Unlike their relatives the German, Oriental and American cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches tend towards areas away from water sources. Warm areas near refrigerator motors are a particular favorite along with high in cabinets and on walls/ceilings. They can also be found in furniture, dressers, clocks, and radios as well as behind wall hangings, electrical plate covers, door frames and numerous other places within the home. Due to their differing habits and harborage locations, it is extremely important to positively identify the brown-banded roach. Glue monitors in locations of suspected activity work well for capturing roaches for positive identification.
Males and females have differing appearances that distinguish between the genders. Males are about ½ inch long when full grown, light brown in color and have wings that fully cover their abdomen. Their wings enable them to fly and they tend to do so when disturbed. Females’ bodies are shorter in length with a plumper abdomen. Their wings are not fully developed and therefore do not permit them to fly. Both genders share the brown bands across the base and mid-section of their abdomens which resulted in their common name. Females have an average lifespan of 13 to 45 weeks in which they produce up to 600 young. Eggs are laid in capsules that the female attaches to walls and ceilings in hidden, protected areas. Hatching times vary depending on temperatures and range from 37 to 103 days.
Brown-banded roaches feed on a vast assortment of materials including some that are nonfood type materials. They often consume materials that contain glues or pastes, especially those that are from animal-based origins. Stamps, envelopes and wallpapers are all targets for this reason as well as older book bindings. As with all roaches, they carry disease causing pathogens including bacteria and protozoa which are then spread onto surfaces as they travel including counters, pantry shelve and food products resulting in several forms of gastroenteritis.
When dealing with a roach infestation, sanitation is key. Cleanup of any spilled foods should be immediate. Dishes should be promptly washed or rinsed and placed in a latched dishwasher, not left in the sink overnight. Stored pantry products such as cereal should be kept in sealed airtight containers. Trash should be removed from the home nightly and stored in an exterior garbage can with a tight fitting lid away from the home whenever possible. Sealing gaps and cracks where roaches have a tendency to harborage using caulking will help to eliminate hiding places. Check and seal gaps around plumbing fixtures to prevent travel along pipes from one area to another.
Roach infestations can be difficult to control and eradicate. Contacting a pest control professional often provides the quickest resolution as they have the knowledge and the proper chemicals to remedy an infestation. Contacting a professional promptly after discovering an infestation is important in assisting to keep the roaches from becoming a well established problem. Use of bug bombs/foggers in situations where roaches are present typically results in dispersing the roaches to other locations including into wall voids and should be avoided. Baiting and proper residual sprays are most effective a majority of the time.