Brown-banded cockroaches are about ½-inch long when mature, light brown to brown, and have two light, yellow-brown bands running across their bodies; hence, their common name. The pronotum (i.e., shield like segment behind the head) has a dark brown area, which is shaped, like a liberty bell. Females are darker in color and broader than males, and their wings cover only three-quarters of their abdomens. Wings of the male completely cover their abdomens. The colored bands are much easier to see on nymphs because they lack wings to obscure them. The purse shape egg capsule (i.e., ootheca) is light brown, approximately ¼-inch long, slightly bowed, and typically has seven to nine eggs per side.
During her lifetime, the female brown-band cockroach produces about 14 egg capsules each of which contains from 14 to 18 eggs. The female carries the egg capsule for 24 to 36 hours, then, using secretions from her mouth, attaches it to protected areas, e.g., underside of shelves and furniture and inside televisions and other appliances. Nymphs emerge in about 70 days and molt six to eight times before becoming adults. This requires 90 to 276 days. The adult live about six months.
Brown-banded cockroaches prefer a warmer and drier environment than do German cockroaches. Thus, they are not nearly so common in houses. They are found throughout structures, preferring hiding places up off the floor, e.g., behind crown molding, pictures, tapestries and other wall hangings, and in closets, furniture, appliances, computers, and telephones.