There are four primary cockroach species that infest homes in Pennsylvania. These species are commonly known as German, American, brown-banded and Oriental cockroaches. Despite its common name, the Oriental cockroach is native to northern Africa where temperatures fluctuate between hot summers and cold winters that see significant amounts of snow. Oriental cockroaches are frequently referred to as “water bugs” due to their preference for dwelling in damp and cool indoor conditions, such as basements, crawl spaces, and kitchen and bathroom wall voids. Like most cockroach pests, the Oriental cockroach is medically significant due to the many strains of disease-causing microorganisms that they are known to spread onto indoor surfaces and human food sources. In fact, much like American cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches inhabit sewers in massive numbers where they may crawl up pipes in order to access homes. Their habit of gravitating into sewer systems is one of several reasons as to why these cockroaches are known for smelling particularly foul.
Adult Oriental cockroaches are around one inch in length, and the color of both males and females range from dark brown to nearly black. These roaches can be recognized for their slimy appearance and their sluggish movements. Oriental cockroaches are often found grouped together beneath porches, in moist cupboards beneath sinks, and within floor drains. They generally prefer to dwell outdoors, but large numbers are known to migrate indoors during bouts of dry weather. Oriental cockroaches feed on many sources of decaying organic matter, but they show a preference for rotting foods, which is why large numbers of these roaches are often found within garbage bins and trash piles. Without access to water, Oriental cockroaches die within a period of 14 days, but they can survive longer than a month provided they secure a reliable source of water. These roaches produce a variety of odorous secretions that spoil the taste of food, and gastroenteritis is the primary disease spread by Oriental cockroaches.
Have you ever noticed a cockroach “smell” within your home?