Oriental Cockroaches

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Identification

  • Colour Very dark brown, almost black, with a greasy sheen
  • Size From 25 mm to 32 mm long
  • Description Males have wings which cover about 75% of their abdomen. Females have functionless, rudimentary wing pads and broader, heavier bodies.
  • Notes Cannot fly and move quite slowly compared to other cockroaches.
Male Oriental Cockroach close up

General Facts

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.

Problems/Damage

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

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.

 

Why do I have Oriental cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches like warm, moist environments both indoors and outdoors. Outside, they like to hide under logs, leaves, and mulch, or in sewers and storm drains, full of the decaying organic matter and moisture they need to survive.

When these pests enter homes through damage to exterior walls, they prefer to live in less frequented areas, like cellars, basements, and crawl spaces, as well as around drains and leaky water pipes, under refrigerators, sinks, and washing machines.

If they enter a home and there is no available water source, they will likely leave. But since dark and damp corners of the home are often left unkempt, they usually find what they need.

How worried should I be about Oriental cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches have the potential to carry food-borne pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella species, and other diseases. Where there is a large infestation, they emit a musty odour, which is caused by the chemicals they use to communicate.

Adult Oriental cockroaches are easy to kill with pesticides, but the egg cases which may be left behind are resistant to insecticides and can hatch on their own. These pests can also survive freezing temperatures. To eliminate them, you need a professional pest control service.

How can I prevent Oriental cockroaches invading?

Vacuum all cracks and crevices, Clean up crumbs and spills promptly, Do not leave food or water out overnight, Sweep or vacuum up food and debris on floors, Clean counters, sinks, and tables with soapy water, Take out trash in closed plastic containers, Keep waste containers washed and clean, Wash dirty dishes and utensils immediately, Fix leaky faucets and water pipes, Increase ventilation to prevent condensation

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