The brown banded cockroach is one of the most common cockroach species in the United States. Small and sneaky, these pests can infest homes in the hundreds and often carry bacteria and allergens on their bodies that can lead to serious health issues in people and pets.
Worse, once inside your home, the brown banded cockroach can be difficult to get rid of. So what is this unpleasant pest all about, why do you have it in your home and what are the best methods you can use to get rid of it once and for all?
Keep reading to find out!
What Is The Brown Banded Cockroach?
The Brown Banded Cockroach is a small species of cockroach originally from Cuba.
The brown banded cockroach is a small, invasive cockroach species originally hailing from Cuba. It is believed that The brown banded cockroach made its way to the United States via human travel in 1903, where it quickly became one of the most formidable pests in the Northeastern, Southern, and Midwestern regions.
While commonly considered home-invading roaches, The brown banded cockroach has also been known to invade hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants, factories, apartment complexes, and more.
They also tend to be found in higher areas of establishments when infesting, including in upper kitchen cabinets, ceiling lights, and inside electrical equipment.
These pests have also been found in furniture, curtains, behind picture frames, in light fixtures, and more. Unlike some cockroach species, the brown banded cockroach prefers dry, warm environments and tends to stay away from moisture or water.
They also have a voracious appetite, feeding on anything from wallpaper glue to sweets in your cabinet. In fact, the brown banded cockroach will even eat other insects including other roaches.
The brown banded cockroach lives for approximately 206 days or a little over six months. Male and female brown banded roaches look slightly different, with the female being somewhat darker than the male. Both male and female brown banded cockroaches are brown in color and around a half-inch in length. They have six legs, two antennae, and two brown “bands” across their wings for which they are named.
Both the male and female brown banded cockroach have wings, though it is primarily the male who will fly if disturbed. The female typically runs when she feels threatened.
One of the biggest reasons the brown banded cockroach is so difficult to get rid of is due to how quickly it procreates. These pests can produce up to 14 egg capsules in their lifetime, with each capsule containing up to 18 individual eggs.
Though adult brown banded cockroaches tend to live higher up like in cabinets or light fixtures, they often lay their egg cases beneath furniture where the eggs will be sheltered and protected.
These egg cases are often yellow in color and sometimes the embryos are visible in the encasements when further developed.
Signs of infestations in your home could include these egg casings, but you may also notice the black smudges or smears these roaches’ droppings leave behind in areas where the pests spend a lot of time.
The brown banded cockroach is a nocturnal pest, but you may still come across them during the day, especially in a larger infestation. In fact, the most common indication of a brown banded cockroach infestation is typically a physical sighting.
Is The Brown Banded Cockroach Dangerous?
Though brown banded cockroaches are not venomous, they can spread bacteria and disease.
The brown banded cockroach is certainly an unsightly pest, and many people are already aware that cockroaches, in general, are seen as dirty and disgusting. The good news is that these insects are not dangerous in the traditional sense. They do not bite and are not venomous, though they can cause problems for people in other ways.
Because the brown banded cockroach has such a diverse diet, it often congregates in places like bathrooms, beneath cabinets, and even near areas where garbage and rotting food are prevalent.
They can pick up bacteria on their bodies when moving through these areas, and are quite capable of transferring this bacteria onto surfaces and into food cabinets and pantries.
Some studies have found that the brown banded cockroach is capable of spreading salmonella, E-coli, and other diseases that can lead to serious illness in people.
Brown banded cockroaches have also been found to exasperate allergies and asthma in sensitive people. They can be especially harmful to young children who struggle with asthma and have been known to cause mild allergy symptoms like red eyes and runny noses as well as full-blown asthma attacks.
For this reason, it’s important not to ignore the signs of a brown banded cockroach infestation. It’s also important to understand why you may have gotten an infestation in the first place so you can prevent it from happening again.
Let’s learn more.
Why Do I Have A Brown Banded Cockroach Problem?
Brown banded cockroaches are prolific reproducers.
