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?

Oriental cockroaches can be found in high humidity areas including basements, kitchens, bakeries, restaurants and houses. Although they rarely bite and do not sting, oriental cockroaches carry and spread dangerous bacteria, human pathogens and parasites.

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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 2.5 cm 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 3.2 cm and have reduced wings that resemble wing pads. Neither the female nor the male oriental cockroach is capable of flight. An unpleasant musty odor 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 odor.

Are oriental cockroaches hazardous to humans?

Since they tend to live in areas such as sewers, garbage disposals, dumpsters, and bathrooms, the danger they pose is transporting dangerous bacteria to surfaces used by humans. Their shed skin and feces can also trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in humans, especially young children.

What causes an oriental cockroach infestation?

Oriental cockroaches are generally found outside in warmer areas, as they need moisture to survive. However, hot, dry weather will force them to move indoors to find a new water source and food. They can also be found indoors, nesting in dark, quiet areas including basements, crawl spaces, and laundry rooms.

How can I prevent an oriental cockroach infestation?

To prevent an oriental cockroach infestation, caulk and seal all exterior cracks, holes, and openings in your walls. Fix leaky drains and faucets and keep drain traps full or capped.

How do I remove an oriental cockroach infestation?

An oriental cockroach infestation can be difficult to eliminate using DIY methods. If you see one roach, it's most likely that there are plenty more you're not seeing. Call your Abell Pest Control technician. We're experts at the removal of oriental cockroach infestations.

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