Brown-banded Cockroach

Actual Size: 5/16 to 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


  • Extremely quick reproduction rate that makes infestations very large.
  • Lives indoors, completely dependent on human habitats for survival.
  • Prefers higher elevations and often found in upper cabinets of kitchens and bathrooms.

Brown-banded Cockroaches in Vermont

Brown-banded roaches receive their name from their unique bodies. They have pronounced bands of color across their wings and on the nymph bodies. In North America, the brown-banded cockroach is thought to be present in most states and lives in buildings that maintain relatively high temperatures. 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.

Similar to German cockroaches, the brown-banded roach is a domestic roach. This means they are completely dependent on human activity for survival. This is why they are a common household roach, especially here in the Vermont area. Brown-banded cockroaches feed on a variety of materials including human food, starches, dyes, glue, books, stamps, and clothing.

Brown-banded Cockroach Habitat

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. Brown-banded cockroaches prefer warmth and tend to be found up and away from the floor in closets or in heat-generating appliances. Brown-banded cockroaches are good climbers and can be active at night and during the day. Females seek out warm, dark places where they can attach their yellowish-brown egg capsules, and prefer walls, ceilings, tables, bedding or furniture.

Brown-banded Cockroach Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

These roaches are not known to be aggressive or bite often. The main danger with brown-banded cockroaches is the fact that they can reproduce and spread so quickly. In fact, 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 think you have these roaches in your home, it’s important to contact a professional cockroach exterminator for help.