When we talk about the most common insects on earth, cockroaches constantly flash into our minds. However, according to studies, there is variation in the species of roaches. Studies demonstrate that bugs have 5,000 species, while a few reports clarify that there are 3,500 species on earth. Humans recognize only 30 of them while rest are unknown. Roaches have 5 most common species worldwide and Pennsylvania is ubiquitous among the them. In this article, we will intensely discuss the specifications of this roach. We will also try to solve people’s mysteries regarding Pennsylvania wood cockroaches.

A little about Pennsylvania wood cockroach

As its name indicates, the Pennsylvania wood roach is a prevalent pest in Pennsylvania. The eastern United States, from Florida in the south to southern Canada in the north, is home to wood roaches. They are not only confined to one state. At the same time, these roaches are not common in the western United States, from the Rocky Mountains to the west coast. “Parcoblatta Pennsylvania” is the scientific name for the wood roach, after the state where they existed significantly. They are commonly referred to outside Pennsylvania as “wood roaches.” You may know it’s a Pennsylvania wood roach if you reside anywhere in the eastern United States and discover a cockroach lurking in your firewood.

Can a cockroach survive without head?

Yes, and staying live without head is a masterpiece of the nature. Most of the species of bugs are known to have an open circulatory system, which keeps them alive for a week without head. Despite of their regenerative superpower, they cannot regrow their heads completely.

Physical appearance and traits

Male and female wood roaches differ significantly in appearance due to significant levels of sexual dimorphism. Males and females share six long and segmented legs, two long antennae, and segmented bodies. Like many cockroaches, the wood roach has longer antennae than its body. It uses these antennae to detect tasty foods like decaying wood and leaves. The strong spikes on the wood roach’s legs let them grip even the smoothest surfaces when climbing. The front legs are the shortest, while the strongest and longest legs are the back legs. The second and third pairs of legs are attached to the abdomen. At the same time, the wings and first pair of legs have a connection with the thorax.

The head, thorax, and abdomen make up the three parts of a cockroach’s body. When you look down at a wood cockroach, you see this in place of the head because the pronotum, a rigid shield, covers the head. In search of food, male wood roaches can effortlessly fly through open windows and into homes thanks to their body-length, functional wings. At the same time, females only have wings that are roughly half as long as their bodies. That is why females cannot fly or their thicken abdomen do not let them glide.

Also Read: cockroaches comprehensive guide

What is the favorite body part of human for Pennsylvania to bite?

According to some people, these insects do not bite but the reality is something else as they bite humans. They usually bite at fingernails, eyelashes and soft areas.

Behavior, life-cycle and reproduction

The natural behavior of the Pennsylvania wood cockroach is according to its name. They primarily exist in Pennsylvania and like to live in wooded areas, and are rarely seen indoors. Contrary to other species, wood roaches do not neglect the light but stay away from human beings. Furthermore, you can find them wandering in artificial light at night. Remember that they dislike natural light and follow bright lights.

Furthermore, if we talk about the life cycle of Pennsylvania wood cockroaches, they can hardly live for two years. After life cycle, touching the reproduction cycle, a female can lay 32 to 40 eggs simultaneously, hatching them in one month to 35 days. After hatching from an egg, a baby roach grows in three steps. First and foremost, it is a white larva that is soft and shallow. Its color changes with time. The next step is a nymph, and they stay in a nymph for 10–12 months. The final step of their growth is adulthood, but the majority cannot enjoy and live for only one more year.

The habitation

The Pennsylvania wood cockroach’s habitat differs significantly from other well-known species. Rest of the bugs love to live inside human accommodations, but their choice is to stay outdoors. They prefer to live in forests and wooded areas and find a quiet place in the woods to stay, that is why it is very rare to spot them inside the building. According to the preference, they do not come inside by their own, but access houses when people bring firewood inside. This scenario is also very problematic for wood roaches.

Diet and predators of wood roaches

As we know, cockroaches are omnivores, but the diet preferences differ of the specific bugs differ. Some species survive by eating leaves, while others like to eat fruits, and even some roaches eat trash or garbage. Pennsylvania is not like them and does not eat junk at all, and consume rotten vegetables. It is also easy to spot them where they can get food, like fallen trees, vegetable gardens, etc. When it comes to their predators, they are amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and avians.

For how much days a cockroach can survive without food?

Most of the cockroach species can survive for month without eating anything. At the same time, water is one of the essential need and without water Pennsylvania roaches can live for just 7 days.

How to get rid of them

If you live in an urban area and have roaches all over your home, you’re dealing with a different species than the Pennsylvania wood roach. However, if you reside in or close to forested areas in the eastern part of the US, you can have a wood roach problem. Firewood, open windows, and open doors are common entry points for wood roaches. Therefore, if they are near your firewood or fireplace, it clearly indicates the presence of wood roaches. However, as wood roaches find it challenging to thrive indoors and prefer to return to the outdoors, you shouldn’t be too concerned about an infestation.

It would be best if you were most concerned when wood roaches decided to nibble on your wood siding or shingles. They don’t have a very high standard for leaf litter and easily digested wood, but you want to prevent them from nibbling on your house. You should use roach traps or pesticide spray if you have a wood roach infestation. However, Pennsylvania wood roaches are generally not dangerous to people.


Pennsylvania wood cockroaches differ slightly from other species, not in shape but in characteristics. It lives in the forest or wooded areas, whereas the other species prefer to live indoors. Some eat rotten fruits or vegetables, while others can eat anything like trash, leaves, or anything. Like other roaches, the wood roach is not long and does not have that much lifespan. However, one should not worry about staying away from this roach because it lives outside the buildings.

Hey there! It's Emma Thomson; I love to share my delightful experience with pets. I really want to help you out with my sincere suggestions to select your best match pets and make them healthier and stronger!