What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Thinking the worst, hoping for the best.
March 31, 2010
When I first saw this bug it was at night & it flew from my hallway to my livingroom. By the time I went to get a container to catch it to find out what it was, it was gone. About ten minutes later it was flying towards one of my livingroom lights. As I attempted to catch it, it ran pretty quickly on the floor. My husband has tried to calm my nerves by saying that it’s just a water bug that’s come in the house. We live in the country & we recently had high water & our septic backed up in the yard because of the creek behind the house. I don’t believe him & think that it’s a type of roach. This is the largest one that I’ve seen in the house. & the last time that I saw a similar bug was over 2 years ago when we had high water & our septic pipes f ell. I have two young children & am worried that I may have the start of an infestation. I put a 32v standard auto fuse (sorry no coins near by) beside it to show you how big it is.
Nervous Ninny
Eastern Ohio

Wood Roach

Dear Nervous Ninny,
Calm your nerves.  Yes it is a Cockroach, but luckily it is not a species that infests homes.  This is a Wood Roach in the genus Parcoblatta.  Wood Roaches are much happier outside in the woods, but they are attracted to light.  Again, let us reiterate that Wood Roaches do not infest homes.  You can read more about them on BugGuide.  You are our third letter today from Ohio, including one from our home town Youngstown.  We wonder, perhaps, if there was some local publicity.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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15 Responses to Wood Roach

  1. joeybean424 says:

    I was also wondering what kind of bug this was. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and within the past 2 weeks, my garage has become infested with them. I thought we had some how gotten cockroaches, I never heard of the wood one’s before. Then, tonight, a HUGE one was on our wall and when I went to kill it, it took off flying……….scarey! We don’t have any firewood or wood around our house, but a few months ago, I bought about 10 bags of dog food……I was wondering if they could have been brought in with them.

  2. Jerry says:

    About 8 to 10 months ago, a large section of woods were cut down in our neighborhood for someone to build a new large home. Afterwars we started noticing very large roach looking bugs around and in our house. We were told they were Wood Beetles (they look like extra large roaches) and that they would not infest our home. We only saw a couple of them until just recently and now we have noticed tiny ones (they don’t look the same as the roaches we’ve seen in the past) in the bathroom and about once or twice a week a large one on the wall. How do we get rid of them?

  3. Tammy M. says:

    I found one in my apartment the other day too, I flipped out! My apartment manager called Terminex, and he said what you explained it is a wood roach and is happier outside, he just got lost.
    No need to worry 🙂 Flatwoods, KY.

    • bugman says:

      Wow, we are impressed that an exterminator would pass up a job that way. We have a generally suspicious opinion of exterminators which we believe might spray more often than needed.

  4. brandy says:

    ok I love bugs! I mean my nickname is school was bug because of all the random information I had about bugs! spiders are my favorite and I can do every type of bug EXCEPT roaches! I don’t do roaches and I just found this bug climbing up my wall, so thank god its a lost roach (still ew) and I don’t have to move! or burn my house down! it climbed out beside my AC before I caught it but not before I got a good look! so thank you for easing my worries!

  5. brandy says:

    ps also from ohio, just moved here. is this gonna be a common thing in ohio, first stink bugs now wood roaches!?

  6. debra says:

    I have found 4 of these roaches at my campet. Have never seen them since year. They like to come out when i have company.

  7. Brittany says:

    I would have freaked out screaming and hollering if there was one of those bugs around me and trying to fly away if I try to kill it. I don’t like bugs. Multiples of big cockroaches oming out of drains like the kitchen and bathroom sinks and the shower/tub drain, I’d frantically leave the house in tears.

  8. […] Wood roaches, which can fly and scare the daylights out of you, are often found in Ohio, according to some experts. […]

  9. Christopher Vaughn says:

    Habits and Biology of Woods Cockroaches
    These roaches are attracted to light which makes them different from other roaches. Females produce about 950 eggs a year, with one generation. Eggs hatch in the summer and mature the following spring. A life cycle can last two years. Adults are present May through early October. The roaches do not survive inside buildings. In wooded areas, these cockroaches can be seen in the headlights of automobiles at dusk. The males are attracted to lights. They are active during the winter and are often found in firewood. They live in moist woodland areas. They do not come inside unless carried inside with firewood or they may wander in on their own. These roaches are not startled and begin scampering when approached. These outside roaches do not reproduce inside like the German roach. They need consistent moist conditions in their environment such as under decaying logs, wood piles or loose bark. If they are inside, it is only a temporary condition. (Info found on do it yourself pest control website)

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