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Oriental Cockroach

Oriental Cockroach, sometimes commonly called a “waterbug,” is more closely associated with damp areas than the other common cockroaches.It is a major household pest in parts of the northwest, mid-west, and southern United States.


Oriental Cockroach

The oriental cockroach is approximately 1 inch long and dark brown to black. Males have wings covering 3/4 of their body, and the female has very short wings. The inner wing folds like a fan and is membranous. The outer part of the wing is narrow, leathery and thick. The styli between a pair of jointed cerci can identify the male. Both the male and female are flightless.

Like many other species of cockroaches, oriental cockroaches are nocturnal. This means they become active and search for food during the night. They will eat practically anything they can find, from the finest gourmet fare to the disgusting slime that builds up in drains. The oriental cockroach is one of the filthiest of cockroaches. Its mere presence and large size, not to mention its bad odor, are enough to make anyone want to get rid of them. They contaminate food with their saliva and feces and also carry Salmonella bacteria, which can cause food poisoning.

Oriental cockroaches are more sluggish than other cockroaches, neither moving as fast nor climbing as well They like temperatures ranging from 68 to 84 degrees F.Unlike some other domestic cockroaches, the oriental cockroach is able to survive outdoors under vegetation and is often seen outside in summer. During very dry or cold weather, they will often move indoors in search of moisture or warmth .

Life Cycle: Oriental cockroach has three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Eggs are laid in capsules, which the female carries for about 30 hours and then drops onto a protected surface near a food supply. The female does not glue the egg capsule to the surface.

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Oriental Cockroach Female

Females produce an average of eight capsules, each containing 16 eggs that hatch in about 60 days under room temperature conditions. Nymphs molt from seven to ten times; nymphal stages usually take 24 to 130 weeks to complete. The life span of an adult female is 5 to 26 weeks with approximately 200 offspring. Unlike the other house-infesting species, the Oriental cockroach generally has a seasonal developmental cycle. The peak number of adults usually appears in late spring or early summer. By late summer and early fall, this number has become quite low, owing to natural mortality and the hatching of nymphs.

Damages: Oriental cockroach damage derives from their habit of feeding and harboring in damp and unsanitary places such as sewers, garbage disposals, kitchens, bathrooms, and indoor storage areas. Filth from these sources is spread by cockroaches to food supplies, food preparation surfaces, dishes, utensils, and other surfaces.

Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, etc.appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by Oriental cockroaches. The insects carry these disease-causing organisms on their legs and bodies and deposit the organisms on food and utensils as they forage. Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain a number of allergens, to which many people exhibit allergic responses such as skin rashes, watery eyes, congestion of nasal passages, asthma, and sneezing.


Breaks in the concrete foundation permit the roach to come and go under the slab of the house.The concrete helps to keep the soil under it cool and moist. Control of cockroaches here requires spraying of insecticide around the foundation and patching up cracks or breaks in the concrete.

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Oriental Cockroach Egg

Prevention and control of cockroaches requires elimination of food sources needed by the roach for survival. These food sources may be pet food, spilled garbage containers, or trash cans in poor condition. Piles of wood, lumber or other debris stacked against the house, fence, or wall may also provide hiding places for roaches.General yard cleanup should be done regularly. Pet food should be limited to just the amount that can be eaten immediately. Plastic trash can liners are recommended.

Handle insecticides with care and follow instructions on the label. Do not use around open flame or exposed foods, and always clean food preparation areas after the use of pesticides. Store out of reach of children and pets, preferably in locked cabinets. Never keep pesticides in anything other than the original container.Never reuse the pesticide container to store any other materials

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