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Wood Roaches vs Other Cockroaches: Differences

Out of 4500 species of cockroaches, wood roaches have some different and unique qualities than other cockroaches. Although they may appear the same, let me tell you that there are a lot of differences that need to be recognized in order to control the infestation.

Interestingly, wood roach infestation is much less troublesome than other cockroaches. Because they are more likely to stay as provisional visitors. Unlike an American, German, or any other cockroach, a wood roach will only enter your home by chance, so-called accidental invaders.

Except for the size, which is small, the wood roaches are almost identical to the American cockroaches in appearance and color. Having a similar chestnut color, they also have the identical body shape, long antennas, and number of legs. However, compared to other cockroaches, the wood roaches eats organic materials such as wood, barks, or leaves than any other decaying matter.

Wood roach are fond of living in moist damp areas surrounded by wood and bushes instead of your house (although they do infest homes). In contrast other cockroaches love to live inside the house.

Please read full article to know the significant differences between a wood roach and other cockroaches.

difference between wood roaches and other cockroaches

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Main Differences Between Wood Roaches and other Cockroaches

Even though the wood roaches can seem similar to other cockroaches like an American, German, or Smoky Brown cockroach, there are still some primary differences that you might notice once you encounter them. At the same time, you can come across one of the different species of wood roaches out of 12 native North American wood cockroaches, including Virginia, Pennsylvania, or western wood roach.

  • One of the major differences between a wood roach and any other cockroach is the dark and tan-colored texture of the wood roaches. Besides, these oval-shaped roaches have exactly six spiny legs and a long antenna with pale borders.
  • The male roaches have visibly apparent wing buds that let them fly for long-distance; however, the female roaches do not fly because of their smaller wings or sometimes none at all. Due to this fact, male wood roaches are easily identified than female wood roaches.
  • The male wood roach grows up to 1 inch in length while the female grows only 3/4 or 0.75 inches.
  • A cream-colored stripe can be found on adult and older wood roaches.
  • Wood roaches are not fond of living inside the households, as they like it much better to be outdoors. They are primarily accidental home invaders and would not live inside as long as any other cockroaches would. Nonetheless, if by any chance a wood roach enters your house, be sure that it won’t be for too long as they will soon die inside due to a low level of humidity.
  • Unlike other cockroaches, a wood roach will not escape as soon as light falls upon it; instead, it will continue to fly around and will most probably infest areas where there is more light, such as a porch light. These roaches are attracted to light and will start breeding there in the mating seasons.
  • The breeding season of wood roaches starts from May to June, mainly inside woodpiles, loose barks, or under tree branches. It’s improbable of them to breed inside your home.
  • Although a wood roach will gladly eat any sample from human food, these roaches will find it less likable than any organic matter available in the wild. If they intrude in your home, they will feast on food crumbs, which is not enough for them to stay alive for long.
  • Different from any other roach, a wood cockroach will continue to crawl around when encountered by a human, making it easier for them to get crushed.
  • When it comes to finding their hiding places, look no further than your yard or garden, where they might hide under decayed leaves or wood barks. If not there, gutters filled with leaves debris are another of the favorite hiding spot of the wood roaches.
  • For the wood roaches, a moist region is not ideal to live in unless it’s surrounded by wooden logs and other wooden items that might be present in your home.
  • These roaches do not need any big entrances, as small holes or cracks are enough for them to crawl inside your home when they are attracted to a light.

Now that you know how a wood cockroach is different from any other cockroach, here is a little about its life science.

About 950 eggs per year are laid by the female wood roaches that are hatched in summers and mature by the spring season. The average life span of a wood roach is approximately two years. These roaches will avoid living inside a property and will mostly live out in the wilds where they are surrounded by woods and other decaying matter, necessary for their survival.

Winters are a vital season for these roaches because they become highly energetic and are discovered mainly inside the firewood. For this reason, it is best to be cautious when bringing firewood inside the home as it could be the only way for them to enter your home and might end up infesting it.

What makes a wood roach distinct from a German cockroach is that they will not breed inside a household because they require a moist and damp environment like under the trees or woodpiles.

How to Prevent Wood Roaches?

Although a wood roach wouldn’t be as much of harm as an American or a German cockroach would turn out to be, they still need to be avoided to prevent an infestation from happening. To do that, you will have to keep the following things in mind for keeping away the wood roaches.

  • The first and foremost thing to prevent any wood roaches from entering your house is to make sure there are no cracks or small openings in your doors, walls, or windows. These roaches will often find it an excellent opportunity to get inside when there are cracks all around the house. Seal them up by using caulk, putty, or wood to ensure no infestation arises.
  • Never bring firewood inside your home or keep it for too long. As the name suggests, the wood roaches are highly attracted to wood, and it will take them no time to start living inside the woodpiles. It would be best to keep away the firewood or light it up as soon as possible to confirm that there will be no wood roach infestation sooner or later.
  • You can also avoid bringing a great deal of firewood from May to June, as it is the breeding season of the wood roaches. Inspecting the firewood prior to getting it inside is always a good idea.
  • Turning off the needless lights, like porch lights or yard lights, will also help; since the male wood roaches find the female wood roaches around the lights, they are attracted to the lightened areas, mainly in the mating seasons.
  • Never store the garbage inside for a long time. Throw it away from time to time to avoid getting any infestation.
  • Don’t leave any ground-level penetration without sealing.
  • If you find any dead roaches around, you should discard them using a vacuum cleaner or a broom.
  • Your house needs regular cleaning, sweeping, and getting rid of unnecessary trash for better preventation.
  • Repair the leakages more often as the roaches are attracted to moisture and find their way towards it. You need to make sure every leaking pipe and drain is nicely sealed, and no dampness is left behind.
  • Ensure that your yard is clean all the time. There should be no dried leaves or debris as the wood roaches prefer living in organic environments compared to indoor places.
  • In case you have a window well, try keeping it free from crumbled leaves.
  • Windows and doors should be kept screened and in good condition.
  • You can also spray repellents frequently to avoid any future infestation.
  • Don’t forget to clean the gutters, as it is a perfect place for roaches to survive and start breeding.
  • Lastly, if you reside in an area with a higher chance of getting a wood roach infestation, you can contact professional help to find a suitable treatment.

