Wood roaches, though not prevalent household invaders, need to be identified accurately.
Let’s address the query, “What does a wood roach look like?” and understand their distinctive features.
What does a Wood Roach look like?
Wood roaches have flat, oval bodies that let them slip into small places, like cracks in tree bark or little nooks.
They are a reddish-brown to dark brown color.
One thing you’ll notice is their six long legs with tiny hairs and their long feelers, or antennae.
Most wood roaches are between 0.75 inches (19 millimeters) and 1.25 inches (32 millimeters) long.
Males and females look different.
Males have long wings and can fly, but females have shorter wings or just tiny wing bits, so they can’t fly.
Females also look a bit different – they’re smaller, shinier, and a darker shade than males.
A cool way to spot an adult wood roach is by looking for a light stripe on the side of their body.
This stripe goes all the way to their front wings, making them stand out.
Wood roach life cycle
In the warm days of summer, especially in May and June, wood roaches begin making families.
They find a partner and then choose a soft, old log in the woods to live in.
They’ll stay in this log for a long time and it’s where they raise their babies.
A mama wood roach lays lots of eggs, between 50 to 100, inside the log.
She keeps these eggs in a safe case and holds them on her belly until she’s ready to put them down.
Wood roach Egg
During warm months, females produce eggs.
These eggs have a safeguarding capsule, carried on the female’s abdomen before being placed.
Wood roach Nymph
In this phase, nymphs without wings appear from the eggs.
Resembling mini adult females, they take refuge under tree barks or similar shelters in winter.
By summer, they undergo molting and mature into adults.
Wood roach Adults
Adults can live for several months based on their surroundings.
The entire life cycle of a wood roach spans more than a year.
Habitat of Wood Roaches?
Wood roaches are found in many parts of the world.
In the US, they live in states like Pennsylvania and Virginia.
They love the outdoors and like living in wet forests.
There, they often stay in old, fallen logs, whether they’re from big trees or small ones.
You might also see them where plants break down and rot.
For example, if your rain gutters are full of old leaves or if you have piles of wood, leaves, or loose tree bark near your house, wood roaches could be close.
They really like wet places.
So, you might find them in wet parts of your house like the basement or garage, or places where you store wood, or even under big trees.
If you live in a place with lots of trees, you might see more wood roaches than in places with fewer trees.
Indicators of Wood Roach Presence
Wood roaches are different from the regular cockroaches you might find in homes.
They act in ways that make them easy to spot.
Unlike other roaches, wood roaches aren’t shy.
They move around both day and night, and they won’t scamper off or hide if you come close.
Instead of sticking together, they wander alone.
Another thing to remember is that wood roaches can’t start families inside your house.
They really need wet places outside, like piles of wood or logs that are breaking down.
If you see them in your house, they’re probably just visitors.
They won’t stay long, especially if they can’t find water.
In fact, they might only last a few days without enough dampness.
So, while they might surprise you, they’re not usually a long-term problem.
Reasons for Wood Roach Infiltration?
Wood roaches don’t usually want to be inside your home.
They’re not the typical roaches that invade houses.
Most of the time, they end up indoors by mistake.
One way this happens is when people bring firewood inside, not knowing there are wood roaches hiding in it.
Another reason they might come close to your house is because of bright outdoor lights, like the ones on your porch.
They get drawn to the light and might accidentally find their way inside.
So, while they don’t mean to be indoor pests, sometimes they just end up there.
Read more Do roaches eat clothes?
Health Implications of Wood Roaches
Wood roaches are mostly harmless insects that don’t typically pose threats to our homes. They neither make us sick nor bite or sting.
However, they can be a nuisance. Distinctively, unlike other roaches, wood roaches are not timid.
They are active both day and night, and unlike their counterparts, they prefer solitude over gathering in groups.
They can’t have babies in our homes.
They love wet places like wood stacks or old logs.
If they end up inside your house, they won’t live long without water.
If you bring wood inside, you might bring a roach with it.
Or, they might come in because they see outdoor lights.
But they don’t often come inside on their own.
Some individuals might exhibit allergic reactions to wood roaches, triggered by substances like their saliva, droppings, or shed skin.
However, the silver lining is that, unlike certain pests, wood roaches aren’t known to transmit harmful diseases.
So, if they pop in for a visit, at least they won’t make you sick.
Assessment of Wood Roach Behavior?
Wood roaches distinguish themselves from typical household pests.
They are not fans of indoor living, primarily because they thrive in the damp conditions of woodlands.
If you do spot them inside your house, they’re likely just confused or looking for some shelter.
They’re not trying to move in permanently.
Male wood roaches can become a noticeable presence, particularly when they swarm during mating season.
However, rest assured, they won’t damage your belongings or create a mess in your home.
Potential for Wood Roach Bites
The reassuring fact is that wood roaches are largely benign.
They won’t resort to biting or stinging.
However, be aware that remnants such as their droppings, shed skin, or other excretions might trigger allergies in some, particularly among children.
Even though they aren’t dangerous, it’s always good to be careful if you or your family members are allergy-prone.
How to Get Rid of Wood Roaches in house
To ensure your home is not invaded by wood roaches, here are some simple measures you should implement:
- Block Their Entry: Make sure your home’s entrances, like doors and windows, are sealed tightly. Check for any small gaps or cracks in walls or places where wires and pipes come in. Sealing these up can prevent wood roaches from sneaking in.
- Watch Your Lights: During their busy mating time, usually from May to June, male wood roaches love lights. To keep them away, you might want to cut down on using outdoor lights at night. If you do need lights, yellow ones are less tempting for these bugs than white ones.
- Mind Your Firewood: It’s a good idea to store firewood outside and away from the house. Before bringing any wood inside, give it a good shake or brush to clear off any hitchhiking bugs.
- Think About Spraying: Some sprays can help keep wood roaches from coming in. Just remember, spraying firewood directly isn’t the best idea for safety reasons. Plus, treatments that work on other roaches might not work on wood roaches.
- Clear Them Out: If you see wood roaches indoors, just pick them up and toss them out. Using a fly swatter or vacuum works too.
- Tidy Up Outside: Clear out plant waste from places like rain gutters, and clean up any leaf piles, old wood, or other yard clutter. These can be perfect spots for wood roaches to hang out. And make sure there isn’t a bunch of plant junk close to your home’s entrances or its foundation.
- Control the Moisture: Since wood roaches love moisture, using a dehumidifier, especially in places like basements, can make your home less inviting to them.
Read more Does soapy water kill roaches? How to Use It Effectively?
In wrapping up, understanding “What does a wood roach look like” is paramount to ensure a pest-free living space.
Also, don’t forget to explore more enlightening articles from Pestweek to fortify your knowledge on keeping unwanted critters at bay.
Calina Mabel has over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism and communications. Currently, Calina Mabel is the Content Writer for categories such as Cockroach, Ants, Bed Bugs, Mosquito, Rodent, Termite, and Flies on Pestweek.com. She aims to build content for these categories with a focus on providing valuable and accessible information to readers, in order to create the world’s largest knowledge community about Pests.
All content written by Calina Mabel has been reviewed by Emily Carter.