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How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches: Detailed Identification & Removal Guide

Oriental cockroaches are unwelcome yet not infrequent guests in many homes. It’s not just the disgust caused by their dubious diet of rubbish that determines our hostility to roaches. While not a biting species, having cockroaches in your home (or around it, which is usually the case with oriental roaches), is associated with health problems in some people.

This article is for you if you believe you’re suffering an infestation and want to know how to get rid of oriental cockroaches. It contains identification tips along with a roach treatment guide for a safe and efficient anti-pest campaign.

How to Get Rid of Oriental Cockroaches
  1. Remove any exposed food/water remnants.
  2. Repair/seal all leaky pipes and taps.
  3. Ensure proper ventilation in humid rooms.
  4. Place mesh screen on windows and other necessary apertures. Make sure that your doors and windows fit the frame snugly.
  5. Use cockroach sprays, foggers, baits and dusters.

Oriental Cockroach Facts

Before you start looking for elimination techniques, make sure what you’re dealing with is an oriental roach invasion.

What’s an Oriental Cockroach

Blatta orientalis, or the oriental cockroach, has dark brown to black wide and flat body. It is one of the larger species, measuring from 0.7 to 1.14 inches. Males have a pair of wings covering about half of their body, while in females, wings are reduced. Luckily, neither can fly.

Oriental roaches have the usual egg to nymph to adult life cycle. Debris and food waste in sheltered locations is their favorite place for depositing egg cases. Nymphs look like smaller copies of adult roaches.

The large black roach is often found in wet and damp places. This species is not likely to frequent your house, preferring to stay outdoors. I imagine you asking, “How come I found an oriental cockroach in my house?”. Well, oriental cockroaches can search the inside of human homes while looking for food remnants to feast or lie their eggs in.

oriental cockroach walking on a wood surface

Differential Diagnosis

Like with any pest, it’s important to identify the unwelcome guests before you start chasing them away. One species that is often mistaken for oriental cockroaches in North America is the German cockroach. It is a much lighter brown. Besides, German roaches are a smaller indoor species, about the size of a penny, with a more elongated body.

What Brings Oriental Roaches into Your House?

There are two things that the oriental cockroach loves about home. The first is humidity; the second is food.

Leaky taps and pipes, as well as wet basements, are major roach attractions. The same applies to any food remnants. While omnivorous, the oriental roach loves starchy foods, so be especially careful with these.

Finally, sheltered areas are a big plus for female roaches looking to lay eggs safely, especially if they are rich in food debris (think your waste bin).

food crumbs on a plate

Signs of Oriental Cockroach Infestation

Sightings are one sure sign of roach infestation regardless of the species. If you see a big black cockroach with wings, you do have an oriental roach problem.

Cockroaches are most likely to appear from drains and sewer grates or around your sink/waste bin when looking for food.

Egg capsules, reddish-brown and up to half an inch long, are mostly found in sheltered areas where food debris are abundant and also signalize infestation.

Like most roach species, oriental cockroaches produce a pungent odor. However, it’s not enough to identify the exact species. Nor are cylindrical droppings found in sheltered, damp places where the critters congregate — these only mean you’re indeed dealing with large roaches, but not necessarily Blatta orientalis.

How to Get Rid of Black Roaches

It’s best to deal with an oriental cockroach infestation in steps.

1. Start by eliminating roach attractions

Remove any exposed food/water remnants. Repair/seal all leaky pipes and taps. Ensure proper ventilation in humid rooms.
woman holds cleaning tools

2. Seal the entry points

Use caulk to seal off any holes and cracks in the walls and floor. Apply some around water pipes, too. Place mesh screen on windows and other necessary apertures such as vents. Make sure that your doors and windows fit the frame snugly.

3. Start oriental cockroach extermination

The most common formulations are roach sprays, foggers, baits, and dust. The former two typically contain pesticides such as pyrethroids, commonly cypermethrin, or permethrin. They are highly effective when an indoor infestation is massive but requires extreme care.

This is especially true with foggers, which normally need to be left in a room where nobody is present for a lengthy period of time. I generally advise against using foggers against oriental roaches. Sprays are a good topical solution for entry points such as cracks and crevices.

They are generally easier to use, too. It’s best to choose one with an insect growth regulator such as Nylar included. It breaks the pest’s life cycle, thus preventing re-infestation.

store shelf with a lot of insecticide bottles

Although it might sound counterintuitive, baits are more effective against bigger colonies. These use substances that attract roaches and then rely to pesticides to kill them. The insects are coprophages, meaning that they’ll eat the poisoned one’s feces and die later.

Baits come in various forms, such as gel and solids, and can be used indoors as well as outdoors. For those who want to protect their children and/or pets, roach baiting stations are a great placement option.

