an oriental cockroach crawling on a rock

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Cockroaches are one of the most dangerous pests you can find around your Pittsburgh property because of their ability to spread illnesses that can harm humans. While all cockroaches can transmit pathogens, they don’t all look and act the same.

In Pittsburgh, there are a few common species of cockroach, and one of these is the Oriental cockroach. This species is also often known by the names water bug or black beetle because they do resemble a large beetle.

Knowing what these cockroaches look like and how to tell them apart from other insects is important and can help you identify an infestation early on.

Unlike other cockroach species that are brown or tan, Oriental cockroaches are jet black. Males and females differ slightly in appearance. Females are larger than males and grow to about 1 1/4 inches. Conversely, males only reach about an inch in length. Both males and females can't fly, but males have small, useless wings while females remain wingless. Lastly, these roaches emit a foul odor that will increase with their population.

Just How Dangerous Are Oriental Cockroaches?

Just like the other species of cockroaches found in Pittsburgh, Oriental cockroaches can put you and others around you at risk because they are particularly disease-ridden. Cockroaches live near places that provide humid environments next to food sources such as garbage and sewers, and they then carry these pathogens on their bodies and into your home.

Due to the filth they pick up on their travels, they can spread harmful bacteria and diseases to humans including E.coli, salmonellosis, and gastroenteritis. They will also trigger asthma attacks or allergic reactions especially as their population grows. Lastly, they will contaminate any surface or food item that they touch.

While not every cockroach is going to spread illnesses around, the risk is high enough that it’s necessary to keep cockroaches out. Also, if you do see cockroaches around your property, it's indicative of a larger cockroach problem as there are likely many more hiding.

How To Prevent Oriental Cockroaches

The Oriental cockroach in particular needs access to water frequently to thrive, so moisture issues are one of the most common reasons you’ll experience an infestation. Prevention steps should center around reducing humidity and keeping places like kitchens and bathrooms clean as cockroaches are commonly found in these areas.

Here are some of the most effective steps you can take to protect your property from cockroaches and other unwanted pests:

  • Take out the trash regularly.

  • Make sure that your home is well-ventilated.

  • Fix any leaky pipes or faucets.

  • If excess moisture is a problem, use a dehumidifier.

  • Keep the kitchen cleaned regularly including doing the dishes often.

  • Clean up any food or drink spills right away.

  • Remove any standing water from your property.

  • Fix any broken or ripped screens to make it harder for Oriental cockroaches to come inside.

  • Fill up any cracks in the walls of your home or business.

  • Seek professional pest control assistance.

What To Do If You See Oriental Cockroaches

Just like all cockroaches, the Oriental cockroach is a dangerous pest to have around your Pittsburgh property. If you already have an infestation, prevention methods won't do much to protect you. Instead of trying to handle these infestations on your own, reach out to the experts at Witt Pest Management. We are Pittsburgh’s oldest and most advanced pest control company, and we can help both prevent and remove cockroaches. To learn more about our services, or to schedule an inspection, give us a call today.

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