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Brown-Banded CockroachesSupella longipalpa
Brown-Banded Cockroach Identification
Brown, with pronounced banding across wings
Found throughout U.S.
What Do Brown-Banded Cockroaches Look Like?
The brown-banded cockroach, as its name suggests, has two light brown bands across their dark brown bodies. Adult brown banded cockroaches only grow to about ½” long. Male brown-banded cockroaches have full wings that reach beyond the tip of their pointed abdomens, while females have underdeveloped wings that prohibit them from flying. These roaches are oval in shape with six legs and two long antennae. Their coloring helps them blend in among furniture, cabinets and food. Female roaches tend to be much darker than males.
Signs of an Infestation
Brown-banded cockroach infestations can be hard to spot. The main indicator of their presence is the droppings they leave. Their droppings, which resemble black specks or smears, are usually found in spots where the roach spends a lot of time, such as cabinets or around ceiling light fixtures.
Another infestation indication are the egg cases laid by the female roaches. These cases are yellowish, less than 5mm long and are often placed underneath furniture. Later in development, the embryos inside of the egg can sometimes be visible.
However, the most common sign of an infestation is sightings of the actual cockroaches themselves. If you find one brown-banded cockroach, it is important to have an inspection performed as there are likely more nearby.
Brown-Banded Cockroach Infestation
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Brown-branded cockroaches can cause multiple health issues. They have been reported to carry many microorganisms on their bodies, spread pathogens, and also be a source of allergens. They can pick up germs on their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces.
Along with this, recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens can trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma attacks, especially in children. Brown-banded cockroaches are known to elicit allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose. If household members show these symptoms, it could signal an infestation.
Brown-Banded Cockroach Education
Brown-banded cockroaches can be found within furniture and other household items but show a preference for drier locations in warmer areas above 80 degrees. They tend to be found in higher locations than most other cockroach species, taking shelter in upper cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as congregating near ceilings. However, these roaches often hide their egg cases in or under furniture. Brown-banded cockroaches also like to live among electronic equipment, such as refrigerator motors, and tend to avoid water and bright light. Due to their small size and brown color, the brown-banded cockroach can be easily blend into their surroundings and be difficult to spot.
Being nocturnal, brown-banded cockroaches are often most active at night. However, they can be found during the day, typically looking for food. They enter homes and structures looking for shelter and once they find it, they will remain hidden for the majority of the day. If disturbed, males will take flight while females will run away.
The brown-banded cockroach will feed on almost anything, even other cockroach species. Their diet consists of trash, food items, drapes and boxes and also items with high starch levels like wallpaper glue and book bindings. They may also feed on dyes and pastes, including portions of envelopes and wallpaper. These pests are often carried into the home via infested food, furniture, or grocery items, and then rarely leave once inside. These roaches will remain anywhere they have access to food and a warm, dry shelter.