Brown-banded Cockroach


Actual Size: 5/16 – 5/8″

Characteristics: Brown with pronounced banding across wings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Congregate in warm areas, often in closets or heat-generating appliances


  • One female brown-banded cockroach can produce 600 young in her lifetime
  • Completely dependent on human habitats for survival
  • Prefers higher elevations and often found in upper cabinets of kitchens and bathrooms

Brown-banded Cockroaches in Wisconsin

The name “brown-banded cockroach” comes from the pronounced bands of color across the wings of adults and bodies of nymphs. This cockroach is similar to the German cockroach with its small size and body shape but can be distinguished by its lack of two dark stripes. They eat glue and paste as well as materials with high starch contents or color dyes, so they are often found nibbling on stamps, envelopes, books, and wallpaper. They will also eat other pantry items. Brown-banded roaches are obligatory domestic roaches, which means they do not live outside and rely solely on conditions created in our homes and buildings for survival.

Brown-banded Cockroach Habitat or Environment

Brown-banded cockroaches mostly stay on the ground but may fly in very warm climates. Primarily active at night, they prefer warm, humid environments in ceilings, attics, and inside and around appliance motors. Because of their lower water needs, they can be found in any room, including kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and closets. The brown-banded cockroach is sometimes referred to as the “furniture cockroach” because it is distributed evenly throughout households, including non-food locations, such as bedrooms, under chairs and tables, and behind pictures and other objects on walls. The female cockroach lays eggs in a protective capsule which contains an average of 13 eggs. After carrying the capsule around on her abdomen for about 30 hours, the female deposits the egg capsule to a wall, ceiling, or protected area.

Brown-banded Cockroach Behaviors & Dangers

Brown-banded cockroaches are not aggressive and do not bite. These roaches reproduce at an alarming rate and one female can produce up to 600 young in her lifetime. Brown-banded cockroaches are known to spread at least 33 different kinds of bacteria, making them a concern for any homeowner. Foraging cockroaches can be vectors of disease, depositing germs or bacteria in areas they inhabit and causing asthma attacks in some people sensitive to cockroach allergens. E. coli and Salmonella are both commonly spread by brown-banded cockroaches and can cause gastroenteritis and diarrhea. If you notice these roaches in or near your property, contact your local cockroach exterminators.