Brown-Banded Cockroach in the House/Kitchen

Indoor Identification

Brown-banded cockroaches are an indoor species and much like its cousin, the German cockroach, is considered a domestic cockroach.

Brown-banded cockroaches look very similar to German cockroaches, except they do not have the typical two dark stripes – the racing stripes – that show up on the part of the roach behind the head. Instead, brown-banded cockroaches have two light colored stripes that run from left to right on the roach’s thorax and abdomen.

In general, brown-banded cockroaches are less frequently encountered inside homes than German cockroaches. In fact, while brown-banded cockroaches are not strangers to houses and commercial buildings, the advent and expanded use of air conditioning has actually caused the overall infestation levels of these roaches to decline.

Where to Look

Where do these cockroaches prefer to live? They favor occupying the parts of homes that are dry and higher in temperature.

While German cockroaches like to live close to where they find food sources and moisture, brown-banded cockroaches like to stay higher up the inside parts of homes where the temperatures are warmer and away from moisture.

Some of the likely places to find brown-banded cockroaches include:

  • Upper portions of cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Hot water tank closets, light switch plates
  • Furniture and electronics, desk and cabinet drawers, beneath tables and chairs, behind the upper parts of door frames
  • Behind pictures and wallpaper where they sometimes feed on wallpaper paste
  • In bedrooms where they may not be the only cockroach found there.

Activity

Brown-banded cockroaches are usually nocturnal, but may sometimes be seen during the day if the population is well established and large. Also, males may sometimes be seen flying around lights or might fly if disturbed.

Should a homeowner observe flying roaches indoors, they could be wood roaches, so be sure to either inspect the critters or request your pest management professional (PMP) provide an inspection and correct identification.

The combination of having a broad diet and their preference for dry areas can often make the management of brown-banded cockroaches problematic and challenging. Some of the reasons for this include:

  • Distribution: Brown-banded cockroach distribution is often more scattered throughout the house.
  • Size: Brown-banded cockroach groups are generally smaller than German cockroaches, making them harder to locate.
  • Relocation: Brown-banded cockroaches are generally more likely to be transported from one location to another via hitchhiking inside infested furniture, electronics and electrical appliances, thus readily being moved from one location to another.

Health Risks

Brown-branded roaches present a potential health threat to homeowners by contacting disease causing organisms from brown-banded cockroaches.

This problem can occur if organisms located on the body parts of roaches come in contact with food or food preparations surfaces, resulting in diseases such as gastroenteritis and other forms of food borne diseases.

Also, brown-banded cockroaches are known to cause allergic reactions and damage nonfood materials such as nylon.

Control & Prevention

Brown-banded cockroach management efforts include both preventive and control methods. Some important preventive methods and materials include:

  • Destroy the eggs: Never fail to crush or otherwise destroy an egg case. By doing so, the homeowner is preventing the production of many cockroaches that will never become mature, reproducing adult cockroaches.
  • Seal and clean: Keep cracks, gaps and crevices where roaches like to hide to a minimum and seal up these places. Don’t allow clutter to create places for roaches to hide.
  • Proper food storage: Keep food, particularly foods high in starch content, cleaned up and thus unavailable to roaches.
  • Inspect household items: Periodically inspect your furniture and electronics to determine whether brown-banded cockroaches are living inside these items.
  • Use sticky traps: Consider using sticky traps placed near locations where cockroach are likely to be found to monitor for their presence.
  • Check your groceries: Inspect grocery bags or other items coming into your house to determine whether any brown-banded cockroaches are brought inside.
  • Inspect second-hand purchases: If you purchase used furniture or something at a yard sale, inspect the item and make sure cockroaches are not living inside before bringing the item inside your home.

Important control methods include:

  • Purchasing over the counter cockroach baits and insecticides.
  • In most instances, the best thing to do is contact your pest management professional (PMP) and request an inspection and preparation of an integrated control program.

Using the findings from the inspection your PMP will prepare a science-based control plan that includes application of insect growth regulator products and other control materials for use in and around places where brown-banded cockroaches are active or resting in suitable harborage sites.