Oriental roaches have been crawling around the planet since the beginning of time. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where they came from but current thought is that they began their revolting life in Africa or the southern parts of Russia.


From shiny black to a dark reddish-brown, oriental roaches differ in size according to gender. Males are slightly smaller, growing to 25 mm with wings that cover ¾ of its body leaving the remaining few abdominal segments exposed. Females are larger, growing to a length of 32 mm. Instead of wings, females possess wing pads that protect the first couple segments of its body. Neither gender is capable of flight.

Habits and Diet

Outdoor living is preferable due to the easy availability of water and a variety of food sources. Although roaches are not considered to be a social insect, such as the ant or bee, large groups can be found living together in many different locations. Think warm, moist, and dark areas such as under mulch in landscaped areas, under piles of leaves, stones, or debris. They breach interior access wherever gaps, cracks, and crevices are found. Once inside your home, they could be found in wall voids, the attic, or the basement. They could be found anywhere and it usually takes the experience of a professional pest control operator to gather the clues necessary to determine an action plan. One of the first places to consider is storm drains, water mains, and sewers. Think warm, dark, and moist. An oriental cuisine consists of some basic filth for an appetizer, garbage for the main course, and some good old decaying matter for dessert. They can survive up to a month without food but only a couple weeks without water.


Females produce eight egg cases during their lifetime. Each egg case contains approximately 16 eggs. The female carries the egg case around for about a 24 hour period (sometimes longer) searching for a safe place to drop it. It takes nymphs about a year to go through seven molts before becoming adults. It is interesting to note that although the life-cycle of an adult Oriental roach is relatively short, the molting period may take as little as 200 days or as long as 800 days. The molts are highly dependent on the temperature of the weather. Warmer weather is conducive to a shorter time period while colder weather extends this period of time. If you see a roach aimlessly wandering around with an egg sac attached to its body, step on it right away and then call a professional pest control company.

Signs of Infestation

Oriental cockroaches are nocturnal. If you’re seeing roaches during the day, there is a good chance that the place where they are living has become overcrowded and the weaker ones are being pushed out. If you see even one roach, chances are that you have an infestation. If you get up in the middle of the night and feel a crunching under your feet, it is highly likely you’re squashing roaches under your feet. Do you dare turn on the light or should you call a professional pest control company?

Living with Oriental Roaches

Heavy infestations emit an earthy musty odor. Experienced pest control technicians recognize the scent immediately and should aid in locating their hiding place. While it is true that oriental roaches are not as prolific as German browns, that does not mean that they are any less harmful to your health. Roaches feed on just about anything they can get in their mouth. This would include garbage and decaying matter. Imagine these roaches walking about your kitchen countertops, clean dishes, even nibbling on that chocolate cake that was left out the evening before. Now imagine the risk of acquiring salmonella or E.coli poisoning because of a roach infestation that you may or may not be aware. If the infestation is large enough, the scent alone could cause an allergic reaction that could lead to an asthmatic reaction in some people.

Treatment Options

When some people see a roach, the first thing they think of doing is going under their kitchen sink, grabbing a can of insecticide spray, and killing the roaches that are seen. Some roaches will die immediately but if you persist in this type of do-it-yourself pest control, all you will succeed in doing is chasing the roaches to a deeper hiding place. Most pest control companies begin treatment options with the least invasive method possible. Glue boards will be strategically placed to help determine where the roaches are hiding. Some roach infestations are dealt with baits on the interior and an exterior perimeter treatment. The treatment plan is dependent on the level of the infestation.

Regardless of the number of oriental roaches you have living in your home or business, it is important to know that the sooner a treatment plan can be put together, the sooner you will achieve peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Are you seeing shiny black, oval-shaped insects crawling around inside or outside your home or business? Not sure? Contact us for a free inspection and assessment of your current pest issues and we will be happy to assist you.