How to Get Rid of Wood Roaches? [Insecticides vs. Natural Remedies]

Wood roaches are one of the worst pests to find in your home. They are completely harmless. Still, many homeowners in humid areas of North America find wood roaches to be nuisances. Thankfully, they are easy to get rid of and won’t breed inside your home.

The best way to get rid of wood roaches is to use glue traps. Place these traps in areas where you are seeing a lot of wood roaches. Discard them and apply new traps frequently. However, there are other ways to get rid of wood roaches, including insecticides and decluttering. 

Thankfully, wood roaches are not usually a huge problem. Removing them isn’t too difficult, as we’ve explained below.

Getting Rid of Wood Roaches

Wood roaches aren’t hard to get rid of. They don’t breed indoors, so any wood roaches you find have wandered into your home. There are quite a few ways to remove them, and prevention is necessary. 

Glue Traps

Firstly, put glue traps down in the places where you see the most wood roach activity. You can even find glue traps that don’t include chemicals or pesticides. Most experts agree that you can remove wood roaches without aggressive measures. However, male wood roaches have wings and will fly away at the first sign of danger. 

A glue trap will keep the males from flying away. This way, you can dispose of them without being startled. 

Make sure to replace glue traps often to trap new wood roach tourists. Place them in areas where your pets and children can’t access them. The glue may be non-toxic, but it can stick to paws and fingers.


Insecticides can deter wood roaches, though they are not usually necessary. Still, for large migrations of wood roaches, an insecticide barrier can help. Bifen IT and other concentrated solutions can be mixed with water and sprayed around your home. 

The benefits? There is a long list of insects and pests that these sprays will deter. It’s a single solution for all of your pest problems. 

However, it’s also extremely toxic and full of chemicals. You must mix and apply it correctly, and never spray it on firewood. Since wood roaches live in woodpiles, it can be tempting to spray them down. Only use insecticides on the wood you aren’t intending to burn. 

Be aware that wood roaches have a natural immunity to some common roach insecticides.


Natural Remedies

Natural remedies can be effective at deterring wood roaches. You don’t have to necessarily use a natural remedy – sometimes, just sweeping the roach away will work. Though diatomaceous earth can be unsafe for children and pets, the other natural methods present no safety concerns.

Diatomaceous Earth

Like most crawling insects, wood roaches are not immune to the effects of diatomaceous earth. Dust the thresholds of your doors. Don’t neglect other areas where roaches might be crawling into your home. 

Again, this remedy can also help with other pests. Crawling insects can easily die after exposure to diatomaceous earth. 

Be aware when using this natural remedy – pets and kids should not be around when you’re spreading the powder, and you should keep them away from areas where it is spread. Though it isn’t innately harmful, it can cause digestive problems when consumed.

Change Outdoor Lights

Male wood roaches love lights Using a light directly outside your door can draw them in. Alternatively, wood roaches are attracted to light coming from inside your house. 

Female wood roaches are usually timid, but they can congregate around lights in hopes of attracting a mate. Males will flock to the location if a female decides to set up shop.

To keep them away, make sure that you close your blinds at night. Use dim outdoor lights that won’t attract them to your door.

Sweep Roaches Away

Wood roaches don’t breed in your home. The roaches you find inside are usually males, and they are harmless. They will die within a few days if they are stuck inside.

Still, your peace of mind is important. You can simply sweep wood roaches away, pick them up on a dustpan, and deposit them outside. 

You can also vacuum them up. Make sure to clean the vacuum container or bag immediately afterward.

How Do I Get Rid of Wood Roaches Outside? 

It’s not easy to get rid of roaches outside your home. For best results, keep woodpiles and debris far from your home. If you have wooden siding, spray insecticide and seal any openings that may allow roaches to get inside. 

Check wood logs thoroughly before bringing them inside. You can also avoid wood roaches approaching your home if you dim your outdoor lights. 

