Oriental Cockroach

Oriental Cockroach

Despite their name, oriental cockroaches originate from North Africa and are a species that are more often found living outside. These cockroaches are sometimes referred to as water bugs because they can often be seen climbing out of drains and pipes. Oriental cockroaches can be found living throughout Missouri.

Pest Identification

The male and female oriental cockroaches have slightly different looks. The females have a wide body with short wings, and the males have a longer more narrow body with longer wings. While both males and females are winged, neither can fly. Adults grow to be about 1 inch in length and are a shiny black color. While most cockroach species smell, this species gives off a particularly strong, pungent, musty odor.


Female oriental cockroaches live from 35 to 180 days while male oriental cockroaches live from 110 to 160 days. During her lifetime the female produces 8 egg cases that have 16 eggs each. Thirty days after she produces an egg case she will find a protected area that is near a food source to leave it. The egg case will stay there until the young cockroaches hatch from their eggs. The process from developing from egg to adult takes about 200 days during warmer weather, but in colder weather, it can actually take up to 800 days. Oriental cockroaches carry a lot of dangerous bacteria and pathogens on their bodies that, if introduced into your home, can induce vomiting, fever, and diarrhea to you and your family. Many people, especially children, are highly allergic to the feces and shed skins of these roaches. Their feces and shed skins can trigger severe asthma attacks in these instances.


Oriental cockroaches living outdoors can be found in sewers and under leaves, stones, wood, and fallen logs. While they prefer to live outside, if the weather becomes too hot and dry they will move inside. They also enter homes accidentally while foraging for food. They typically enter through spaces around utility pipes, under doors, and through floor drains. Once inside, they can be found hiding and living in moist dark areas like basements, crawl spaces, and laundry rooms. Oriental cockroaches prefer to feed on any type of organic matter that they can find. They will also feed on starchy foods.


The best way to prevent problems with oriental cockroaches in your home is to make changes around your home to stop them from getting inside. Inspect the exterior of your home and seal cracks or crevices in the foundation or walls and install door sweeps under all doors. Check the areas where utilities are entering your home and seal any spaces found around pipes or wires. It is also a good idea to repair or replace any leaky pipes or fixtures in your home since excess moisture will attract oriental cockroaches. You can also make your home less attractive by limiting food sources. This can be done by keeping food in sealed containers, cleaning up spills and crumbs quickly, and washing dirty dishes rather than leaving them stacked on the counter.


Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions controls Oriental cockroaches using insecticide baits, non-repellent insecticide formulations, and food-lure pest monitors (sticky traps). Baits are particularly effective, but correct placement is essential. Also, incorporating pest monitoring into the service helps with long-term control. Contact us today to learn more about our residential pest control and commercial pest solutions and how we can help you get rid of roaches.

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