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How to Identify and Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches

Posted on: July 24, 2015

Spotting a cockroach in your home can be stressful. After all, they tend to be dirty, they can contaminate your food, and they’re just plain creepy-looking. If you don’t identify and get rid of them quickly, they can multiply and become an even bigger problem in your home.

But sometimes it’s hard to tell different kinds of roaches apart. In Maryland specifically, 3 different types of roaches are common:

Think you might be dealing with an Oriental cockroach infestation?

Don’t worry – our residential pest control team has created this handy guide to help you both identify Oriental cockroaches and get rid of them.

Physical Features of Oriental Cockroaches

These cockroaches, also referred to as “water bugs,” are about one inch long and have 6 legs and antennae. You can tell an Oriental cockroach apart from other types of cockroaches because of its shiny, black body (although they can also be reddish brown) with no noticeable markings. Because of the physical appearance of these pests, some people even call them “black beetle cockroaches.”

Male Oriental cockroaches also have wings that cover about three-quarters of the abdomen, while the females lack wings completely. Neither gender has the ability to fly though, so luckily you won’t have to worry about them being airborne in your home.

However, that doesn’t mean than an Oriental cockroach infestation isn’t a cause for concern. Let’s dig deeper into the habits of these pests and uncover why they pose a threat to your home and health.

Habits of Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches love warm, moist areas, so they are often found in sewers.

…Why is this a problem?

Well, these cockroaches pick up dangerous bacteria in the sewers that can harm humans. If Oriental cockroaches enter your kitchen and spread that bacteria there, you and your family could come into contact with it and experience food poisoning, diarrhea, dysentery, or other gastrointestinal problems as a result.

As far as their dietary habits, Oriental cockroaches love starchy foods and decaying organic matter. So it’s pretty likely that, if you’ve found these pests in you home, they’ll be hanging out in your kitchen area at some point, spreading dangerous bacteria there. They can even survive long winters, so unfortunately the cold won’t get rid of them for you.

They also have a habit of secreting chemicals as a way of communicating with one another. And these chemicals smell bad – really bad. So, if you’ve noticed a strong, musty odor in your home for no apparent reason, it might be due to an Oriental cockroach infestation.

Gross, right? It only gets worse from there, because if you have Oriental cockroaches in your home, you’ll probably notice their droppings on the floor. Here’s what to look for when identifying their droppings:

  • Cylindrical shape
  • Black or brown color
  • Ridges on the sides of the droppings

These are quite different from the droppings of German cockroaches, which look solid black and resemble coffee grounds. Keep in mind that if you notice a lot of cockroach droppings, it is likely that you are dealing with a significant infestation that needs to be handled quickly.

As you can tell, it’s important to get rid of Oriental cockroaches to protect the health of everyone in your household. You can easily call a Maryland residential pest control company to take care of it for you, or you can try to do it yourself.

If you’d like to try to get rid of the pests yourself first, here’s what you can do:

How to Get Rid of an Oriental Cockroach Infestation

To survive, Oriental cockroaches need food, water, and a place to seek shelter. By eliminating their access to even one of these things, you can help drive the roaches out of your home.

Not sure how to do this? Try these sanitation measures:

  • Keep your trash can tightly sealed.
  • Keep all of your kitchen appliances clean and dry.
  • Repair leaky faucets.
  • Keep pet areas clean and empty pet food containers every night.
  • Vacuum regularly.

If you’d like to take a more aggressive approach to

killing the Oriental cockroaches, there are several options available:

  • Dust – You can purchase dust that is specially made to kill cockroaches and apply it where the roaches travel (in cabinets, behind baseboards, underneath appliances, etc.).
  • Bait – You can purchase bait that will attract the Oriental cockroaches. Once they ingest it, the bait will eventually cause the roaches to die.
  • Spray – You can purchase a spray that kills roaches on contact. This is a quick way to get rid of any that you spot, and you can also spray the places the pests tend to hide.

Remember, if you choose a chemical method, you’ll still need to keep your home sanitary to avoid attracting more Oriental cockroaches in the future.

How to Prevent Oriental Cockroaches from Returning

Once you get rid of Oriental cockroaches, you’ll want to make sure they don’t return. Here are a few steps you should take to do this:

  • Use caulk to seal any gaps (around doors, windows, water pipes, and baseboards) that the cockroaches could use as an entrance to your home.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.
  • Keep basements (a popular location for Oriental cockroaches) well-ventilated and free of any leaks.
  • Keep all trash away from the foundation of your home.
  • Put mesh screens over your windows, floor drains, and vents.
  • Wash all dishes as soon as you are done using them.
  • Avoid leaving any food out overnight.

If you need help getting rid of Oriental cockroaches in your home, consider Maryland residential pest control services from Brody Brothers Pest Control.

We understand how stressful it can be to deal with a roach infestation – especially when the roaches pose a threat to your health. That’s why we treat your home as if it were our own, using only the highest quality products and treatments that have been scientifically proven to work.

We can even help you stay proactive about keeping pests away from your home using our Integrated Pest Management service – a long-term pest control solution that both gets rid of pests and prevents them from returning in the future.

Ready to get rid of Oriental cockroaches for good? We’ll make it happen – contact our team today!

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