How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches | Effective Techniques and Prevention Tips

Written by George Climer

Oriental cockroaches are usually found in damp areas. Even though this type of cockroach is primarily an outdoor species, you might stumble into this shiny, black cockroach in your bathroom, basement, or along utility pipes.

How to get rid of oriental cockroaches? Calling a professional exterminator is always the best course of action but since oriental cockroaches are mostly found outside you can also try to resolve this problem on your own. Apply liquid pesticides around the house perimeters. especially around doors and windows. Baits will help you eradicate the oriental cockroaches that are already inside. Stopping water leaks and ventilating moist spaces are essential things as well.

If you want a more detailed description of how to get rid of oriental cockroaches then keep reading this article as we have prepared a simple step-by-step guide that will resolve your problem.

Also we have provided answers to the following questions: Is there a way to get rid of oriental cockroaches naturally? What do these creatures even look like? Keep on reading to find answers to all of these questions (and more). Let’s begin!

Oriental Cockroaches | Information

What Do Oriental Cockroaches Smell Like?

Oriental cockroaches give off a strong musty smell. This is their way of communicating with other roaches. The odor will “stick” to every surface that the insect touches. German and American cockroaches have odors as well, but the smell of the Oriental roach is the worst.

Can Oriental Cockroaches Fly?

Can Oriental Cockroaches Fly

This species of cockroach has wings that cover less than half of a male’s abdomen. Female oriental roaches have short wing stubs. Both females and males are not able to fly.

Related: Can Cockroaches Fly? | Unsettling Facts (with Pictures!)

Can Oriental Cockroaches Climb Walls?

Unlike a lot of other cockroach types, Oriental roaches cannot climb smooth surfaces as they do not have special pads on their feet. You will, most likely, find them running across the floor or garden.

Where Do Oriental Cockroaches Live?

The natural habitat of these insects is outdoors, but you might encounter them inside the house as well. Oriental roaches like cool, and dark places. So, if there is an infestation in your garden, the chances are high that you’ll also find them in the basement, the cellar, or around bathtubs, sinks, toilets, and pipes.

What Do Oriental Cockroaches Eat?

Just like other cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches can eat practically anything. They usually snack on decaying organic matter and trash.

Related: What Do Cockroaches Eat? | Surprising Foods and Prevention Tips

Can Oriental Cockroaches Jump?

Thankfully, these oriental cockroaches cannot jump. By the way, they can’t even crawl very fast.

Can Oriental Cockroaches Swim?

No, they can’t swim even though some people like to call Oriental roaches “waterbugs”. However, these insects can float. To do that, the oriental cockroach closes its spiracles and then travels up the drain together with the water.

What Does an Oriental Cockroach Look Like?

What Does an Oriental Cockroach Look Like

Oriental cockroaches are one of the bigger cockroach species on the planet. They are on average around one inch in length, but they can grow bigger (especially the females).

These cockroaches are easy to identify due to their black to dark brown color. Are oriental cockroaches round? Definitely not, these roaches are oval, long, and skinny. One of the more asked questions is how many legs do oriental cockroaches have? Well, like every other cockroach species, oriental cockroaches have 6 spiny legs.

Do Oriental Cockroaches Have Wings?

The male oriental cockroaches have short wings, while those of a female are stubbed and located just below the head (she might appear to be wingless).

How Big Do Oriental Cockroaches Get?

An oriental roach is considered to be a large cockroach species. Males can be between 0.71 and 1.14 inches in length and an adult female is usually 0.79 to 1.06 inches.

How Big Are Baby Oriental Cockroaches?

The nymphs of oriental cockroaches are about a quarter of an inch in length. The color of the baby changes as it grows (from reddish-brown to almost black).

What Does an Oriental Cockroach Egg Look Like?

Roaches produce oothecae – special egg cases. Those of an oriental cockroach are dark reddish-brown. They are a little bigger than the cases of other roaches as the eggs inside are vertically lined up in pairs. There are usually around 16 eggs in one ootheca.

