Oriental Cockroach


Actual Size: 1 ¼”

Characteristics: Shiny; dark reddish-brown to black.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Primarily outdoors in sewers, under porches, and under debris, leaves, and stones. Inside, they inhabit basements and crawl spaces.


  • Tend to be found on the lower floors of homes and buildings
  • They prefer to feed on starchy foods and decaying organic matter.
  • Has a strong odor and is considered one of the “dirtiest” cockroaches

Oriental Cockroaches in Illinois and Indiana

Unlike the American and German roach varieties, the Oriental cockroach is large with a glossy black body, and moves fairly slow. They aren’t bothered as much by the cooler Illinois and Indiana climate and are more likely to be found outside in bushes, under mulch and leaf ground cover, and around other damp areas. These roaches in particular are extremely elusive and can hide in plain sight even after casual inspections. These three cockroaches are omnivorous scavengers, meaning they’ll eat pretty much anything they can find. They prefer meats, starches, sugars, and fatty foods, all of which can be found in food preparation and waste disposal areas.

Oriental Cockroach Habitat

Oriental cockroaches are common outdoors and live in warm, damp shady areas near the ground. Outside the house, these cockroaches will gather near or under trash cans. When temperatures drop, they may seek shelter indoors, but can tolerate cooler weather. Oriental cockroaches may enter homes in food packages from grocery stores or gain access under exterior doors, garage doors, through air ducts and ventilators. Inside, they tend to remain on lower floors and move more slowly than other species. The most common areas to find oriental cockroaches in homes are toilets, bathtubs, sinks, radiators and pipes. These cockroaches are seasonal and adults generally appear in the early summer months.

Oriental Cockroach Behaviors & Dangers

Oriental cockroaches aren’t usually found indoors and thus pose less of a threat than other species. That said, they are still as capable of spreading bacteria and germs as other types of roaches. Cockroaches are known for spreading disease and have been discovered to carry 33 different kinds of bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella. They also pose a major threat to people with allergies or asthma as their shed skins and feces can cause serious reactions in these individuals. If you notice German roaches in or near your property, it’s important to contact a professional cockroach exterminator for assistance.