Oriental Cockroach

The oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis, is one of the most common cockroach pests in houses.

Oriental cockroaches feed on all kinds of filth, rubbish, and other decaying organic matter.

Cockroaches in general produce odorous secretions from various points in their bodies. Disease-producing organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses have been found in their bodies.

Oriental Cockroach
Biology
  • The oriental cockroach has three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult.
  • Adult oriental cockroaches are about one inch in length.  Both male and female adults are very dark brown, nearly black. Their bodies usually have a somewhat greasy sheen. Eggs are laid in capsules, which the female carries for about 30 hours and then drops onto a protected surface near a food supply. Females produce an average of eight capsules, each containing 16 eggs that hatch in about 60 days under room temperature conditions.
  • Nymphs moult from seven to ten times. Nymphal stages usually take 24-130 weeks to complete. The life span of an adult female is 5-26 weeks with approximately 200 offspring.
  • Unlike the other house-infesting species, the oriental cockroach generally has a seasonal developmental cycle. The peak number of adults usually appears in late spring or early summer. By late summer and early fall, this number has become quite low, owing to natural mortality and the hatching of nymphs (Source: Penn State, University, and Entomology).
Monitoring

Russell IPM manufactures and supplies a range of high capacity low line sticky oriental cockroach traps based on food attractants. Sticky traps are safe, effective and easy to handle. Application of sticky cockroach traps ensures food safety by reducing the application of conventional insecticide substantially.

Russell IPM sticky traps No. 10, No. 20 and No. 30 can be used to detect low-level populations. The existence of a potential problem can be confirmed before a population explosion occurs.

Sticky cockroach traps can also be used to locate problem areas or harbourages. This can greatly enhance control efforts, allowing the pest control officer to intensify treatments in certain areas. Food attractant based traps can be integrated alongside chemical treatment to improve efficacy.

Nature of Damage

Oriental cockroaches feed on all kinds of filth, rubbish, and other decaying organic matter. They seem especially fond of garbage and the contents of discarded tin cans. If water is available, they can live for a month without food. Without water they die within two weeks. The most important aspect of cockroach damage derives from their habit of feeding and harbouring in damp and unsanitary places such as sewers, garbage disposals, kitchens, bathrooms and indoor storage areas.

Cockroaches in general produce odorous secretions from various points in their bodies. Such secretions can affect the flavours of various foods. When cockroach populations are high, these secretions may result in a characteristic odour in the general region of the infestation.

Food hygiene and safety

Cockroaches contaminate far more food than they are able to eat. Disease-producing organisms such as bacteria, protozoa and viruses have been found in their bodies. Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhoea) appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by oriental cockroaches.

The insects carry these disease-causing organisms on their legs and bodies and deposit the organisms on food and utensils as they forage. Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain a number of allergens, to which many people exhibit allergic responses such as skin rashes, watery eyes, congestion of nasal passages, asthma, and sneezing.

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