There are significantly fewer chances that a wood roach infests your house, but it’s best if you already keep your home safe by trying out these tips, as mentioned earlier.

Additionally, getting rid of any litter around the house can also be helpful because it will deprive the roaches of any living space or habitat. Remember that a smutty place surrounded by wood and moisture is bliss for wood cockroaches, and this is why your yard needs to be neat and clean at all times.

How to Get Rid of Wood Roaches?

If it’s too late for you to prevent the wood roach infestation, and you are already stuck with these roaches roaming around your home. Don’t worry! You can still get rid of wood roaches without doing much hard work. Here are some of the tricks that will surely make their way to help you in vanishing these little creatures, and you won’t even have to call the professionals.

Use a Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner is a way to go if you want to catch the roaches alive or dead. It can efficiently clear up the space and will suck all these roaches inside the trash bag. If you catch them alive, make sure to discard them at a place far away from your yard, as the wood roaches can start living inside the bag for as long as they can and can find out their ways back. You can let them go out in the sunlight or cold environments.

For better results, go for a vacuum that comprises a HEPA filter. It has a great tendency to pull out small particles, including cockroaches, without releasing allergens into the air.

Even though using a vacuum cleaner to remove the wood roaches won’t make you completely free from the infestation, it works well when you see wood roaches in your home from time to time.

difference between wood roaches and other cockroaches

Use Insecticides

While some insecticides do not help remove the wood roaches, you can try using a cockroach repellent specifically designed for them and see if it works for you. The most commonly used spray is the Reclaim IT insecticide. It has the capability of leaving its effect for up to 90 days after use.

All you need to do is put together the reclaim IT insecticide with water in a sprayer or a hand pump to cover about 1000 sq. ft area and start spraying all over your yard after shaking the pump a bit. Make sure to spray it around the perimeters of your house to guarantee that no other cockroach crawls inside. You can also spray in the places where there are chances of finding a roach, mainly around the door and windows or areas where you see gaps.

Set Up Traps

Another effective and less costly way to keep away the wood roaches is to set up traps. Preferably, sticky traps come in handy when dealing with wood roaches as these can be installed in places like garages, kitchens, or underneath a washer to catch the roaches easily. According to the need, start laying down some of these around your house at about 5 to 6 feet apart. Once you have caught a roach, you can simply dispose of it somewhere far away from home or let it go by releasing it using a bit of vegetable oil. You can check out the best traps for roaches here and watch the video to help you set up a perfect trap.

In case you want to get rid of outdoor wood roaches, you will have to do something as soon as possible since these roaches do not take much time to become twice the number, especially in the summers. For that reason, using a tough pesticide is recommended to form a safety fencing around the perimeters of your home.

Whether or not you have wood roaches dwelling inside or underneath a deck, you can comfortably get rid of them by dusting some borax detergent booster or diatomaceous earth over the deck and leaving it there for about an hour or two. These powders will kill any roaches inside the deck. After a while, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dead cockroaches without any hassle.

Apart from that, when you are sure about wood roaches hiding inside woodpiles, mulch, or dried leaves, try using a solid insecticide spray to get rid of them. You can also spray it into the gutters, decks, windows, and doors for advanced protection.

There are a few DIY remedies that can be a great alternative to using an insecticide. For instance, you can mix boric acid with water and start spraying it on places where the roaches are likely to be found. Similarly, you can kill the wood roaches by sprinkling diatomaceous earth inside gutters and over your yard.

Lastly, a spray made with an equal amount of vinegar and water can also turn out to be an excellent solution for getting rid of wood roaches. All you’ve got to do is spray in places around the woodpile, barks, and rotten leaves.

Along with these measures, you can also call a specialist who can find out the main reason for the wood roach infestation and provide you with a better and more effective solution to get rid of the wood roaches.


As we discussed earlier that it’s not hard to keep these little pests out of your home without making many efforts. These can be a little irritating when they become a lot in number, mainly in the spring season. So, it’s essential to look for them before they become a big problem. You can follow the above tips to make sure that you are out of trouble.

Furthermore, out of all the prime differences between a wood roach and other cockroaches, we can safely conclude that these are the key differences;

  1. Wood roaches are outdoor inhabitants and will only reside inside households mistakenly or when they find the same conditions to live inside.
  2. Wood roaches eat organic matter more than any other cockroach.

Wood roaches are not like other cockroaches since they are less damaging and do not carry any diseases. Their nourishment depends on organic matter, and this is why not much muck is brought with them. However, it’s best to avoid letting them dwell inside your home as they still can be annoying.