Dusts are powders, usually made of boric acid, kill roaches on ingestion, and can be combined with baits for optimum effect. The insects will avoid large accumulations of powder, reducing the formulation’s potential.

Top 3 Black Roach Solutions

In this section, I share with you some of the most effective anti-oriental-roach treatments available. Please note that precautions are to be taken with all of these.

1. Advion Gel: Top Pick Oriental Cockroach Control Treatment


  • Active Ingredient: Indoxacarb 0.6%
  • Item Form: Gel
  • Number of pieces: 4
  • Package Weight: 7.68 Ounces
  • Package Dimensions LxWxH: 7.48 x 5.55 x 1.85 inches

Syngenta Advion Cockroach Gel Bait

This highly popular roach gel bait relies of indoxacarb, a member of the oxadiazine pesticide family that works by blocking the insect’s nerve sodium channels, ultimately causing delayed death. Like with most baits, other cockroaches run the risk of secondary poisoning as well.

What makes Advion an excellent bait is that it attracts roaches. The gel comes in tubes with narrow droppers. These are perfect for filling cracks, making it a good solution for people with pets and little children as they are very unlikely to take it out once it’s inside a crack.

A 4 tube pack will last you many treatments even if you’re suffering a massive infestation, which makes up for the higher-than-average price. You can place Advion drops indoors as well as outdoors.

  • Highly effective;
  • Child and pet safe when used in cracks;
  • Precise placement.
  • Application is time-consuming.

2. Combat Roach Killing Bait: The Easiest Way to Overcome Oriental Cockroach Infestation


  • Active Ingredient: Hydramethylnon 2.0%
  • Item Form: Bait
  • Number of pieces: 8 Count- 2 Pack
  • Item Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Package Dimensions LxWxH: 10.55 x 9.25 x 3.31 inches

Roach Killing Bait Large Roach Bait Station

Formulated with hydramethylnon for delayed death on ingestion, this solid bait is designed to kill the whole nest. Eight baiting stations are included, meaning that children and pets won’t be able to access the dangerous substance. The stations look very inconspicuous and are easy to place.

It’s not uncommon for roaches to eat their treat in their hiding place. That is, their family will probably share the meal and die, too.

According to the label, the pack will last three months at the most. However, you can use an IGR-containing product to prevent existing nymphs from maturing.

  • Very effective;
  • Nice design;
  • Safe baiting station;
  • Easy to place.
  • Not the most long-lasting solution.

3. Bengal Roach Killer: Large Black Roach Poison + IGR in One

No products found.

This 2% permethrin spray is fortified with Nylar and insect growth regulator that keeps younglings from developing into adult roaches and thus breaks the vicious cycle of infestation.

Bengal roach spray is meant to be a topical crack/crevice solution. It’s easy to apply except that you must evacuate any adults, children, and pets until the vapors are gone, which can be a nuisance. Unlike most pesticides, it doesn’t have an overwhelming odor.

  • IGR included;
  • Effective killer;
  • Easy to use.
  • Requires evacuation.

How to Prevent Re-Infestation

Apart from using IGR-boosted chemicals, you need to make your home a very unwelcoming environment for roaches. This means limiting food sources by keeping your food in tight containers and removing any leftovers and/or crumbs promptly. Remember to keep any entry points sealed (see above).

food in closed plastic containers


Here’s a compilation of questions often asked about oriental roaches.

Are oriental cockroaches harmful?

Oriental cockroaches can cause allergic reactions in some people. Besides, any roaches might contaminate your food if you leave it exposed. They are unlikely to harm you in any other way, though.

Do oriental cockroaches fly?

No, they don’t, although they have wings. Flying species include smoky-brown roaches, which are quite common in North America, and the Japanese roach, a species that is poorly represented beyond Asia.

Does cinnamon kill oriental cockroaches?

No way. Many insects will find the odor that cinnamon emits offensive, but it doesn’t make it lethal. Besides, oriental roaches are not one of the species, nor are any other roaches.

cinnamon sticks

Can oriental cockroach bite?

They have the potential but hardly ever use it. Black roach bites are extremely rare in humans and only occur where the infestation is truly epic. Bites aren’t what you should worry about with roaches.


If you’re experiencing signs of oriental roach infestation, the first step to take is to double-check the species. The next thing to do is remove all cockroach attractions and seal any entry points, especially those connecting the indoors with the outdoors, which is where the large black roaches tend to reside.

Finally, you can rely on a solo chemical treatment or choose a combination to kill existing pests. It’s best to take care of the nymphs, too, by using IGR.

Do you have an anti-roach success story? Please tell us if you do! You’re welcome to share not-so-happy endings, too.


  • Cockroaches (University of California Statewide IPM Program):
  • Oriental Cockroach (Oklahoma State University):
  • Cockroach Elimination in Homes and Apartments (Entomology at the University of Kentucky):


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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