Woods roaches are very similar in appearance to the American roach; flat, oval body, long antennae, spiny legs, chestnut brown color. They are slightly smaller than the American Cockroach, about 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch long.
The adults, especially the males, appear tan because of the color of their wings. Adults and large nymphs of the wood roach can be recognized by a pale, creamy white or transparent stripe on their outer edge. The pale edge extends onto the first 1/3 of the front wings of the adults.
Habits and Biology of Woods Cockroaches
These roaches are attracted to light which makes them different from other roaches. Females produce about 950 eggs a year, with one generation. Eggs hatch in the summer and mature the following spring. A life cycle can last 2 years. Adults are present May through early October. The roaches do not survive inside buildings. In wooded areas, these roaches can be seen in the headlights of automobiles at dusk. The males are attracted to lights. They are active during the winter and are often found in firewood. They live in moist woodland areas. They do not come inside unless carried inside with firewood or they may wander in on their own. These roaches are not startled and begin scampering when approached. These outside roaches do not reproduce inside like the German roach. They need consistent moist conditions in their environment such as under decaying logs, wood piles or loose bark. If they are inside, it is only a temporary condition.
Recommendations for Woods Roach Control
Since woods cockroaches do not establish themselves indoors and their presence is usually temporary (a few weeks) during the spring, chemical control measures are not always needed. If you are experiencing a larger or persistent infestation refer to Perimeter Insecticide Treatments.
The insecticides used with success against other cockroach species are of very limited benefit against wood roaches. Exclusion techniques that prevent wood roach entry should be considered.
- Sealing any cracks, gaps or openings with caulking compound, putty or plastic wood.
- Maintain tight fitting screens, doors and windows.
- Store firewood piles far away from the house.
- Try not to carry over large quantities of firewood from season to season in order to reduce potential breeding sites.
- If practical, bring only enough firewood indoors for a day or two to prevent insects from later emerging in the house.
- Avoid the use of unnecessary lights at night, since males fly to them during mating season. Females will crawl into areas around porch lights or yard lights, thus attracting numerous males.
- Individual roaches found inside can be collected with a vacuum cleaner or a broom and dustpan and discarded.
- Caulk all penetrations through ground level walls.
- Stop water leaks, screen equipment overflow drains, and take overflow water away from buildings; keep drain traps full or capped.
- Remove rotting leaves from window wells.
- Move garbage cans out of preferred moist habitat.
It is not practical to treat firewood or other areas away from the dwelling because males can fly in from a distance. Also, to limit the risk of exposure to toxic chemical fumes when burning firewood, non-chemical preventive practices are preferred.
Occasionally, populations can build in crawl spaces under the house.
Insecticide control measures should concentrate on the outside of the building and points of entry. This is called a "perimeter or barrier" treatment.
Recommended residual sprays for perimeter treatments
Lambdastar Ultracap 9.7
LambdaStar Ultracap 9.7 (Broader label and longer lasting-may be used inside or outside and will dry invisible. Lambdastar Ultracap has no smell. LambdaStar Ultracap will last longer outside and adhere to the surface better due to its encapuslated technology. It will yield 20-40 gallons
Cyper WSP and Demon WP
Cyper WSP and Demon WP have the same label, but Cyper WSP is more economical. Demon WP and Cyper WSP will leave a visible residue seen against dark wood.
D-Fense SC will also dry invisibly with no smell. It can be used inside or outside. The pint will yield 11-22 gallons.
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