Cockroaches are an incredibly common type of household pest. In urban areas, as many as 98% of homes have cockroaches, according to studies. Since they're so common, you need to be prepared to encounter various species of cockroaches. Here are four things you need to know about one of the cockroach species that you may encounter, brown-banded cockroaches.
How can you identify them?
Brown-banded cockroaches look fairly similar to other cockroach species. Like other types of cockroaches, they have brown, flat bodies, six legs, and long antennae. They are fairly small at about 0.5 inches long.
The easiest way to distinguish them from other types of cockroaches is to look at their coloring. Brown-banded cockroaches have two lighter brown bands across their backs. If you see a cockroach that has this coloring, you can assume that it is a brown-banded cockroach.
Where do they live?
Brown-banded cockroaches are originally from the tropic and subtropical regions, but they have expanded into temperate zones as well. It's now thought that they infest the entire United States, so no matter where you live, you need to be prepared to encounter these pests.
Since they are native to warmer regions of the world, it's no surprise that they prefer warmer parts of your home. They prefer to live in environments that are warmer than 80°F, according to Pest World, so look for them in well-heated rooms, not cold basements and crawlspaces.
How do they differ from other types of cockroaches?
While brown-banded cockroaches look pretty similar to other types of cockroaches, they have distinct habits that set them apart from other cockroach species. Unlike some other types of cockroaches, they don't require a moist environment to survive, so they can be found throughout your home, not just in warm, humid areas.
They also are not as secretive as some other types of cockroaches, who spend their time hiding inside wall voids or other hidden areas. Since they don't require moisture or secrecy, you may see them openly crawling across your ceilings or walls. Seeing cockroaches out in the open is disturbing, but this makes it easier for you to identify an infestation.
Surprisingly, they are also known for living inside electric appliances like telephones or radios; these are not common hiding places for other types of roaches.
How can you prevent an infestation?
Since brown-banded cockroaches aren't drawn to water or hiding places like other roaches are, the main reasons they enter your home are to find food and warmth. You'll need to take precautions to make your food and warmth harder to access as this will make your home less appealing to brown-banded cockroaches.
Store all of your food in glass containers with airtight lids to make your food and accessible to roaches. Wipe your kitchen counter, sweep the floors, and mop regularly to keep crumbs and spills under control.
Warm parts of your kitchen require special attention. The area beneath your appliances like stoves, fridges, dishwashers, or even counter appliances like toasters tend to be warm and infrequently cleaned, making them a cockroach paradise. Remember to clean underneath all of your appliances regularly to make sure that no crumbs are building up in these warm areas.
You also need to pay special attention to your electric appliances, as these appliances are a favorite place for brown-banded cockroaches to hide. Televisions, computers, phones, and other devices need to be examined regularly for signs of cockroach activity. To make these appliances less attractive to cockroaches, make sure to keep the area around the appliances clean and free of food crumbs or residue.
If you discover brown banded cockroaches inside your home, contact a licensed insect and mice control company to help you get rid of them.