If a homeowner finds a fully matured brown banded cockroach, they may notice a pattern of brown bands that run across the wings of the cockroach. Even the nymphs have pale brown bands that run across the body and this is where they receive their common name, brown banded cockroach. This species of cockroach is not native to North America; instead it was introduced to Cuba from African origin and supposedly, they were brought to the United States through trade in Florida. Now, brown banded cockroaches can be found all throughout the world, including the United States.
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Fully matured brown banded cockroach adults are about half an inch long. The females are a little bit shorter and robust in shape whereas the males are a little bit longer and slender in shape. Although they possess the same patterns, females are typically darker than the male species. Their heads are a dark brown color. Brown banded cockroaches are given their name from pale brown bands that run across the wings of adults and the bodies of nymphs. Typically, the base of wings is darker in color and the color will fade towards the ends of their wings and body with the exception of a pale brown band that runs across the base of the body and another band that runs across about 1/3 away from the base. Adult brown banded cockroaches possess wings. However, the wings of males extend beyond the ends of their bodies whereas the wings of females will not completely cover the length of their abdomens. Although females possess wings, they are unable to fly unlike adult males.
Brown banded cockroach nymphs will look significantly different before and after their first molt. The early instar of brown banded cockroaches is entirely very pale or almost creamy white with the exception of a completely white central area. After they molt, the late instars develops distinct coloration and will turn dark brown with pale brown bands that run across the body. The first segment of their abdomen is dark and the following 4 segments of the abdomen are dark brown in color.
The egg capsule is a pale brown to a cream color. They are about 5 mm long and the length is little less than double the width. Each egg capsule holds about 7 to 9 eggs on each side even though there are about 8 to 10 segments. They are slightly arched in shape and are carried by the female for the first 24 hours.
Brown banded cockroaches go through a simple metamorphosis which means that they simply molt as they mature. This also means that they do not have a larva or “caterpillar” stage and do not pupate or form “cocoons”. The female cockroach carries the egg capsule for about 24 to 36 hours before she attaches it to a surface. Surfaces where egg capsules are attached are usually to the sides of or under shelves, cabinets, furniture and etc. On average, the female produces about 14 egg capsules in her lifetime which will be about 7 to 18 eggs in total for each egg capsule. Complete developmental time for all phases of the brown banded cockroach lasts anywhere between a few months to almost an entire year. After the cockroach completely matures, they can live for almost another full year.
Like German cockroaches, brown banded cockroaches nest inside structures once they are carried in. Brown banded cockroaches can be found all throughout the structure that they invade, however, because of their preference for warmer temperatures, they will be most commonly seen in areas where temperatures rise. These are concentrated areas like near appliance motors and fans, on the ceilings, high wall moldings and picture frames, high parts of the closets and also on furniture. They are also commonly found in the attics under insulation.
Brown banded cockroaches nest inside and so it is crucial to attack the breeding site, whether it is directly or indirectly. Gaining control of brown banded cockroaches is a multi – step process. The first and main step for brown banded cockroach control is sanitation. Brown banded roaches will remain indoors and continue to breed because there is an adequate food source. Therefore, routine cleaning is necessary. If the breeding site is located, a liquid residual spray can be used to flush out the nest and kill the cockroaches on contact. Cockroach baits are effective to indirectly attack the nest. Most of the time, breeding sites will not be located and therefore, using baits to kill brown banded cockroaches in the house will prove to be effective. Baits come in gel and granular form and also come in tamper free bait stations. As the cockroaches forage on the bait as food, the delay kill effect gives them enough time to go back to their breeding site. Other brown banded cockroaches will then feed on the carcass and the secondary kill effect ultimately poisons the rest of the colony.
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