The brownbanded cockroach is light gold to glossy dark brown, and is 1/2 to 5/8 inch long. It has transverse yellow bands across the base of the wings and across the abdomen. The wings of adult males cover their abdomens, while the females' wings are shorter. The yellow bands across the back are more pronounced on nymphs than on adults.
- Brownbanded cockroaches are more apt to be found in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, nursing homes and hospitals than in restaurants, grocery stores and other commercial establishments. They prefer starchy foods and appear to have lower water requirements than other cockroaches. They can occupy drier locations within a building. Nymphs and adults frequently are found on ceilings in dark or dimly lit rooms, behind picture frames, in light switches, in upper walls of cabinets and closets, or on undersides of furniture and inside upholstered furniture. Because brownbanded cockroaches are found in so many locations they may be more difficult to control.
- These cockroaches are quite active, and the adults, especially the males, fly rapidly when disturbed. Both adults and nymphs may jump to escape danger. The adult female carries her egg capsule for only a day or two before gluing it to a protected surface underneath or inside furniture, in a closet or on the ceiling in a darkened room. They can also be found in televisions and other appliances.
- HABITAT: They prefer to hide in warm, elevated areas 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. They develop and live throughout the building, making control difficult. No room or furniture is immune to infestations, and one may find tiny, dark droppings and cast skins on cabinets and shelves. The roaches are commonly transported in furniture, luggage, and other items in houses and soon develop into annoying infestations under warm, humid conditions.
- LIFE CYCLE: Egg capsules are about 1/4 inch long and reddish-brown. Brownbanded cockroach females deposit egg cases in clusters on furniture, draperies, wall decorations, shelving and ceilings. The egg capsule contains 14 to 16 eggs; a female produces 10 to 20 cases in her lifetime. Eggs hatch in 50 to 75 days and nymphs develop in 90 to 270 days, with adults living 150 to 200 days.
- TYPE OF DAMAGE: Roaches can foul food, damage wallpaper and books, eat glue from furniture and produce an unpleasant odor. Some homeowners are allergic to roaches. The pests can contaminate food with certain bacterial diseases that result in food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea.
- CONTROL: Control is difficult-treatments must be extensive or directed at population sources determined by bait trapping. Traps can determine infestation severity and monitor chemical controls, especially with brownbanded and German cockroaches.