Oriental Cockroach Blatta orientalis L.


Oriental cockroaches are often called water bugs because of their preference for dark, damp, and cool areas such as those under sinks and washing machines, and in damp basements. This species, which is less wary and more sluggish than the others, of concern because it often travels through sewer pipes and lives on filth.

Appearance:

Adult Oriental cockroaches are about one inch in length. Both male and female adults are very dark brown, nearly black; their bodies usually have a somewhat greasy sheen. Females have small, functionless, rudimentary wing pads and broader, heavier bodies. Males have wings that cover only about three-quarters of their abdomen. Males are apparently unable to fly.

 oriental_cockroach_life_stages

Life History:

The Oriental cockroach has three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Eggs are laid in capsules, which the female carries for about 30 hours and then drops onto a protected surface near a food supply. The female does not glue the egg capsule to the surface.

Females produce an average of eight capsules, each containing 16 eggs that hatch in about 60 days under room temperature conditions. Nymphs molt from seven to ten times; nymphal stages usually take 24 to 130 weeks to complete. The life span of an adult female is 5 to 26 weeks with approximately 200 offspring. Unlike the other house-infesting species, the Oriental cockroach generally has a seasonal developmental cycle. The peak number of adults usually appears in late spring or early summer. By late summer and early fall, this number has become quite low, owing to natural mortality and the hatching of nymphs.

oriental_cockroach_adult

Damage:

Oriental cockroaches feed on all kinds of filth, rubbish, and other decaying organic matter. They seem especially fond of garbage and the contents of discarded tin cans. If water is available, they can live for a month without food; without water they die within two weeks. The most important aspect of cockroach damage derives from their habit of feeding and harboring in damp and unsanitary places such as sewers, garbage disposals, kitchens, bathrooms, and indoor storage areas. Filth from these sources is spread by cockroaches to food supplies, food preparation surfaces, dishes, utensils, and other surfaces. Cockroaches contaminate far more food than they are able to eat.

Cockroaches in general produce odorous secretions from various points in their bodies. Such secretions can affect the flavors of various foods. When cockroach populations are high, these secretions may result in a characteristic odor in the general region of the infestation. Disease-producing organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses have been found in their bodies.

Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, etc.) appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by Oriental cockroaches. The insects carry these disease-causing organisms on their legs and bodies and deposit the organisms on food and utensils as they forage. Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain a number of allergens, to which many people exhibit allergic responses such as skin rashes, watery eyes, congestion of nasal passages, asthma, and sneezing.

Management:

Sanitation, Structural Modifications, and Repairs - Modifying the interior environment—removing food, moisture, and harborages for cockroaches—is the first step in treatment. Eliminating cockroach harborages involves caulking in closets and cabinets, caulking under the sink, etc., or making similar structural repairs in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of the house.

Oriental cockroaches may move into dwellings from the outside. Recent research has been conducted on the movement of Oriental cockroaches under, around, and into homes from harborages in crawl spaces and cinder block foundations. The research has shown that these cockroaches frequently move into the home along plumbing (e.g., up through the floor from underneath the crawl space) and under door or window jams. The use of screening, caulking and similar items may be useful in tightening the exterior to deter entry by the cockroaches.

 


Control Measures


Roach Control Products

 

  1. Spot sprays. Use tempo SC ultra at the rate of 16ml per gallon. (Use the measuring cup on the bottle.) Treat all base boards the kitchen and other areas that you see the roaches.
  2. Roach Traps. These are good non chemical control for those home owners that prefer to keep their homes chemically free.
  3. Baits.  Gel Baits like Maxforce FC Roach killer and Advion Cockroach Gel Bait allow the bait to be placed in cracks and crevices away from small animals and children
  4. Boric Acid.



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