Oriental cockroaches live in sewers and in wet, decaying organic matter. They are sometimes called “waterbugs” because they come out of drains, and “black beetle cockroaches” because of their smooth, dark bodies.
Oriental cockroaches can survive quite well outdoors, where they can be found under debris, leaves, stones and porches or in wall voids. They can enter homes through door thresholds, under sliding glass doors, along utility pipes and air ducts and from floor drains. Inside homes, Oriental cockroaches tend to hide in crawl spaces, basements and around utility pipes. Oriental cockroaches feed on all kinds of food, especially decaying organic matter and starchy foods.
Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Oriental cockroaches’ habit of feeding on filth means that they are likely to pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these onto food or food surfaces.