Wood cockroaches, or commonly known as wood roaches, are found throughout the United States. Although they are native to North America and can be seen all over the country, they are going to be particularly common in woodland regions. For survival, they require a consistently moist area and therefore, they will not be found breeding inside. However, the occasional invader can be seen indoors and because cockroaches are vectors of disease pathogens and can contaminate your food, it is dire to gain control inside and outside to keep them from invading your house.
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Wood roaches are often times incorrectly identified as American cockroaches because they are very similar in physical appearance. They are overall flat from top to bottom and their bodies are oval in shape. They can be characterized by their spiny legs which extend longer than the typical cockroach. The reason why they are always confused as American cockroaches is because of the color. Although the bodies of wood roaches are a vivid chestnut brown with black stripes, the pale cream color of the wings of adults give them a tan appearance. They are slightly smaller than the American cockroaches. They are only about .75 to 1.25 inches long.
The nymphs of wood roaches are similar in physical appearance to grown roaches. They are uniform in color and are a bright chestnut brown color. They can actually be identified by an almost transparent stripe that is located on the end of the body. Nymphs are more robust in shape although when you take a closer look, they are fairly flat from top to bottom. Smaller nymphs are harder to identify and fine details usually require the aid of a lens.
Wood roaches will commonly be seen outdoors. They do not breed or nest inside structures and will remain outside. If there is a wood roach found inside, it is usually just a temporary nuisance and does not involve a large infestation. The reason for their limitations to the outdoor environment is due to their dependence on the consistently moist environments. These areas include places like under the wood piles or in decaying logs. They can also be found resting in cracks like loose bark in trees.
A unique characteristic of wood roaches is that they are not alarmed when they are approached. Typically, when a homeowner turns on a light or approaches a cockroach inside the house, they will most likely scamper off or try to escape. However, wood roaches wander around the house without a preference for a specific area. They are active during the day as well as the night time and do not become frightened when a homeowner turns on a light or approaches them. Also, another unique characteristic of the wood roach species is that unlike other species of cockroaches, wood roaches are attracted to light.
Wood roaches are considered an occasional invader. They do not enter the home to forage for food or by choice. They are typically brought in occasionally from firewood or by following lights that lead outdoors. However, they do not damage the structure of the house, any of the furniture or furnishings and will not harm or choose to approach the people and animals inside the house. If wood roaches are ever seen inside the house, they are usually solitary and the sighting of a wood roach inside does not mean there is a nest inside.
The best way to get rid of wood roaches inside the house is to practice exclusion. Because wood roaches do not nest indoors and are occasional invaders to the house, the best way to get rid of them is to keep them out before they get in. All cracks and crevices that may shine lights from the inside should be sealed or caulked. Wood roaches are attracted to lights and often times, they will enter by following lights that lead outside. Also, all screens should be checked so that they are tightly fitted in the frames. A micro-encapsulated formula that is appropriately labeled for wood roaches or an appropriately labeled wet-able formula should be sprayed around the perimeter of your structure as a barrier treatment.
There are also some surrounding modifications that must be made in order to keep wood roaches away from the home. This may include relocating or completely removing the nest. Also, elevating materials like firewood, potted plants, and etc. is necessary to discourage breeding or harborage sites. Also, remove all fall and decaying trees and other decaying materials. Also, because wood roaches are attracted to lights, it is recommended to limit the use of outdoor lights or porch lights. This will discourage them from approaching and ultimately entering the house.
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