Oriental Cockroach


Oriental cockroaches carry and spread dangerous bacteria, human pathogens, and parasites on their bodies and legs they pick up while crawling through garbage, sewage, and drains.

Oriental cockroaches can spread pathogens, contaminate food, utensils, dishes, and food prep areas in the home.

Their shed skins and feces can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in people, especially in young children.

Did you know?

Despite its name, the oriental cockroach is believed to be of North African or Middle Eastern origin. The oriental cockroach is one of the larger species of cockroach.

Oriental cockroaches can be found in high humidity areas like basements, kitchens, bakeries, restaurants, and homes, and are also referred to as “black beetles” or “water bugs”.

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Oriental cockroaches are smooth and shiny black to a dark reddish-brown. Adult male and female oriental cockroaches, though both large, are different in appearance. Growing to about 25mm in length, the female oriental cockroach has a wide body, while the male has a narrower body. In addition, the male has more developed wings. Female oriental cockroaches reach a length of 32 mm and have reduced wings that resemble wing pads. Neither the female nor the male oriental cockroach is capable of flight. An unpleasant musty odour is associated with these insects.

While their natural habitat is outdoors, oriental cockroaches can invade homes, especially in summer. Oriental cockroaches can enter structures through door thresholds, under sliding glass doors, along utility pipes, foundations/crawlspaces and through floor drains. Once indoors, oriental cockroaches find harbourage in basements and crawl spaces, as they prefer damp, cool locations. They can also be seen crawling around toilets, sinks, pipes, and service ducts.

On average, a female oriental cockroach produces eight oothecae during her lifetime. The female carries her egg case for a few hours or days after it is formed, then she drops or glues it in a sheltered site, often a crack or crevice, near a food source.

Eggs hatch in about 60 days depending on the temperature. There are seven to ten nymphal instars.

The oriental cockroach may require several years to complete its development. The life span of the adult may be up to six months. Generally, there will be 3-4 generations per year.

  1. Oriental cockroaches and other roaches are known to survive for up to a month without food however, they cannot live for more than two weeks without water.
  2. Outside, this cockroach species can be found in yards, beneath leaves, under mulch and at dumps. During periods of drought however, there may be a sudden migration inside of structures.
  3. Inside, they are common in areas of high moisture such as basements, sewers, and drains.
  4. Oriental cockroaches prefer cool, damp environments compared to other cockroach species.
  5. Smells will alert a homeowner to an Oriental cockroach infestation. Oriental cockroaches secrete chemicals to communicate with each other. The chemicals have a notorious musty odour.

Is the American Cockroach hazardous to humans?

Once cockroaches enter your home, they invade your kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. American cockroaches spread diseases and cause a distinct odour. Diseases spread by roaches include gastroenteritis, E.coli, and salmonella. American cockroaches can cause allergic reactions, irritation, lesions, swelling, and even minor infection.

What are the signs of an American cockroach infestation?

  1. You will see them moving around and fleeing to dark areas.
  2. American cockroaches leave behind droppings in the dark areas where they hide. Their droppings can be mistaken for mouse droppings.
  3. Another sign of an American cockroach infestation is the presence of egg capsules, which are about 8 mm long and dark-coloured. Similar in appearance to dried kidney beans.
  4. Lastly, the American cockroach will produce a pheromone that some people describe as having a “musty” smell.

What causes an American Cockroach infestation?

American cockroaches can enter homes/structures through sewer systems via drains and can be brought in with foodstuffs or items from an infested location. In warmer environments, there could be a possibility of migration from outside areas.

How can I prevent an American Cockroach infestation?

Cockroaches are extremely resilient pests, so the practice of good sanitation and the elimination of accessible food are ways to minimize a roach infestation.

Ensuring food items are tightly sealed is important in preventing a roach infestation. If you have found cockroaches in your food, throw out the food source right away.

Sealing cracks and crevices especially those around pipes and conduit lines from outside and basement areas.

Ensuring drain/sewer lines are capped and or screened.

How do I remove an American Cockroach infestation?

Having a clean and sanitary can help keep American cockroaches out of your home. Homeowners should keep counters, sinks, tables, and floors free of clutter and crumbs. It’s also good practice to store food in airtight containers and avoid leaving pet food out in the open. Other ways to prevent American cockroaches include vacuuming at least once a week to remove food particles, ventilating crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup, and running water periodically in spare bathrooms to keep u-traps filled.

In addition, shut out any future invaders by sealing up cracks, holes, and gaps between the inside of your property and the outdoors.

If your infestation spreads larger and becomes unmanageable, consult your Abell Pest Control Technician.

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