Brownbanded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
Quick Look Pest Stats
Color: Brown, with broad bands across abdomen
Size: 1/2″ Long
Region: Throughout the U.S.
Brownbanded cockroaches prefer warm and dry locations, such as near refrigerator motor housings, on the upper walls of cabinets, and inside pantries, closets, dressers, and furniture in general. It is common to find them hiding nearer the ceiling than the floor and away from water sources. These cockroaches often hide their egg cases in or under furniture. Accurate identification is paramount to controlling brownbanded cockroaches. Control strategies for other cockroaches will not be efficacious for brownbanded cockroaches.
The brownbanded cockroach feeds on a wide variety of materials. Like members of other cockroach species, it may consume materials like glue or paste (especially from animal-based materials), starch, and certain color dyes. As a result, items like stamps, envelopes, bindings of older books, draperies, and occasionally wallpapers may show signs of feeding. This species has also been known to chew on nonfood materials, such as nylon stockings, presumably for the residues of body oils and skin flakes.
Adult males are about 1/2 inch long and light brown, with fully developed wings . The adult females are shorter and stouter than the males and their wings do not cover the entire abdomen. Both adults and nymphs can be distinguished by the two brownish, broad bands across the body at the base of the abdomen and at mid-abdomen. Both males and females are quite active; adult males fly readily when disturbed. The brownbanded cockroach has three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Eggs are laid in capsules, which the female carries for about 30 hours before she fastens it on walls, ceilings, in furniture, any protected and hidden areas. During her adult life a female produces about 14 egg capsules, each containing an average of 13 eggs. The length of the egg stage varies from 37 to 103 days, depending on temperature. The nymphal stage ranges from 8 to 31 weeks. A female adult has a life span of 13 to 45 weeks; each female produces about 600 descendants per year.
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 and sewage, then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause allergies and exacerbate asthma attacks, especially in children. Brown-banded cockroaches have been identified as a species of roach that can cause such reactions.
The best advice for brown-banded cockroach control is to practice good sanitation. To prevent brown-banded cockroaches from infesting your property, vacuum often, keep a spotless kitchen, seal all entrances around utility pipes and ventilate crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup.