Pest Identification

Learn More About the Pests Invading Your Home

Are Wood Roaches Cockroaches?

A cockroach by any other name is still a cockroach. Case in point: the wood roach. They look just like their cousins, especially the American cockroach. Fortunately, they enjoy a different living environment than the house pests.


The Great Outdoors


The main difference between a wood roach and other home invaders is their living preference. The Brownbanded, German, American and Oriental cockroaches thrive inside a home where they have access to human food and water. The wood version prefers living outdoors, under wood and inside of decaying logs.

Generally, the insects only find their way indoors after they have been hanging out in a woodpile. When the loose logs are brought in to make your fireplace glow, the roach comes with it. If you see one, it is probably alone and you don’t have to worry that more are hiding in the woodwork

It can be easy to confuse the different kinds of cockroaches, particularly based on appearance alone. The wood roach is between ¾ and 1 ¼ inches long, while the others mostly clock in at about 1 inch. They are a light brown, different than the dark brown or reddish hue of house versions. If you do have a visitor, it is likely a male; the females are rarely encountered. That means you don’t have to worry about eggs being laid inside your home.

Another major difference between the types is their activity pattern. Most cockroaches skitter away from light, which is why you catch sight of them when you flip the switch on in the middle of the night. This kind, however, is actually attracted to light.

Around dusk, male Wood roaches may come out from under a log and take a few short flights. If you have lights on, they may crawl through a window seeking the beam. Don’t be surprised if you see them wandering around during the day, something their relatives are unlikely to do.

If you do see the pest in your home, you can rest easy knowing it won’t last long. They need a moist environment, like that found in loose bark or decaying logs. Without it, they usually die within a few days. If you don’t catch it first, that is.

While a wood roach is still a cockroach, which is enough to make most people squirm, they probably won’t be a nuisance in your home. They may look just as creepy, but they are a much more likeable cousin; they only stop in by accident, and they are happy to leave as soon as possible.