How to Identify and Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches

Updated: Dec. 15, 2022

What do oriental cockroaches look like and why are they a problem for my home? Learn how to take care of these pests.

Good at hiding and fitting into tight locations, the Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) is excellent at reproducing, nesting and infesting inside and outside the home. Pest control efforts will not be easy in removing this particular species of cockroach.

What are Oriental Cockroaches

One of the largest of its kind, the Oriental cockroach is a distinguishable species of roach. Often called the “black beetle cockroach,” they are dark brown to nearly all black in coloration, showcasing a smooth and shiny exterior. Slower than most cockroaches, they prefer to be active outdoors and at night, searching for warm, moist and dark locations to find food and shelter.

What do Oriental Cockroaches Look Like

Not quite as big as the American cockroach, this roach averages about one inch in length. Oriental cockroaches differ in appearance from male to female. The males are slightly shorter (one inch) with stubbed wings, while the females are longer and skinnier (1-1/4 inches) but without wings. Both are reddish-brown to nearly all black.

Oriental Cockroach Behaviors

Unlike some of their counterparts, Oriental cockroaches thrive outdoors and in the environment. Similar to other pests such as earwigs, centipedes, and ants, you can find them under piles of leaves, mulch, stone or wood, along with flower beds and debris build-ups.

Though males have wings, they don’t fly. Both genders are omnivores existing on nearly any type of food source, from decaying plants and rotting garbage to leftover crumbs and people food.

Oriental Cockroach Life Cycle

The Oriental cockroach goes through the three stages of metamorphosis: egg, nymph and adult.  An adult has a lifespan of one to six months, mating numerous times. They are seasonal in their reproduction, often producing more eggs in the spring and summer.

Signs of Oriental Cockroaches

Here are some signs Oriental cockroaches are inhabiting the home:

  • Seeing them outright.
  • Egg cases left around the house.
  • A wet or musty smell.

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches

As with most cockroaches, the first step to getting of them is removing their ideal environment. Keep your home clean and sanitized, especially in wet locations such as drains, pipes, bathrooms or basements, along with any spots where food is present.

Oriental cockroaches particularly like to enter the house in or near doorways or through holes and cracks in the foundation. Seal up these unwanted entryways.

If eliminating entryways and water sources doesn’t solve the problem, look to a professional exterminator for advanced solutions.

Oriental Cockroach Safety

Oriental cockroaches can cause additional problems. They transmit bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, taint food with pathogens, and excrete odors that are problematic for people with allergies and asthma. If an infestation is suspected, take quick action to get rid of and keep the pests out.

Cockroach Resources

For more information about cockroaches and what it means when you find this pest in your home or business, check out these pest control articles.