There are four primary cockroach species that infest homes throughout the United States. These species are commonly known as America, German, Oriental and brown-banded cockroaches. In addition to these four species, several additional cockroach pests can be found in the southeast where the subtropical climate favors roach activity. For example, the non-native species commonly known as smokybrown cockroaches, Australian cockroaches, and Surinam cockroaches can only be found in the Gulf Coast states. Periplaneta brunnea is another non-native cockroach species that can only be found in tropical and subtropical locations including Louisiana. This species is more commonly known as the “brown cockroach,” and its relatively large size can be unsettling to homeowners who find these pests indoors.
The brown cockroach is similar to the American cockroach in both appearance and behavior, but only the latter can be found throughout the country. Adult brown cockroaches are between 1.5 and 2 inches in length, and are reddish-brown in color. Much like American cockroaches, brown cockroaches possess a yellowish band directly behind their head on their upper back, but unlike American cockroaches, brown cockroach wings do not extend beyond their abdomen. Although the American cockroach is the second most commonly managed roach species within homes and buildings in the US, the brown cockroach is a surprisingly more common pest of homes in certain areas of the south. This may be due to the unusually rapid rate at which brown cockroaches proliferate in moist and humid conditions in the south.
The brown cockroach egg case, or “ootheca” is 12 to 16 mm long, and they are 5.2 mm longer than the average ootheca produced by female American cockroaches. The number of eggs within a brown cockroach ootheca varies from 21 to 28, and eggs develop into adults within 339 to 360 days, far shorter than the American cockroach life cycle. Female brown cockroaches use a frothy white oral secretion to paste their eggs to walls within protected locations, such as dark and moist harborages, beneath sinks, behind appliances, in basements, and within wall voids in bathrooms and kitchens. Initially, an ootheca appears brown in color, but they become progressively darker with age.
Have you ever found a cockroach egg case within your home?