Cockroaches are the fuel for nightmares. They are nocturnal, fast on their feet, and downright menacing. Where there is moisture and food, cockroaches will be too. Contrary to popular belief, cockroaches are incredibly beneficial to the environment. Cockroaches play crucial roles in the natural processes of decomposition, work to aerate the soil, and help to maintain healthy forests by contributing to the nitrogen cycle.

Just by uttering their name, cockroaches incite feelings of fear and disgust. Humans have such disdain towards cockroaches, but it's because we often worry about the cleanliness of our homes. Even the cleanest homes in the world still have the occasional cockroach as a visitor, but it's when they have invaded a home and have been left unchecked that they become a problem. Learning how to detect, eliminate, and prevent cockroaches from using your house as a breeding ground will help you protect your family from disease.

What Are Oriental Cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches are just one of the many cockroach species that are bugging people around the world. They are considered as one of the filthiest cockroaches on the planet due to their association with garbage. Oriental cockroaches are well known for their taste for waste. They feed on filth, decaying materials, and trash in general. Oriental cockroaches can survive up to a month without food but can only survive without water for around two weeks.

Male and female oriental cockroaches are incapable of flight, and they are typically slower-moving than other roach species. Their average lifespans vary for the males and the females. Male oriental cockroaches live between 110 and 160 days on average. 

Females live an average of 35 to 180 days. Like other species, the female oriental cockroach produces an egg casing, known as an ootheca, housing individual eggs that can number around 16 per casing. An ootheca is dark, and reddish-brown in color can measure from 8 to 10 millimeters in length, and have the appearance of being inflated. One female will produce up to eight oothecae in their lifetime. After the female produces an ootheca, she will place it in a protected spot around 30 hours after it is produced.

Depending on the season, development of the oriental cockroach from egg to adult varies. During warm weather, it can take around 200 days for an oriental cockroach to develop into a mature adult. When the weather is colder, it isn't uncommon for it to take as long as 800 days for them to mature into an adult.

What Do Oriental Cockroaches Look Like?

Image via Flickr by treegrow

The adult oriental cockroach male and female are very different in appearance. Females measure a maximum of 32 millimeters in length. They don't have wings but have large wing pads covering the first few segments of their bodies. They are dark reddish-brown or shiny black in color. 

Male oriental cockroaches grow to a maximum length of 25 millimeters. They have three-quarter-length wings, and only the last few segments of their abdomen are exposed. They are also a dark reddish-brown or shiny black color.

A cockroach has a mouth, eyes, salivary glands, brain, antennae, heart, reproductive system, colon, legs, mid-gut, gastric caecea, fat bodies, esophagus, and malpighian tubules. That is a lot of stuff packed into a small body. With more than a thousand lenses in their eyes, a cockroach can focus on and see more than one object at a time. Their legs are extremely sensitive, and they smell through their antennae. 

The two small appendages located on their abdomen are known as cerci. Cerci act as a warning system of approaching predators by sensing the slightest movement of air around the cockroach. As you can tell cockroaches are very complex creatures.

Where Do Oriental Cockroaches Live?

Oriental cockroaches can be found in the Midwest, Northwest, and Southern United States. They are well suited for their outdoor environments and are often referred to as water bugs due to their attraction to cool damp areas. Outside they can be found near decaying organic matter such as leaf litter, mulch, or other wet areas. They are also prone to live in storm drains, sewers.

If they can gain access into your home, they will take up residence in wall voids, damp basements or crawlspaces, and underneath porches. If left unchecked in such areas, they can become a significant nuisance.

Problems With Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches should have their picture in the dictionary beside the word filth. They are the epitome of filth and will eat just about anything from trash to decaying organic matter. When in a home they can be found living in sink drains that aren't used very often, under cabinets where plumbing is, garbage disposals, or bathroom voids. Being subject to all this filth enables them to spread some pretty nasty bacteria that can cause disease to the foods and surfaces they come into contact with.

Oriental cockroaches have been known to spread food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella, E.coli, and other disease-causing pathogens. These pathogens are carried on their bodies and legs and spread to cleans surfaces as they forage for food and water. As if the spread of disease isn't bad enough, a large population of oriental cockroaches can taint food by changing its flavor or smell from the odors they secrete from their bodies. Having these critters living in or around your house is a threat that will need to be dealt with.

Oriental Cockroach Control Solutions

You may be wondering how to get rid of Oriental roaches once they're in your home. Oriental cockroach elimination is better left to the professionals. Having a professional pest control agency deal with an oriental cockroach infestation allows you to have the confidence that your family and your home are protected from disease. Though having expert exterminators is best, you can help to deter oriental cockroaches from taking up residence in your home by reducing or eliminating excess moisture in and around your home. You can also take measures to ensure that your home is clean and clear of any garbage or decaying organic matter that would attract oriental cockroaches.

Your home is your place of solitude, and having oriental cockroaches living with you will completely disrupt that solitude. Taking preventative measures and hiring a professional to deal with the threat that oriental cockroaches pose. Your family and home will benefit by learning how to get rid of oriental cockroaches.

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