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Fighting pests: [Oriental cockroach] – Effective eradication guide

The Oriental cockroach, also called Blatta orientalis, is a species of cockroach found worldwide. After the German cockroach, it is one of the most common cockroaches in homes. Unlike the German cockroach, it is mainly found in temperate regions.

Description

The Blatta orientalis is an imposing cockroach measuring between 18 and 29 mm as an adult. It is characterized by its dark brown to black color and shiny body.

  • Females: Very short wings and broad body.
  • Males: Narrower body with long brown wings, capable of gliding but not flying.

It is important to note that the female of this species can easily be confused with the Eurycostis floridana cockroach.

Reproduction and Growth

Oriental cockroaches go through three stages: egg, nymph, and adult.

  • Egg: The female lays an ootheca containing several eggs.
  • Nymph: Resembles the adult, but smaller and without wings or mature sexual organs.
  • Adult: The wings fully develop during the final molt.

Nymphs emerge after about 42 days at 29.5°C or 81 days at 21°C. Each ootheca can contain between 12 and 18 eggs. The complete development of nymphs takes one to two years.

Habitat

Oriental cockroaches, also called “waterbugs” in English, prefer dark and damp places. They move slowly and are often found:

  • Near decaying organic matter.
  • In sewers, damp basements, or similar places.
  • Outdoors, under mulch or bushes, in humid environments.

Feeding and Behavior

Oriental cockroaches feed on waste and leftover food. They prefer warm and humid places, with an ideal temperature between 20°C and 29°C. These insects are mainly active at night, making their detection difficult during the day in infested homes.

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Health Risks

Oriental cockroaches carry pathogens on their bodies and in their intestines, which they deposit on food while foraging. These germs can cause diseases such as:

  • Intestinal infections
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Diarrhea

They can harbor various bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites dangerous to human health, such as Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, as well as various types of Pseudomonas and Salmonella.

Control Methods

Controlling Oriental cockroaches requires a systematic approach. Here are the main methods:

Non-Chemical Methods

  • Capturing or vacuuming cockroaches.
  • Using freezing or steam.

Chemical Methods

  • Using insecticides in aerosol, bait, or granule form.

It is recommended to consult specialists for certain techniques and to remain vigilant as a few females are enough to regenerate a new population of cockroaches.

Prevention

To limit infestations, it is essential to:

  • Maintain strict hygiene.
  • Eliminate food and water sources.
  • Seal cracks and crevices where they can hide.

Conclusion

The Oriental cockroach, although common, poses significant risks to human health. Rigorous prevention and effective control methods are essential to maintain a healthy and hygienic environment.