and food.
You are also advised to use roach traps especially before spraying them with insecticides. Borax, soapy water, natural roach repellants, Boric acid, and sugar are other ways of getting rid of roaches.