Physical Characteristics

The adult male Oriental cockroach, also known as a “water bug,” is 1 inch long and females are about 1 1/4 inch long. Their bodies are oval in shape and usually shiny black but may vary to dark reddish brown in color.

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental Cockroach


The Oriental cockroach can survive quite well in the wild, and can be found typically under debris, stones, leaf litter and porch voids; they can stay alive up to 13 weeks in freezing weather. The Oriental cockroach will gain access to a dwelling via door thresholds, under sliding glass doors, along utility pipes, air ducts, unscreened vents and floor drains, entering from the lowest point and traveling to upper floors. Oriental cockroaches will feed on all kinds of food and decaying organic matter, but prefer to feed on starchy foods, and they often will feed on garbage and sewage. As a result, they omit a strong “roachy” odor.


Controlling cockroaches comes down to exclusion – preventing them from entering by blocking potential entry points, and inspecting what you bring into your house for roaches or egg casings. Good sanitation is also important: Clean up food and water that could attract roaches, and reduce their harborages by eliminating clutter. If you think you have a roach problem, your Clark technician can determine the best course of action to remove them from your environment.

Latin name: Blatta orientalis