Wood roaches are widespread pests found throughout the United States.
They are often seen in homes where they feed on food scraps and other items left out around the house. While these insects are harmless to humans, they can cause damage to furniture and belongings.
If you notice signs of infestation, contact a pest control professional immediately.
This guide looks at what exactly wood roaches are, how to spot an infestation in your home, how to treat and prevent wood roach infestations, and recommends useful products.
What Are Wood Roaches?
Wood roaches belong to the insect family Blattodea. They are commonly called “cockroaches” or “termites” because their body shape resembles those of the larger species, such as the German cockroach (Blattella germanica).
Adult wood roaches are about 2 inches long and can be found throughout homes and public buildings. Their wings fold over their backs when at rest. The adult wood roaches are usually brownish-black in color.
Wood roaches feed on dead organic matter. They also eat paper, cardboard, textiles, and other cellulose materials. They are most active during warm weather months.
Wood roaches reproduce by laying eggs. The female lays her eggs in hollow spaces, such as cracks and crevices. She then covers the eggs with soil. After hatching, the larvae will begin eating through the eggshell.
This process takes several weeks. When the larva reaches adulthood, it will crawl out of its shell and into the open environment, leading to an infestation in a home.
How To Spot A Wood Roach Infestation In Your Home
Several tell-tale signs can alert homeowners to the possibility that they have a wood roach infestation in their homes. These signs to look out for are:
Wood roaches have a unique smell that can be detected even through walls and other materials. This odor may be quite strong depending on how many wood roaches live in your
House. If you notice a smell that lingers for several days, you may have a wood roach infestation in your home.
Wood roaches can be seen moving about your home. Their movement can be quite fast, and they can easily hide behind furniture and other objects. They are often disturbed by loud noises or when hoovering in your home.
Wood roaches can also leave droppings behind when they move about. The droppings are usually dark brown or blackish. Keep an eye on your home’s floor and wooden fixtures for any possible wood roach movement or droppings.
These termites make a lot of noise while they are moving about, considering large adults are only 2 inches big. They can be heard scratching and scurrying across floors and ceilings. At night time, when the house is quiet, you may be able to hear these sounds best.
You may notice damage to wooden structures and fixtures in your homes, such as cabinets and doors. The pests can also eat holes in drywall and plaster.
Wood roaches can bite humans and animals. When they bite people, they inject saliva into the wound. This saliva contains bacteria that can lead to infections.
If you notice several nites on you or your animal, there may be an infestation of termites on your property.
Wood roaches can spread disease and parasites. If left untreated, the infestation can result in serious health problems. Prevention is the key to keeping wood roaches from invading your home.
Below we look at how to treat and prevent further wood roach infestations in your home.
How To Treat Wood Roach Infestations
If you find that your home is infested with wood roaches, it’s essential to act quickly. You should call an exterminator right away to remove the problem. Once the infestation has been removed, follow the tips below to prevent future problems.
Once the exterminator has dealt with the infestation, we recommend cleaning up any areas where the wood roaches may have been living or building nests by sweeping up any crumbs, pet food, and leftover snacks.
Also, make sure there are no holes in the floorboards near the stove or refrigerator.
Once you have cleaned up areas where the wood roaches live, use a non-toxic spray to treat the area. Do not use pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, which is toxic to children and pets.
Instead, choose a product with pyrethrin, spinosad, or boric acid.
Unfortunately, few at-home solutions can deal with an infestation as effectively as a licensed exterminator can; that is why our advice is to call an exterminator immediately when you notice the problem.
How To Prevent Wood Roach Infestations
Here are some useful tips to help prevent an infestation or reinfestation in your home.
1. Clean Up Any Areas Where They Live
The first step to preventing a wood roach infestation is to clean up any rooms where they live. Check around the stove, refrigerator, countertops, and even underneath sinks. Look for food scraps, pet waste, and other items that might attract them.
2. Seal All Openings In Walls And Floors
Once you have inspected every room in your house, seal any openings in the walls and floor. Use caulk to cover any holes in the baseboards, and apply caulking to the seams between the baseboards and the walls.
3. Get Rid Of Standing Water
Standing water attracts insects, including wood roaches. If there are puddles or pools of water in your home, remove them immediately.
4. Remove Clutter
Clutter can trap insects inside your home. It should be removed from around the kitchen and bathroom. Sweep floors frequently to prevent pests from hiding under furniture and behind appliances.
5. Monitor For Signs Of Recurrence
After getting rid of a wood roach infestation, keep an eye out for new ones. If you see any signs of activity, call an exterminator immediately.
Several useful products can be used to prevent wood roach infestations; these include:
- Boric Acid Sprays – Boric acid sprays work best when applied directly onto wood surfaces. You can spray these products directly onto the wood surface or mix them with water and spray them onto the wood.
- Termite Treatments – These products contain borates that kill both termites and their eggs. They are safe to use around children and pets, but you should always check the label for safety precautions and instructions relevant to specific products.
- Insecticidal Soap – Insecticidal soaps are very effective at killing cockroaches and ants. Apply insecticidal soap directly on the wood surfaces to deter termites from infesting these areas
- Termite Baits – Termite baits are also known as ant bait stations. These baits are placed near the entry points of the home to prevent any wood roaches or other termites from entering.
- Termite Traps – Termite traps are available at most hardware stores. These traps are designed to catch termites as they enter the home, helping to maintain a termite-free home.
Wood roaches are one of the most common pests that can be found throughout the United States. However, it is important to note that they do not pose any significant health risks.
Still, it is always better to take precautions before dealing with this type of pest. The tips mentioned above can help you deal with this pesky pest once and for all.