Wood Roaches Versus German Roaches

by | Last updated Jun 28, 2023 | Roaches

Any major differences; Wood Roaches Versus German Roaches. Apart from a few things, there is nothing more frustrating than a roach infestation in your home.

The moment you realize that what you just saw is a cockroach, panic sets in and leads you into a whole new different kind of mood. Immediately, you start questioning your hygiene practices and whether you have an infestation or not.

Unfortunately, these pests multiply fast. Not acting fast might get you into a case of roach infestation. However, before the panicking and the hygiene questions, do you know what type of roach you just saw?

Identifying the type of roach you are dealing with is very crucial because different types of roaches manifest in different ways. You, therefore, need to know the type you are dealing with to determine whether or not you have an infestation in your home.

Wood Roaches Versus German Roaches

Despite their similar appearance wood roaches and German roaches are quite different. Wood roaches are found exclusively outdoor. Often found rotten logs, firewood, and under rotten tree barks.

The German roach is the most common type of cockroach in the entire world. This is mainly because they invade spaces occupied by humans and multiply extremely fast.

You will find them in kitchens, restrooms, restaurants, and even bedrooms.

Identification of Wood roaches

They appear brown to reddish-brown and have oval-shaped bodies. The females have smaller wings that only cover a small part of the body while the males have fully developed larger wing pads covering the entire body.

The wood roaches rarely make their way into households because they desire a moist environment only found in the woods. This moist environment gives them favorable conditions for them to reproduce.

They are quite bigger than the German roaches measuring between 12-30 mm.

Identification of German roaches

An adult German roach is identified by its light brown to tan coloring. They have dark stripes on their backs that are almost parallel. Similar to the Wood roaches, they are oval-shaped.

The females appear to be darker than the males while the nymphs have a darker coloration and appear as if they are black. Even though they have wings the German roaches would rather run around than take a flight.

They are smaller than other cockroaches with adults measuring between 13-16 mm. This enables them to hide into smaller spaces and be carried around in boxes without one noticing them.

Wood Roach Diet and Life Cycle

The wood roaches virtually feed on anything. However, according to their nature, they prefer eating dead plant material. Often you will find them feeding on decaying organic matter like rotting leaves and tree logs.

They are less likely to feed on your furniture or housing structure in case they invade. When found in your home, the wood roaches are merely a nuisance.

The female wood roach produces around 30 egg cases in a lifetime with each egg containing approximately 32 eggs. The eggs are laid under loose tree barks because they provide the conducive moist environment necessary for the eggs to hatch.

They take approximately 45 days to hatch and about 8 ½ months for them to mature.

German Roach Diet and Life Cycle

The German roaches are categorically omnivorous. You will find them eating meats, foods that contain starch, fatty foods, and sugars.

In deserted households where there is no food, the German roaches will virtually feed on anything. In such a situation, the pests feed on household items such as bar soap, toothpaste, and plastic.

The female German roach produces up to 400 eggs in a lifetime. They are prolific breeders due to the high amount of eggs produced. An ideal population contains 75 percent nymphs and 25 percent adults.

Upon hatching and with favorable environmental conditions, the nymphs take approximately 100 days for them to mature. They hide during the day and go scavenging at night. That is why you are less likely to see one of them during the day.

The German and wood roach undergo the three life stages of egg, nymph, and adult which is a basic characteristic of all insects with incomplete metamorphosis.

Limiting factors such as temperature, nutrition may however affect the time taken for them to undergo a complete cycle.

Signs of German and Wood Roach Infestation in Your Home

Identifying a German roach infestation is quite simple because these pests seem not to quite know how to hide their invasion. A typical sign of an infestation is the presence of dark droppings that resemble coffee grounds.

When you check in corners of your rooms you might also find dark stains as a result of their droppings. Once in a while, you will find dead roaches or parts of their wings and other body parts such as legs.

You might also want to take a look at your toothpaste and soap because these creatures have a weird liking for these household commodities.

They are afraid of light therefore when you walk into a dark room at night and switch on the lights you will see them running to their hiding places.

The wood roaches on the other hand don’t seem to like dark places that much. Often you will find them in plain sight during the day and will only scatter away when you make a move towards them.

Controlling Wood Roach Infestation

It is difficult to find wood roaches breeding in your house. Even so, the insecticides used to terminate German roaches are not as effective in controlling these pests.

To prevent them from invading your home there are certain control measures that you need to take.

  • Avoid carrying firewood into your house unless you must do so.
  • Firewood should be kept above the ground to prevent the roaches from accessing them.
  • Seal all the cracks and any unnecessary openings prevent them from slipping inside the house.
  • Since they are attracted to light, you can turn off the blinds to avoid inviting them

Controlling German Roach infestation

German roaches are a nuisance and quite difficult to control. They require very minimal amounts of food for their survival and reproduction. To control a possible infestation, you need to take a serious look into your hygiene practices.

However, you can still have an infestation even if your hygiene standards are optimum. Therefore, for an effective pest control strategy, you need to ensure that you terminate any contributing factors to the survival of these pests such as food, water, and harborage. This can be done through proper sanitation.

Repellant insecticides do not control a German roach infestation quite well. Therefore, for it to work properly you need to consider using non-repellent insecticides because they cannot be easily detected by cockroaches. You can also use contact sprays which will kill the roaches upon contact. It also scares them away from their hiding places.

Apart from sanitation, using baits can reduce a German roach infestation by up to 90 percent. You can achieve this by using gel baits in areas where the roaches travel the most.

The idea behind the gel baits is that once a cockroach comes into contact with the gel bait it can contaminate up to 40 other German roaches through body contact and droppings.

The main difference between the two is that the wood roach is mainly found outdoors. Its breeding activities happen in moist conditions such as under tree barks and rotting logs The German roach on the other hand thrives in environments surrounded by humans.

They multiply faster because they lay more eggs and require small amounts of food for them to survive. One similarity that stands out between the two is their life cycle.


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Like most insects with incomplete metamorphosis, they undergo the three stages of life (Egg, nymph, and adult).

Related reading: How to get rid of roach infestation

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