This insect can be easily identified by the yellow markings on the thorax and some streaks on the base of its wings. It is generally brown in color, and the yellow markings are a good way to differentiate it from the American cockroach. It grows to a size of 35 mm and has antennas that are a bit bigger than its body.

It originated in Asia in spite of its name and can be found all over the world. It prefers warm climate and typically stays outdoors although, in cold weather, it seeks shelter indoors. It is quite flexible a quality that allows it to fit into any nook or crevice easily. Its growth cycle is spread over the span of a year. The female lays a maximum of 24 eggs in a sac, and at least three quarters of these survive.

Based on the fact that it prefers the outdoors this cockroach feeds on plants more than any other type of cockroach species. It is, therefore, dangerous should it find its way into a green house. However it can feed on anything as it is considered a scavenger. They have been known to eat clothing, and even books so the damage they can cause is not confined to health risks alone. Based on the fact that eggs can develop into young cockroaches in as little as forty days it is remarkably easy for this cockroach to infest an area in large numbers if the conditions favor it.