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Oriental Cockroach Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from Oriental cockroaches by learning techniques for identification and control.

Oriental cockroach illustration
Blatta orientalis
Shiny black to dark reddish brown


How do I get rid of Oriental cockroaches?

What Orkin Does

Orkin Pros are trained to help manage cockroaches. Since every home is different, the Orkin Pro will design a unique cockroach treatment program for your situation.

Keeping roaches out of your home or building is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin’s exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps—Assess, Implement and Monitor.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep roaches in their place…out of your home or business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Oriental Cockroaches


The adults of the oriental cockroach are very different in appearance. Neither the male nor female is capable of flight.


  • Size: 25 mm long max

  • Wings: three-quarter-length wings, leaving the last few abdominal segments exposed

  • Color: Shiny black to a dark reddish-brown color


  • Size: 32 mm long max

  • Wings: None, only large wing pads that cover the first couple of segments of the body

  • Color: Shiny black to a dark reddish-brown color


Primarily an outdoors species, oriental cockroaches are well adapted for surviving in the natural environment. Most outdoor populations can be found living beneath the mulch in landscape beds, in leaf litter, beneath stones or debris outdoors. If access is available, the insects can thrive in the voids or openings beneath porches, in wall voids and crawlspaces. In more metropolitan areas, oriental roaches can be found in large numbers living in storm drains and sewers. Oriental roaches prefer cool, damp locations, so they can also be found in basements and cellars. Oriental cockroaches crawl around service ducts, toilets, bathtubs, sinks, radiators and pipes.

How do they get in the home?

Oriental cockroaches are a pest invader that most frequently gains entry beneath the thresholds of doors, through open doors or gaps beneath siding, even following utility lines, pipes, open drains or sewers into a structure or home.

Gathered Near Water

Although their natural habitat is outdoors, they may infest homes in summer. Inside, they tend to remain on lower floors. Like other cockroach species, Oriental cockroaches are omnivorous and thrive by scavenging for food crumbs and decaying plants and animals. Oriental cockroaches tend to gather in large numbers near water sources.


Oriental cockroaches are known for their preference of feeding on garbage, filth or material that has begun to decay. These cockroaches are very dependent upon water. While studies have shown that they can survive for up to a month without food, these insects can not survive for more than two weeks without water.


Oriental cockroaches thrive in port cities throughout the world. They can be found throughout the United States, as well as in England, Europe, Israel, Australia and South America.

Reproduction & Life Cycle

On average an adult male oriental cockroach will live 110 to 160 days, whereas the adult female can live anywhere from 35 to 180 days. During that time, a single female oriental roach can produce approximately eight egg cases, or ootheca, with approximately 16 eggs per case. Approximately 30 hours after she has produced the egg case, she will drop it in a protected area where it will stay until the young hatch.

The development time for the oriental cockroach is greatly affected by the season. In the warmer months, the time needed to develop from an egg to an adult may take as few as 200 days. However, when the weather becomes colder, or during the late fall and winter months, it can take as many as 800 days for the cockroaches to go from egg to adult.

More Information

Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) is also known as the waterbug, shade roach or black beetle.

Oriental Cockroach Nymphs

Waterbug Cockroaches

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