Oriental Cockroach

Actual Size: 1 ¼”

Characteristics: Shiny; dark reddish-brown to black.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, but cannot fly.

Habitat: Primarily lives outside in dark and damp spaces like sewers or underneath porches. Indoors, they are commonly found in basements, bathrooms, and crawlspaces.


  • Known as the “dirtiest” of the cockroaches.
  • Has a very strong musty and foul-smelling odor.
  • Often found on the ground or in lower levels of buildings.


Oriental Cockroaches in your area

Also referred to as a black beetle or water bug, oriental cockroaches are a serious pest throughout the United States. This species is drawn to wet and shaded areas, so they are commonly found in spaces like basements, crawlspaces, and cellars. Oriental cockroaches are known as the “dirtiest” roaches, largely because they leave behind a very foul-smelling and musky odor wherever they go. These cockroaches also frequently travel through bacteria-ridden areas and may use things like water pipes, sewer lines, and garbage chutes to travel through buildings. Oriental cockroaches are also omnivores and opportunistic eaters that will feed on all sorts of debris, though they are particularly attracted to trash and other decaying matter.

Oriental Cockroach Habitat

Oriental cockroaches often live outside in warm and shaded areas near the ground. The undersides of trash cans or dumpsters are popular hiding places for these pests. As winter rolls in and temperatures drop, oriental cockroaches may try to get indoors for shelter and warmth, though they are hardy insects that can survive the cold. If oriental cockroaches wander indoors, they typically remain on lower levels of buildings and spread slightly slower than other species. These cockroaches are most commonly found in damp and dark areas like bathrooms, sinks, pipes, and radiators. Oriental cockroaches are most active from May through July, though they are a year-round pest.

Oriental Cockroach Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Though oriental cockroaches rarely bite and do not cause major damage to homes, they still present a major threat to your health. Like other species of roaches, oriental cockroaches are known for carrying and spreading bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella. By wandering throughout your home or crawling over food items, they can contaminate your entire house and lead to dangerous health issues for you or your family. Individuals with asthma or allergies are at an even higher risk of complications, as oriental cockroaches can aggravate these conditions by shedding skin and leaving behind feces. If you notice the signs of an oriental cockroach infestation in your home, call your local cockroach exterminator as soon as possible.