Are Wood Roaches Dangerous?
You might see wood roaches outside of your home near a pile of wood, or you might find them on the inside of your home if you have recently brought in a load of firewood. You might be concerned if you see them inside your home, but fortunately, they are not as harmful as other types of cockroaches you might find. You still want to get rid of them, but first, you need to understand a little more about them.
What Are Wood Roaches?
Wood roaches look similar to other cockroaches you might find around your home. They can be dark brown, black, or reddish in color. They have smaller wings with a pale stripe on the edges. They can reach up to two inches long.
Several things distinguish wood roaches from other types of roaches you might find in your home. For one, they only consume wood, and they prefer it damp. They do not consume the varied diet of organic matter of other cockroach species.
Another thing that distinguishes wood roaches from American and German roaches is that they are attracted to light. They will not scurry for cover when you turn on the light, but they will come out to seek it. This means that you are also more likely to see them during the day.
Do Wood Roaches Bite?
Wood roaches do not seek out humans to bite. We are not a part of their diet. One can bite out of self-defense if it feels cornered. The bite would probably be less than a common mosquito bite. Unlike other cockroaches, they are not known to carry diseases.
Are Wood Roaches Harmful to Humans?
Wood roaches are not dangerous to humans. Other cockroaches will crawl through sewers and feed on dead animals, but this is not so with wood roaches. They only feed on rotting wood. They are not considered to pose any danger to humans, but that still does not mean that you want them coming into your home.
Why Do I Have Wood Roaches?
Wood roaches are attracted to moist, rotting wood. You can usually find them outside underneath the bark of a tree oar underneath a rotting log. They will not come into your home unless you have something that attracts them.
If you see a roach in your home, the first thing to do is positively identify that type you have. If you are sure that it is a wood roach, you can look for the source. Likely, they came in with firewood or by tracking in mulch from outside.
If you see more than the occasional wood roach that hitchhiked from outdoors, it might indicate a more serious problem like rotting wood in your home. You need to find the source and make sure that the cause is not moisture on wood or a pipe leak causing the wood to rot.
How to Get Rid of Wood Roaches
Unlike other roaches attracted to our homes because of their varied diets, wood roaches will leave if they do not have a food source. You might see them more often if you live in a wooded area. It is important to clean up any woodpiles and keep them away from your home.
They might also be attracted to mulch in the landscaping. Using cedar or cypress mulch will help to deter them. You will need to refresh it several times a year to remain effective. You will be more likely to see them in the summer when they are actively laying eggs and reproducing.
Wood roaches do not thrive in dry places. If you see them in your home in a moist area, you should take action to dry the area and repair any damaged wood. This will usually be enough to convince them to leave.
If you still have a problem with wood roaches, boric acid is the most common method for getting rid of any roach. This powder can be purchased in home improvement or hardware stores. You should apply fine dust in areas where you have seen the wood roaches.
The dust should be fine enough that you cannot see it. The dust should not be visible, and the roaches should walk across it by accident. It will stick to their legs because of static, and they will carry it back to their nests.
Once back at the nest, the wood roach will ingest some powder when it tries to groom itself. Other roaches will try to help and ingest some of the substance. This will affect their digestive tract, and they will not be able to absorb the nutrients from food. It also causes tiny cuts in their exoskeleton that will cause them to dehydrate. Boric acid does not kill them on contact, but you can expect to see a reduction in the population in about a week or two.
The good news about boric acid is that it will also help rid your home of other insects. Even though wood roaches are not harmful to humans, you still might not want them in your home. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to get rid of them, including eliminating their food sources and boric acid. Both of these measures offer effective, permanent solutions for wood roaches