Adult Oriental cockroaches are about 1 to 1 1/4 inch in length. Both male and female adults are very dark brown, nearly black. Their bodies usually have a greasy looking sheen to them. Females are about 1-1/4-inch long, broad and have only little pads for wings. Males are about one inch long, more slender and have wings not reaching the tip of the abdomen.
Oriental cockroaches are often called water bugs because of their preference for dark, damp, and cool areas such as those under sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines, and in damp basements. They often travel through sewer pipes, living on filth.
Oriental cockroaches feed on garbage and decaying organic matter and are often considered the filthiest of the house-infesting roaches.
Life Cycle & Reproduction
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. Females produce an average of eight capsules, each containing 16 eggs. Eggs hatch in about 60 days and nymphs develop in about one year. Nymphs develop in about one year. The life span of an adult female is 2 to 6 months. During that time they can produce up to 200 offspring.
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. 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.