Oriental Cockroach


Actual Size: 1 ¼”

Characteristics: Shiny with hairy legs; dark reddish-brown to black.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, but cannot fly.

Habitat: Dark and damp areas such as sewers or drains. If indoors, they often occupy areas like basements, crawlspaces, and bathrooms.


  • Prefers wet and shaded areas, regularly traveling through sewer pipes and drains.
  • Has a pungent odor and is often called the “dirtiest” cockroach.
  • Mainly stays on the lower floors of homes and buildings.

Oriental Cockroaches in the Pacific Northwest

Oriental cockroaches are common household pests throughout the northwest, mid-west, and southern regions of the United States. Also called the “black beetle” or “water bug”, these roaches are drawn to areas that are moist and shady. Dark and damp basements, crawlspaces, or cellars are popular hiding places for this insect, though they have also been known to climb up garbage chutes and water pipes of apartment buildings. These cockroaches may also live outdoors, but they often seek shelter during cooler weather. Oriental cockroaches consume a wide variety of items, including garbage, debris, and other decaying matter.

Oriental Cockroach Habitat

Particularly in cooler temperatures, oriental cockroaches may attempt to enter homes through doors, air ducts, and other small openings. Once inside, these insects typically search for dark or damp areas such as toilets, bathtubs, pipes, and radiators. Because this species is slower than other insects, oriental cockroaches typically stick to the lower levels of homes and buildings. When outdoors, oriental cockroaches try to find wet and shaded areas such as garbage bins. These insects are also seasonal, with adults most active from May to July.

Oriental Cockroach Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Oriental cockroaches typically do not bite unless they are facing a food scarcity caused by a large infestation. Though bites are uncommon, these insects still pose a dangerous threat to human health. Cockroaches of all kinds are infamous for spreading serious diseases, and some carry over 33 different kinds of bacteria. People with asthma or allergies may also face respiratory issues on top of unsanitary conditions. If you see any signs of an oriental cockroach infestation, it is important to call a professional cockroach exterminator to get rid of the pests quickly.