Wood Roach vs Cockroach (German, American).

Did you know there are 4500 species of cockroaches in the world? But how can you identify wood roach vs cockroach? Wood roach (Parcoblatta species) also called Pennsylvania wood cockroaches are very difficult to tell from others.

In the US and UK, the species of roaches that invade homes are the German, Oriental and American cockroaches.

Knowing what kind of cockroach is in your house helps tell if you are under an infestation attack.

This blog post will help you tell the difference between wood roaches vs. other kinds of cockroaches.

Wood Roach Overview

wood roach on leaf

Pennsylvania wood cockroach (Parcoblatta species) with the common name wood roach stay under forest leaf litter, damp logs, tree barks and other areas with a lot of decaying compost. They come indoors also but die of dehydration when they do.

You can identify only adult male wood cockroaches easily. Adult females and nymphs of this species are very hard to identify as being in the Parcoblatta species. 

The grown-up males reach an inch long and have slimmer bodies with long wings that cover their whole backside. The females are smaller, about 0.75 inches, with wider bodies and stubby wings that don’t quite cover everything. 

Both males and females come in shades of light brown to almost black, and some even have cream stripes on their wings and chests. Younger roaches are smaller, wingless, and reddish-brown to dark brown, with some even having two distinct colour zones.

Wood Roach Vs. Other Cockroach Differences


While they share some characteristics with other cockroaches, wood roaches are very different.

The key difference is their habitat. Wood roaches are happier outdoors, making their homes in wooded areas, mulch piles, and under decaying logs, breaking down organic matter and contributing to healthy soil. 

In contrast, other common cockroaches, like German cockroaches and American cockroaches, thrive indoors in kitchens and bathrooms where they have easy access to food and moisture. 

Unlike other cockroaches, Wood roaches are bold and not very light-sensitive or nocturnal. They don’t scurry away when you turn on the light, this makes them head straight to your light sockets and bulbs once they enter your home.

They walk freely during the day and at night.


Wood roaches feed on decaying tissues, leaves, wood, and other organic stuff found outside.

But other cockroaches are opportunistic feeders and eat things left behind like kitchen leftovers, sink crumbs and other house wastes they can feed on.

How to control wood Cockroaches

Since wood roaches only accidentally invade your home and don’t like living indoors, it is easy to end their stay in your house, even easier than getting rid of the dominant invasive American and German Roaches.

The below tips will help you:

  • Peel off and repaint old puffy paint as they sneak under.
  • Inspect your barn/garden shed walls and use a caulking gun to fill gaps and cracks.
  • Cut off tree branches that intersect with your rooftop to prevent wood cockroaches from using it as a bridge from outside to your house.
  • unclog gutters, Fix leaking Spigots and other areas that hold moisture near your walls.
  • Rake decomposing leaves in your backyard and frontage to leave them with no place to hide near your house
  • Maintain cleanliness in your garden 
  • If you want to eliminate the cockroaches in your house quickly, one tried and working product I use is BugMD Indoor Cockroach Killer & Roach Trap.

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Edet Ubok-Obong
Edet Ubok-Obong

Edet Ubok-Obong is an experienced Writer with a deep passion for Gardening, Fishing and home improvement. He shares his knowledge of these fields through this website.