How to Identify and Get Rid of Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches

An outdoor pest, learn how to take care of Pennsylvania Woods cockroaches in and around the home.

Though commonly found outside homes, the Pennsylvania Wood cockroach (Parcoblatta pensylvanica) has been known to creep into houses and create issues for homeowners.

What are Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches

Living in the wooded areas of the Midwest and northeastern United States, the Pennsylvania Wood cockroach is a common pest outdoors in the summer months. One of the flying species of cockroaches, this insect thrives in the wet and warm elements of the woods.

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What do Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches Look Like

Blending in well to its environment, the Pennsylvania Wood cockroach carries a light to dark brown complexion. Typically an inch long, this roach has six legs and two long antennas. The males have a fully developed set of wings that allows them to fly shorter distances, while the females have undeveloped wings and usually remain grounded.

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach Behaviors

As the name suggests, this cockroach prefers the outdoors, living in piles of leaves, within trees and tree stumps and around the floor of the woods. They feast on dead and decaying plant life, fruits and starches. While they usually avoid human structures, they are attracted to light. At night they will fly near and towards bright lights, sometimes leading them to explore the home.

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach Life Cycle

Unlike some of their cousins, this roach does not seek out or reproduce indoors, often creating their nests in hollowed out trees. Females will lay 30 to 40 eggs at a time, with their babies going through a typical cockroach life cycle of metamorphosis.

Signs of Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches

Unlike other types of cockroaches, the Pennsylvania Wood cockroach does little indoors, leaving few signs of its presence. To know if one is in your home, you most likely need to see one at the scene of the crime. Homes made of cedar or log, along with houses out in the woods, are more likely to encounter these roaches than the typical home in the city or suburb.

How to Get Rid of Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches

Since these roaches prefer to stay outdoors and do their living and mating in the woods, many measures to get rid of them are preventative. Keep the house clean, don’t leave out dirty dishes and food, and be sure to seal cracks or holes in the foundation.

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach Safety

Pennsylvania Wood roaches pose little threat to people. Because they don’t survive for long indoors, typical issues with allergies, asthma, disease and bacteria are not prevalent. If they do penetrate the home, they still can contaminate food lying around. If you take preventative measures to keep them out of the home, they generally will leave you alone. On the rare chance multiple roaches infest the house, reach out to a professional to provide pest control solutions.

Cockroach Resources

For more information about cockroaches and what it means when you find this pest in your home or business, check out these pest control articles.

Sources

  • https://extension.psu.edu/pennsylvania-wood-cockroaches
  • https://extension.umn.edu/insects-infest-homes/cockroaches#pennsylvania-wood-cockroach-137714