Brown-banded cockroaches, and cockroaches in general, are synonymous with filth, though these two don’t always go hand-in-hand. In fact, roaches are very common in households throughout the United States, and discovering an infestation of brown banded cockroaches can be especially tricky if you don’t know what to look for.
If you do have an infestation, don’t worry – it doesn’t mean you are unclean or your home is unsanitary.
Brown banded cockroaches can infiltrate your home in a number of ways, some of which you may not have even realized. In fact, these pests commonly live inside furniture and in infested foods. The most common way for brown banded cockroaches to enter homes is through infested furniture or foods that are brought into the home.
With that being said, these pests can sometimes get into your home via vulnerabilities in your home’s exterior like cracks, crevices, gaps in doorways, or tears in screens.
Like many pests, brown banded cockroaches seek out warmth, shelter, and food. Our human homes provide the perfect habitat for the brown banded cockroach, and once they get inside they often lay low in the shadows and go unnoticed for weeks and even months.
So, how do you stay on top of a brown banded cockroach infestation? More importantly, how can you prevent one from occurring in your home?
That’s what we’re here to help you with. Keep reading!
Best Products For Getting Rid Of The Brown Banded Cockroach
Getting rid of brown banded cockroaches is easier when you have the right tools.
If you already have brown banded cockroaches in your home, the first thing we recommend you do is work on getting rid of them. If the infestation seems out of your control, it’s best to contact a local pest control expert in the area you trust.
However, it is entirely possible to get rid of the brown banded cockroach on your own when you use the right products and implement the right plan and strategy.
To get rid of the brown banded cockroach, it’s important to clean thoroughly. Remove clutter and clean out cabinets and cupboards, and dust and vacuum beneath the furniture.
Toss any infested foods you come across and then proceed with using a quality pest control product like those listed below.
Raid Ant And Roach Killer
Raid is a popular product often used by those attempting to quickly eradicate a pest infestation in their home. The above product by Raid is specifically an ant and roach killer and will work against pests like the brown banded cockroach.
This product does not leave a long-lasting or unpleasant odor and in fact, is made to smell like lavender. This is a smell pests hate but people tend to love.
This product kills on contact and can continue killing pests for up to four weeks. It comes in a 12-ounce spray can and contains Cypermethrin as the active ingredient. For this reason, it could be harmful to people and pets. Be sure to use this product only as directed and keep it out of reach of children.
Harris Roach Glue Traps
Glue traps may not help eliminate a large number of brown banded cockroaches, but they can help you monitor an infestation as you work to get it under control.
Keeping track of infestations is the best way to ensure that the method you are using is actually working, so we do recommend investing in some glue traps for brown banded cockroach infestations.
The above traps are specifically designed for roaches and are simple to place in areas where brown banded cockroaches may be hiding.
You can check these traps often to monitor infestations and even find out if you’re dealing with other pests as well.
Along with brown banded cockroaches, these glue traps will also capture pests like spiders, ants, and earwigs.
Combat Roach Killing Bait
Because the brown banded cockroach is such a hungry pest, it makes sense to use baited poisons to your advantage. The above roach bait by Combat is made with fipronil as the active ingredient. While this chemical can be dangerous for children and pets, the bait stations come in child-resistant packaging.
These stations are also ideal for smaller roaches like the brown banded cockroach and are effective on other species of small cockroach as well including German cockroaches.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
If you would prefer a more natural approach for how to get rid of the brown banded cockroach, we recommend investing in Diatomaceous Earth. Also known as DE, Diatomaceous Earth is a natural substance made of fossilized algae.
It works by penetrating the exoskeleton of pests like brown banded cockroaches and dehydrating them. This product is perfectly safe for people and pets and is simple to use and easy to clean up.
Simply sprinkle it around your home and in areas you have noticed brown banded cockroach activity, and vacuum it up once you are finished using it.
Advion Cockroach Gel Bait
Last, we have Advion Cockroach Gel Bait. This product includes several gel plungers to help reach areas where roaches like to hide, including cracks and crevices and in cupboards or along flooring.
