Oriental cockroaches are hardy insects that have adapted well to natural environments. They can be found both indoors and outdoors. In both scenarios, oriental cockroaches prefer relatively warm and moist environments.
Oriental cockroaches appear sluggish when compared to other species, which is a major reason why they are typically found in cellars, basements, and crawl spaces — rarely on upper floors.
Why should I be concerned?
Oriental cockroaches are or particular concern due to the environments in which they prefer to live. It can be easy to leave the dark and damp corners of the home of building unkempt. With a preference of decaying organic matter, Oriental cockroaches have the potential to carry food-borne pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella spp., and other diseases.
A musty odour may be present in areas of a large infestation. This is caused by the chemicals that are secreted by the cockroaches which they use to communicate.
Habitat and Behaviour
A day in the life of an Oriental cockroach
For most Oriental cockroaches, life begins outside, underneath logs, leaves, and mulch, or in sewers and storm drains. These locations provide the perfect combination of decaying organic matter and moisture needed for survival. Oriental cockroaches may find their way into homes through damage to exterior walls but are unlikely to venture much further without a readily available source of water.
If these cockroaches have found their way inside a building, they are most likely to be found near drains, leaky water pipes, under refrigerators, sinks, washing machines, and floors.
Although the adults are relatively easy to kill with residual pesticides, the egg cases (ootheca) which may be left behind are capable of hatching on their own. Furthermore, Oriental cockroaches have been known to survive cold temperatures, even as low as the freezing point. It is best to leave treatment in the hands of a professional pest control technician.
- Adult females are approximately 32 mm in length, males are approximately 25 mm
- Both male and female adults are very dark-brown, almost black, usually with a somewhat greasy sheen
- Males have wings which cover about 75% of the abdomen
- Females have functionless, rudimentary wing pads and broader, heavier bodies
- Neither the males nor females can fly
Tips for prevention and control
These tips may help you prevent oriental cockroaches in your home:
- Do not leave food out overnight
- No not leave pet food and water out overnight
- Wash you dishes, pans, and utensil as soon as you are done using them
- Remove all food or spilled drinks from counter tops and clean counters, sinks, and tables with soapy water
- Vacuum all cracks and crevices to remove debris and food
- Sweep or vacuum any food and debris on floors
- Take garbage out daily in closed plastic containers; keep waste containers washed and clean
- Repair any leaky water pipes or faucets
- Recycle cans and bottles on a regular basis; wash and clean containers that hold recycling items
- Increase ventilation where condensation is a problem
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