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 FLORIDA ROACHES
A source for information on roaches

Brown Banded Roach     Supella longipalpa

Appearance:
Brown banded roaches are light brown to dark glossy brown in color. They get their name from the two light-yellow cross bands at the base of their wings. Males have full wings that extend past the tip of the abdomen while the wings of females are shorter than the abdomen.

Size:
Approximately 5/8 to ½-inch in length.

Behavior:
Brown banded cockroaches are usually active at night, and nymphs and adults jump rapidly when disturbed. They do not require a lot of moisture and tend to avoid light. They feed on sweet and starchy foods and even non-food materials. They are commonly transported in furniture, luggage, and other items in houses and develop into large infestations under warm, humid conditions. They tend to avoid light, often hiding behind pictures or posters, and are the most active at night.

Females deposit ¼ inch long egg capsules in clusters on furniture, draperies, wall decorations, shelving, and ceilings. The egg capsule contains 14 to 16 eggs, and a female produces 10 to 20 capsules in her lifetime. Adults can survive for up to 150-200 days. Brown banded roaches can foul food, damage wallpaper and books, eat glue from furniture and produce an unpleasant odor.

Habitat:
Brown banded roaches prefer to hide in warm, dry, elevated areas. They are found near the ceiling, behind wall decorations and loose wallpaper, in closets, beneath or inside upholstered furniture, and in electrical appliances such as TV sets, stereos, radios and toasters. Nocturnal; can fly. They may be found throughout any structure, but prefer dry, warm areas, high locations and inside furniture. 

The Brown banded cockroach does not require as close a proximity to moisture as the German cockroach, which they are often mistaken for, and therefore are often found in other rooms than the kitchen and bathroom. Control is difficult since they live widely dispersed as individuals scattered all over the premises. Infestation may be evident by the presence of tiny, dark droppings and cast skins on cabinets and shelves.

Medical/Economic Significance:
Brown banded cockroaches are carriers of pathogens and can contaminate food with certain bacterial diseases that result in food poisoning, dysentery or diarrhea. Some homeowners are allergic to Brown banded cockroaches; some health experts have claimed that the inhalation of feces and body fragments have caused an increase in asthma cases, especially in inner-city children.

Diet:

Scavenger; eats almost anything.

Reproduction:

Female carries egg capsule for 24 to 36 hours, then attaches it underneath or on the side of a protected surface. Capsules contain an average of 18 eggs. Nymphs reach maturity in an average of 161 days. Adults live up to 10 months.

Information:

Brown-banded cockroaches are commonly found infesting human dwellings. True to their name, brown-banded cockroaches have two brown bands that run across their abdomens. The brown bands are visible on every stage of the roaches’ life cycle.

Brown Cockroach Illustration
Brown Cockroach Illustration

Brown-banded cockroaches are relatively small. Adults measure approximately ½” in length (males are slightly longer than females). Adults are light brown in color, with fully developed wings. Brown-banded cockroaches undergo three stages of development: egg, nymph and adult. Females can produce up to 14 egg capsules in one lifetime, which ranges in length from 13 to 45 weeks. The brown-banded cockroach egg stage typically lasts 37 to 103 days.

Brown-banded cockroaches prefer dry and warm locations and can be found inside cabinets, pantries and closets. , They can also be found in electronic equipment or around refrigerator motor housings. Brown-banded cockroaches can also hide from humans in a variety of places such as clocks and picture frames. They tend to avoid water sources and are more commonly found near the ceilings of infested homes. Brown-banded cockroach infestations can pose a number of health risks. These roaches have been found to carry and spread dangerous bacteria and protozoa, which cause gastroenteritis and diarrhea. More commonly, roaches indoors have been found to trigger asthma and allergies.

The first step in addressing any cockroach infestation is to identify the species correctly. The techniques used to manage one species seldom prove effective when applied to another species. Thus, it is best to contact your local pest control professional if you suspect an infestation.



Control:
In controlling brown banded roach infestations, it is helpful to seal cracks and holes behind toilets and around plumbing pipes under sinks. Also, do not store cardboard boxes and paper bags under sinks or in the kitchen or bathroom since they tend to congregate in them. Inspect stored food containers, appliances and used furniture for egg cases that may be brought into the home.

Cockroaches require plenty of food, water and shelter in order to thrive. Limiting any one of these necessities makes it more difficult for cockroach populations to become established and escalate in size. The following steps are helpful in preventing and limiting cockroach infestations:

  • Inspect all incoming food goods, boxes and used furniture and appliances for the presence of cockroaches or their egg capsules. Remove any cockroaches or egg capsules using a vacuum or otherwise killing the insects.
  • In commercial facilities, avoid storing food items in cardboard boxes on shelves. Cardboard is a preferred harborage site for cockroaches.
  • In apartments and condos, do not store paper bags under the sink or elsewhere in the kitchen. Store bags in the garage or rooms other than the kitchen area, utility room or bathroom..
  • Seal holes or cracks around plumbing pipes under sinks, behind toilets, etc.
  • Regularly vacuum and clean floors under kitchen appliances.
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