Oriental Cockroaches


  • Latin Name: Blatta orientalis
  • Size: 1”
  • Color: The oriental cockroach is dark brown to black and shiny.
  • Shape: flat, oval, 6 legs
  • Found in: The oriental cockroach can be found in the South, Northwest and Midwest United States.
  • Overview: The oriental cockroach is nicknamed the water bug and black beetle because it loves to live in wet locations and it is black. Unlike the German cockroach, the oriental cockroach prefers to live outside.

Origin: The origin for the oriental cockroach is thought to be either North Africa or South Russia.
Climate: The ideal temperature for an oriental cockroach is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  They thrive in cool humid areas and are able to survive outside even in freezing temperatures.  Oriental cockroaches usually live in landscaping under mulch or under porches near the foundation of a home.  When inside, they prefer to live under the refrigerator, in crawl spaces, in sewer pipes, in floor drains or under the sink.
Favorite Foods: Garbage is a favorite for the oriental cockroach.  They will also eat sewage and other decaying foods.  They need water at least every two weeks, but can go up to a month without food.
Family: The oriental cockroach will live up to a year and a half total.  A female oriental cockroach will produce 128 eggs during her lifetime.  Each egg capsule she produces will have 16 eggs.  She will carry the red capsule for up to five days before burying it.  Once the eggs hatch, the nymph stage lasts six months to a year.   The mother will not help the nymph during this stage.
Unique Facts: Oriental cockroaches are unable to fly and are slower than most other cockroach species.  They prefer to live below ground level if indoors.  Females are larger than males with wing pads only covering part of the body.  The skinny male has wings that cover the entire length of his body.  Their saliva contains an enzyme that will rot foods.
Signs of a problem: Look for oriental cockroaches while you are working on the yard.  They are more active at night, but on a cloudy day you may see them running up and down the drainpipe.   A musty order may be present where there are large groups of cockroaches.  Their feces are small, black and most likely in the corner in the basement.
Do they attack humans? No, but you do not want oriental cockroaches in your home.   They carry disease on their legs from walking through the sewer and rummaging in the trash. They spread the diseases as they walk on areas where food may be prepared thus contaminating the food and making you sick.  People with allergies and asthma may also react to the droppings from oriental cockroaches.
Stopping an infestation: There are many ways to prevent these dirty insects from entering your home.  Fix any leaking pipes, caulk any cracks, add ventilation to any moist areas like the bathroom, remove dead landscape from near the home and spray the outside with insecticide.  Call a pest professional to discuss the best solution once you have spotted a problem.

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