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Small Roaches: The Difference between German Roaches & Brown Banded Roaches

You might think all cockroaches are pretty much alike. But there are important differences when it comes to both the German cockroach and the Brown Banded cockroach.

These two are among the more common of small roach species in North America, and they’re often confused with one another. The misidentification is understandable considering they’re roughly the same size: The German cockroach generally reaches between a half and three-quarters of an inch in length while the Brown Banded cockroach almost never exceeds a half inch in length.

But knowing the differences between the two cockroach species can make huge difference in your strategy for effectively eliminating a cockroach infestation.


German cockroaches


• Have two longitudinal black stripes on the thoracic shield covering their heads
• They live and breed both indoors and out, and spawn in as little as 36 days
• Their population builds up faster than other cockroach species
• Adult German cockroaches can live up to a full year
• They are most active at night
• If seen during the day it is primarily due to pest overcrowding


Brown Banded cockroaches


• Have two light yellow bands across their backs
• They live and breed exclusively indoors and may take up to 160 days to reproduce
• Tend to dwell in high locations such as ceilings, high on walls, and behind picture frames
• Prefer warm, dry havens and can be found inside appliances and even electric motor housings
• Are most often transported in furniture
• Often found outside the kitchen

The key to an effective pest management strategy for killing both German cockroaches and Brown Banded cockroaches is proper sanitation, reducing clutter and removing sources of food and water by cleaning up spills and keeping food tightly sealed in plastic containers.

You’ll also want to place Combat® baits behind appliances or along the back of cabinets and baseboards inside pantries. You can also use Combat gel to seal small cracks and crevices that pests use as a way into your home. Combat baits and gels are effective because they eliminate pests at their source, wiping out the cockroach colony. Combat products remain on guard helping to ensure a cockroach problem won’t flare up again.

Explore the Combat® website for more great tips, advice and helpful information. And visit the Combat® video archive to learn more about Combat Baits and Gels.