Getting rid of (specifically) oriental cockroaches?
July 28, 2016 12:05 PM   Subscribe

I've dealt with the German roach bastards in the past, but these are a different beast.

Posting on behalf of my sister; see here for background.

Since the big kitchen roach (under the oven), exterminators came and sprayed everywhere. The next night around 10pm, another big nasty black roach crawled from under the fridge and crawled under the oven. It was smashed and since then (about a week), no more adult roaches, dead or alive.

However, baby roaches are freaking everywhere. They're not the white, newly hatched babies, but they're very small and obviously roaches. We put carpet tape in front of the front and back doors, but the ones we've caught look like they're crawling towards the hallway, not in from the hallway to the apartment. Which means they live in the apartment somewhere.

We've identified them all as oriental roaches (click for nightmares). This is borne out by the fact that after searching all the cabinets and pipes, etc., we've really found no evidence of roach dwellings-- no small pepper-like or dust-like droppings, no egg cases, no live roaches, no dead roaches, no molted skins. Everything is actually pretty pristine; no staining, no water, no leaks, no warping, all the cabinetry looks brand new. We've never found them anywhere except the floor-- never on countertops or cabinets (normal oriental roach behavior, since they can't climb well). Exterminators have sprayed the entire perimeter of the apartment, applied roach gel, and left out monitor traps under the sinks, none of which have caught anything. We've caulked every seam and crack we could find and even bought little bowls to put over the kitchen and bathroom drains at night. And yet... tiny roaches.

We find at least 1-2 babies belly-up and dead every morning, almost always in the kitchen (which is small) or the bathroom (near the toilet). We saw a live baby crawling near the living room wall the other night. The only thing we could think of is that they're coming out of the outlets? But we don't really know what to... do about that.

Anyway, this is all rather disgusting and bizarre, since most roach extermination guides say the oriental roach mostly lives in basements and ground floors, and we're on the second-floor (in a ground, first, second layout). If it had just been the two adults, I'd chalk it up to something nasty wandering in while the apartment was unoccupied, but so many babies... wtf? It's been about a week and a half since the first treatment, and we plan on putting out bait stations and having the exterminator back after 2-3 weeks to treat the next round, but this is driving us insane.

Sister feels like she can't use her kitchen and is freaked out by showering/using the bathroom at night, lest she see another giant fucker. We have never found a single dead adult, despite exterminators spraying and us spraying Bengal Gold in all the cracks we could find with one of those long straw things.

Can/should we expect this to kind of go away after a few rounds of killing? As the weather gets colder (we're in Chicago), what is the likelihood that this won't be a thing anymore? We're kind of creeped that they're living in the oven or refrigerator but honestly I don't have the nerves of steel to check that out on my own. Also, I feel like plenty of poison has been sprayed all around that area, so not sure what else we would do.

I've dealt with German roaches before, where the MO is pretty much bait, seal food, and learn to live with it. This is kind of weirder and simultaneously grosser and more reassuring, since they are not as prolific as German roaches, but the fact that these stupid babies are positively dripping out of the walls (? or something?) is concerning.

tl;dr, Please tell me about your experiences dealing with, specifically, oriental (or possibly American) roaches, and how you've had success/crushing failure in the past. Did you find the tiny little babies? Were you able to find out where they were coming from, and how?

Note: I have a lot of experience with the small brown German kind; these are definitely not that.
posted by stoneandstar to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I currently live in central TX, and the whole area is 100% covered in giant American roaches (maybe some orientals mixed in), all year round. My house, and most others near by, are 100+ years old, and are not in any way sealed off from the outside environment. The neighborhood is filled with overgrown gardens, compost bins, and is generally a roach paradise. So I have some experience in this matter.

-yes, you can fight them to a standoff, but may not be able eliminate them, depending on the greater environmental context.
-be vigilant, apply your baits at least weekly, even if you don't see roaches for a while
-any little plastic "roach motel" is a waste of money
-you will find life becomes easier if you can refrain from total freakout, they are just bugs
-you will find life becomes easier if you can learn to trap them, because while seeing a giant roach is no fun, cleaning up 2 gallons of roach goo after you squish one is less fun. I prefer to catch roaches with a large plastic cup and a piece of junk mail.
-roach pressure generally gets worse in the fall as roaches seek additional warmth. Places that don't a killing freeze but do get chilly are the worst, you should get some benefits from the first hard freeze. There will still be plenty of roaches left in the neighborhood, but the population will take a hit.
-This product is among the more effective I've found. Squirt it into any little cracks. If the problem persists, you will get better at understanding where roaches like to go, and can target more effectively.
-hope this helps, it should get better if you follow best practices.
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:43 PM on July 28, 2016

Also, you didn't are on the second floor. What's on the first? Has anybody checked the crawlspace between? They're not good climbers but there might be a route there. If the infestation is downstairs or in the floor they could definitely be getting in that way.

Also the presences of little ones indicates eggs...are you storing any boxes or cardboard?

Also check behind/under your fridge. Ask me how I know :( :(
posted by emjaybee at 2:05 PM on July 28, 2016

Did you ever resolve this problem? I am having this EXACT same problem. Tiny little black roaches (almost ant size) are coming from what seems like everywhere in my apartment. I find many dead everyday on the floor, but still see them crawling. I had an exterminator come and spray everywhere and he says that they are oriental cockroaches. I have seen 2 big roaches alive and many dead, but tons of small baby ones still. Not sure how to resolve this issue.
posted by keylimepie1335 at 10:46 PM on July 19, 2017

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