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Their name comes from the two lighter bands across their dark brownish bodies at the base of the wing and abdomen.
Most commonly found in the northeastern, southern, and midwest regions of the United States, brown-banded cockroaches like kitchens, bathrooms, and higher resting places. They are commonly found on ceilings, high on walls, behind picture frames and light fixtures, near refrigerator motors, in closets, furniture, and similar areas.
They prefer starchy materials, but are scavengers and eat a wide variety of items. They can cause problems in hospitals by coming out at night to feed on bodily fluids, thereby risking cross-infection.
And you thought rabbits were fast breeders. The brownbanded cockroach can go from 2 to 800 in no time. Adult females will carry the ootheca (egg case) for a day or two after its formation and then glue it to a surface. On average, she will produce 14 egg cases, averaging 18 eggs per egg case. The life cycle (egg to adult) can be completed in 90–280 days, averaging about 161 days. Wing pattern can be used for differentiating adult roaches; wing covers the entire abdomen in males whereas it covers only part of the abdomen in females. On average, adults live up to 10 months. These cockroaches dislike light and, unless in large members, are not normally seen during the day.
Brownbanded cockroaches spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. They can also cause damage to computer and other electrical equipment.
They prefer warm and dry locations, and are frequently found behind crown molding, tables, chairs, appliances, computers and phones. They are transported through infested furniture and will spread rapidly.
Getting rid of these takes a little preparation. Empty all kitchen and bathroom cupboards. Since this insect also lives in higher areas once established, you should also inspect closets, furniture, around high shelves and ceiling or wall moldings. Cracks and crevices in these areas require treatment too. Use of residual liquid pesticides and dust formulations injected in wall voids is recommended. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
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