Brown-banded cockroaches get their name from the two lighter
bands they have across their dark brownish bodies. In addition to
the distinctive banding, males have full wings, which reach beyond
the tip of their rather pointed abdomens, but females have
underdeveloped wings, much shorter than their broad, rounded
abdomens. The lighter band markings are much more distinct in
nymphs than in adults of either sex.
Male brownbanded cockroaches have been observed to fly indoors.
Among cockroach species, brownbanded cockroaches have the most
distinctions between sexes. Females have larger abdomen and shorter
wings than males. Brownbanded cockroaches often hide their egg
cases in or under furniture.
Within a room, these roaches tend to prefer warmer, drier, and
higher locations than do any of the other urban pest roaches. They
are often found in upper cabinets or in other rooms than the
kitchens (food preparation areas) or bathrooms.
Brown-branded roaches have been reported to spread at least 33
kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven
other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the
spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying
matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food
surfaces. Germs that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage
are protected while in their bodies and may remain infective for
several weeks longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning
agents, rinse water, or just sunlight and air. Recent medical
studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic
reactions in inner city children. They were even shown to cause
asthma in children. These allergens build up in deposits of
droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies of brown-banded