How to Get Rid of Wood Roaches

Wood roaches are outdoor roaches but can stumble inside your home on occasion.

If you’re experiencing wood roach infestation outside and or inside your home, you’re in the right place.

Here, we’ll go over how to get rid of these pesky roaches from your home step-by-step.

Keep on reading!

1. Identify the Type of Cockroach

The first step to removing any cockroach from your home is identification.

You’ll need to identify if what you’re dealing with is actually a Wood Roach cockroach.

Wood roaches are often confused with American cockroaches due to their similar size and color.

It’s essential that you determine which one is really in your home.

American and Wood roaches behave differently and should be handled differently.

American cockroaches pose a much more significant threat because they can reproduce quickly indoors.

In contrast, Wood Roaches are a species of cockroaches that live primarily outdoors.

So how do you tell them apart?

First, American cockroaches are typically larger than wood roaches.

Adult wood roaches grow to be round ¾ inch to 1 inch.

American roaches, in contrast, grow to around 1 ½ and sometimes up to 3 inches.

Wood roaches have a flat, oval-shaped body, with one solid light to dark brown color.

Their antennae are long, and their legs are spiny.

Adult American cockroaches have a light ring at the end of their head.

Female Wood roaches don’t have wings.

In contrast, both female and male American cockroaches do.

While wood cockroaches live outdoors, they can wander inside your home.

Wood cockroaches are drawn to light, so they are likely to stumble in your home at night.

Sometimes they will accidentally hitch a ride into your home on firewood stored outside.

If you think you saw a wood roach inside your home but are unsure, I recommend laying out sticky traps.

Trapping the roach will allow you to be able to have a good look at it.

If you think you saw one outside, you can verify infestations in a few ways.

You can start by turning on the lights outside your home or placing light sources around your home.

Since wood roaches are attracted to light, you can expect them to be around these light sources.

If that doesn’t work, you can look at your home with a flashlight at night.

Wood roaches don’t shy away from humans, so you won’t need to worry about disturbing them.

Look around your garden, near woodpiles mulch, piles of leaves, and near flower beds.

You’ll also want to look inside sheds, outdoor storage units, and anywhere near water sources such as water boilers or water hoses.

If you have wood shingles around your home, you can also check there.

Finally, wood roaches eat rotting organic matter, so check any place for them.

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2. Seal All Entry Points

Wood cockroaches are considered “accidental” pests.

That is because they wander into your home by accident.

Wood roaches breed outdoors, something they can’t do inside your house.

If wood roaches get into your home, that typically means that you have easy entry points.

And if you’re experiencing wood roach infestation, there is likely a significant entry point in your home.

You’re also probably experiencing infestation outside your home (we’ll address this later)

So, the best way to get these roaches out of your home is by sealing them out.

Make sure your window and door screens don’t have any holes and tears.

Don’t leave your windows and doors ajar. If you like keeping them open, make sure you have screens installed.

Weatherstrip your doors and windows to keep wood roaches from entering along the sides or top of your door.

Use a door sweep to block the gap under your doors to prevent wood roaches from crawling in.

If you don’t want to drill, you can use a door strip that sticks onto the door with an adhesive strip.

This way, you won’t need to use a drill.

Seal the joint where your door frame meets the wall using caulk to prevent any roaches from sliding in through small cracks.

Make sure your faucets and pipes don’t have any cracks where cockroaches can slip through.

Finally, do a quick inspection around your home and seal up and holes or cracks. An easy way to do this is by applying caulk.

Cockroaches can fit through small cracks or holes, so cover up even those you think they won’t fit in.

Any roach that is inside your house won’t be able to reproduce and will eventually die.

If you do not want to wait till then, you can use sticky traps to capture them.

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3.Clean Up Outdoors

The next step is to get rid of these pests outside your home.

To do this, start by cleaning up.

Eliminate any decaying organic matter such as rotting trees and leaf litter.

They don’t eat your home’s structure or furniture.

Below are a few things you can do to eliminate areas that wood roaches are attracted to.

  • Wood roaches are drawn to rotting, organic materials. Make sure to remove any firewood, woodpile, tree limbs, etc. outside your home.
  • Keep your lawns well-maintained and free of rotting leaves or branches.
  • Seal soil, mulch, and manure in proper inside containers.
  • Use fewer lights outside or replace outdoor lights with less warm-colored LED lights.
  • Use motion detectors or timers for your outdoor lights.
  • Limit your indoor light and use curtains or blinds.
  • Fix any leaking pipes and faucets.
  • Clean gutters, vents, pipes, and window wells.

4. Protect The Outside Of Your Home

These roaches don’t know the difference between your home and a tree in the forest.

If the infestation outside is too large then cleaning up and removing any potential hiding spots is not enough.

You might need to take steps and apply an external barrier treatment to your yard.

This step is most effective one you have cleaned up your house and eliminated any hiding spots.

If after cleaning your yard you find that the infestation is rather large then it might be necessary to apply a pesticide to your entire yard.

Next, you should spray a perimeter treatment around the outside of your home and structure to create a barrier that will keep Wood Roaches out.

Spray around doors and windows, around the foundation going up 2 or 3 feet. Also, spray any other possible points of entry.

These sprays typically last three months before needing to reapply.

