Brown-banded Cockroach Scientific Name: Supella longipalpa
Brown-banded Cockroach Facts
These scavengers are often found inside the home, sometimes flying around in the ceiling space. The brown-banded cockroach can also jump or hop as well as fly and make for quite the spectacle. You may also run into a brown-banded cockroach in your kitchen; they are frequently found hiding in pantries, cabinets or even wardrobes and closets. In spite of their five to eight inch stature, these creatures can also be found in obscure places such as behind picture frames and inside clocks.
A brown-banded cockroach may be identified by two signature brown bands that stretch across their back in parallel lines. They are a light brown and tan color, much lighter and larger in size than many other cockroaches, and are common domestic pests. They prefer warm but dry conditions and are significant in numbers in the southern states where air conditioner units provide ample conditions.
Brown-banded cockroaches are scavengers. Their food may range from food or garbage, to mulch, rotting wood and even other insects. They are always seeking new food sources.
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Much as the name implies, these long, thick creatures have a hard, glossy shell that has two signature parallel lines. The bands are what give a brown-banded cockroach their name. Unlike other roaches, they are a two-tone, light brown and tan colored creature and have the ability to both fly and hop; both of these characteristics are unique to this genus. They have strong back legs which facilitate hopping of up to three feet, and a long wing span which can reach up to ten or fifteen inches.
The brown-banded cockroach is commonly found in America and other temperate climate countries, such as New Zealand, Australia and Mexico. In America, southern states have been known to have higher population levels despite the high levels of humidity. This is because the warmer summers and A/C units in the home present the optimum conditions; warm, yet dry.
Male brown-banded cockroaches are typically a half inch longer in length than females, but both have wings, six legs and a set of antennas. They are established in their looks as common cockroaches but are longer in length and have a unique color and pattern which is helpful for identification purposes of this specific type.
The brown-banded cockroach inhabits many countries in the word that have a warm, dry climate. They are established in America, and are more commonly found in the southern states where the warm temperatures are prevalent, in spite of their preference for dryer conditions. It is this desire for dry conditions, unlike other cockroaches who prefer humidity, which increases the likeness of brown-banded cockroaches coming into a home.
The brown-banded cockroach are scavengers by nature, and travel frequently to find new and available food sources. This is usually by way of fight and they will settle in one area until their food source is diminished. They will eat almost anything and as such can present themselves a pest in the home, especially if they get into, and contaminate human foods or perishables.
Brown-banded Cockroach Life Cycle
Much like other roaches, brown-banded cockroaches have three main life stages, the egg (which is a capsule, also known as an ootheca), instar and adult.
A female brown-banded cockroach can hold her eggs for up to thirty hours before laying a capsule which contains up to sixteen eggs. This is usually fastened to a wall, high up, for protection and the duration of this period depends on the outside temperature. Warmer climates will allow for a faster hatching, and the times may range from thirty seven to one hundred and three days. Females may lay up to fifteen capsules in her lifetime.
Once the egg has hatched and the larvae presented itself, the unique brown bands will already be present on the abdomen. These are longer and more defined in males, but females also share this unique identifier. The instar goes through several molting phases, in which they shed their glossy shells to help accommodate rapid growth. During this time, instars are unable to fly but already scavenge for food.
Once they reach sexual maturity, they are considered adult brown-banded cockroaches. They are able to fly and enjoy all the other benefits of being an adult. Brown-banded cockroaches may live for up to two years and reproduce up to fifteen times during this period. This presents an average of one batch of eggs per month, ten months out of the year.
Brown-banded Cockroach and Humans
The brown-banded cockroach is are considered a pest in the home, and are particularly undesirable due to their ability to carry disease, which may contaminant humans, even without coming directly into contact with one. Common diseases include gastroenteritis, E. coli (which carries flu-like symptoms and diarrhea, both of which are unpleasant) and can be spread by touch alone.
When they shed, brown-banded cockroaches may also known to be an allergen but may also trigger asthma, especially in small children. For this reason, it is important to ensure a sanitary home in which the cockroach shell is removed frequently. This is especially important if you are exercising pest control, in which case carcasses and chemicals may also be present.
Brown-banded Cockroach Control
If you suspect you have a brown-banded cockroach living in your home, the first thing to do is carry out a thorough assessment of the area. Start in each room and provide a deep clean, with careful attention to small crevices or unusual hiding spots. This may include closets, pantries and other dark, dry areas. Use a disinfectant, as the brown-banded cockroach carry disease wherever they land and walk. If you find a roach, try not to disturb it. Males, who are sightly larger in size are especially prone to flying when disturbed. While they may not bite or sting, this may be an unpleasant experience.
Adhesive traps: These can be used to monitor areas with little to no brown-banded cockroach population. They should be checked frequently for signs of life, and replaced regularly to be beneficial.
Boric acid: A family-friendly alternative to chemicals, boric acid may be eaten by roaches but is not considered toxic to most other animals or people. Ensure regular application, as once the gel becomes solid or dry, it is no longer effective.
Bait stations: May be purchased from many hardware stores and work by luring and trapping the roach inside. This method works best in conjunction with chemical baits which are placed inside. These are not safe for children or pets and should be monitored regularly.
In the event of a serious roach infestation, a professional pest control agency may be able to provide further advice or offer extermination services to help get rid of wide-scale problems.
Brown-banded Cockroach Entomology
The brown-banded cockroach, or Supella longipalpa, have known to exist on earth for more than three hundred million years. They've even lived alongside dinosaurs; quite an extraordinary feat! They are one of fifty-five known peridomestic species in America. This means they live along among and are a common domestic pest.
The brown-banded cockroach belongs to the animalia kingdom, under the arthropoda phylum. They are part of the insecta, or insect, class and belong to the order of blattodea. This is also a derivative of their family name, Blattellidae. Brown-banded cockroaches belong to a small genus, called the supella which are significant to the S. longipalpa species.