No homeowner wants to deal with pests of any kind, especially cockroaches. They are notorious for being difficult to get rid of, and their quiet and sneaky nature means they could be lurking around your home without you even realizing it.

Often confused as water bugs, Oriental cockroaches are some of the most common cockroaches in homes throughout the Northeast. Their distinct shiny black appearance and large size make them instantly recognizable.

If you have seen an oriental cockroach or two in your home, here are some tips you can use to control the problem, including knowing when it’s time to call for professional cockroach control.

What Are Oriental Cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches are a shiny black species of cockroach that primarily dwells outdoors. While not as common as German cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches are known to make their way indoors occasionally, typically through floor drains, sewer pipes, or basement windows.

Once inside, Oriental cockroaches tend to dwell near damp, cool spaces, such as basements, crawl spaces, and occasionally around toilets. If you think you have Oriental cockroaches in your home, look out for the signs of their presence.

What’s the Difference Between Water Bugs and Cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches are often referred to as water bugs, but it is important to know the difference between the two. Water bugs live mostly in freshwater ponds, marshes, and streams, while oriental cockroaches tend to dwell in damp areas like basements and sewers.

True water bugs are aquatic insects that live underwater and use their legs as paddles to move through the water. Water bugs are predatory insects that hunt aquatic creatures like mosquitoes and other small pests.

Most importantly, water bugs rarely make their way indoors, making them far less of a threat than Oriental cockroaches.

8 Tips to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches

Unfortunately, Oriental cockroaches are often found in homes around Pennsylvania, so it’s important to know how to get rid of them.

1. Eliminate Standing Water

Oriental cockroaches are drawn to damp areas with standing water, which is why you may notice them primarily in your basement. Eliminating any standing water in or around your home can be effective in keeping these pests away.

Things like bird baths, leaky pipes, clogged gutters, or even overwatered houseplants can attract this type of cockroach to your home, so be sure to remove any excess water from your property to avoid these pests.

2. Seal Gaps and Cracks

Like all pests, preventing oriental cockroaches from physically gaining access to your home is an important first step. While many of these roaches do come in from drain pipes, you can still reduce your risk of encountering these pests by sealing up all cracks and weatherstripping all doors and windows.

3. Use a Boric Acid Trap

Boric acid can be extremely effective at killing cockroaches, so using a boric acid trap is worth a try if you find yourself dealing with an oriental cockroach infestation.

Boric acid works by clinging to cockroaches’ legs as they walk on top of the substance and ingest it, attacking their nervous system and killing them.You can find many lures and traps in several name-brand stores or make your own trap by researching different additives.

4. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is another commonly used solution for getting rid of oriental cockroaches. To try this method, simply sprinkle the powder anywhere you have seen cockroaches in your home. The powder will dry out their exoskeletons, causing them to die from dehydration.

5. Attack with Baking Soda

Baking soda can also be used to kill cockroaches. You can use baking soda in a similar manner to diatomaceous earth by sprinkling it where cockroaches dwell in your home. Once the cockroaches ingest the baking soda, it will cause them to have gas and their stomachs will burst.

6. Remove Clutter and Trash

Cockroaches are known to be drawn to clutter and trash, so don’t give these pests any reason to enter your home in the first place. Removing excess clutter like old newspapers, boxes, and random junk will give cockroaches one less reason to stick around.

Virtually anything exposed to moisture should also be eliminated as it will attract Oriental cockroaches, as well as a motley crew of other pests.

7. Use a Store-Bought Insecticide

Store-bought insecticides can be effective in getting rid of oriental cockroaches, especially if you’re in a pinch and need to kill them ASAP. However, be sure to carefully read the instructions for the insecticide you purchase to ensure you are applying it safely and effectively, as these chemicals are strong and can be harmful to humans and pets if accidentally ingested.

8. Hire a Pest Control Company

When dealing with a cockroach infestation of any kind, your best bet is to contact a pest control professional promptly. Cockroaches can be extremely difficult to get rid of, as they reproduce quickly and are great at hiding.

Leaving a cockroach infestation to the pros is the only way to ensure that the problem has been resolved and the cockroaches in your home don’t return.


Are oriental cockroaches dangerous to humans?

Like any other types of cockroaches, oriental cockroaches can be dangerous to humans who come in contact with them. Oriental cockroaches can carry a number of viruses and bacteria that can cause diarrhea, salmonella, and other illnesses in humans.

How long does it take to eliminate an oriental cockroach infestation?

Once a cockroach infestation has been professionally treated, you can expect the problem to start to get better within a few weeks. You should start to notice a significant decrease in the amount of cockroaches in your home, and with proper treatment and prevention, you should not see any more cockroaches after that.

Can oriental cockroaches come back after treatment?

While any professional extermination aims to prevent cockroaches from returning, they can come back after treatment. This can be due to several factors, including hidden cockroach eggs and new cockroaches entering the home. The best course of action to prevent ever seeing another cockroach again is regular pest control maintenance by a trusted exterminator.