Free Shipping on Orders of $25 or More! (Shipping Only Available to the Continental U.S.)

What Are Oriental Cockroaches?

During the summer, it’s more common to have an encounter with insects. When temperatures climb, some bugs need a break from the heat. The oriental cockroach, sometimes referred to as the water bug or black beetle, is known for sneaking into homes during summer months. We’ve gathered information about the oriental cockroach to help you identify and eliminate an infestation.  


Oriental Cockroach

The oriental cockroach—Blatta orientalis—is one cockroach species you are likely to encounter in the summer. These cockroaches have a shiny, black or dark reddish-brown, oval body.

Like other cockroaches, they have antennae that help them detect odors. Female oriental cockroaches are larger than males. They can grow up to 32mm in length. Male oriental cockroaches can reach lengths of 25mm.

Females have wing pads but lack actual wings. However, males have shortened wings but are unable to fly. Nymphs look like smaller versions of adult oriental cockroaches. After several molts, they grow to the size of adult cockroaches.


Cockroach in the dark

Oriental cockroaches typically enjoy spending their time outside. However, they will come inside when summer arrives.

These cockroaches like areas that are cool and damp. When they are outside, they are often found under leaves, stones, and porches. Once they are indoors, they look for areas that are dark and sheltered. Basements and cellars are their primary hiding spots.

They often travel in sewers and use pipes and drains to enter homes. You may even spot these bugs living in sink drains with little activity.

Oriental cockroaches get their nickname water bug from their love of moisture. They gather in large numbers near areas with plenty of moisture.

These cockroaches will eat a variety of things but prefer decaying organic matter or trash. They won’t hesitate to eat any crumbs you haven’t swept up.

Though oriental cockroaches can be found throughout the United States, they are frequently spotted in northern parts of the country.


Cockroach on bread

Like other cockroaches, oriental cockroaches have a habit of crawling through sewage and trash. As they move through these things, they pick up bacteria. When they enter your home and crawl on your counters, or even worse your food, germs are transferred. This can quickly contaminate your food.

Another problem with oriental cockroaches is how quickly they multiply. Female oriental cockroaches can lay egg capsules containing up to 15 eggs. Each female cockroach can lay up to 8 egg cases in their lifetime.

Cockroaches also like to gather in large groups near water.

One cockroach can quickly turn into a serious infestation. If you are an allergy sufferer, these cockroaches could make your symptoms worse. Cockroaches are known to stir up allergies when living in your home.

Warning Signs

Oriental cockroach

Cockroaches leave behind clues to help you identify an infestation. Though these cockroaches like to stay hidden, seeing them is the first indicator of a problem.

These bugs are most active at night, but you may still see them during the day. They usually scurry off to a moist, dark, and undisturbed location of the house.

When outside, these cockroaches can be seen near gutters and foliage. Your yard is only a few steps away from your home, so be alert if you spot them outside.

Oriental cockroaches drop egg capsules within 30 hours of being produced, so spotting these could indicate an infestation. These are usually 8-10mm in length and are dark brown. Sometimes they can have a reddish hue.

Oriental cockroaches are known to release odors from their body. As their numbers grow, so does the strength of the odor.


Water in sink

There are a few things you can do to prevent oriental cockroaches from invading your home. These bugs are greatly attracted to water. Eliminating sources of moisture is key to keeping your home cockroach-free.

Check for leaky pipes or any other plumbing leaks. These cockroaches like to hide under cabinets with plumbing, so ensuring there is no moisture build up is important. Using a dehumidifier to help with moisture can also help to keep them out of your house.

Though these cockroaches use pipes to travel, they also frequently slip under doors. Check for damaged weather stripping and repair it to make it harder for them to gain access.

Limit their food sources by wiping up spills and sweeping or vacuuming any crumbs. You’ll also want to eliminate hiding spots outside, so clear leaf litter and keep vegetation trimmed.


Roach Killer Gel Bait

If oriental cockroaches have decided your home is the perfect summer spot, you’ll want to take action quickly.

Cockroaches like to stay hidden which can make it difficult to control them. Using a bait, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Roach Killer Gel Bait, is a great solution for reaching the source of the infestation since cockroaches are attracted to the bait. It’s designed to allow them to eat the bait and return to their nest.

Cockroaches consume the droppings of other cockroaches as well as eating dead cockroaches. When this happens, they are also exposed to the bait. This treatment helps to ensure that the entire colony is eliminated.

For the pesky cockroaches that scurry into the open, you can use a spray. Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Ant & Roach Killer kills on contact and provides residual repellency. This will help to prevent cockroaches from returning to your home.


Summer is meant for spending time in the sun, not worrying about a cockroach problem. Oriental cockroaches love to vacation in homes, especially when they can find a cool, damp spot. If you’re dealing with uninvited pests, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.

1 comment

  • I appreciate the information

    James Perry II

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published