Full yard poisoning techniques may get rid of wood roaches entirely. However, these methods rarely work on hardy wood roaches. Pest removal services may be able to help.

How Do I Get Rid of Wood Roaches in Florida?

Florida’s special type of wood roach is a different story altogether. The Florida Woods Cockroach is larger than a standard American Cockroach and can sometimes nest inside. 

To get rid of these roaches, seal all entries to your home. Use screens and weather stripping. If there is leaf debris or decaying plant matter close to your home, remove it as soon as possible. Other removal methods we presented above can help as well.

Identifying Wood Roaches

There are over 4,000 cockroach species in the world, but an extremely small percentage of them are pests. Wood roaches are part of the 1% of species that are considered pests. 

With so many species, it can be difficult to identify a wood roach. Wood roaches look similar to their American roach cousins, so it’s difficult to tell them apart. 

Wood Roach vs American Roach

Both the wood roach and the American roach have flat, oval bodies. They have six spiny legs, long antennae, and can squeeze into just about any crevice.

However, American roaches are mostly flat brown colors. They may have a lighter spot on their backs, but most are brown all over.

Wood roaches are smaller (between ¾ of an inch and 1 ¼ inch long). They also appear tan rather than dark brown. Male wood roaches have wings, where American roaches are wingless. 

Are Wood Roaches The Same as Cockroaches? 

Wood roaches are cockroaches. However, they are a different species of roach than the American roach. Most homeowners who deal with roaches in the US are seeing American roaches.

Is it Harmful to Live With Roaches? 

Wood roaches do not carry diseases. They don’t cause damage and they won’t make you sick. While they can be inconvenient, they aren’t harmful. This is another way that they differ from the American roach. 

Wood roaches also don’t live in wood furniture. It might seem like they would, based on the name. However, more common American roaches can nest in wooden furniture and cause damage to wooden structures. 

The American roach also carries bacteria that can cause various diseases. These include dysentery, cholera, salmonella, and more. Wood roaches, on the other hand, are relatively harmless. They represent only a mild nuisance and present no real health threat.

What Attracts Wood Roaches? 

Wood roaches are not attracted by waste. They aren’t going to come into your home in search of food. Their diet consists of rotting wood (from down trees and firewood) and leaf litter. Any decaying plant matter will attract them. 

They are also attracted to lights. As stated above, female wood roaches tend to congregate around porch lights. This means that males will fly towards your porch lights, regardless of whether there is a female there or not. 

Usually, that’s about it. Wood roaches aren’t attracted to anything inside your home – they simply wander in and can’t get out. They nest in wooded areas, but they are easily confused.

How Do Wood Roaches Get In? 

Once they are on your porch, they can crawl in around the cracks in your door. They can also find their way into cracks in your foundation. Any crevice can bring wood roaches in. They won’t crawl up your drains, as they usually leave pipes alone.

Wood Roach Prevention Tips

To prevent wood roaches, you can take the following steps:

  • Remove firewood and debris from around your home.
  • Clean up your yard.
  • Seal cracks in your walls and foundations using wire mesh.
  • Don’t bring firewood inside until you’re ready to burn it. 
  • Reduce lights at night.

These tips, combined with the information throughout this article, can help you get rid of wood roaches. At the very least, it will stop them from coming into your home. 

Be aware that if you live near a wooded area, you might find more wood roaches. This is normal since it is close to their natural habitat. If all prevention methods fail, you can always call a professional pest removal service. 

If wood roaches are common in your climate, professionals will know best about how to remove them. Usually, wood roaches do not ‘infest’ your home. 

Final Words

Wood roaches are harmless, but they can be a nuisance if you find them in your home. Use glue traps or other prevention methods to keep them away. To prevent wood roaches from entering your home, seal cracks and keep wood and debris far from the house. There are many natural methods to keep wood roaches away if you consider them pests. You can change your outdoor lights, or spread diatomaceous earth powder away from children and pests.

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