Oriental Cockroach


Actual Size: 1 ¼”

Characteristics: Shiny; dark reddish-brown to black.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Primarily outdoors in sewers, under porches, and under debris, leaves, and stones. Inside, they inhabit basements and crawl spaces.


  • They prefer to feed on starchy foods and decaying organic matter
  • They are not very abundant outside in our northern climes
  • Tend to be found on the lower floors of homes and buildings

Oriental Cockroaches in Knoxville TN

The oriental cockroach looks a lot different than other types of roaches because of its black, shiny body. They are often called “water bugs” or “black beetles”, especially because of their tendency to be in damp areas. These roaches need water to survive, which is why they favor bathrooms and kitchens inside buildings in Knoxville. Oriental cockroaches are known to climb water pipes and garbage chutes to access upper floors of apartment buildings. They feed on all kinds of filth, debris, and other decaying organic matter and seem especially fond of garbage and the contents of discarded tin cans. Oriental cockroaches are seasonal–adults typically show up from May through July. These roaches move much slower than other types of cockroaches.

Oriental Cockroach Environment

Oriental cockroaches are common outdoors and live in warm, damp shady areas near the ground. Outside the house, these cockroaches will gather near or under trash cans. When temperatures drop, they may seek shelter indoors, but can tolerate cooler weather. Oriental cockroaches may enter homes in food packages from grocery stores or gain access under exterior doors, garage doors, through air ducts and ventilators. Inside, they tend to remain on lower floors and move more slowly than other species. The most common areas to find oriental cockroaches in homes are toilets, bathtubs, sinks, radiators and pipes.

Oriental Cockroach Habits & Dangers

Oriental cockroaches are not a structural pest in that they do not damage homes, but they do present a serious threat to your health and the health of your family. Cockroaches are known for spreading disease and have been discovered to carry 33 different kinds of bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella. Cockroaches contaminate food items and the surfaces in our homes with harmful bacteria as they forage for food. They also pose a major threat to people with allergies or asthma as their shed skins and feces can cause serious reactions in these individuals. Oriental cockroaches may not be as much of a threat as German roaches, but it’s best to always contact your local cockroach exterminator for help with infestations.