Oriental Cockroaches, Blatta orientalis (L.), are large very dark
(almost black, but sometimes dark reddish-brown), shiny cockroaches
which live in sewers and similar wet, decaying organic matter. They
are sometimes called "water bugs" because they come out of drains,
and "black beetle cockroaches" because of their smooth, dark
bodies. Males are about 1 inch long, with wings that cover only
about 3/4 of their abdomen; females are about 1 1/4 inch long, and
have only short stubs of wing pads.
||Dark brown, almost black
This species of cockroach often travels through sewer pipes. It
survives on filth and enjoys temperatures from 68 to 84 degrees.
This is a cooler temperature than that preferred by other cockroach
Oriental cockroaches are often found in sewers and will enter
structures through drains. They find indoor harborage in basements
and crawl spaces. They can also be found in leaf piles and firewood
Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of
bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other
kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of
their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or
sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Germs
that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected
while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks
longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse
water, or just sunlight and air. Recent medical studies have shown
that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic reactions in inner
city children. They were even shown to cause asthma in children.
These allergens build up in deposits of droppings, secretions, cast
skins, and dead bodies of roaches.
Good sanitation and habitat reduction, along with vacuuming,
surveillance, a baiting program, and some sealing of cracks can
usually quickly reduce or eliminate a cockroach population.