There are three cockroach pest species that can be found within homes and buildings in Maine. The American cockroach may be the most recognizable due to its standard 2 inch body length, but the German cockroach is by far the most commonly encountered cockroach species in Maine households. Both the brown-banded cockroach and the German cockroach grow to be only a half inch in body length, and both of these species can live out their entire lives within a home or building, and this is what the roaches aim to do. The brown-banded cockroach is known for infesting one house after another in neighborhoods, and eradicating these domestic cockroaches is easier said than done since they infest all types of homes, not just unsanitary homes where food can easily be found.

The brown-banded cockroach looks exactly like the German cockroach, as their body sizes and shapes are comparable, but the brown-banded species has two brown pronotal stripes. Since the brown-banded and German cockroach species both inhabit structures for life, making them “domestic” roach species, these two cockroaches are considered a major source of indoor allergens. Cockroach-allergens can take the form of roach excrement, roach skin-castings and many other roach byproducts. Cockroaches are believed to cause some cases of asthma, and the mere presence of cockroaches within a home is enough to induce allergic symptoms such as wheezing, eye-irritation, sneezing and runny nose.

Since the brown-banded and the German cockroach are both domestic species, it is not easy to eradicate these pests from homes. It is especially difficult to eradicate domestic roaches from apartments, condominiums and dormitories because the successful removal of all roach pests depends on the mutual cooperation of multiple people sharing a structure. Since brown-banded cockroaches prefer warm environments, areas that are warmed by electric equipment, such as behind a refrigerator, should be inspected carefully for the pests. Researchers have recently found success with a biological roach control method that sees parasitic wasps wiping out brown-banded cockroach pests within homes and buildings.

Have you ever found multiple roach species within your home?