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Brown Banded Cockroach

Summary: The Brown Banded cockroach is one of the smaller cockroaches around.  But, what it lacks in size it makes up in numbers.  Brown Banded cockroaches hitchhike their way into our homes and our lives.

The Brown Banded Cockroach is one of the smaller cockroaches coming in at about a one-half inch long, but what it lacks in size it makes up in numbers. Originating in the Nile Valley region in Africa, the Brown Banded Cockroach spread out to inhabit every continent except Antarctica, pestering humans for thousands of years. Yes, it's true; the Brown Banded cockroach will crash a party or two, invading homes, hotels, and apartments, leaving bigger, industrial properties to its larger cousin the American cockroach. 

The Brown Banded's favorite method of infiltration is to stowaway through incoming packages and furniture.  These guys scatter when you turn on a light, but if you pay attention to where they run you are on your way to mitigate a potential massive infestation. We'll touch on that later, because now I will describe to you the wonderful world of Brown Banded cockroaches: Location: your house.

An adult Brown Banded is light to glossy dark brown in color.  The name derives from the two lighter bands they have running horizontally across their darker brownish bodies.  The females usually carry around their eggs in something that looks like a purse, for about a day or two until they find a nice cozy place to stick this purse, usually tucked underneath furniture.  Pleasant thought! Next time you stretch out on your sofa, you may not be alone!  Each egg case carries about 16 eggs and on average, a female will make 10-20 egg cases in a lifetime. Moreover, the Brown Banded cockroach isn't like other cockroaches. They don't need damp moist places to hide and reproduce, meaning the infestation can pervade every corner of your house. And, you thought your in-laws were bad enough!

So, now that you have gotten acquainted, I can tell you how to control and destroy them. Sound fun?  Prevention is the best method to ensure you don't have extra squatters to account for. Since the Brown Banded cockroach is a hitchhiker, it is important to inspect furniture, clothing snacks, boxes and the like, when they are brought into your home.  Just pretend that you work customs on the border and these suckers are carrying nasty pathogens. And, they usually are. Even with the Brown Banded cockroach's preferred method of intrusion, prudence still demands that you seal cracks and openings with putty or plastic wood. 

They are glutinous, as well. The Brown Band will eat anything organic. Books, glue, any starchy material, heck, even nylon stockings.  Therefore, diligent sanitation methods are crucial.  Eliminating left out food, cleaning clutter spaces, disposing of old journals is a start. But, if you really want to terminate the Brown Banded cockroach, other measures must be taken as well.

One especially effective method of extermination is Boric Acid Powder. Boric acid is generally considered to be safe to use in household kitchens.  What's great about this method is that it is easy to produce in your very own home. Homemade roach bait can be made by dissolving 1 teaspoon powdered boric acid and 10 teaspoons sugar into 2 cups of water. This mixture is absorbed into cotton balls left near places that the cockroach will traverse. With a little luck, the boric acid will be carried back into the roaches nest, decimating or even completely wiping out the nest. (Note: This method of extermination only applies to the roaches, not the in-laws.)
Don't like that idea? Fair enough! There are other mehods to dispose your enemy . You could always try pyrethrins.  Pyrethrins are neroutoxins that attack the nervous systems of all insects. Even when present in amounts not fatal to insects, they still appear to have a repellent effect. Houshold sprays of 1% pyrethrins applied to cockroach hidding places should be suffiecent enough to flush out roaches, if not killing them outright.

Another cool strategy in roach management is silica aerogel. This dust causes death by dehydration from absorbing and eroding the waterproof layer of wax on the roach's body. The CIA has nothing on pest control processionals! Implementation of this wicked device is easy. Simply apply the dust in cracks, crevices and void areas (under refrigerators, sinks, etc.) that are not readily accessible to children or pets. Do not apply to food or dishes. Be careful not to use this dust in damp or wet areas, or effectiveness will be reduced. Hey! And, do not wash your face and body with this stuff should you suddenly be overcome with a frantic bout of Parasitosis. (See Cool Stuff)  Apply silica gel only in a layer just thick enough to be seen. Repeat applications as needed. The only drawback is that both aero gel and boric acid powder are slow acting, which is a negative considering the Brown Banded cockroach is not.

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