The wood cockroach is chestnut brown with a flat, oval-shaped body, long antennae and spiny legs.
Native to North America, wood roaches live outdoors in moist woodland areas, including woodpiles, mulch, under the loose bark of trees, branches or decaying logs. These roaches need an environment that is consistently moist, so they don’t survive long nor breed indoors. The female wood roach uses this outdoor environment to her advantage, depositing egg capsules behind the loose bark of dead trees, fallen logs or stumps, safe from the prying eyes of hungry predators.
These particular roaches aren’t prone to infest houses like other cockroaches, but you may see them inside your home occasionally. They could find their way in via a bundle of firewood. The males are drawn to lights at night, so they may crawl into your home through a window frame or other opening. When they are indoors, it’s a temporary situation, typically a few weeks in the spring.
The wood cockroach eats decaying organic matter such as rotting trees and leaf litter. They don’t eat your home’s structure or furniture. They are merely a nuisance should they find their way into your house.
Because these roaches don’t breed inside the home, you seldom need to treat your home’s interior. The pesticides that control household roaches aren’t as effective against these types of roaches anyway. To get rid of wood roaches that have wandered inside your home, pick them up with a vacuum cleaner or broom and dustpan and discard them.