What is a white cockroach?

What is a white cockroach?

If you’ve ever encountered a white cockroach in your home, it may seem like you have found something rare and unusual.

However, it’s quite common to find this species in your house. As part of the moulting process, a cockroach nymph will shed its old exoskeleton and appear white for a short period before it hardens.

This in-between stage is called a moult, and all roaches go through this during their lifespan. Once the new exoskeleton has hardened, it returns to its normal colour.

This moulting phase can last minutes to hours, and the roach will be vulnerable until its exoskeleton hardens and its skin becomes tougher.

Once the moulting phase is over, the cockroach nymph has put on a new armour set and is ready to run out in search of food and water.

How do they get white?

Cockroaches moult their exoskeleton (the shell they use to protect themselves) multiple times in their lifetime.

During this process, they cast away the old skin and develop a new one proportionate to their size.

When they first moult, a cockroach’s exoskeleton is soft and white. However, it takes several minutes to hours for this new exoskeleton to harden.

There are many myths about white roaches, including that they’re more dangerous than other species and hiss at the light.

The truth is, they’re pretty common in homes and happen to be a little less noticeable than their brown cousins.

Are there albino cockroaches?

Cockroaches go through many moults before they reach adulthood. Each moult involves them shedding an old shell and growing a new one to suit their larger size.

Once their exoskeletons harden and return to a darker colour, they are ready to leave. When they have a white exoskeleton, it’s easy to mistake them for other roaches.

They also appear more sinister, so you may think they are a different cockroach species altogether. Luckily, a white roach isn’t as uncommon as you might think.

Most roaches undergo a few moults in their lifetimes, so you’ll see if your home or apartment is dirty enough for a moulting roach to hide in.

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Are white cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches are anthropods, meaning that they have segmented body parts and joint appendages.

They also have an external skeleton (exoskeleton) to help them keep their shape and protect them from predators.

Like other insects, cockroaches go through a process called moulting. This involves shedding their skin, which results in a soft white exoskeleton that darkens and hardens over several hours.

As they mature, cockroaches shed their exoskeletons several times during their lifetimes.

This process takes time, so they tend to hide in deep harborage areas until the moulting has finished.

Finding a white cockroach could mean that they have already moulted and are waiting to return to its normal colour.

This indicates a growing infestation and can signal the presence of breeding adults in the area.


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