Sunday , April 21 2024
Wood Roach Vs. Cockroach

Wood Roach Vs. Cockroach; Differentiating Between Roaches

There are many cockroaches, and most people don’t know the first thing about them since they mostly live in different places. 

Sometimes we see smaller roaches like the German cockroach and confuse them for young American roaches. 

Roaches live in different environments, and they can be beneficial if you establish the differences between them.

Let us get into the details of the differences between wood roaches and cockroaches to see if they can positively impact you.

Wood Roach Vs. Cockroach

There are many roaches, and you need to know how to differentiate between them. We are focusing on differentiating between wood roaches and other species of cockroaches for you to see if they can be a problem for you.

Both wood roaches and cockroaches eat decaying matter, but as the name suggests, wood roaches prefer leaves, bark, and wood, in other words, outdoors. This is but one of the differences, let us get into more and set the two apart;

1. Their Appearance 

The appearance is the first difference to come to mind since the roaches can live in the same environments in some cases. Wood roaches are light brown or beige, while other cockroaches are dark brown or red.

Wood roaches are also smaller than other roaches like the American roach, so if you see a small brown roach outside, chances are it is a wood roach. 

Even wood roach nymphs have different colors from Oriental, German, and American cockroach nymphs.

Male wood roaches have wing buds, and you can use them to differentiate them from regular roaches since they only develop wings in their final molt. Female wood roaches don’t have wings, but some have barely noticeable wing bands.

2. Breeding

Wood roaches make their breeding spaces inside loose wood piles and tree barks, away from human contact. 

They have a specific mating season between May and June, and they don’t reproduce for the rest of the year.

Regular roaches can breed any time of the year, and they prefer to do it in warm crevices like inside electronics or behind large objects.

They will often build the nest close to humans, making it easier for the new generation to get food.

3. Habitat

Wood roaches prefer to live in the woods, ending up in houses by accident. If they get the chance, wood roaches will go back into the wild and where they are comfortable. The main reason wood roaches avoid human homes is the lack of moisture.

Wood roaches need a lot of humidity to survive, and human homes won’t give that; thus, they won’t form a colony in your home. 

They prefer fallen logs or wood outdoors with enough water; hence they won’t seek out human dwellings.

Other roach species like the German cockroach love indoor environments because they prefer the heat over humidity. 

Humans have electronics and heating elements in their homes; thus, they create a perfect environment for roaches to live.

Therefore, they will seek out human houses and create colonies behind your closets and inside large electronics like TVs, Fridges, and so on.

4. Light Sensitivity 

A regular cockroach prefers to operate in the cover of darkness. Light does not harm it directly, but it knows you can easily detect it under the bright light, so it will wait for the dark before it goes out of hiding to find food. 

Wood roaches are like moths; they get attracted to light, so they will not shy from walking around during the day. 

They can come to your porch light or accidentally end up in your house because you have the lights in and open a window.

All cockroaches will flee when you flicker the light since they will take it as a sign of danger. However, cockroaches will avoid light at all; they will sit in the dark until all the lights are off before they come out of hiding.

5. Extermination 

Wood roaches are not a problem since they live in the woods and mind their business. As such, there isn’t a lot of research into their physiology and creating pesticides to kill them.

This means that common insecticides will not work as effectively in them as it does on other roaches, and it might be harder to kill them. 

They also haven’t had many pesticides, so they aren’t as adapted as regular indoor roaches, so targeted poisons will kill them.

The best way to get rid of wood roaches is to deny them food and water, so they go outdoors to look for it; they won’t come back once they leave. 

For regular roaches, the lack of food will drive them to cannibalism, and the colony will wipe itself out.

How To Keep Wood Roaches Out Of Your House

Getting roaches out of your house is near impossible, so the best thing you can do is to avoid getting them in your house, to begin with.

It would be best to employ measures to keep roaches out, whether you live in an apartment complex or out in the suburbs.

Wood roaches instinctively prefer outdoor environments, so they won’t go through too much trouble to get into your house. Here are some ideas you can try to keep the roaches out of your house and avoid an infestation;

1. Keep the house clean

Wood roaches are attracted to decomposing food substances, so they will be attracted to dirty places. 

Cleaning your house will eliminate all the roach’s potential food sources so the little buggers won’t have any reason to come into your home.

Take all your trash out every day, so you don’t spend the night in a house with food remains. Clean the dishes as soon as possible and store any leftovers in sealed containers. It is also important to look at the trash cans outside.

Keep their surroundings clean and put all the trash inside the cans, not around them. Keep it as far away from your house to prevent any roaches that visit it from getting into the house. This will deny wood roaches food, so they remain in the woods.

2. Use insecticides on potential entry points

You will need to use a pesticide that works on roaches and many other insects to give it the highest chance of killing the roaches. 

Use a pesticide that will have an extended effect period of at least 45 days, so it kills as many as possible and deters the rest.

Apply the perimeter treatment around your wall and its surfaces to kill any roaches approaching your house. Spray any entry points with the pesticide; these include doors, windows, vent openings, and other crevices.

Remember to keep any pets and children away from the area until the pesticide dries off and avoid overlapping this with another treatment since they might be self-destructive when used together.

3. Be wary of the wood you use

If you have an indoor fireplace that uses wood, you need to be careful about the wood you use in it. 

Wood roaches love woodpiles since they offer both food and shelter; thus, there is a significant chance that the roaches will create a colony in the wood.

When you bring the wood into your house, the roaches will get out of the wood and hide in your furniture, which will cause an unintentional infestation. To avoid this, treat the wood and make sure you inspect it before taking it into your house. 

Also, try to keep the wood away from your house or in a separate, dry location. Wood roaches like moist places, so a dry well-organized barn will not be an ideal place for them to colonize. 

4. Using roach traps

Wood roaches primarily live outdoors, so they are not good at surviving indoors. Therefore, you can get rid of them more easily than German or American roaches. 

Roach traps are one of the most effective ways to deal with roaches, especially in small colonies.

Wood roaches will move even in places with light, and males will look for light sources, making setting the traps much easier. You should be able to get rid of a wood roach colony in a couple of days. 

5. Close potential entry points

Wood roaches will move from the trees and come into your house, so the best way to keep them out is to block all points they could use to get into your house. 

Make sure you close the windows in all empty rooms and the door to your backyard when there isn’t any activity there.

Don’t leave your windows open at night unless you have a mesh to keep insects out. Seal any cracks on your wall or add gauzes over them to keep the roaches from going into them.


Wood roaches are not as annoying as regular roaches since they try to keep their distance from humans. They are smaller and prefer to live in the woods with enough food and humidity, but they could accidentally wander into human houses. 

The best way to deal with cockroaches is to keep them out of your house. Use insecticides to deter them and ensure your house isn’t hospitable for them, so you don’t get infested.

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