How To Identify and Get Rid of Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches

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Cockroaches are one of the worsts pests to have in your home. They crawl all over your food and they are hard to find. 

Trying to get rid of cockroaches is disgusting and difficult. They can make you feel uncomfortable in your own home. 

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. In this article, we will go over how to identify and get rid of Pennsylvania wood cockroaches both inside and outside your home. 

Let’s get started, so you can start getting your home back. 

1. Identification

The first step to treating Pennsylvania wood roaches it to fist make sure that you have a Pennsylvania wood cockroach.

There are approximately 12 types of wood roaches in the U.S.

While identifying that you do have a Pennsylvania wood cockroach infestation is important, its more important that you identify you have wood cockroaches.

Although, there are 8 different types of wood cockroaches, their behavior and characteristics are very similar.

More importantly, the most effective way to get rid of wood cockroaches remains the same regardless of the type you have.

What Do Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches Look Like?

Wood roaches in general as well as Pennsylvania wood cockroaches are often confused with American cockroaches due to their similar size and color.

They can also be confused because American cockroaches will hide in similar areas outside of your home that wood cockroaches do.

American cockroaches are a much bigger problem than wood cockroaches. First, American cockroaches will infest indoors and can easily reproduce indoors as well.

Wood cockroaches, on the other hand, are accidental invaders. They will enter your home on accident and they can’t reproduce indoors which means the infestation will not grow once they are inside.

Due to these key differences its important to distinguish between American cockroaches and Pennsylvania wood cockroaches.

Pennsylvania wood cockroach

Location

While their name suggest that they are only located in Pennsylvania, they are not. Pennsylvania wood roaches are found in the eastern, southern, and midwestern U.S states. They have also been spotted in some areas of Canada.

Size

Pennsylvania wood cockroaches grow between ¾ inch to 1 ¼ inch. Females are generally slightly smaller while males are larger.

Appearance

Pennsylvania wood cockroaches are dark brown with yellow almost translucent margin on their thorax and wings.

Males have large wings that extend beyond their abdomen. Females have smaller wings that only cover around ⅓ of their abdomen.

Males are capable of short period of flight while females can not fly at all.

Behavior

Wood cockroaches prefer to live outdoors but can wonder indoors in search for shelter.

They feed on decaying organic matter such as wood piles, stumps, hallow trees, piles of leaves, mulch, dying fruit. They will typically be hiding near or around these areas.

They are attracted to light, so you can find them near light sources around decks and backyards.

American Cockroaches vs. Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches

American cockroaches are larger than wood roaches. American cockroaches are typically between 1 and 1 ½ inches.

In some cases American cockroaches can grow as large as 3 inches long/

American cockroaches have a light brown ring around their head. This is one of the easiest ways to identify an American cockroaches.

Both males and females have wings that extend beyond their abdomen and are both capable of flying short distances.

How To Trap Cockroaches?

If you spotted a cockroach inside, then its best to use a glue boards to trap them. These are easy to use and are highly effective.

Place these boards where you saw any cockroach activity as well as any area cockroaches may frequent.

In this case its best to place in the restroom or kitchen where there are sources of food and water.

Along guidelines and under appliances are great places to trap cockroaches.

If you are curious to determine what type of cockroaches are infesting the outside of your home you might want to start outdoors

While, you can use glue boards outdoors they are less effective due to the large area and the potential for wind to blow debris over the glue board and make it less effective.

The best way to determine what type of roaches are outdoors is to inspect your home and try to catch any cockroaches you see running around.

Inspect any dead or decaying organic material, under rocks, around trash cans, near any sources of water. Under mulch or around potted plants.

These are all location you will find wood roaches.

You can also inspect on or around sewers, on curves, near doorways, or around the structure of your home for wood and American cockroaches as well.

2. Seal All Entry Points

Pennsylvania wood cockroaches prefer to live outdoors. They typically only travel inside your home is if they do it on accident when they are searching for shelter.

They may find a crack or crevices that accidentally led inside your home.

Living or traveling indoors is not beneficial for wood cockroaches. Since they can not breed indoors by staying indoors they are setting themselves up to die without the possibility of expanding the infestation.

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 around your home that it allowing wood roaches to enter with ease.

Remember if you have wood roaches inside your home, it is highly likely that you have a wood roach infestation outside your home as well.

The best way to prevent wood roaches from infesting your home is to seal up an entery points.

Wood roaches are attracted to lights so windows, doors, and any other cracks emitting light will attract them.

I recommend inspecting your home at night. Looking for any cracks and crevices that might be emitting light. To do this I recommend turn off any outdoor lights and only keep on the light inside your home.

If you spot any light exiting your home, make sure that these areas are properly sealed.

The most common areas are windows and doors. Its important that you make sure doors sills and window sill are properly installed and that there are no gaps around them where wood cockroaches can enter.

You should also inspect and screen and ensure they are on properly and there are no holes or tears on them.

Finally, make sure you weatherproof the doors and windows. This will eliminate and small crevices or seams that wood roaches could potentially enter though.

The best way to seal up and cracks and crevices is using caulk or other fillers.

A caulk gun will allow you to fill these entry points with ease for an exremely cheap price.

For most people, one bottle of caulk is typically sufficient to seal up and cracks and crevices around your home and it will cost you around $10. If you have more entry points than normal, you might need two bottles of caulk.

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

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.

3. Keep Your Yard Clean

If you have a Pennsylvania wood cockroach indoors, its very likely that you have an infestation outdoors as well.

The only exception to this, is that if the cockroach hitched hiked on a piece of wood from somewhere other than outside your home.

The best way to get rid of Pennsylvania wood cockroaches is by cleaning up outdoors.

Wood cockroaches eat decaying matter, sweets and starches.

Eliminate any decaying matter such as rotting trees, leaf litter, rotting fruit, and rotting vegetables.

These are primary source of food for wood cockroaches.

Its also recommended that you eliminate any sources of water. This can include leaky pipes, broken gutters, or broken or leaky sprinklers.

Wood roaches are also attracted to moist soil.

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.
  • Store firewood and other wood object properly.
  • 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.

By making the outside of your home less appealing to wood roaches they will eventually leave and seek other places to live.

 

4. Barrier Treatment

The final step to treating the Pennsylvania wood cockroaches is to create a barrier treatment outside 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.

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 Diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do Pennsylvania Wood Roaches Bite?

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches are capable of biting just like all other cockroaches. 

But the likelihood, that you will get bitten by a Pennsylvania wood cockroach’s is almost zero. 

Its possible for cockroaches to bite if you find them on your body. But, cockroaches are not aggressive insects. 

Since Pennsylvania wood roaches live outdoors you are unlikely to come into direct contact with them or ever get bitten. 

Can Pennsylvania Wood Roaches Fly?

Male Pennsylvania Wood roaches can fly. While they are capable of flights, they only flutter rather than experience full powered flight. 

Males are particularly active during mating season when they often fly towards light sources such as windows or porch lights. 

Female Pennsylvania Wood roaches  do not fly. Although, they do have small wings on their back they are not capable of flight. 

Why Are Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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.

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.

Can Pennsylvania Wood Roaches Infest Your House?

Pennsylvania 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.

Do Pennsylvania Wood Roaches Carry Diseases?

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

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