ABSTRACT _Francisella tularensis_ is a zoonotic bacterial pathogen that causes severe disease in a wide range of host animals, including humans. Well-developed mouse models of _F. tularensis_ pathogenesis are available, but they do not meet the needs of all investigators. Instead, researchers are increasingly turning to insect model systems: (1) to allow for high-throughput that would be cost-prohibitive or ethically-questionable in mammals; (2) to enable studies of host-pathogen interactions in situations where mammalian facilities are unavailable; and (3) to provide valuable information about environmental persistence and transmission. However, the utility of previously-described insect hosts is limited because of temperature restriction, short lifespans, and concerns about the immunological status of insects mass-produced for other purposes. Here, we present a novel host species, the orange spotted (OS) cockroach (_Blaptica dubia_; Serville, 1839), that overcomes these limitations and is readily infected by _F. tularensis_. Intrahemocoel inoculation of OS cockroaches was accomplished using standard laboratory equipment and lethality was directly proportional to the number of bacteria injected. Disease progression differed in insects housed at low and high temperatures, indicating that the model could be useful for dissecting both virulence and transmission pathways. As in mammals, _F. tularensis_ mutants lacking key components of the cell envelope or phagosomal escape pathway were attenuated in OS cockroaches. Finally, we examined the utility of this model in identifying antibiotics with _in vivo_ activity against _F. tularensis_. Antibiotics were delivered by systemic injection or forced feeding; in the latter case, protection correlated with the oral bioavailability profile of each compound in mammals. Collectively, these results demonstrate that OS cockroaches are an important addition to investigators’ tool box that should facilitate discovery of factors that control _F. tularensis_ virulence, immune evasion, and transmission while also providing a platform for early stage drug discovery and development.