As a rule, these creatures – roaches I mean, lead an active nightlife in human accommodation and get out of their shelter only when you are asleep. Encountering a roach during the day is quite a rare case, that’s why you are perplexed about their fearlessness when you see a leisurely crawling roach during the day.
In this article we will tell you what they are, why they are not afraid of you and how to get rid of such “tourists”.
What are the Wood Roaches? Some Helpful Facts
The brave wood roaches are the roaches of Parcoblatta genus of the Blattellidae family. It consists of 12 species of native North American wood cockroaches, including the Pennsylvania wood roach, Virginia wood cockroach, western wood cockroach etc. Don’t be misguided by the geographical names of the species: they are spread either across the entire US or in a number of states (most often the ones that are located close to each other). Various kinds of wood roaches differ according to their size, color and the states they inhabit. Pennsylvania wood roach (Parcoblatta pennsylvanica) is the largest as it can reach 1-1.3/4 inches in length. Other species are substantially smaller; they are 0.5-1 inch long. The males of any species fly rather fast (although, they can’t fly) and females are completely deprived of this enjoyment.
Wood roaches aren’t household pests. They are outdoor-dwelling cockroaches: they infest rotten wood, and settle right under the bark and other moist places of the forest. If the conditions are favorable, they will never abandon their home forest, but in case of drought or lack of suitable food they set offin search of a better life in a house, located near the forest.
How Do Wood Roaches Enter the House?
Shelter search is a necessary measure for the wood roaches, and they will be grateful if you are the type of person that never turns off the light on the house porch. The males perceive a light bulb as a giant torch looming in the distance (the females usually stay back in the forest). Once they reach the porch, they fall and crawl inside under the door. That’sit, mission completed.
NB! Those homeowners who have wood sidings, wooden shingle roof (it is cedar that is especially preferred by the wood roaches) and who live near the woods are especially at risk.
The alternative scenario goes as follows: you can bring them into your house with infected rotten logs found in the woods or stored in the backyard for a long time. The light and dark-brown brown wood roaches perfectly imitate the wood, and thus you might not even notice them. As a result, these aliens would travel all around your house and you might encounter them not only in the living areas, but also inside the garage or near the gutter.
The Differences between the Wood Roaches vs Cockroaches
Once inside, a wood roach behaves differently from a regular cockroach, such as an American or oriental cockroach. According to the Iowa State University of Science and Technology specialists, “wood roaches are not secretive; they are active both during the day and at night and they are less likely to scamper out of sight when approached. Also, they will wander about the house without congregating in any particular location”. Furthermore, the entomologists calmly add that a wood roach infestation is temporary as unlike their pest cousins, they don’t breed indoors as only their type of their home moist woods environment is suitable for their breeding. Any wood cockroach that found itself indoors will make you nervous and will shuffle through the garbage or sink in search of something organic, but then it will inevitably die within a few days, as confirmed by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture entomologist Jeffrey K.
Wood roaches are temporary guest which would spoil neither the house nor the furniture and of course they wouldn’t think of biting anyone. Frankly speaking, this is a real relief. Still, the sight of these creatures isn’t inspiring, and it is necessary to get rid of them.
How to Get Rid Of Wood Roaches?
The good news is that the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources of University of Nebraska–Lincoln specialists have proven that since the wood roaches cannot breed indoors, there is no need in taking any special measures, like using artificial chemicals. Separate insects are easy to kill by simply stepping on them. However, if you don’t feel like getting your hands and feet dirty, all types of regular cockroach treatment (that can be found in our article How to kill roaches: 12 Best Traps, Poison Bait and Spray) will do.
Sticky traps are the cleanest method. Nowadays Trapper Insect Trap (Great for Bed Bugs, Spiders, Cockroaches, 90 traps are available for only ~$24.94) is considered to the best on the market and is rated 4.4 out of 5 stars. First of all, sticky traps are versatile and will lethally trap not only the wood roaches, but any other pest insects stuck inside, including small mice. Second, sticky traps are not poisonous and so you can feel free to use them at home around children and pets. In addition, the pack has so many traps that you can place them everywhere you need, and that is great, isn’t it? If you don’t need that many, you can use 12 ALAZCO Glue Traps for ~$9.84.
Later on, in order to avoid a relapse of the infestation of these nasty creatures, we recommend that you should follow these preventive rules:
- Don’t keep wooden logs in the house or outside near the front or back door. If possible, use a separate outbuilding;
- Have a wide lawn which will become an excellent barrier against the wood roaches which they won’t be able to pass, even by air;
- Keep the house (especially the kitchen and the bathroom) clean, take out the garbage more often;
- Tidy up the backyard, remove the sources of stagnant water and get rid of rotten wood;
- Seal all the cracks in the windows, walls and doors;
- Turn off the porch lights at night and use the door kick plates.
Although the wood roaches look extremely disgusting, just like all other roaches, they are actually far less harmful than the latter as they never hide at night and don’t fall on your face from the ceiling while you’re asleep. They are not difficult to get rid of if you keep your house and backyard clean, which not true for the most common pest cockroaches, which will endlessly attempt to conquer your warm and cozy house.
Are you familiar with the issue? If yes, then read all about the most effective pest cockroaches control methods in “How to get rid of roaches?”