How to identify and get rid of oriental cockroaches? (Best Method!)

 Cockroaches are major pests in homes, hospitals, office buildings, restaurants, and other locations. Although they are a common pest problem, roaches are one of the most stubborn invaders to get rid of.

That’s because they are pros at hiding. On top of that, roaches have a rigid and flexible exoskeleton. According to pest control experts, cockroach exoskeletons can withstand up to 900 times their body weight, meaning it’s almost impossible to squish them.

Additionally, cockroaches can flatten themselves to a third of their height to fit into the tightest cracks and crevices, making an easy escape.

Perhaps you suspect an oriental cockroach infestation in your home? In that case, this article will guide you on how to identify oriental cockroaches and how to get rid of them completely.

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What Are Oriental Cockroaches?

There are about 4500 species of cockroaches in the world. Of these, only about 30 species are associated with human habitats, 5 of which have become common household pests. German cockroaches, Brown-banded cockroaches, American cockroaches, Smoky brown cockroaches, and Oriental cockroaches are accustomed to living among humans. They will sneak into your home in search of water, food, or shelter.

Oriental cockroaches are also referred to as Blatta orientalis, water bugs, or black beetles. They are the filthiest cockroach species that can invade your home. Like other species, they are carriers of a range of bacteria and disease-causing pathogens such as salmonella, streptococcus, and staphylococcus.

So what’s so filthy about oriental cockroaches? Unlike other species, oriental cockroaches prefer to live in drains and disease-ridden sewers. These trouble-makers can live in clean environments as well. But they typically survive on filth and love crawling through sewage and trash.

Other cockroach species have specialized pads on their feet, allowing them to climb walls. Comparably, oriental cockroaches lack the specialized pads, hence, they cannot climb walls. 

Once oriental cockroaches enter your home via sewer pipes or drains, you’ll often see them crawling in the basement, cellars, toilets, bathtubs, sinks, and other damp areas.

How to Identify Oriental Cockroaches?

Although they prefer moist environments, oriental cockroaches are not water bugs, and neither are they black beetles. These pests can easily be distinguished from other cockroach species thanks to their unique features, which differ significantly from male to female.

Oriental cockroaches are one of the largest cockroach species, with a female adult measuring about 32mm in length. Adult males are slightly smaller, the largest males growing up to 25mm.

You can easily distinguish oriental cockroaches from other species by their shiny, black (or reddish brown) bodies. Their greasy-looking sheens are very smooth, with no visible markings.

Another way you can tell oriental cockroaches apart from other roaches is because the males have wings that cover nearly ¾ of their abdomen. Female oriental cockroaches and baby roaches (nymphs) lack wings completely. However, the females have wing pads that run through the first few segments of their bodies.

Both male and female oriental cockroaches cannot fly, so don’t expect them to become an airborne nuisance in your home. But that is no good news because oriental cockroaches multiply relatively fast and can colonize your home if ignored.

Here’s a Summary On How to Identify Oriental Cockroaches

  • Cylindrical shape
  • Adults grow to 25-33 mm
  • They have a shiny black or reddish brown body
  • Two antennae and six spiny legs
  • Nymphs are wingless, and females have functionless wing pads.
  • Males have wings that cover ¾ of their bodies but cannot fly.
  • They are more sluggish than other species.

The Reproduction and Life Cycle of Oriental Cockroaches

While adult male oriental cockroaches can live up to 110 to 160 days, adult female oriental cockroaches can live a maximum of 35-180 days.

During her lifetime, an adult female oriental cockroach can produce an average of 8 egg capsules (ootheca), each of which contains about 16 eggs. The eggs are usually lined vertically (two by two) in the egg case. 

The female carries her egg case for about five days before depositing it in a warm, protected area where food and water are easily accessible.

Oriental cockroach eggs can take anywhere between 42 to 81 days to hatch into small nymphs, which closely resemble adults of their species. The nymphs molt seven times before becoming adults, a process that can take approximately one year, depending on the season.

In warmer months, the eggs can take as few as 200 days to develop into adults. But during cold seasons, for instance, during winter, it can take the eggs as many as 800 days to grow into adults. 

Habitat: Where Do Oriental Cockroaches Hide?

