Have you been seeing cockroaches that have bands higher up on their bodies? If so, you could be dealing with a brown-banded cockroach infestation or the early signs. Take a look at our complete guide on these pests to diagnose, understand, and eliminate them from your home.

What Are Brown-Banded Cockroaches?

Brown-banded cockroaches are a species of cockroach with the scientific name Supella longipalpa. Although fairly small, they have several traits that make them more troublesome than other species.

  1. They don't require much moisture and prefer dry places, making them more likely to be found in common living areas.
  2. They are highly active and quick movers, which makes them more unsettling to find.
  3. They prefer high places and are eager flyers, making them harder to reach and kill.

Before attempting pest control, be certain that you are dealing with brown-banded cockroaches and not another species. Many strategies that work on most cockroaches will be ineffective against brown-banded roaches, due to their behavior and habitat differences.

What Do Brown-Banded Cockroaches Look Like?

Brown-banded cockroaches are a smaller roach species, with the biggest adults reaching a half-inch in length. They are unique among their family of insects because of how different the males and females look. Adult males are longer and light brown with wings that pass over the entire body, whereas adult females are shorter, broader, and have wings that only partially cover the abdomen. Also, males are more yellow-brown compared to the females' dark brown. All specimens have two thick stripes running across the thorax and abdomen, hence their name.

Where Do Brown-Banded Cockroaches Live?

The brown-banded cockroach is distributed throughout the United States, particularly the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest. They have also spread to Europe, and are common pests in Britain.

Unlike other cockroach species, the brown-banded type is particularly fond of the indoors. This could be because they thrive in habitats that consistently stay between room temperature and moderately warm. They will inhabit dry places such as kitchens or closets, but dryness isn't a deal breaker, and they can survive just about anywhere in your home. Like most roaches, they will hide in cracks or other tight spaces and come out in search of food and water at night, when you're most likely to spot one.

Because brown-banded cockroaches prefer warm and dry places and dislike light, they'll often live near upper cabinets, inside pantries, and near refrigerator motors. Any dry place they can hide, though, is a possible home for the insects.

Problems With Brown-Banded Cockroaches

Image via Flickr by siamesepuppy

Like any indoor cockroach, these pests can spread diseases through their corpses, fecal matter, or through direct contact when walking over food or surfaces. Their presence in a home is stressful and unpleasant. What's more, they are one of the least picky eaters, capable of damaging furniture, drapes, and building material.

Perhaps the most distressing fact about brown-banded roaches is that they are more willing to fly than other species. Adult males, in particular, have a good chance of trying to fly away when disturbed, which is not a pretty sight for most homeowners. Combine that with their tendency to live above ground, and it's easy to see why brown-banded roaches are so strongly hated.

Brown-Banded Cockroach Control Solutions

Because these roaches are one of the most difficult species to control, you may need professional chemical treatment to fully remove them. However, there are several additional options that can help prevent them from appearing in your home and curb a potential infestation.

  • Clean Up: Since brown-banded roaches don't need much moisture, removing water sources and adding dehumidifiers will not be effective like with other species. However, keeping your home clean, free of clutter, and smelling fresh will help discourage them from entering your home and sticking around. In particular, cockroaches hate herbal smells and citrus smells, with mint being one of their most hated odors. Never leave food or spills lying around and clean and put away dishes as soon as you've used them. Empty your garbage every evening and keep the bags in tight-fitting containers.
  • Seal Up Your Home: As with all insect pests, you can limit your chance of them staying in your home by barricading them out. Sealing window frames and door gaps and keeping doors and windows closed will help. You may also want to check your HVAC vents and clean them out because clogged vents have weaker air flow that won't be able to push insects away.
  • Survey the Problem: Just seeing the occasional roach doesn't give a clear idea of how many reside in your home. It's a good idea to gauge how many there are by placing sticky traps at key locations, such as in corners or by shelves. Use these traps for at least one week. In less serious cases, this can catch all of the roaches and fix the problem entirely. If not, and you still see them afterward, it may be time for thorough and professional pest control.

Common Brown-Banded Cockroach Questions

What Can Brown-Banded Cockroaches Eat?

Like most roaches, the brown-banded species will eat any organic material it can find, including paper products and even glue. It can also survive on color dyes, making them fond of old book bindings, draperies, and wallpaper. They can also gain nutrition from the residues of skin and body oils from sweat, which can lead to them chewing clothing or furniture.

Do Brown-Banded Cockroaches Bite?

No, they do not bite or sting and are not aggressive when threatened, preferring to run or fly away. However, their sanitation concerns still make them threatening to your home's health.

If you're trying to find out how to get rid of brown-banded cockroaches and enjoy your home without them, contact the pest control experts at Bulwark. Whether you're concerned about roaches or other pests in your area, we'll listen to your situation and find control options that make sense and erase the problem, guaranteed.

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