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches? | Step-by-Step Instructions

How to get rid of the oriental cockroaches for good? Here is an easy-to-follow and effective plan.

Step 1: Sanitize

Oriental cockroaches need to find a damp area with food. Keeping your house clean and “dry” is one of the first steps to success. Fix leaky drains, dry the sinks and bathtub as soon as you are done with them.

Vacuum and take out the trash regularly. Store the food in special containers and in plastic bags. If you have a pet, don’t leave any food lying around for too long. Restricting food consumption to only one room for the whole family is a great idea as well.

Step 2: Kill Them on Contact

Now you can proceed to get rid of the actual insects. If you see an oriental cockroach running around, you can certainly use a contact spray to kill it right away. Apply the chemical directly on top of the cockroach. Raid Killer Spray, for example, kills insects quickly and can be used indoors.

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Step 3: Use Baits and Granules

Baits are a great solution to pest control as they kill not only the cockroaches that you can see but also the ones that are hiding. Place the baits in basements, attics, and inside cabinets. We recommend using BASF Alpine Cockroach Gel Bait for oriental cockroaches.

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Step 4: Dust Cracks and Crevices

The great thing about insecticide dust is that it can be easily applied to hard-to-reach places. For example, behind wall outlets, in wall voids, underneath heavy appliances, behind baseboards, and, of course, in cracks and crevices.

A lot of products come with a hand duster to make the application process even easier. DeltaDust works great against oriental cockroaches.

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Step 5: Apply a Residual Spray

A residual spray is a special insecticide that will continue killing insects for several months. Usually, these chemicals need to be re-applied every 3 months or so. When it comes to Oriental cockroaches, it is important to take care of the outside perimeter as they are mostly an outdoor type of pest. This is exactly where the Ortho Home Defense solution comes into play. This product offers you up to 12 months of protection.

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Step 6: Use an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) | Optional

In a nutshell, an IGR is a “birth control” for cockroaches. It is a chemical that disrupts the lifecycle of insects. With an insect growth regulator, the chances are high that oriental cockroaches are not going to reach adulthood. Gentrol Point Source is an IGR that will work its magic for 90 days straight.

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Getting rid of the existing cockroaches is not exactly where your journey comes to an end. Prevention is key. You have to set up a cleaning routine that you are going to follow every day.

Don’t forget to carefully read all the product labels and follow the instructions. Stay safe and wear protective equipment, if necessary.

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches Outside?

Oriental cockroaches prefer to live outside. At one point, these creatures might get close to your house in search of an amazing source of food and water.
To get rid of them around your home, apply residual spray around the perimeter of your house. Apply the solution three feet up and three feet out from the foundation of the house. Spray the doors, windows, and plumbing areas. The liquid solution that we have mentioned above works wonders.

There are also cockroach baits that are suitable for the outdoors. Place them at least 10 feet away from the house (and the residual spray) and, once again, form a perimeter. Also pay attention to the areas around flowerbeds, trees, and woodpiles.

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches Outside

The concept is that the cockroaches will run away from the house that has been sprayed and then stumble into the bait. You are not leaving them any chances!

Do Oriental Cockroaches Burrow Outdoors?

These cockroaches are usually found under mulch beds, in piles of leaves, under stones or debris, and in other moist areas. During cold winters, oriental cockroaches can burrow down under a log, for example, but the absolute majority prefer to “migrate” to your house.

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches Naturally?

Not a fan of chemical pest control methods? Don’t worry! There are ways to get rid of Oriental roaches naturally.

Baking Soda

Once the oriental cockroach eats baking soda and drinks some water, its stomach will, basically, explode. But you have to make that they consume the soda. For example, you can mix sugar with baking soda.

Boric Acid

Boric acid will poison cockroaches in a short time period. Sprinkle boric acid in the places where you have seen these insects. Or even better place the poison and an orange peel on a paper plate, this will be the perfect bait for cockroaches.

