Hissing cockroaches, or Madagascar hissing cockroaches, are a large species of the roach variety. Since they are very large, to begin with, it might be difficult to tell pregnant hissing cockroaches or even how to differentiate the gender. Many people keep them as pets, but they are definitely not great to have roaming around your home if they get loose. While they are native to the island of Madagascar, it is still possible to encounter one elsewhere.
It is important to know if a cockroach is pregnant because this can lead to a problem that is literally multiplied if you leave it without taking care of it for long enough. Getting rid of all cockroaches and making sure they do not lay their eggs in your home will ensure you do not have an infestation problem later on.
If you can get a good look at a hissing cockroach, you can tell the difference between a male and a female by taking a look at its back. While they are wingless, these hissing cockroaches are very fast, so it might be hard to identify the bumps they have on their backs. Males have two large bumps that many confuse for eyes at first glance. Females still have these bumps, but they are smoother and less visible to the human eye.
Of course, being able to identify the gender of the roach(es) can tell you whether or not they are pregnant. This is something that is likely going to be rare since they are so quick and you might be too squeamish to get a close enough look, but it is helpful to know the distinctions.
Signs of Pregnancy
Much like humans, a pregnant Madagascar hissing cockroach appears larger in size and slower with its movements. Cockroaches are typically quick to scurry away when spotted, and they will not hesitate to flee to safety. If you notice that one appears large and almost too lazy to move, this is a good indication that the cockroach might be pregnant. While this is not always the case, it is one of the easiest ways to tell without getting too close.
Another indicator of pregnancy is if the cockroach has an increased appetite. This might be difficult to determine since cockroaches are naturally keen on eating nearly everything in sight. If you spot a large cockroach that is slow-moving and continuously eating, this might be a tell-tale sign that you have a pregnant cockroach on the premises.
On rare occasions, you might be able to spot the egg sac as it moves from the inside of the cockroach to the outside momentarily. This sac will eventually make its way back inside of the critter, and you are only likely to witness this if the pregnant mother feels like she is safe and comfortable. Cockroaches in danger are unlikely to do this because it puts them in a vulnerable situation.
Should You Kill a Pregnant Cockroach?
There are many myths surrounding the topic of killing a pregnant cockroach. Through the years, some people have adamantly believed that killing a pregnant cockroach would result in the eggs spontaneously hatching and spreading all over the house—this is not true. If a pregnant cockroach is killed, the eggs will die along with it. You do not have to worry about this nightmarish situation because it is not realistic.
Some people also believe that the eggs have a better chance of survival when the mother is killed because they will need to find other forms of nourishment and sustenance. This is a myth because the mother is their lifeline. Once she is dead, they will not be able to survive on their own, nor will they have a better chance of survival.
The only deterrent in this situation comes down to your morals. If you feel that it would be wrong to kill a pregnant cockroach or any cockroach, then do what makes you feel right ethically. There are plenty of ways to trap and release cockroaches outdoors, but keep in mind they will likely find their way back in if you do not make any big changes because they will remember how they got in the first time.
In terms of danger, there is nothing dangerous or unsafe about killing a pregnant hissing cockroach. There is nothing more toxic about the process or different than what happens when you kill a cockroach that is not pregnant.
Determining Pregnant Hissing Cockroaches
After learning more about hissing cockroaches, you should feel much more capable of handling the situation if you encounter one inside of your home. Being able to tell if one is pregnant and knowing what to do to get rid of it can save you many months of dealing with an infestation that started off very small.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
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