If you see an improvement in the infestation over the next three months then your next treatment may not need to be your entire yard.

Consider applying a 3 feet wide barrier of insecticide around your entire yard.

This will keep any remaining cockroaches out.

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Natural Ways To Kill Wood Roaches

If you have a garden or pets, I recommend using natural pesticides to keep cockroaches out.

One of the best natural pesticides to use outside is Demacreous earth.

Demacreous earth is usually used as powder form.

But, I recommend mixing it with water for easier outdoor applications.

In a spray bottle, mix ½ cup DE (8 tablespoons) and 2 cups of water.

Spray the formula throughout your yard.

While DE doesn’t work when wet, it will once the formula has dried up.

Spray the pesticide around your doors, windows, and walls going up 2 or 3 feet.

Also, spray on any other possible entry points.

Another natural insecticide you can use in your garden is cinnamon.

Place a thin layer of cinnamon to your garden soil to repel, including cockroaches.

You’ll also want to apply a barrier around your yard and to keep wood roaches away.

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What Do Wood Roaches Look Like?

Wood Cockroach

Wood Roaches look very similar to American cockroaches in terms of size and color.

Adult wood roaches grow to be round ¾ inch to 1 inch.

They have a flat, oval-shaped body, with one solid light to dark brown color.

Their antennae are long, and their legs are spiny.

Female Wood roaches don’t have wings.

Why Are Wood Roaches in My House?

While wood cockroaches live and breed outdoors, they can wander inside your home.

They are drawn to light, so they commonly stumble inside homes at night.

If wood roaches get into your home, that typically means that you have easy entry points.

Wood roaches thrive on rotting, organic material.

So, if you live close to a forest, you’re more likely to get them outside and inside your home.

How Do I Get Rid of Wood Roaches In My House?

The best way to get rid of wood roaches from inside your house is to seal up all entry points around your home.

If there are already wood roaches inside your home, the best way to remove them is with sticky traps.

Since wood roaches can’t breed inside your home, they will eventually die out.

To remove wood roaches outside your home, make sure to clean up.

Pick up woodpiles and rake your leaves.

Make your trash bins have a secure lid. If possible, keep compost bins away from your house.

Finally, apply insecticides around the base of your home and your yard.

Are Wood Roaches Dangerous?

Wood roaches are not dangerous to humans.

Unlike other roaches, wood roaches are not known to carry any diseases. They also do not bite or sting.

Are Wood Roaches Dirty?

Yes. Since wood roaches feed on rotting organic material, they are dirty.

If they do enter your home, be sure to clean and sanitize.

What Attracts Wood Roaches?

Wood roaches are attracted to light and decaying organic materials.

They love woodpiles, rotting leaves, and still water.

When they enter your home, they will gravitate towards decaying organic materials.

They will also go towards sweet and starchy foods.

To prevent these roaches from staying in your home,
pick up woodpiles and rake your leaves.

Make sure your trash bins are covered and as far away from your house as possible.

To be safe, apply insecticides around the base of your home and your yard.

Do Wood Roaches Live Indoors?

No. Wood roaches live and breed outdoors.

Wood roaches thrive on rotten wood, bark, and other decomposing organic materials found outdoors.

People call them “accidental” pests because they wander into your home by accident.

They are drawn to light, so they are likely to stumble in your home at night.

Sometimes wood will accidentally hitch a ride into a home on firewood stored outside.

They may seek for water, food and shelter inside a home during a drought.

But in most cases, they’ll go inside your home by accident.

How to Get Rid of Wood Roaches on Deck

One of the best ways to kill wood roaches on deck is by using an outdoor insecticide.

If you have a garden or pets, I recommend using natural pesticides such as Demacreous earth.

While diatomaceous earth is safe for pets and humans, it kills insects by destroying their exoskeletons.

You can rub them on your pet to fight fleas, ticks, and lice.

More importantly, it is very effective at eliminating cockroaches.

Demacreous earth is usually used as a powder form.

But, I recommend mixing it with water for easier outdoor applications.

While DE doesn’t work when wet, it will once the formula has dried up.

In a spray bottle, mix ½ cup DE (8 tablespoons) and 2 cups of water.

Spray the formula on the surface of your deck to eliminate any wood cockroaches that are hiding.

You’ll also want to treat the rest of your yard to prevent the roaches from coming back on your deck.

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Do Wood Roaches Carry Diseases?

No. Wood roaches do not spread disease or contaminate food.

Do Wood Roaches Bite?

While all roaches can bite, they rarely do.

Roches will only bite humans on extreme occasions.

For instance, you’ll often hear roaches bite people on ships because there’s no other available food.

Since it is unlikely to find wood roaches in these situations, it is doubtful that you’ll get bitten by a wood roach in your lifetime.

Can Wood Roaches Infest Your House?

Wood roaches can’t reproduce indoors, so they are unlikely to infest your home.

Wood cockroaches are called “accidental” pests because they often wander into homes by accident.

If you’re experiencing wood roach infestation, there is likely a significant entry point in your home.

You’re also probably experiencing infestation outside your home.

Conclusion

We’ve told you how to get rid of wood roaches in and outside your home step-by-step.

All you have to do is implement these steps diligently, and you’ll be rid of these roaches before you know it.

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