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; wherever there is water.


  • Found in residential and commercial facilities
  • Usually travel through sewer pipes and drains
  • Has a strong odor and is considered one of the dirtiest cockroaches

Oriental Cockroaches in Wisconsin

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. While some may be dark, reddish-brown in color, most Oriental cockroaches are black with a glossy sheen. The Oriental cockroach diet largely consists of decaying organic matter like the remnants of starchy foods. Trash receptacles and discarded tin cans serve as ideal places for the pests to find a suitable meal. Without food, Oriental cockroaches can survive for a month as long as they have access to water. In the absence of water, the insects typically cannot live longer than two weeks.

Oriental Cockroach Habitat or Environment

Oriental cockroaches thrive in cool, damp areas such as basements, drains, and openings beneath porches, often traveling through sewer pipes and living on filth. Known for their preference for feeding on garbage and decay, these insects are commonly found in sinks, garbage disposals, landfills, and leaf litters. Unlike many other cockroach species, the Oriental cockroach can withstand freezing temperatures and is often encountered in homes year-round as a result.

Oriental Cockroach Behaviors & Threats

Oriental cockroaches 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 for food. 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 are dealing with a large number of Oriental cockroaches on or near your Wisconsin property, contact your local cockroach exterminators.