Oriental cockroaches are one of the less popular household pests. Regardless, they are a nuisance and like most other species of cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches can be vectors of some serious disease pathogens. Despite its common name, Oriental cockroaches are not natives to the eastern region. Rather, they are native insects of northern Africa and have been carried over to different countries by ship. Today, the Oriental cockroach species are found infesting countries all over the world, including the United States.
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Male Oriental cockroaches differ in size and minute physical attributes to female Oriental cockroaches. Adult males are about 1 inch long and females are a little bit bigger at 1.25 inches long. The wings of male Oriental cockroaches extend much further then the wings of females. The female wings are extremely reduced and merely look like wing pads rather than fully developed wings. Male wings do not cover the entire abdomen but rather cover only up to 2/3 of the abdomen. They are usually a shiny black color, although some Oriental cockroaches look like a deep reddish brown color. Although they possess wings, Oriental cockroaches do not fly. Both female and male Oriental cockroaches taper at the ends of their bodies to a point. Oriental cockroach nymphs are a reddish brown color and the early instars or the younger nymphs are a brighter color whereas the older nymphs are a darker reddish brown. Unlike the adults, they do not posses wings and they also have a broader and rounder tapering tip at the ends of their bodies. They are the widest near the center of the bodies but it is very subtle.
Egg capsules are initially a reddish brown color when they are deposited by the female; however, as the eggs approach hatching time, they turn into a black color. They are about 8 mm to 10 mm long and the furrows do not extend across the entire egg capsule. On average, there are about 8 eggs on each side of the egg capsule.
If all conditions are favorable, the complete developmental time from the egg to an adult takes anywhere from a complete year to a little over 2 complete years. The developmental time of Oriental cockroaches all really depends on the temperature of the environment. Ordinary room conditions allow the Oriental cockroaches to develop at an average rate of 575 days for males and about 600 days for females. Females do not carry egg capsules for a long time. She will usually deposit the egg capsule to a warm protected area that is near an adequate food source only 30 hours after she produces it. Generally, females deposit about 8 egg capsules and each capsule contains about 16 eggs each.
Unlike some other cockroach species, Oriental cockroaches survive well in outdoor environments and will spend a lot of their time outside. Usually, breeding sites or harborage sites will be under large stones, leaf litter, build up and debris. They also infest areas like the crawl space and wall void areas. Oriental cockroaches even survive for some duration during freezing temperatures.
Oriental cockroaches will enter a structure by any means. They can enter through any crack or crevice that will allow them to fit through, utility pipes that enter the building, under regular doors and sliding door frames, through vents that have broken or no screen, and etc. However, inside, they are the most commonly seen in areas like the basements, lower areas of the structure, wine cellars, and crawl spaces. They are often spotted maneuvering around and near water pipes. Many homeowners will complain of Oriental cockroaches because of their filthy nature. Oriental cockroaches feed on any foods; however, they prefer decaying matter and will even feed on rotting garbage and filth. They also give off a strong odor that is offensive to people.
The standard control methods of cockroach control will apply to Oriental cockroaches. This includes properly labeled residual sprays and the use of cockroach baits in the gel form or in the granular form. When you are treating your home for Oriental cockroach infestations, you may want to focus on the lower levels of the home and areas of high moisture and humidity like basements, crawl spaces, and floor drains. Also, because Oriental cockroaches spend a lot of time outdoors and also nest outdoors, an outdoor perimeter treatment with a microencapsulated formula or a wet-able powder insecticide is necessary to kill Oriental cockroaches in and around the house. Outdoors, a broadcast treatment of granules that kill on contact may prove to be effective as well.
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