Are Roaches Attracted to Wood? Tips on Getting Rid of Wood Roaches

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It might get asked sometimes, but the answer is really quite obvious. Are roaches attracted to wood? Yes. That’s because these insects are naturally wood-loving pests.

What’s interesting though is that while these bugs are generally comfortable living with trees, stumps and wooden parts in our homes, there are actually special group of roaches that are biologically built for wood. And these are what we call Wood roaches.

Are Roaches Attracted to Wood

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Generally, all roaches like wood. They can even eat decayed parts of it. CC Image courtesy of Arthur Chapman on Flickr

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Wood Roaches

Wood Cockroach - Are Roaches Attracted to Wood

This Western Wood cockroach is common in the US. CC Image courtesy of Junkyardsparkle on Wikipedia

Contrary to popular belief, the name “wood roach” or “wood cockroach” doesn’t refer to a single cockroach species. It’s a loose term given to a lot of roaches in the world that have adapted to eat and even live in decaying wood. In North America alone, there are 12 species of these insects found in different states.

Wood roaches have the typical cockroach appearance of a flat oval body, legs with protruding spines and long antennae. However, they vary in color, depending on what species they belong to. In the US, a lot of wood roaches have a chestnut brown color. They also tend to only grow to about 1 inch long. Some of them also have cream colored lines at the edges of their wings.

Wood Roach Diet and Behavior

Even if they’re called wood roaches, these insects still eat other organic materials that can give them the nutrients to survive. They can eat human food, other insects and even animal droppings.

For their usual living areas, these roaches are largely outdoor creatures that thrive in moist places with dying trees, wood stumps and rotting logs. However, according the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, they oftentimes enter houses because male wood roaches are be attracted to the lights inside. They can slip through cracks and gaps in your doors, windows and walls. And they can also be accidentally carried in because of unchecked firewood brought from the outside.

Wood roaches are more or less better to deal with compared to their indoor counterparts. They’re not well-adapted to living inside houses, so they don’t scurry off when they spot you. And since they’re attracted to light, they don’t shy away when a room suddenly becomes bright. These traits make them far easier to kill even with just a flyswatter.

Another fortunate advantage for us humans when it comes to this cockroach is that these insects don’t breed indoors. That’s right. They can live under wood shingles, but they never mate inside houses. So they don’t infest, and their numbers typically don’t grow.

How to Get Rid of Wood Roaches

Since wood roaches characteristically don’t build legions indoors, big pest control methods are a waste of time and money. You don’t really need to schedule exterminators to visit and treat your house for these types of roaches. But here are some things Do Your Own Pest Control suggests that you can do on your own.

  • The best way to counter these wood-loving insects is to keep them out of your house even before they take interest in getting in. Seal cracks on your walls, doors and windows.
  • ​Buy door seal sets for that small gap at the bottom edge of your door. You can also install fitting screens.
  • Make it a habit to turn off lights when you’re not using them.
  • Don’t keep the porch light on all night. Limit the number of hours that you’re going to keep them turned on.
  • You could also buy thicker curtains to try to block out the light coming from your house.
  • Move trash cans away from a suspected roach infested site.
  • Always inspect the firewood that you’re going to bring inside.
  • Never keep unused firewood piled up inside your house. Only bring them in if you’re going to burn them right away.
  • You should also pile these chopped pieces of wood a few feet from your house.
  • Remove any rotting wood anywhere near your house. You should also keep rotting leaves a few feet away.
  • Kill wood roaches with a vacuum cleaner or a flyswatter.
  • Use baits and adhesive traps.

Overall, asking “ Are roaches attracted to wood? ” Doesn’t matter. What really counts is that we know there that are definitely roaches out there that love the wooden parts of our homes, and that there are also incredibly easy things that we can do to keep them away.