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What Is Oriental Cockroaches?

The term “oriental cockroach” can be somewhat misleading because they are not native to the oriental or eastern regions of the world. The name “oriental cockroach” actually refers to the historic misperception that these cockroaches originated from the orient or east Asia. When they were first discovered and described by early naturalists, they were mistakenly associated with the orient.

However, it was later determined that oriental cockroaches (Blatta orientalis) are actually native to Africa, particularly the eastern Mediterranean region. They have since spread to many other parts of the world through human activities such as international trade and travel.

Oriental cockroaches are one of the bigger species. They are commonly referred to as “water bugs” due to their preference for damp areas, and their smooth, dark bodies have earned them the nickname “black beetle cockroaches.”

Oriental cockroaches can enter buildings through openings below doors or gaps in siding. In addition, they can enter structures by tracking along pipes, sewers, and drains.

Oriental cockroaches exhibit a dark reddish-brown to shiny black colouration, and while both sexes are large, their appearance differs significantly. The female roaches measure 32mm in length and have no wings. However, they have large wing pads covering some body segments. Male cockroaches are about 25mm long, with shortened three-quarter-length wings that do not cover the last few abdominal segments. Neither male nor female Oriental cockroaches can fly.

In a lifetime, a female oriental cockroach can lay approximately eight egg capsules, known as ootheca. Each ootheca contains about 16 eggs arranged vertically in pairs. The female carries the egg capsule for 12 hours to five days before depositing it in a warm, covered area with accessible food. It takes about 42 to 81 days for the eggs to hatch. The nymphs undergo seven moults before adulthood, which takes approximately one year.

Oriental cockroaches inhabit warm, damp, and shaded outdoor environments, usually near the ground and areas with natural debris. Nonetheless, during colder weather, they tend to seek shelter indoors, and this is when they may be spotted in places like basements, sewer pipes, floor drains, under sinks, and other damp spots within a home. These roaches are seasonal creatures more likely to be seen in spring and summer.

Dangers to Humans

Oriental cockroaches feed on unsanitary substances such as garbage, decaying organic matter, rubbish, and discarded cans. Because they often take shelter in contaminated and damp areas, they can quickly spread germs and dirt from these sources to clean surfaces, including cooking areas, dishes, and utensils.

In addition, Oriental cockroaches emit unpleasant secretions from their bodies that can alter food taste if they come into contact with it. If the infestation is severe, these secretions can cause certain areas of your property to have a foul odour. Furthermore, Oriental cockroaches can carry disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses on their bodies. If they contaminate your food, you risk contracting illnesses such as food poisoning, diarrhoea, etc. Additionally, their faeces and discarded skins contain allergens that can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.

Signs of an Oriental Cockroach Infestation

Three signs may suggest the presence of oriental cockroaches on your property:

  • Sightings: Oriental cockroaches are often seen near drains and sewers at night, while they tend to hide during the day in dark, damp, and undisturbed areas.
  • Egg Capsules: In addition to spotting the cockroaches themselves, you may also discover egg cases that measure 8 to 10mm in length in various concealed spaces around your home.
  • Odour: A musty smell in your home could indicate an Oriental cockroach infestation. These cockroaches produce a distinct odour from the chemicals they secrete.

Hire the Pest Control Experts

Eliminating oriental cockroaches from your property could be challenging if done independently due to their adeptness in hiding and fast multiplication rate. Nonetheless, Tom’s Pest Control possesses a team of proficient pest control specialists who can formulate a tailored treatment strategy for exterminating the roaches concealed in your property. Subsequently, we can employ appropriate techniques depending on the extent of the infestation to deliver the desired outcome.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Brings Oriental Cockroaches Indoor?

The presence of oriental cockroaches is commonly observed in properties that offer an abundance of sheltered, dark, and damp spaces. These pests travel through sewers and gain entry into indoor areas through pipes and drains. Moreover, properties with outdoor plants are also vulnerable to attracting oriental cockroaches as they provide a moist environment for these pests to thrive. In addition, properties with plumbing leaks and other water seepage are frequent targets of these cockroaches.

How Serious are Oriental Cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches tend to reside in areas such as sink drains, garbage disposals, and concealed spaces beneath cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens that have plumbing. As these pests wander searching for food, they can inadvertently transfer harmful bacteria onto your kitchen surfaces and food items, putting you and your family at risk. Furthermore, the odours these cockroaches secrete from their bodies can contaminate your food, altering its taste and aroma.

Do Oriental Cockroaches Bite?

While oriental cockroaches are capable of biting, it is a rare occurrence. Nevertheless, if a significant infestation occurs and food and water are scarce, these pests may resort to biting. Oriental cockroaches can survive up to a month without food and less than 14 days without water. Their bites are typically small and painless.