Are Oriental Cockroaches Bad [Deatiled Guide]

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Oriental cockroaches are often seen all over the world. They are also called water bugs or black beetles. Even though these creatures may give you the creeps, the question remains: are Oriental cockroaches bad as they seem?

Yes, like any other pest, Oriental cockroaches are bad. But regarding how they affect people’s health, these cockroaches aren’t as bad as others, like the German ones.

In this article, we’ll look more closely at these creepy crawlers and find out if what people say about them is true. Therefore, apply your insect repellent and prepare to learn more about Oriental cockroaches!

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are one of the most extensive types of cockroaches worldwide. Oriental cockroaches are found all over the world. They are also known as water bugs or black beetles. The name “oriental cockroach” comes from ships that traded with Asia, but these bugs are actually from Africa.

Most of the time, they are shiny and dark brown to black. Oriental cockroaches are bigger than many other kinds of cockroaches. An adult Oriental cockroach can grow to be 1 inch long.

These pests like to live in damp places, like sewers, basements, and other areas. They have also been known to break into homes to find food and a place to stay. Oriental cockroaches are to live in harsh environments. Because of this, they are a hardy pest that can be hard to get rid of.

Characteristics And Physical Features Of Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are a type of cockroach that a few physical traits can identify. Here are some of the most important characteristics of Oriental cockroaches stated by Steve Jacobs:

SizeAdult Oriental cockroaches are usually about an inch long, longer than most other cockroach species.
ColorMost of the time, these cockroaches are dark brown to black and look shiny.
ShapeThe body of an oriental cockroach is flat and oval.
WingsBoth male and female Oriental cockroaches have wings, but only males can fly. 
AntennaeOriental cockroaches use their long, thin antennae to get information about their surroundings.
LegsThese cockroaches have six legs that help them move on different surfaces.

Behavior Of Oriental Cockroach 

The oriental cockroach is a type of cockroach that is often found in damp places like basements, crawl spaces, and sewers. It is also called the water bug or the black beetle. According to the journal of insects, their behaviors include the following:

NocturnalOriental cockroaches are mostly active at night and hide during the day. They like to live in dark and damp places, like drains, sewers, and damp basements.
OmnivorousOriental cockroaches are omnivorous, which means that they eat a wide range of things, such as garbage, dead animals, and other organic matter. They can also eat things, not food, like paper, cloth, and leather.
SlowCompared to other kinds of cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches move pretty slowly. They can’t fly.
Long Life SpanAdult Oriental cockroaches can live up to six months longer than most other types of cockroaches.
Aggressive BehaviourWhen they feel threatened, oriental cockroaches may do hiss and charge at what they think is a threat. If they feel scared, they can also bite.

Toxicity Of Oriental Cockroach 

The Oriental cockroach is not highly toxic. But they can carry bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing organisms on their bodies, which can spread to humans through their feces, saliva, or exoskeleton.

Oriental cockroaches can also make some people sick with allergies, especially those with asthma or other breathing problems. The allergens are in their saliva, feces, and skin that have fallen off. These allergens can get into the air and cause symptoms like sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and itchy eyes.

Also, oriental cockroaches can give off a foul smell that can be unpleasant and even make people sick.

Life Cycle Of An Oriental Cockroach

An Oriental cockroach goes through three main stages in its life: egg, nymph, and adult.

Egg stageThe female Oriental cockroach makes an ootheca, a dark brown capsule with about 16 eggs. The eggs inside the ootheca hatch after about one to two months, depending on the temperature and moisture in the air.
Nymph stageThe nymphs of the Oriental cockroach come out of the ootheca and are at first white. As they shed their skin and grow, they get darker and get wings, even though they can’t fly. This stage can last anywhere from a few months to a year.
Adult stageThe body of an adult cockroach is shiny, dark brown or black, and about 1 inch long. The males are slightly smaller than the females, and their wings cover their stomachs. The females, on the other hand, have shorter wings and wider bodies.

The life cycle of the Oriental cockroach is affected by the environment. Higher temperatures and humidity levels lead to faster growth and shorter life cycles.

