Wood Cockroach


Actual Size: Typically ranges from 1/2 to 1 inch in length.

Characteristics: Flattened, oval-shaped body with a dark brown color.

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes, adult wood cockroaches have wings.

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Wood cockroaches are commonly found in wooded or forested areas. They prefer outdoor environments, especially in decaying wood, under bark, or in leaf litter.


  • These roaches are active at night and drawn to light sources, often found near outdoor lights.
  • Predominantly inhabit outdoor areas, particularly wooded regions.
  • Play a role in breaking down decaying organic matter, aiding in the natural decomposition process in wooded environments.

Wood Cockroach in Michigan

Wood cockroaches in Michigan, scientifically known as Parcoblatta pennsylvanica, are distinct from other cockroach species. These native residents measure around 1/2 to 1 inch in length, boasting a flattened, dark brown body. Unlike some roaches, wood cockroaches lack fully developed wings, giving them a more modest appearance. They are typically found in outdoor environments, such as wooded areas, living under bark or in leaf litter. Unlike their indoor counterparts, wood cockroaches are not prone to establishing infestations inside homes. Their nocturnal habits and attraction to outdoor lights occasionally bring them near residential areas. Contributing to the ecosystem, wood cockroaches play a role in the natural decomposition process by feeding on decaying organic matter in their woodland habitats.

Wood Cockroach Habitat

In their natural habitat, wood cockroaches thrive among decaying logs, fallen trees, and rotting wood in wooded areas. Preferring outdoor environments, they are skilled climbers and can be found navigating leaves and branches. Opportunistic feeders, these roaches consume decaying leaves, fungi, and plant material, contributing to the natural decomposition process. While their outdoor inclination reduces the likelihood of infesting homes, wood cockroaches may occasionally venture indoors, often discovered in firewood or outdoor materials brought inside. Understanding their habitat preferences aids in preventive measures for homeowners in wooded regions, ensuring a more roach-resistant environment.

Wood Cockroach Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Wood cockroaches are generally outdoor insects that inhabit wooded areas, playing a vital role in the natural decomposition process. These roaches are not known for thriving in unsanitary environments or contaminating human living spaces. While their indoor presence may cause discomfort for some individuals and their feces and shed skin particles could trigger allergies in sensitive people, they are not aggressive and rarely bite. Wood cockroaches contribute to the ecosystem by breaking down decaying wood and organic matter. Although they are not significant disease vectors, addressing any infestations promptly is advisable to maintain a healthy living environment.

If you suspect a wood cockroach infestation, contact a professional cockroach exterminator.