Water Bug Cockroaches

There are many insects homeowners may call a “waterbug” just as they call many different ant species “sugar ants.” Examples of insects called water bugs range from cockroaches to beetles. One common example is actually the oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis). Contrary to its name, the oriental cockroach is native to Africa.

Mass of Oriental Cockroaches
Mass of Oriental

Oriental cockroaches (water bugs) are shiny and black or dark brown in color. Nymphs of the species are smaller. Adult males are smaller than females. Oriental cockroaches do not have full-sized wings, and they are unable to fly.

In warm weather, oriental cockroaches can be found outside in trash cans and sewers. In colder seasons, they migrate inside seeking warmth. They are most commonly located in basements and other damp areas at or below ground level. Oriental cockroaches have seasonal development cycles, with adults emerging in warm seasons.

Like most other cockroaches, the oriental cockroach can eat many foods it happens upon. It is especially fond of starchy foods and decaying plant and animal matter. Given enough water, oriental cockroaches can survive up to one month without food. However, they cannot survive more than two weeks without water.

Oriental cockroaches can spread contaminants which can cause diarrhea and food poisoning, and their shed materials, such as feces, can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. In order to treat an infestation, contact your local pest control professional.