Do Roaches Die After They Lay Eggs?

Cockroaches are frustrating household pests that sneak into our homes and set up camp without our knowledge. Even as we look for ways to eliminate them, they seem to multiply endlessly!

They are earth’s greatest survivors and can make it through a nuclear blast. They do their best to keep their eggs safe.

Do roaches die after they lay eggs?

  • Traditionally, cockroaches do not die after giving birth
  • Roaches can lay multiple broods of eggs
  • When in danger, a pregnant cockroach will release its eggs before it dies

Now that we’re aware of the connection between a cockroach’s death and its ability to lay eggs, let’s further dissect the matter.

Do Roaches Die After They Lay Eggs?

As important as it is to get rid of adult cockroaches, the eggs they release before their demise are just as important to deal with. The cockroach species is highly intelligent and evolved and does everything in its power to sustain its survival — and the survival of its offspring.

When a roach is in danger or threatened, it releases its eggs for the small chance of their survival.

Naturally, cockroaches have a reflex that allows them to lay a mature egg when killed. However, if the cockroach is crushed or poisoned, it won’t likely release its eggs. If you want to avoid unhatched eggs turning into baby cockroaches, get rid of all cockroach carcasses by adding them to a sealed bag.

At What Stage Do Roaches Lay Eggs?

An adult roach can lay multiple broods of eggs over its life cycle. Each tiny egg sac (known as ootheca) can contain up to 50 eggs, and a roach can lay over 10 egg sacs in its life!

You can see how all those eggs could add up to a whole lot of roaches! This is how infestations spring up so suddenly.

You can see how all those eggs could add up to a whole lot of roaches!

Aside from the normal process of laying eggs, cockroaches also release them as a defense mechanism when in danger. Cockroaches can sense it when they’re in danger.

To save their eggs, they release them at this point. After this, they may die.

Does the Way a Cockroach is Killed Matter?

The way the cockroach is killed matters. Let’s dissect each common method of killing them to check if the eggs survive or not.

1. Squashing

If you walked over to the cockroach with a shoe or a stick in your hand and smashed it with a satisfying crunch, there is no way the eggs will survive. The element of surprise does not give the cockroach enough time to release its eggs.

For a cockroach egg to survive, it needs to remain in the ideal environment for maturing to develop into a baby cockroach. The moist interior of the egg case is key to the growth process and must remain stable. If an egg case gets smashed in your efforts to kill a cockroach, the eggs within that deep brown belly are not likely to survive or hatch.

2. Glue traps

If you want to give the cockroach a high chance of releasing its eggs before death, a glue trap is a way to go. This leaves the highest possibility of the roach laying its eggs when it’s under the glue trap. Moreover, the glue trap makes for the perfect environment, which aids the eggs in sustaining the moisture within to help develop the roach nymphs.

Once the cockroach eggs hatch and produce cockroach nymphs, they leave behind the egg cases. However, these tiny, hatched cockroaches will also likely get stuck in the glue trap and eventually perish.

3. Roach Bait

If using bait is your choice of killing those pesky insects, the likelihood of the eggs surviving is low. The bait consists of poison, which is also likely to contaminate the roach eggs and keep them from turning into baby roaches.

4. Insecticides

Insecticides can kill a cockroach once it comes in contact with them. These sprays efficiently kill the adult cockroach and the eggs that reside within it. The core ingredient seeps through the egg case shell and causes the eggs inside to die.

If you choose an insecticide spray, the eggs inside roaches are not likely to hatch into roach nymphs.

5. Off With Their Heads!

Unlike humans, cockroaches can survive for quite some time without their heads. Since they breathe from various special glands within their body, they are perfectly capable of going about their day without a head on their shoulders (though they can’t see).

Roaches can lay eggs even without a head. If the egg has matured within a headless cockroach, it will release it, resulting in tiny roach nymphs hatching from them.

Roaches can lay eggs even without a head.

6. Starvation

If a roachcan’t access any form of food or water, it may slowly move towards its demise. However, a roach egg can still hatch in this circumstance. Similar to a glue trap, this form of death gives the cockroach enough time to be prepared and release its eggs.

But if there’s no food for the nymphs either… well…


Cockroaches are able to lay multiple broods of eggs, and do not necessarily perish after spawning.

That said, roaches will attempt to lay eggs if they feel they are threated with death and if it is feasible for them to do so. They can lay eggs even without a head, but they’re unlikely to lay eggs if they’re squashed, crushed, or poisoned.

The ability to quickly and determinedly lay eggs is a roach superpower, and is what allows colonies to grow so quickly.