Malaysian Cockroaches

Cockroaches in Malaysia

The Malaysian cockroaches belong to the order of Blattodea in the Insect world.

In the house, they fly at night to look for food and sometimes to breed, and can be very disturbing to the households.

forest cockroach in malaysia
By the way, have you stayed in a hotel room infested with cockroaches?

Probably the first thing you do would be to request for a room change, right? Well, we would.

Some people, mostly women and children, are afraid of cockroaches especially when they fly about, probably because they feel queasy after knowing about the cockroaches' rather repulsive lifestyles.

So that is why almost all occupants of houses in Malaysia seem to always have an insect spray on the shelf ready to kill these domestic cockroaches, besides the sprays for mosquitoes, flies and other domestic pests.

That is to be expected as cockroaches live in dark areas of the homes, unseen during the day, and they seem to come out at night, sometimes in numbers, when least expected.

picture of native forest cockroach in malaysia
However, the domestic and common species of cockroaches that we see around homes in Malaysia are usually the American or German cockroaches, which are not native to the country.

They are also rather bigger in size than the common bugs, and can be really annoying when they fly about as though in dizziness, until of course the insect sprays kill them.

But do know that cockroaches are one of the hardiest creatures on the planet, having lived and survived through the ages of Earth's history. And they may still be around after all the insect sprays are used up.

Native Malaysian Cockroaches

There are in fact many native species of cockroaches in Malaysia, in various sizes and colors.

They live quietly in the gardens, parks and forests, and their body colors are usually black and greyish, to blend with the surroundings.

In the rainforests of Malaysia, they can be found on the forest floors, hiding among the dead leaves, fallen twigs and tree trunks, and moving or flying away to settle and hide on other plants and leaves when disturbed.

photo of native malaysian cockroach
Since they live on organic waste matter, guano-associated species of cockroaches can also be found in the caves and caverns in Malaysia, like the Niah Caves and Mulu Caves in Sarawak, where they feed on the nutrient-rich droppings or guanos of bats living in the caves.

Notice that most cockroaches have flat bodies, and this body feature allows them to squeeze themselves through tiny cracks and crevices on the caves and forest floors, and on the walls, floors, and toilets, sewerage and latrine holes in homes.

These insects usually come out at night to scavenge for food, which may either be plant or animal matter, and disposed food and refuse in the homes.

Life Cycle of the Malaysian Cockroaches

Female cockroaches lay their eggs in a neat, compact casing, known as ootheca.

picture of black forest cockroach in malaysia
In the homes, these dark colored ootheca may be found glued to the wooden planks in cupboards, and even attached to unused clothes that have been kept in dark closets.

The young cockroaches hatch from this egg-case, and like some other insect species, they undergo incomplete metamorphosis before finally becoming adults.

In the adults, we will find that their heads are tucked under the thorax, with the mouth facing backwards, and they look rather scary when seen in closed ups.

Do They Live Just To Scare Us?

The cockroaches living in the wild -- in our gardens, parks, rain-forests and caves -- in fact play a useful function in nature's eco-systems and life-cycle.

picture of malaysian forest cockroach
Like the ants and beetles, they efficiently gobble up the organic wastes that other creatures dispose off, cleansing the world, making it clean and tidy.

And in turn they are food for other insects and birds, snakes and other reptiles.

And do you know that there are many people or hobbyists who keep these roaches as pets?

So while we may disapprove their repugnant lifestyles in our homes, please understand that the native Malaysian cockroaches play a useful role as part of nature on this planet we call Earth.


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