Diatomaceous Earth

Look for EPA-registered, food-grade DE. This substance can easily damage the insect’s exoskeleton. As a result, the oriental cockroach will die of dehydration. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on surfaces where you have seen these pests or combine it with powdered sugar.

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Essential Oils

Oils won’t kill roaches, but these natural solutions work as repellants and make the insects stay away. Cockroaches hate the smell of peppermint oil. You can also mix catnip oil, lemongrass oil, or cypress oil with water and spray it around your house.

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Bay Leaves

Bay leaves also act as repellants. Place a leaf or two in the cabinets and around kitchen appliances.


The most “natural” way to get rid of Oriental cockroaches is, of course, prevention. Store your food properly, take out the trash, vacuum regularly, and keep your house as clean as possible.

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches in Bathroom?

Oriental roaches love moist areas. For example, your bathroom. To ensure that these insects have no reason to invade the bathroom, fix any plumbing problems, caulk all cracks and crevices, a use a dehumidifier.

If there is a roach infestation in the bathroom, then you may place a few baits along the baseboards. To treat the drains, you can use a foam cleaner to remove any grease that is attracting these insects. Bleach disinfects the drains and kills the roaches, but you have to be extremely careful when using it.

You may pour between a fourth and half of a cup of bleach in the drain, plug it, and leave the chemical to take effect for about 30 minutes. Don’t forget to flush thoroughly with water after you are done and never mix bleach with vinegar, other cleaners, and pesticide.

Note: Bear in mind that in some places it is illegal to use chemical treatment in your piping system.

Is It Bad to Flush Oriental Cockroach Down Drain?

Flushing an oriental cockroach down the drain will, most likely, not kill the annoying insect. This creature can hold its breath for up to 40 minutes.

Moreover, cockroaches use the water flow to travel around your pipes. The same goes for their eggs. So, before flushing an Oriental cockroach (or an egg case) down the drain, make sure to smash it.

Can Exterminators Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches?

Exterminators are professionals who specialize in eliminating various pests. The treatment that they conduct will be effective for oriental cockroaches as these specialists have the right equipment and chemicals and they know the exact spots that need to be treated.

Sometimes, calling an exterminator is the best way to get rid of an Oriental cockroach infestation. Especially, if the infestation is severe.

What Product Kills Oriental Cockroaches?

There are a lot of different products that can help you win the battle against roaches. Some of those can come as a surprise.

Does Copper Mesh Keep Oriental Cockroaches Away?

Copper mesh, for example, can prevent oriental cockroaches from getting inside your house. The mesh is a soft copper material woven in such a way that it creates a “wire fence”. It is flexible and resistant to corrosion.

You can stuff copper mesh into cracks and other possible entry points. Oriental roaches are relatively big, so they shouldn’t be able to squeeze through the mesh.

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches with Borax?

Borax can also be used to kill cockroaches. Simply mix a batch with sugar (in equal parts). Sprinkle the mixture along baseboards, under sinks, in cracks, anywhere you might find an oriental cockroach. Borax acts like poison. It also damages the insect’s exoskeleton. Sugar simply makes the cockroaches want to eat the mixture.

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How to Kill Oriental Cockroach Nest?

Roaches don’t build actual “nests”. When talking about these insects, a nest is usually referred to as a place where a lot of cockroaches can be seen together. These creatures like tight, safe spaces. You can check under furniture, in cracks and crevices, and behind the fridge.

If you are lucky enough to find the actual nest, you can apply a killer spray to get rid of the thing on contact. However, it’s usually much easier to place bait stations around the house and simply wait for a single cockroach to take the poison back to its nest and kill the whole colony.


Pretty much like any other roach species, Oriental cockroaches can be killed with baits, sprays, and dust. You can also try some of the natural solutions that we have mentioned.

This cockroach species is usually found outside so it won’t really bother you that much inside your house. Still, if the environmental conditions outside are bad, they will move inside your house. And just like other cockroach species, they are dangerous for your health.

List of Sources

Oriental Cockroaches, College of Agricultural Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University

Oriental Cockroach, Utah State University

Cockroaches, San Diego County