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How Did Brown-Banded Cockroaches Arrive In Arizona

A Giant Hairy Scorpion native to Arizona climbing on a cactus.

How Did Brown-Banded Cockroaches Arrive In Arizona Where They Are Not Native, And How Can These Roach Pests Be Controlled Within Infested Homes?

Brown-banded cockroaches are a common roach pest throughout the United States, and especially in the south, but they do not originate in this country. Experts are not completely certain what country they originated from.  One expert suggests they likely came from Africa, but it is possible they were also brought into the U.S. from Cuba in 1903. Other records in Europe indicate it may have been introduced to the country after WWII around the late 1940s or early 1950s when soldiers returned home, unknowingly carrying the pests with them on their journeys back across the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. While it is now distributed all over the country, the brown-banded cockroach prefers relatively high temperatures, making Arizona an appealing place to live.

The brown-banded cockroach has a tendency to spread out their population throughout an entire home, earning it the nickname the “furniture cockroach”. This includes the more obvious locations such as the kitchen, as well as other areas that do not contain food like bedrooms, behind pictures hanging on the walls, and under tables. They particularly prefer to settle in higher locations in a house, hence why they can be found behind pictures high up on walls. They are smaller cockroaches, and are one of the cockroaches that are considered domestic, as they spend most of their time living indoors with humans. Unfortunately, they can negatively affect human health since they are a major source of allergens and especially problematic for those individuals with asthma.

Because brown-banded cockroaches are considered a domestic cockroach, it is best to use an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to eliminating infestations. Brown-banded cockroaches prefer warmer environments, so areas like small crevices, storage cabinets, and any electronic equipment are important to check. Bait traps (both gel and stations) are ideal for controlling the living cockroaches currently scuttling across your floor. You will want to check them every month until the population of cockroaches decreases and make sure to put fresh bait in any empty traps. Making certain structural modifications that could make your home less inviting and accessible to cockroaches such as filling in any cracks and crevices in walls is another important step in dealing with brown-banded cockroach infestations. If an infestation is too heavy, it might be necessary to use insecticides, the use of a combination of liquid insecticide and an insect growth regulator placed in cracks and crevices is generally the most effective method. If all else fails, then it is time to call in the pest control professionals.

Have you ever had to deal with an infestation of brown-banded cockroaches?

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