Oriental Cockroach Family

The oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis (L.), is a member of the cockroach family Blattidae. There are several other cockroaches that are members of this family. Some of the best-known members of the family Blattidae are the American cockroach, the Asian roach, and the smokeybrown roach. The brown roach and the Australian roach are also members of this family.

All of these cockroaches live outdoors. They seem to prefer damp locations. They hide under woodpiles and trashcans. They live under sheds and doghouses. They also live under ivy and ground cover. They even hide in drains and water meter boxes.

Even though they all prefer damp environments, they have very important differences too. Some of them, like the oriental roach, cannot fly and do not climb well. When these roaches invade homes, they can usually be found in basements or ground-level rooms.

Others, like the smokeybrown roach, are very good fliers. They are attracted to light and they fly toward houses at night. They often enter homes through the attic vents or cracks in the eaves.

In the southern states, the American roach lives in alleys and yards. It walks into homes by squeezing under the doors. In northern cities, this roach is common in sewers and storm drains.

The Australian cockroach feeds on plants. It is often transported throughout the country in potted plants. It thrives in warm climates, but in the cooler northern states it often lives in greenhouses and atriums.

Controlling the members of the oriental cockroach family starts outside. Place firewood on a rack and move it away from the building. Rake mulch and leaves away from the foundation. Clean the gutters and make sure down spouts drain away from the foundation.

Granular cockroach bait is an effective tool against these pests. Many brands of bait are water-resistant. They can be used effectively in flowerbeds and ground cover. The bait will have to be applied any time the roaches are active.

A barrier of liquid insecticide is also effective. It helps prevent the roaches from gathering near the foundation. Since sun and rain break down insecticide, the barrier will have to be re-applied periodically.

Rather than fight these cockroaches themselves, many homeowners prefer to get a pest control professional to apply the bait and the insecticide.