The Oriental Cockroach

Oriental Cockroach, Types of RoachesCockroaches are one of the oldest survivors living on this planet and have a large number of species. The Oriental cockroach is one of them. This species is known for transmitting several diseases in living beings; therefore being aware of their characteristics is essential for your well-being.



Oriental cockroaches have oval shaped, shiny textured bodies that are dark-reddish/brown to almost black in color. They are large cockroaches, at an average of 1 inch long. Females are naturally bigger than male Oriental cockroaches. The wings of male Oriental roaches are three-quarters of the length of their body thus exposing the last abdominal segments while female Oriental roaches lack these wings.

The larvae or the newly born cockroaches are black-colored and are as small as few millimeters. Larvae, in the beginning, lack wings and some other body parts but with the growth, they develop the important organs.


Oriental cockroaches love to feast upon dead, decaying plant and animal matter. In houses, they feed upon filth, debris and human scraps having starch. They thrive in colder temperatures and need humidity around for survival. They are also known as ‘water bugs’ because they can’t live more than 2 weeks without water, whereas they can survive up to 30 days without food.

Female oriental cockroach produces around 200 cockroaches in 180 days.


Sighting oriental cockroaches during summers is quite common. If they invade your house, then you will easily spot them at night in washrooms, in kitchens or around drains and gutters.

Female oriental cockroaches after 30 hours of producing eggs drop them in corners, under kitchen appliance and other protected areas. If you see egg cases lying around, it is a clear signal towards a roach infestation. Egg cases of Oriental cockroaches are about 10mm in length and have reddish brown color.

Besides these, if a large population of oriental cockroaches has infested your house, you’ll sense a ‘musty’ smell, this is because of the chemicals they release.


Darkness and humidity attracts Oriental cockroaches to your home. Sometimes they invade your home to avoid the hot weather outside. Poor sanitation could also be the reason they sneak into your home. They make their way to your home through open doors, windows, drains and sewers and they usually hide in firewood, leaf piles, mulch, etc. Excessive humidity, scattered food particles around, leakage and gutters are major attractions for Oriental cockroaches.


oriental cockroach

Oriental cockroach. By Alvesgaspar – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The oriental Cockroaches are very tough to get rid of. It is important to take strict measures to wipe them out of your home.

  • Block all the leakages in the pipes and cap the drains because water is a major attraction for them.
  • Dispose all sort of rotten, dead leaves and mulch from your garden and properly discard garbage.
  • Seal the cracks and gaps near house entrance and sewerage lines.
  • Vacuum your house more often; this will help in removing eggs of oriental cockroaches.
  • Insect killers are widely available in the market; you can use them and spray them to kill these tough, tiny creatures.
  • Insect baits and dusters are also quite effective in eradicating oriental cockroaches.
  • In case of serious infestation, it’s better to take help from a professional.

Facts About Oriental Cockroaches

  • These are nocturnal pests and never come out in daylight
  • They use their pair of antennas as sensory devices and use them to detect foods.
  • Though male oriental cockroaches have wings, they cannot fly
  • Unlike other roaches, oriental cockroaches are quite slow and sluggish in nature.
  • Oriental cockroaches are known for transmitting disease like salmonella, E. Coli, Streptococcus, etc.