Despite a few false starts, we really are heading into colder weather. This means that pest pressure is decreasing and, in a short while, we can expect fewer encounters with our six-legged neighbors. Well, fewer encounters with most of them anyway. Why don’t we talk today about another species of roach since those are the sorts of pests we can expect to encounter all year long here in Knoxville and all of East Tennessee.
Previously, we’ve talked about German cockroaches, which have incredible breading power and can make a mess of a home pretty quickly. Today, we’ll have a look at brown banded cockroaches. Like so many other pests, brown banded roaches aren’t native to this area. They’re probably from Africa, but they’ve been in the U.S. for well over 100 years and have spread across the whole country. Believe me, any creature that can survive in Maine is not going to be dismayed by an East Tennessee winter!
Brown banded roaches can range in color from a yellowy brown to quite a dark brown. They are distinguished by the brown bands on their backs that are visible even through their wings. Yes, like all roaches they do have wings, but, unlike German roaches, brown banded roaches can use their wings. Although flying isn’t their preferred method of transportation, it’s still a viable option for them.
Most of the time, when you see roaches in a home, they are almost certainly centered in a room that has water access because roaches tend to be moisture-dependent creatures. This could mean that they have a nest in a bathroom or (even more likely) the kitchen, though they may also have set up shop in a less obvious room with a moisture problem like a water leak. Brown banded roaches, however, are not nearly so water dependent as their fertile cousins. In fact, you are just as likely to find them in a perfectly dry room of the house. If you have an inexplicable roach problem in your living room or a bedroom, there’s a good chance brown banded roaches could be the culprit.
A prime source for a brown banded roach infestation is actually corrugated cardboard. They love to lay eggs in the creases of the cardboard. If you have an unexpected roach problem when nothing else around your house has changed, consider whether you’ve received any packages recently and whether the box was disposed of quickly. There’s a chance the roaches rode in with your mail.
In general, roaches are a pain in the thorax to get rid of, and brown banded roaches can be even more frustrating since potential nesting sites for them could be spread all across the house. Step one in eliminating them will be to locate that nest if you can. You should be on the hunt for egg capsules, which are small, flesh-covered parcels that will be stuck to undisturbed areas in closets, drawers or cabinets. When you find where they’re laying eggs, you’re closer to solving the problem. Of course, baits are generally a good idea with roaches since they are such avid eaters. If you contact Russell’s Pest Control, we can also do crack and crevice treatments to get at the roaches where they’re nesting instead of waiting for them to cross over a treatment product. Just let us know if you need us!