Living Places Of Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches usually live outside, but they can also be found inside, especially in places close to where they live outside. Oriental cockroaches can be found in some of the following areas:

BasementsOriental cockroaches often live in basements, especially if the basement is damp and has a lot of stuff in it. 
Crawl SpaceOriental cockroaches can also be found in crawl spaces, especially those with dirty floors or damp insulation. They can hide in piles of leaves, wood, and other things.
SewersOriental cockroaches also live in sewers, where they can eat organic matter and stay alive by using water. They can sometimes get in through drains or plumbing pipes.
Outdoor HabitatsOriental cockroaches are often found outside in leaf litter, mulch, and other places with dead plants. They also live in dark, protected areas like rocks and tree holes.
Kitchen And BathroomOriental cockroaches can sometimes be found in kitchens and bathrooms, especially if these places are damp and cluttered. They can hide under sinks, in cabinets, and around appliances.

What Attracts Oriental Cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches are attracted to places where they can get food, water, and a place to live. Here are some of the specific things that can attract Oriental cockroaches:

MoistureOriental cockroaches like to live in places with a lot of moisture, like basements, crawl spaces, and areas where pipes leak or water pools.
Organic StuffOriental cockroaches like organic materials like food waste, pet food, and decaying plant matter.
DarknessOriental cockroaches like to hide in dark, protected places where they feel safe.
WarmthOriental cockroaches are more active when it’s warm and drawn to warmer places than where they live outside.
Crevices And CracksOriental cockroaches can get into buildings through cracks and holes and are drawn to places where they can hide and have babies.

How Do Oriental Cockroaches Reproduce? 

Oriental cockroaches reproduce sexually, with males fertilizing the eggs laid by females. There are several steps to this:

CourtshipMale Oriental cockroaches use chemical signals called pheromones to attract females. When a male wants to court a female, he will walk up to her and tap her with his antennae.
MatingOnce a female accepts a male, mating happens. A spermatophore is a special structure that the male uses to send sperm to the female.
Egg ProductionAfter mating, the female makes egg cases called oothecae which contain dozens of eggs. The female carries the ootheca until the eggs are ready to hatch.
HatchingAfter a few weeks, the eggs turn into nymphs, small, wingless versions of adult Oriental cockroaches.
MoltingAs nymphs grow, they shed their exoskeletons and make new ones several times.
Adult stageAfter several molts, nymphs reach adulthood and can bear children.

Signs Of An Oriental Cockroach Infestation

If you think you may have an Oriental cockroach infestation, there are a few signs you can look for:

SightingsOriental cockroaches are active at night and like dark, damp places. You may see them running across floors, walls, or other surfaces in basements, crawl spaces, or areas with a lot of moisture.
Foul OdorOriental cockroaches give off a strong, musty smell you can smell in places where they are.
DroppingsOriental cockroaches leave behind dark, cylindrical poop that you can find near where they hide.
Egg CasesYou might find eggs in places where Oriental cockroaches like to hide, like in the dark, protected places.
DamageOriental cockroaches may eat paper, fabrics, and food that has been stored. This can cause damage to these things over time.

What Diseases Do Oriental Cockroaches Carry?

People know that Oriental cockroaches can carry several pathogens and disease-causing microbes. According to Environ Health Insights, they may potentially carry and transmit diseases to humans are:

SalmonellosisThis infection is caused by the Salmonella bacterium, which Oriental cockroaches can spread. Salmonellosis can cause diarrhea, fever, and pain in the stomach.
E. coli infectionsOriental cockroaches may also carry the bacteria Escherichia coli, which can cause severe GI infections in humans.
DysenteryOriental cockroaches can carry the Shigella bacterium, which can cause dysentery, a condition that causes diarrhea and stomach pain.
TyphoidSalmonella Typhi, which Oriental cockroaches can carry and give to people, causes this serious bacterial infection.
PoliomyelitisOriental cockroaches can also carry the poliovirus, which can cause poliomyelitis, a highly contagious viral infection that affects the nervous system.

Can Oriental Cockroaches Bite?

Yes, oriental cockroaches can bite, though they don’t usually do so. Their mouths are made to chew, not bite, so they are not dangerous to humans.

They are not aggressive and usually stay away from people. But they can carry bacteria and other pathogens on their bodies, which can make food or other surfaces sick if they touch them.

Do Oriental Cockroaches Have Bacteria?

Yes, Oriental cockroaches can carry bacteria and other disease-causing organisms on their bodies. They are mostly found in damp places like basements, sewers, and crawl spaces, where they can come into contact with harmful microorganisms. 

Then, these bacteria can spread to food and other surfaces, which could make people sick. Oriental cockroaches can carry viruses, fungi, other harmful microorganisms, and bacteria. So, it’s essential to take steps to prevent and get rid of cockroaches in your home.