Outdoors, oriental cockroaches live in warm, moist, and shady places like areas containing natural debris. You can also find them aggregating near or under garbage cans. But when temperatures drop outdoors, oriental cockroaches seek refuge in our homes. 

As mentioned earlier, these cockroaches lack the specialized pads required on their feet to climb smooth walls. So, the high chances are that the large cockroach climbing up your clean wall is not an oriental cockroach.

Instead, you’ll find these roaches congregating in cool, damp areas such as the laundry room, crawl spaces, under sink, floor drains, basements, and sewer pipes.

Oriental Cockroach Diet

Oriental cockroaches are pest invaders that can eat almost anything, especially treats high in starch. They can feed on food droppings, spills, and the leftovers in your kitchen sink. However, oriental cockroaches particularly enjoy feasting on filth, sewage, and decaying matter.

Studies have found that cockroaches can live up to 4 weeks without food. But, they can barely survive one week without water. Hence, their survival in your home is also largely dependent on water availability.

How Did Oriental Cockroaches Get in My House?

Oriental cockroaches are seasoned invaders who can enter your home via access points, such as holes in pipes and vents, open doors and windows, beneath the threshold of doorways, and open drains or sewers.

Signs of an Oriental Cockroach Infestation

Some telltale signs of oriental cockroaches in the house include:

  • Sightings of the pests themselves, especially in dark, damp, and undisturbed places

  • Dark brown or reddish egg casings that measure between 8-10mm

  • A wet or musty odor coming from their pheromone trails

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches

The best way to deal with oriental cockroaches is by denying them access into your home in the first place. These notorious invaders are attracted to water, food, and a possible shelter. So, if you eliminate all these factors from your home, you make it unattractive to oriental cockroaches, and they’ll have no business invading.

Lack of the above necessities will drive cockroaches out of your home. Here’s how to deny roaches any access to food, water, and shelter:

  • Empty the garbage bin regularly. Replace the waste bags with new ones and keep the waste bin closed.

  • Vacuum your home thoroughly and regularly

  • Repair faulty faucets and leaky pipes

  • Keep kitchen appliances, cabinets, and countertops clean and dry

  • Empty pet food in sealable containers every night and leave their bowls clean and dry

Use Baits

Baits can help you get rid of oriental cockroaches effectively. The bait is formulated with an insecticide and a cockroach attractant that lures roaches into the bait station. Once oriental cockroaches find the bait, they carry bits of it to share with other roaches in their colony. This way, you can potentially exterminate an entire oriental cockroach infestation. Bait stations are cost-efficient and durable and can remain effective for as long as six months.

Try Cockroach Sprays

Roach sprays are designed to kill oriental cockroaches immediately upon contact. However, you must spray the treatment directly on the bug in order to kill it. Sprays are also an easy way to target cockroach hiding spots and exterminate them at their source. However, note that you should not use sprays simultaneously with baits. That’s because dead cockroaches cannot carry the toxic bait to the rest of the colony, which reduces its efficacy.

Use Cockroach Dust

Cockroach dust or cockroach powders are insecticides used to get rid of oriental cockroaches. You can purchase this product online or in your local pest control store and apply it in cockroach activity areas such as the basement, cabinets, electric appliances, and behind baseboards.

Professional Pest Control: The Best Method to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches

It is possible to eliminate a cockroach infestation on your own with one or a combination of the methods discussed in this article. However, successful cockroach extermination is a complex task that begins with a thorough inspection of your home to determine the exact cockroach species causing you trouble.

Roaches are resilient bugs. Using a treatment designed to get rid of American cockroaches may only force Oriental cockroaches further into hiding, only to re-emerge later when you’re least prepared. In addition, these ancient pests have developed a resistance to the commonly used pesticides, which leads to an expensive and unsuccessful DIY treatment.

Pest control experts have been in the field for many years. They are trained to accurately distinguish different cockroach species for effective treatment. Additionally, pest exterminators are equipped with highly effective commercial-grade products inaccessible to homeowners.

After successfully getting rid of oriental cockroaches, the experts will create a pest protection barrier around the perimeter of your home to keep cockroaches away. They will also help you stay proactive about keeping oriental cockroaches away from your home or office using an Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM).

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