The females of this species have smaller wings than their male counterparts. The younger oriental cockroaches or nymphs are usually darker in colour and do not have wings, so may be mistaken for another kind of cockroach. The females will carry an egg case protruding from the abdomen for up to five days, and then it will hide the egg case in or near food or water. The egg case is about one inch long, is reddish in colour, and often appears as though it has air inside it. The baby cockroaches will emerge in about 60 days and will be fully developed in about a year. Once the oriental roach reaches adulthood, it can live for up to six months.
They feed on garbage and decaying plant and animal products. Usually the oriental roach will be found in basements, crawl spaces, in or around drains, under refrigerators, in sinks, washing machines, under floors, and even inside walls. They can cause food poisoning, diarrhoea and asthma, as well as dysentery.