It takes between six months and one year for a newborn cockroach to become an adult. An adult cockroach has wings and is able to reproduce. The lifespan of an American cockroach is about one year.

Female cockroaches lay eggs soon after mating and carry their eggs on their abdomens until they deposit them in a safe location. Baby cockroaches, or nymphs, emerge from eggs between 24 and 38 days afterwards. As they mature, nymphs shed their exoskeletons 10 to 13 times during the process of metamorphosis. The nymph looks more like an adult cockroach with each cycle until the final molt, when it reaches full maturity.