With Easter just around the corner, the essence of chocolate eggs is slowly filling the air, but they’re not the only type of eggs you can expect to see this Easter…
Like something out an evil alien-takes-over-the world film, the insect world is filled with tiny eggs getting ready to spawn the next generation of future pests that will inhabit your home. Signs of insect eggs in your home and/or workplace could indicate that you have an infestation on your hands. So being able to correctly identify an insect egg can assist you in managing a pest infestation.
Much like the vast assortment of different chocolate Easter eggs consuming the shelves in your local supermarket, there is a whole range of insect eggs waiting to hatch and cause mischief around your property.
Types of Insect Eggs: the not-so-eggciting Easter egg hunt
As a child, I used to love going on Easter egg treasure hunts. Of course, the eggsciting part of it all was the actual hunt, finding out who could get the most chocolate eggs hidden away around the garden and home. But, unfortunately, finding insect eggs is what I wouldn’t really label as fun, or egg-tertaining (since it is Easter, you’ll have to grant me my chirping puns!). Below are the different types of insect eggs, and what they look like – to help you identify them on your scavenger hunt.
Bed Bug Eggs
Did you know that these mischievous creatures lay between 200 and 500 eggs over a 2 month period in batches of 10 to 50? If you’ve discovered these little devils, then it’s a sign that you have a bed bug problem as their biology naturally promotes infestation.
Bed Bug Egg Characteristics:
- 1mm long
- Pearly white colour
- Are laid after an adult has fed
- Can be found near where the adults hide during the day
- Are attached to items of furniture or fittings in clusters by a transparent nature.
There are over 3000 different species of cockroaches at this point in time – some are considered pests whilst others provide strong benefits to their natural environment (which is quite hard to imagine!). However, much like the thousands of chocolate eggs that will be scattered across back gardens and parks this year for Easter egg hunts, there is a wide variety of cockroach eggs occupying this world.
Cockroach Egg Characteristics:
- Female cockroaches produce egg cases known as oothecae.
- Ootheca contain many eggs and are enveloped by a protein substance that gradually hardens into a strong protective casing.
- Some cockroach species drop the egg case, while other species carry it until the eggs are ready to hatch.
- The number of eggs nested in the ootheca varies from species to species as well as the number of ootheca produced in a lifetime.
Flea Egg Characteristics:
- Main population of a flea infestation
- 90% of a flea infestation are in the egg stage
- On average, a female flea lays more than 30 eggs per day
- Hard to spot due to their size usually being around 0.5mm in size
- White in colour and sometimes transparent
The majority of spiders which are considered pests are harmless to humans, however this differs from country to country and thus so does each species life cycle and eggs. For example the Harvestman Spider lays its eggs in moist soil whereas the Black House spider hide their eggs within a white silver sac secured within a web retreat, much like a child hiding their Easter eggs from an older brother or sister.
Spider Egg Characteristics:
- Eggs are laid into a silk woven sack.
- Where the egg sac is hidden depends on the breed of spider.
- The time of year in which spider eggs are laid depend on the species.
- The number of eggs laid at a time can vary from 2 to 1000 depending on the spider. This is also evident in the number of batches laid in a lifetime.
Flies are one of the most common pest, and are known for their annoying behaviour and also their disgusting feeding habits. What many don’t know however, is that there is a wide range of fly species. Unlike the sell by date of your favourite chocolate Easter egg, on average the common lifespan of a fly is around 30 days, and they complete their full life cycle within this time period.
Fly Egg Characteristics:
- Eggs are laid in large batches ranging from 120 – 1000 depending on the species.
- Fly eggs are usually laid on a host specimen such as an animal carcass, rotting food as well as other unpleasant habitats such as faeces.
- Eggs hatch into a maggot-like form before making the change into a fly.
- Eggs must remain moist or they will not hatch.
An unknown fact about mosquitos is that there are many species of mosquitoes which can be found all around the world. Due to their vampiric nature they can often be the root cause of the spreading of diseases such as malaria. It is because of this that effectively dealing with a mosquito problem in your home and/or workplace is a top priority.
Mosquito Egg Characteristics:
- Eggs are laid in batches on the surface of water
- Batches can consist of up to 300 eggs
- Mosquito eggs are dark in colour and are usually black or brown
- Eggs are narrow and thin in shape.
Sometimes referred to as ‘white ants’, termites can cause extensive damage to the structural integrity of a property, and although their eggs are visible to the naked eye, they are often hidden out of plain sight. Although termite eggs are an important part of the colony, evidence of such does not point towards and infestation.
Termite Egg Characteristics:
- Resemble caviar, but smaller.
- Translucent white in colour
- Archetypical egg shaped
- A queen’s first batch will consist of, on average, 24 eggs.
- Eggs are laid in sheltered locations such as wall interiors and underground nests.
Pigeon Egg Characteristics:
- Lay 2-3 batches a year
- Each batch consists of 2 eggs.
- Pigeon eggs are a solid white colour and hatch in 18 days.
- Signs of pigeon eggs usually depict an infestation.
Most snakes are extremely timid creatures, and rarely come into contact with humans. If they are spotted in a residential area, it is usually in garden areas with extensive secluded wildlife areas, and are generally just passing through.
Snake Egg Characteristics:
- Unlike chicken eggs, snake eggs do not have a hard exterior, but one that is quite soft and resembles leather.
- Some species of snake such as rattlesnakes do not lay eggs, but rather give live birth to a fully developed young.
- Almost 70% of all snake species lay eggs
- On average, the incubation period of a snake egg takes around 70 days.
As it is with the majority of these pests, signs of pest eggs usually indicate that there is an infestation. Soaking up any knowledge you can about the eggs of common pests found inhabiting your homes and workplaces can help streamline the approach to efficiently managing and potential a pest problem.
Here’s a tip; in addition to your Easter egg hunt this year, why not go on a pest egg-spedition hunt and explore your home and/or workplace for any signs of a pest infestation? Although not as fun as an Easter egg hunt, playing pest detective can save you time and money, allowing you to enjoy your Easter break and relax more.