Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach

As their name implies this species of cockroach is typically found living in wooded areas. This species rarely live inside homes and other buildings in large numbers; they prefer to live and breed outdoors. A Pennsylvania wood cockroach infestation usually occurs accidentally in Missouri homes and is generally a temporary occurrence. This past year we’ve noticed quite a few cases in Kansas City specifically.

Pest Identification

Adult male Pennsylvania wood cockroaches grow to be about 1 inch in length. The females are slightly smaller in size only growing to be about ¾ of an inch in length. Males have fully developed wings and can fly for short periods of time; females have short under developed wings and are not able to fly. Pennsylvania wood cockroaches are dark brown in color. Their thorax and the front portion of their wings are outlined in a whitish-yellow color.


The mating season for Pennsylvania wood cockroaches is in May and June. After mating, the female will place her egg capsule (which is filled with about 32-34 eggs) behind loose bark in tree stumps or under cedar shingles. The eggs will hatch after about 32 days. This nymph stage can last anywhere from 10 months to 2 years depending on temperature and other environmental conditions. Adult females will live for several months.


Pennsylvania wood cockroaches feed on decaying organic matter, sweets, and starchy materials. Outside they live underneath woodpiles, in stumps, and in hollow trees. They can become a problem in homes during mating season when the males follow wandering females into a home or other building. They are also attracted to the lights found on decks and in the windows of homes. Another common way that Pennsylvania wood cockroaches get into homes is when they are accidentally brought inside with piles of wood.


The best way to prevent problems with Pennsylvania wood cockroaches is to make changes around your home to stop them from getting inside. Inspect the exterior of your home and seal cracks or crevices in the foundation or walls and install door sweeps under all doors. To prevent problems with these pests it is also a good idea to inspect firewood before bringing it into your home.


If Pennsylvania wood cockroaches have made their way into your home, the safest and most effective way to eliminate them is with the help of a professional. At Rottler Pest and Lawn Services our technicians will use insecticide baits, non-repellent insecticide formulations, and monitors (sticky traps) to trap and eliminate cockroaches. Baits are particularly effective, but correct placement is essential. Also, incorporating pest monitoring into the service helps with long-term control. For more information about controlling Pennsylvania wood cockroaches in your Missouri home through our year-round pest control services contact Rottler Pest and Lawn Services today!