Oriental Cockroach


Actual Size: 1 ¼”

Characteristics: Shiny; dark reddish-brown to black.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

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


  • Often known as “water bugs”
  • Tend to be found on the lower floors of homes and buildings
  • Usually travel through sewer pipes and drains

Oriental Cockroaches in SE Louisiana and Mississippi

The oriental cockroach is commonly mistaken as a black beetle and commonly called a “water bug”. Their bodies are shiny in color, nearly black. Males and females look quite different but are both large in size. They primarily are seen outdoors but can easily enter buildings and homes. Oriental cockroaches are known to climb water pipes and garbage chutes to access upper floors of apartment buildings. They feed on all kinds of filth, debris, and other decaying organic matter and seem especially fond of garbage and the contents of discarded tin cans.

Oriental Cockroach Habitat

In Louisiana and Mississippi, oriental roaches are primarily seen outside 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. Unlike some roaches, oriental cockroaches are active in the early summer months–typically late May to June.

Oriental Cockroach Habits & Dangers

Oriental cockroaches rarely bite and will avoid contact with you altogether. They are not a structural pest in that they do not damage homes, but they do present a serious threat to your health and the health of your family. Cockroaches are known for spreading disease and have been discovered to carry 33 different kinds of bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella. Cockroaches contaminate food items and the surfaces in our homes with harmful bacteria as they forage.

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. For these reasons, it’s always best to contact a cockroach exterminator when you’re dealing with an infestation.