Cockcroaches, Supella longipalpa, are among the most common of insects.  Fossil evidence indicates that cockroaches have been on earth for over 300 million years. They are highly adaptable and have adjusted to living with humans.

Approximately 3500 species of cockroaches exist worldwide with 55 species in the United States. The 4 most common species are the Brown-Banded, German, Oriental and American cockroaches.


Brown-banded cockroaches can be distinguished by their brownish, broad bands across the lower abdomen and at mid-abdomen. Adult males are about ½ “ long and light brown with fully developed wings, while the females are shorter & stouter and their wings do not cover the entire abdomen. Adult males can fly when disturbed.

The brown-banded cockroaches have three metamorphosis stages: egg, nymph and adult (ENA). Eggs are laid in egg cases, which are light reddish brown, approx ¼” long attached to furniture, draperies, wall decorations, shelving and the ceiling. Each case contains 16 eggs with females averaging 10-20 cases per lifetime. Egg stage lasts 37 to 103 days. Nymphal stage lasts 8 to 31 weeks. A female adult produces about 600 descendants per year. 


Cockroaches eat human food and nonfood items or contaminate them with saliva, fecal droppings, or glandular secretions that impart a persistent musty odor to infested areas.

Roaches are suspected of transmitting a variety of diseases but are most often implicated in the transmission of Salmonella, the causal agent of food poisoning.  Bacteria and protozoa carried on the legs and bodies of cockroaches can cause diseases such as gastroenteritis and diarrhea.

These cockroaches eat a variety of materials…glue, paste, starch, and color dyes….especially from animal-based materials.  Inspect stamps, envelopes, book bindings, draperies and wallpapers for feeding signs.   They often target nylon stockings which contain the residues of body oils and skin flakes.


It is difficult to keep cockroaches from entering the home via boxes, grocery bags and suitcases.  One of the key factors is sanitation.  Clean up spilled foods and do not leave dirty dishes overnight. Store items, such as cereal, crackers and cookies, in airtight containers.  Reduce harborage areas inside the dwelling in any room…caulk cracks, crevices around ducts and molding. 

Baits and dusts are common control measures used to eliminate cockroaches.

They prefer warm and dry locations such as refrigerator motors, upper cabinets, behind picture frames, beneath tables and chairs.

If you are suspecting a brown-banded cockroach control problem contact Critter Control of Seattle.