This bait is commonly used not only in residential homes but also in schools, commercial buildings, restaurants, hospitals, and more. This product is especially ideal for severe infestations of brown banded cockroaches and works using the active ingredient Indoxacarb.
This product is not a natural roach control solution, however, and it can be harmful to children and pets. Be sure to store it safely and use it only as directed.
Best Products For Prevention Of Brown Banded Cockroaches
Preventing future roaches is often easier and less expensive than dealing with infestations.
Getting rid of brown banded cockroaches is tough and the process can even be costly. That’s why it’s best to focus on prevention as much as possible when it comes to a proper pest control routine.
Remember, cockroaches are common pests throughout the United States, and brown banded cockroaches, in particular, can be especially difficult to treat and get rid of. If you live in a region where brown banded cockroaches are prevalent, it’s important to implement routine pest control and prevention techniques year-round and to use some of the below products for prevention.
Ultrasonic Pest Repellent
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When it comes to keeping pests at bay, many people swear by ultrasonic pest repellents. These products work using ultrasonic sound waves and vibrations to repel pests like the brown banded cockroach.
The good news is that ultrasonic pest repellents are highly irritating to pests but they are harmless to people and pets. They work without the use of harsh chemicals, are environmentally friendly, and are effective against not only roaches but also spiders, ants, rodents, earwigs, flies, bats, and more.
Mighty Mint Roach Repellent
Another product that is child, pet, and environmentally friendly is Mighty Mint Roach Repellent. This spray is all-natural and made with concentrated essential oils that repel pests while leaving behind a pleasant, clean smell for people.
This product works well to keep a variety of roaches at bay. It can also help deter other pests like ants, spiders, and mice.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Control Spray
We also recommend using Wondercide, as this product comes in both an indoor and an outdoor solution. It is completely natural and works using plant-based ingredients like essential oils that are harmless to people, pets, and the environment.
Wondercide works to kill and repel pests like the brown banded cockroach, but it is also effective against other pests like spiders, ticks, fleas, gnats, mosquitoes, and flies. Best of all, there is no spray and wait time, and you can use this product confidently in areas where food is stored and prepared.
Home Remedies For Brown Banded Cockroach Removal
You can use essential oils as a natural remedy for getting rid of brown banded roaches.
Along with using some of the above products for how to get rid of the brown banded cockroach, you can also use home remedies and household ingredients for removal and prevention.
In fact, there are a number of common ingredients you may already have in your kitchen pantry or medicine cabinet that will not only repel the brown banded cockroach but a variety of pests inside the home.
Let’s start with essential oils.
Essential Oils For Repelling The Brown Banded Cockroach
Essential oils are often the key ingredient used in natural pest control products, and many of the above natural products listed contain essential oils that have been shown to work against pests.
However, not all essential oils will work for how to get rid of the brown banded cockroach, and it’s important you use the right oils in the right way for the best results.
Some of the best essential oils you can use to get rid of the brown banded cockroach include:
- Peppermint Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Cinnamon Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- And Citrus Oil
To use essential oils for how to get rid of pests, you can either make your own essential oil spray by combining two cups of water with 15 to 20 drops of the oil of your choice, or you can saturate cotton balls with essential oils and leave them around your home.
If you choose the spray method, it’s a good idea to spray in cabinets, below the kitchen sink, around furniture, and anywhere else you suspect roach activity. If you use the cotton ball method, place cotton balls in areas you suspect roaches to be lurking and replace them with freshly soaked cotton balls every two to three days.
Borax and Powdered Sugar
Borax is often used for household cleaning and laundry, but it’s also a common ingredient used for pest control. In its pure form, borax is relatively harmless to people and pets. However, when it comes into contact with water, borax expands.
You can use this to your advantage when it comes to getting rid of brown banded cockroaches. Simply mix borax with powdered sugar and leave it around areas you suspect roach activity.
The roaches will eat the bait. Then, when they later find a drink of water, the borax will expand in their stomach and kill them.
