Wood Roaches

Wood Roach Identification & How to Get Rid of Wood Roaches

Wood Roach Identification

Wood Roach
Pennsylvania wood roach
(Nebraska Extension)

Wood roaches are very similar in appearance to the American roach; flat, oval body, long antennae, spiny legs, chestnut brown color. They are slightly smaller than the American Cockroach, about 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch long.

The adults, especially the males, appear tan because of the color of their wings. Adults and large nymphs of the wood roach can be recognized by a pale, creamy white, or transparent stripe on their outer edge. The pale edge extends onto the first 1/3 of the front wings of the adults.

This picture shows the life cycle of Pennsylvania wood roach. It goes from egg case, to immature, then adult. You can see the distinct differences between male and female adults.

Woods Cockroach Control-How To Get Rid of Woods Roaches

1. Sanitation and Exclusion

The insecticides used with success against other cockroach species are of very limited benefit against wood roaches. Exclusion techniques that prevent wood roach entry should be considered.

2. Recommendations for Wood Roach Control

Since wood cockroaches do not establish themselves indoors and their presence is usually temporary (a few weeks during the spring), chemical control measures are not always needed.

If you are experiencing a larger or persistent infestation refer to Perimeter Insecticide Treatments.

Key Takeaway

Wood Roaches enter the structure for outside.

Exterior perimeter treatment is critical to keep them out.

Pest Control Products To Use For Wood Cockroaches

Insecticide Sprays:

Outdoor Building Treatment and Points of Entry and Inside Treatments

You may use concentrated residual spray: Avesta CS inside or outside.

Where to Spray Outside:

Spray outside around doors, windows, pipe openings, and dryer vents. These insecticides are microencapsulated or suspended concentrates and work well on difficult porous surfaces. Spray a 3-6 foot band around the entire house.

Where To Spray Inside:

Apply inside on the baseboards near the entry points (doors, windows, plumbing under sinks). On the inside, apply around the plumbing under the sinks and washer and dryer connections. You don't have to spray all the interior baseboards, just the corners, and baseboards inside the garage and basement areas. Recommended products are in the table below. They would require a pump sprayer.


The residual insecticides: Lambdastar Ultra Cap 9.7, D-Fense SC, and Cyzmic CS should be repeated every three months during the season. The top recommendation is Lambdastar Ultracap 9.7. It has an improved encapsulated formula to cause it to bond to surfaces better and holds up under ultraviolet light and rain longer.

Woods Roaches ‐ Prevention and Exclusion

Woods Roaches
Woods Roaches


The insecticides used with success against other cockroach species are of very limited benefit against wood roaches. Exclusion techniques that prevent wood roach entry should be considered.

  • Sealing any cracks, gaps or openings with caulking compound, putty or plastic wood.

  • Maintain tight fitting screens, doors and windows.

  • Store firewood piles far away from the house.

  • Try not to carry over large quantities of firewood from season to season to reduce potential breeding sites.

  • If practical, bring only enough firewood indoors for a day or two to prevent insects from later emerging in the house.

  • Avoid the use of unnecessary lights at night, since males fly to them during mating season. Females will crawl into areas around porch lights or yard lights, thus attracting numerous males.

  • Individual roaches found inside can be collected with a vacuum cleaner or a broom and dustpan and discarded.

  • Caulk all penetrations through ground level walls.

  • Stop water leaks, screen equipment overflow drains, and take overflow water away from buildings; keep drain traps full or capped.

  • Remove rotting leaves from window wells.

  • Move garbage cans out of preferred moist habitat.

  • It is not practical to treat firewood or other areas away from the dwelling because males can fly in from a distance. Also, to limit the risk of exposure to toxic chemical fumes when burning firewood, non-chemical preventive practices are preferred.

  • Occasionally, populations can build in crawl spaces under the house.

  • Insecticide control measures should concentrate on the outside of the building and points of entry. This control measure is called a "perimeter or barrier" treatment.

Wood Cockroach Diet

Wood roaches eat decaying organic material

Wood Roach Biology/ Habitats

These roaches are attracted to light which makes them different from other roaches. Females produce about 950 eggs a year, with one generation. Eggs hatch in the summer and mature the following spring. A life cycle can last two years. Adults are present May through early October.

These roaches do not survive inside buildings. In wooded areas, these cockroaches can be seen in the headlights of automobiles at dusk. The males are attracted to lights. They are active during the winter and are often found in firewood. They live in moist woodland areas. They do not come inside unless carried inside with firewood or they may wander in on their own. These roaches are not startled and begin scampering when approached. These outside roaches do not reproduce inside like the German roach. They need consistent moist conditions in their environment such as under decaying logs, woodpiles or loose bark. If they are inside, it is only a temporary condition.



Various Roaches That Invade Homes and Businesses

( American and German Roaches are the most common and have two different types of treatments.)

Small Roaches (German and Brown-Banded) 1/2"-1 " in the adult stage
Large Roaches (American, Australian, Oriental, Smokey Brown and Wood ) 1.5 " or longer in the adult stage
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