Brown-banded cockroaches can be found throughout the world, and they are widely distributed in the United States, particularly in the northeastern, southern and midwestern regions. These cockroaches are relatively small at only half an inch in length, and they are significant housepets due to their ability to live and reproduce entirely within the confines of a structure. The only other cockroach species in the US that dwells primarily within human dwellings is the German cockroach species, and cockroaches of this sort are known as “domestic cockroaches.” In addition to being a nuisance pest, brown-banded cockroaches consume a variety of indoor items and human foods.

Like all cockroach pests, brown-banded cockroaches pose a public health threat due to the numerous pathogens that they spread around homes. It is also important to note that since brown-banded cockroaches often establish shelter in pantries and other areas located near human food sources, brown-banded cockroaches are more apt than other species to spread pathogens to food, counters, sinks and eating utensils. Perhaps worst of all, brown-banded cockroaches have a taste for human bodily fluids, as these roaches often feed on open wounds and dirty stocking for the perspiration.

The fact that brown-banded cockroaches enjoy the taste of bodily fluids became apparent after an infestation in hospitals saw these roaches feeding on dead skin and fluid discharge within human wounds. Other cockroach pest species have been documented feeding on dead human skin, hair and bodily fluids, but not as often as brown-banded cockroaches. Detecting brown-banded cockroaches within infested homes can be difficult due to their small size and their ability to establish shelter anywhere in a home. Other cockroach pest species always congregate near areas of a home with high moisture content, making brown-banded cockroaches relatively elusive. Insecticides have proven useful in treating brown-banded cockroach infestations, but roach baits are often preferred by pest control professionals. Brown-banded cockroaches can be readily recognized for the cream to brown-colored bands on their backs.

Have you ever spotted brown-banded cockroaches within your home?