Wood Cockroaches

Facts, Identification, & Control

Scientific Name

Parcoblatta pensylvanica


What Do They Look Like?

  • Size: Wood cockroaches are between three-quarters and one inch.
  • Color: They have dark brown bodies with tan wings.
  • Body: Males have wings longer than their bodies while females have small, functionless wings.

How Did I Get Wood Cockroaches?

These pests enter homes on firewood or through open windows. A male cockroach might wander inside during mating season if it senses a female nearby. Infestations are rare since these insects prefer to lay eggs outdoors.

How Serious Are Wood Cockroaches?

Despite being a minor pest, wood cockroaches can contaminate food and surfaces with their waste if they get indoors.

Signs of Infestation

Light and movement do not frighten these pests, unlike other species of cockroach. Due to this trait, the best sign of their presence is spotting the insects.

How Do I Get Rid of Wood Cockroaches?

What You Can Do
Methods to keep wood cockroaches out of a home include:

  • Maintaining Lawn: Keeping lawns well-maintained and free of rotting leaves or branches.
  • Moving & Inspecting Firewood: Moving firewood away from the residence and inspecting it before bringing it inside.
  • Sealing Entryways: Sealing gaps in doors and windows where the pest can enter.

What Orkin Does
Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage wood cockroaches and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep wood cockroaches in their place and out of your home or business.


Behavior, Diet, & Habits

Because wood cockroaches feed on decaying organic matter, residents often find them beneath roof shingles or in woodpiles. Male cockroaches are also drawn to light fixtures near doors and garages.

Geographical Range
Though there are many species people call wood cockroaches, these roaches, in Pennsylvania, are the most common in the eastern U.S.

Wood cockroaches typically mate in May and June. Females deposit egg capsules beneath loose bark on dead trees and logs. Eggs usually hatch within a month, though humid weather can speed up the process. The average lifespan of a wood cockroach is only a few months.