These little insects may be temporary guests, but they’re also a nuisance you just don’t want around. Often called “tree roaches” among other names, these roaches aren’t harmful by any means. They’re just an incredible annoyance if they decide to occupy your home, especially during the spring when it’s most common.
Well, what are wood cockroaches, you might ask? Often confused with other types of cockroaches, a wood roach is a type of cockroach that inhibits moist woodland areas.
Difference Between Wood Roaches and Other Cockroaches
It’s easy for you to mix up between trees cockroaches and other cockroaches. To the untrained eye, they all look the same.
Wood Roach vs Cockroach
When it comes to wood roach vs cockroach, a close-up picture of a wood cockroach would demonstrate that these roaches have a slightly different appearance. A wood roach usually is oval-shaped and tan-colored, with long antennae and pale borders.
A wood roach nymph usually has emerging wing buds. Their female counterparts, which are less likely to be spotted as they’re rarely seen, are often either wingless or equipped with small wing bands.
Often described as “accidental home invaders”, tree roaches don’t prefer to be inside. Their main domain is outside, where they dwell in places like woodpiles and under tree branches or loose bark on trees.
Male wood cockroaches aren’t light-sensitive, which is another feature that sets them apart from their American and German counterparts. If you were to turn on the lights wood roaches wouldn’t flee, as the males are often drawn to the lights.
They’re also drawn to wood. It’s not a surprise to find a tree roach or two when bringing firewood into your home.
Although wood roaches don’t feed on wood like many think, they often seek it for safety as a place of shelter. In fact, tree roaches feed on decaying organic material.
American Cockroach vs. Wood Roach
The main difference between wood roaches and American cockroaches is their tendency to breed.
Wood roaches don’t breed indoors. They’re also temporary inhabitants of your home. The only reason they’re often indoors is because they can’t tell your house apart from woodpiles or loose tree barks.
Most importantly, if you see a tree roach around, you don’t have to worry about it multiplying.
American roaches, however, multiply rapidly. Their females carry 16 eggs. American roach nymphs can emerge within 24-38 days. With American roaches, breeding is something you’ll have to worry about and sometimes call pest control for.
Wood Cockroaches Prevention
While they’re less of a threat than American and German cockroaches, they can still present a challenge when it comes to keeping them under control, especially during the mating season.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking to prevent the presence of wood cockroaches.
Keep Wood Away
Since these wood roaches are inhabitants of moist wood, you’ll want to be careful about bringing in any firewood into your home.
While wood roaches don’t breed indoors, they can breed if they seek shelter inside firewood. This is critical if you store your firewood inside or near your home.
If you could avoid bringing any firewood into your home at all, this would be ideal. However for many people this isn’t possible.
In that case, you shouldn’t keep your firewood inside your home for more than a few days.
When bringing firewood in, inspect it thoroughly for any roaches. Try to use and dispose of it as soon as you can.
The longer you keep firewood in your home, the more likely these wood roaches will be roaming around in all the nooks and corners.
Turn the Lights Off
Another thing to keep in mind is the light. As mentioned before, male wood roaches aren’t sensitive to light.
If you live in a wooded area, these roaches will be attracted to your home as a result of the light. Try to keep your porch light along with any other prominent lights turned off at all times.
Double down on the lack of lights during May and June, where male cockroaches often fly looking for females during the mating season. During this time, wood roaches can seek shelter near your porch light.
Seal Your House Shut
The most obvious thing to do to prevent the presence of cockroaches is to seal any possible crack in your house shut.
It’s good to remember that wood roaches thrive in moist, warm areas. Try to look for any humid spaces in your house like drain traps and keep them full or sealed.
Water leaks also serve as a huge attraction as they’re a source of moisture, so it’s best to put an end to them. Fix any leakages present in your home.
Since wood roaches usually inhibit the lower levels of your home, this is where you want to direct your focus. Look for any gaps or vents in your windows and doors, and seal them completely with putty or caulking compounds.
Plastic wood and wire mesh are also excellent materials for sealing these gaps.
How to Get Rid of Wood Cockroach?
If there aren’t any serious signs of wood roach infestation, then rest easy. You don’t have to look up the nearest pest control company’s number and dial it up just yet.
Take matters into your own hands. Use a dustpan or a vacuum cleaner to collect cockroaches and dispose of them as you see fit.
A better way is to set out insect traps throughout areas in your house.
Since regular insecticides don’t work, you might want to invest an insecticide especially made for wood roaches. Treat any indoors and outdoors gaps with insecticides, along with any other areas where roaches are likely to wander.
To top it off, barricade your house. Spray your home’s perimeters with insecticides. Include your windows and doors in your chemical anti-insect barrier.
These little pests are an annoyance to look out for, especially during the spring when it’s most common to find them wandering around.
However, keeping wood roaches away isn’t hard at all. With a few tips and tricks, you can have a nice, insect-free home.