A number of species belong in this group. Adults measure 1/2-inch to one inch in length.
Reddish brown to dark brown, depending on the species. Females do not have fully developed wings, only small wing pads.
This species lives primarily outdoors and is considered a nuisance pest, as it does not breed inside homes. Adult males usually mature in June and July and are active at night. Being strong fliers, they will readily fly to lights on buildings and may crawl inside. Where conditions exist to support adult females and nymphs close to a home foundation, these may wander inside occasionally throughout the summer.
Various species of woods cockroaches occur throughout the United States, but these are more common in eastern and southern states. They live among piles of leaves, mulch, lumber piles, firewood piles and similar outdoor harborages. Homes located on wooded lots may be more prone to encounters with these cockroaches. In extreme cases where soffits remain moist or wet due to clogged gutters or leaks, woods cockroaches can become established in soffits and behind fascia boards, especially around chimneys.
Changing exterior lighting to yellow “bug” lights can help reduce the number of cockroaches attracted to a home, as can simply keeping lights turned off. It is also important to seal as many exterior cracks as possible, and to ensure that all foundation and attic vents have tight-fitting screens. Removing leaf piles, woodpiles and other harborages is very important in minimizing the potential number of cockroaches near the home.