Brown Banded Cockroach

The small, domestic brown-banded cockroach is the most well-known in its genus due to its invasiveness. It owes its name to the two light brown bands on its body. As they avoid daylight, they are primarily found in the nighttime. They prefer warm and dry environments.

Scientific Classification

  • Class:Insecta
  • Order:Blattodea
  • Family:Ectobiidae
  • Genus:Supella
  • Species:S. longipalpa

Conservation Status

Not EvaluatedNE

Not Evaluated

Data DeficientDD

Data Deficient

Least ConcernLC

Least Concern

Near ThreatenedNT

Near Threatened





Critically EndangeredCR

Critically Endangered

Extinct in the wildEW

Extinct in the wild




Supella longipalpa

The size of the brown-banded cockroach is 10-14 mm. The body color is tan to light brown, with a couple of light-colored bands across the abdomen and wings. The lines may sometimes appear irregular or broken but are quite distinct. They may be partly hidden by the wings. The wings of the male cover the abdomen entirely, while that of the female don’t. The males are also slenderer than the females of the species.

Distribution: The southern, northeastern, and Midwest regions of the US form its range. In recent times, they have been found in Ireland and Britain.

Brown Banded Cockroach Picture

Habitat: Living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms of homes and apartments.    

Do They Bite/Sting: No.

Lifespan: Around 7 months.

Predators: Toads, frogs, spiders, beetles, mice, shrews, and birds like starlings and chickens.

Behavior and Characteristics


It feeds on trash, drapes, boxes, food items, and things with high starch content, like book bindings and wallpaper glue. Dyes, pastes, envelopes, and even other cockroach species also form its diet.

Life Cycle

Brown Banded Cockroach Eggs

1. Egg Stage

Around 14 egg capsules or cases are laid by a female in its life, each containing 10-18 eggs. The size of an egg case (ootheca) is 5 mm, and its color is reddish or yellowish brown.

2. Nymph Stage

Brown Banded Cockroach Nymph

A nymph has a couple of light-colored bands behind the posterior edge of the mesonotum (the 2nd thoracic segment) and the dorsal side of the first few abdominal segments. It passes through 6-8 instars.

3. Adult Stage

The males fly on being disturbed while the females can’t fly. The females carry the fully developed egg cases at the tips of their abdomens for 24-36 hours, allowing them to harden before depositing them on coarse surfaces like sand or cardboard.

Comparison with Similar Species

German Cockroach

The German cockroach, Blattella germanica, resembles the brown-banded cockroach in shape and size but has two dark pronotal stripes that are absent in the latter.

Getting Rid of Brown-Banded Cockroaches

An infestation can be a major issue as the roaches pick up many germs on their bodies when they pass over sewage or decaying matter. They transfer them to food, spreading pathogens, and are also a source of allergens. Structural modifications like caulking crevices and cracks and setting up baiting traps can go a long way in controlling their population. Insecticides can be used in case of heavy infestations.


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