How To Get Rid Of Oriental Cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches are a common household pest that can be hard to get rid of. Here are some steps you can take to get rid of Oriental cockroaches:

  • Clean Your House
  • Eliminate Moisture
  • Seal off Entry Points
  • Use Bait Traps
  • Use Insecticides
  • Call A Professional Pest Control Service

Clean Your House

Cockroaches are like dirty places, so keeping your home clean is important. This means cleaning the counters and other surfaces, sweeping the floors, and regularly taking the trash out.

Eliminate Moisture

Cockroaches need water to live, so fix any leaks or places in your home where water pools. Make sure to dry up any leaks or pools of water right away.

Seal Off Entry Points

Close up any holes or cracks in your walls, floors, or ceilings that could let cockroaches in. You can seal these spots with caulk or weatherstripping.

Use Bait Traps

To get rid of Oriental cockroaches, you can use bait traps. Place bait traps in places like the kitchen or bathroom where you have seen cockroaches.

Use Insecticides

Oriental cockroaches can also be killed with bug sprays. You can find insecticides in spray or powder form at the hardware store near you. Carefully read and follow the directions, and keep the insecticides away from kids and animals.

Call A Professional Pest Control Service

Call a professional exterminator if you have a bad infestation you can’t handle alone. They will know how to eliminate the cockroaches and have the tools to keep them from returning.

Remember that getting rid of Oriental cockroaches takes time and work, but you can get rid of them if you keep at it and follow these steps.


Do Oriental Cockroaches Lay Eggs?

Yes, Oriental cockroaches do lay eggs. Female Oriental cockroaches usually carry their eggs around in a protective case called an ootheca until they hatch.
Most of the time, the ootheca is dropped to a surface near a place to hide. Oriental cockroaches can make more than one ootheca in their lifetime. Each ootheca can hold up to 16 eggs. Oriental cockroaches can produce multiple oothecae in their lifetime, each containing multiple eggs.

Where Do Oriental Roaches Lay Eggs?

Oriental cockroaches like to lay their eggs in damp, humid places like basements, crawl spaces, and other dark, moist places. They are also capable of laying their eggs in spaces that are used to prepare or store food, such as kitchens and pantries.

Can Oriental Cockroaches Climb Beds?

No, oriental cockroaches cannot climb like German cockroaches. Even though they can climb on some surfaces, they usually don’t climb on smooth ones, like bedsheets.
Oriental cockroaches are still drawn to a sleeping person’s warmth and humidity and may crawl across beds or bedding to find a hiding place or food source.

How Do You Know If You Have Oriental Cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches may be in your home if you see large, dark-colored cockroaches, if your home smells musty or oily, if you see tiny black droppings, or if you find egg cases in cracks and crevices. Paper or fabric damage could also be a sign that they are there.

Should I Worry About Oriental Roaches?

Even though Oriental cockroaches are not as dangerous as some other species, they can still be a problem because they can carry and spread diseases. They can also cause allergic reactions, especially in people with asthma. 
Also, Oriental cockroach infestations can be challenging to get rid of and may need help from a professional. It’s important to get rid of infestations as soon as possible to protect your health and keep your property from getting damaged.

Are Oriental Cockroaches Hard To Get Rid Of?

Yes, it can be hard to get rid of oriental cockroaches because they are tough and can live in a wide range of conditions. They like damp and cool places, making it hard to eliminate them in areas like basements, crawl spaces, and bathrooms.
They can also be resistant to some insecticides and quickly adjust to new places. Oriental cockroaches are usually hard to get rid of without the help of a professional pest control service and ongoing measures to keep them from coming back.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Oriental cockroaches may not be “bad” in the sense that they are inherently evil or harmful, but they are still a pest that can be bad for your health and your property.

Even though oriental cockroaches aren’t as dangerous as others, they can still be a problem. They can carry and spread diseases, make some people allergic, and their populations can be challenging to get rid of. 

If you think you have Oriental cockroaches in your home or business, you should act quickly and, if necessary, call in a professional.


Pan X, Wang X, Zhang F. New Insights into Cockroach Control: Using Functional Diversity of Blattella germanica Symbionts. Insects. 2020 Oct 13;11(10):696.

Donkor ES. Cockroaches and Food-borne Pathogens. Environ Health Insights. 2020 Apr 30;14:1178630220913365.