The brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa, is a small species of cockroach, measuring about 5â„8 in long. It is tan to light brown. It has two light-colored bands across the wings and abdomen; they may sometimes appear to be broken or irregular but are quite noticeable. The bands may be partly obscured by the wings. The male has wings that cover the abdomen, while the female has wings that do not cover the abdomen completely. The male appears more slender than the female, the female appears wider.
The brown-banded cockroach has a fairly wide distribution, being found in the northeastern, southern, and Midwest regions of the United States quite commonly. They can often be found in homes and apartments, but are less common in restaurants. They tend not to be found in the daytime, since they avoid light.
Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Germs that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse water, or just sunlight and air.