What Does It Mean When You Spot An Albino Cockroach?

The albino cockroach is not uncommon because they all moult, and moult several times during their life cycle. They are difficult to see because they hide so well.

In a few minutes, the exoskeleton begins to harden, and the cockroach will return to its normal colour.

It can take up to several hours for some species of roaches to completely transform. The cockroach is now ready to find food, shelter, and water.

Keep reading to find out more!


How Do I Describe an Albino Cockroach?

Albino Cockroach
Picture of an Albino Cockroach

A cockroach with an albino colouration has shed its exoskeleton to reveal the new one underneath. The new exoskeleton will be soft and creamy-white during this period.

This can last anywhere from a couple of minutes to several hours, depending on the species. Technically, they are not albino. Though you may have never seen one, they aren’t rare at all.

This is a different condition. Albinism is not a condition that occurs in albino cockroaches, even though white cockroaches can be found everywhere.

Albinism affects the ability of an organism to produce enough melanin pigment, which gives colour to skin, hair, and eyes.

Albinism can be of different levels. It doesn’t always cause non-pigmentation on the skin or hair but it almost always affects your vision.

The colour of the skin does not provide a reliable diagnosis. It is more commonly detected by an eye examination. Don’t start a cockroach-eye exam centre just yet. Albinism does not affect roaches. Albinism does not cause a white cockroach.

They are just roaches going through a transition. What is a moult, exactly? This is an important step in the life cycle of cockroaches. It’s how they grow bigger and worse.


Read also: How To Identify Cockroaches in MN


What Makes Up an Albino Cockroach?

When cockroaches moult they lose not only their outer shell but also most of their pigmentation, which then must be replaced. It takes a few minutes for the pigmentation to return.

According to a study of the neural organization of Leucophaea Maderae’s circadian system, pigmentation may affect the biological clocks of the cockroach.


Are Albino Cockroaches Dangerous To Humans?

Albino Cockroaches look more sinister, but they’re not. The cockroaches are not known to bite or sting.

Having said that, the truth about white cockroaches is that they, like other roaches can transmit disease. Their exoskeletons shed, their faeces and their egg cases can worsen asthma and allergies.

You don’t want albino or any other type of cockroach in your pantry, your kitchen, or anywhere inside your house.


How Do I Describe Molting In Cockroaches?

Before reaching adulthood, cockroaches undergo seven to eight moults. It involves the shedding of a shell, and then growing another one that is larger. They keep growing and shedding shells until they reach maturity.

The number of times a nymph moults depends on the species. The nymphs look more and more adult with each successive moult.

They split their cuticle to shed it. The soft skin underneath appears white. In a matter of hours, the new cuticles harden and darken to resemble their species’ typical colouration.


Read also: Where Do Roaches Hide?


Why Do I Rarely See Albino Cockroaches?

Cockroaches belong to the arthropod family and, like all arthropods they do not have a spine. This makes them an invertebrate. Cockroaches also don’t possess any other bones.

For cockroaches to move their wings, legs and other moving parts properly, the muscles must be attached to something stiff. It is for this reason that insects have hard bodies.

The exoskeleton is the external skeleton that provides structure to their bodies. The exoskeleton cannot be changed once it has been “set” onto the insect. Cockroaches have to grow larger by “moulting,” because the rigid exoskeleton can’t.

When cockroaches moult, they periodically shed their exoskeleton and replace it with a larger model which gives them the space to grow.

They must first form a new outer skin or shell, but only inside the old, in order to hold their body together and keep moisture.

The new skin or exoskeleton is initially soft and pliable. It does not contain pigmentation which gives the shell its colour. When the roaches moult they break open their old skin to crawl out.

It is very soft, though. The new skin is white because the pigmentation has not been finished.

After moulting, roaches are more vulnerable to predators and drying out, so they should be kept out of the sunlight and out of moving air.

It is difficult to hide and run when predators are chasing you because the new shell does not provide enough rigidity for your muscles to move.

The combination of these factors and the possibility of a disorder in their biological clocks provide roaches with plenty of motivation to avoid your sight when they are white.


Read also: Palmetto Bug Vs Cockroach Differences



Every time they moult, all roaches become albino for a brief period. When they sense a moult approaching, they retreat to deep harborage areas. If an albino is seen, it means that something has disturbed their harborage area.

Pest control professionals see albino Cockroaches often when they treat harborage areas.

It will disturb them and make them leave their hiding places. This will ensure that the cockroaches are successfully controlled. Thank you for reading!

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