There are 50 species of cockroach in North America, and many of them can make their way into your home. Wood cockroaches are one of these species; here are four things you need to know about wood cockroaches.
What do wood cockroaches look like?
Male wood cockroaches can reach lengths of up to 25 millimeters, while females can reach lengths of up to 19 millimeters. Both have dark brown or black shiny bodies and can be mistaken for beetles or other types of cockroaches. Adult males can be identified by a pale brown ridge that runs down the centers of their backs; however, this ridge is covered by their wings. It can be hard to see this ridge on living cockroaches, but it can be seen more easily on dead specimens.
Where are wood cockroaches found?
Wood cockroaches feed on decaying wood. Outdoors, they can be found living in places like tree stumps, rotting logs, or underneath the bark of trees. They can also be found living in your wood pile or in the crevices of your shed. As long as the wood that makes up your home isn't decaying, they won't be particularly eager to move inside. If you've experienced water damage and have wet, rotting wood inside your home, wood cockroaches could move indoors and thrive.
How do wood cockroaches differ from other roach species?
Unlike other types of cockroaches, like American cockroaches or German cockroaches, wood cockroaches prefer to live outdoors. They don't thrive inside messy human habitations like other species do. They'll be happy inside your home if your wood is wet and decaying, but they aren't interested in the contents of your garbage can, the dishes you left in the sink, or other things that attract other cockroach species.
How can you control wood cockroaches?
The best way to control wood cockroaches is to make sure that the wood inside your home is dry and in good condition. Pay attention to areas of your home that are likely to be moist, like bathrooms or crawlspaces. If any of the wood in these areas is wet or damaged, have it replaced before wood cockroaches can move inside.
For extra protection, seal any openings in the exterior of your house. Wood cockroaches are attracted to light, so it's easy for them to find gaps in the exterior of your home in the evenings when interior lights are turned on. Go outside when it's dark and look for areas where light is escaping through the exterior; seal those gaps to keep wood cockroaches out.
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