Instant potatoes work similarly to borax if you’re looking for a quick, safe way to eliminate roaches. You don’t even have to mix instant potatoes with anything, as the dry, starchy flakes are generally enticing to these roaches on their own.
Leave small piles of instant potatoes around your home for a safe and effective way to kill roaches.
Dish Soap And Water Spray
While dish soap and water may not be the most efficient way to eliminate a large number of brown banded cockroaches, it can kill these pests on contact one by one.
To make your own roach spray, combine several drops of liquid dish soap and two cups of water into a spray bottle. Mix the solution until it is sudsy and keep the product on hand to spray any brown banded cockroaches that come your way.
Liquid dish soap spray also works to kill pests like waspss, flies, mosquitoes, and ants on contact as well.
Tips On Keeping The Brown Banded Cockroach Away For Good
Keeping up with routine cleaning in your home can help prevent a number of pests, not just roaches.
As we mentioned briefly above, getting rid of roaches can be difficult once an infestation gets out of hand. This is why we always suggest staying on top of pest control by implementing a healthy routine and by sticking to good habits.
Ensuring you are one step ahead of common pests in your region will help not only prevent pest infestations from happening, but it can also help you get rid of them in a more cost-effective way if they do happen to get into your home.
For the best pest control methods for how to keep brown banded cockroaches from becoming a problem in the future, take a look at our expert tips and tricks below.
Refrain From Leaving Dirty Dishes In The Sink Over Night
First and foremost, it’s best to make your home the least hospitable you can to pests. This means cleaning up crumbs and food particles around your kitchen and refraining from leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
If you do need to leave dishes in the sink, experts recommend leaving them soaking under soapy water.
Keep Pet Food And Pantry Food Stored In Airtight Containers
Pet food can attract pests like the brown banded cockroach, rodents, ants, flies, and more. To avoid pest problems and to better keep your pet’s food fresh, it’s a good idea to get in a mealtime routine with your dog or cat.
When your dog or cat is not actively eating, experts recommend storing their food away in an airtight container.
The same should go for any pantry foods as well like cereal, sweets, crackers, and chips.
Store Your Garbage Properly
Garbage can be one of the main attractants for pests, so it’s important not only that you have a garbage bin with a lid, but also that you routinely take steps to ensure you are not leaving rotting foods in the bin overnight.
Along with investing in quality garbage bins and trash bags, you can also try spraying garbage with ammonia or peppermint oil overnight to help dull the scent of garbage and further deter pests.
Vacuum and Dust Frequently
Although the brown banded cockroach is known for living up high in our homes and in buildings, they often lay their eggs below furniture or appliances.
To prevent future infestations from occurring, be sure you’re diligent about vacuuming and sweeping under furniture. It’s also important to remove clutter and clean out cabinets often. Keep an eye out for telltale signs of the brown banded cockroach, and take steps to routinely clean areas they are known to potentially infest.
Inspect New Foods And Throw Out Any Infested Foods Immediately
One of the most common ways the brown banded cockroach gets into homes is through infested foods. This can occur at factories before your food even enters the grocery store where you purchase it.
Inspect foods carefully before you purchase them, and avoid purchasing foods that have holes or vulnerabilities in their packaging.
Do Not Bring In Second-Hand Furniture, Bedding, Or Drapery Without Checking It
Second-hand furniture can harbor not only brown banded cockroaches but also other pests like bed bugs.
Be sure to give second-hand furniture a thorough inspection before bringing it into your home.
Use A Pest Control Regiment Year-Round To Keep Roach Problems Under Control
Last but not least, be sure to use a routine pest control regiment you trust year-round. While some pests like brown banded cockroaches can be more common during certain seasons, they can infiltrate homes at any time of the year.
Ensuring you have a quality pest control regiment in place can stop infestations before they begin can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on how to get rid of the brown banded cockroach! We know dealing with pest invasions can be stressful, and we want to hear from you.
Which products and methods listed above have you tried for pest control in the past? Tell us what you think about getting rid of the brown banded cockroache in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.