Several cockroach species in the native Parcoblatta genus invade homes throughout the northeastern US, but some Parcoblatta pest species can be found in other regions of the country. Generally, cockroaches in this genus are most abundant in wooded areas in the eastern US, and they are often encountered nesting below decaying logs, behind the bark of dead trees, and beneath wood piles. Parcoblatta adults and eggs are frequently brought indoors after they establish nesting sites within firewood, but due to their attraction to lights, males commonly fly into homes where they often establish infestations. Parcoblatta roach infestations are particularly common in upstate New York where many homes are located within and near wooded areas.
The US is home to 12 Parcoblatta species, but only three are considered indoor pests in the northeast. Of these species, Parcoblatta pennsylvanica is the most common indoor pest, while P. lata and P. virginica are less common in the region. P. pennsylvanica, more commonly known as the “Pennsylvania woods cockroach,” is light brown in color with pale-brown corners on its wings and thorax. While both males and females look alike, males are larger and possess more developed wings, allowing them to fly indoors. Because of this, residents only encounter the relatively large 1 to 1.25 inch males indoors. Males often infest homes in rural areas and homes located near wooded areas, and they fly en masse toward indoor and outdoor lights around dusk.
Pennsylvania woods cockroaches are abundant around suburban households, particularly beneath lawn litter and wood piles. Males are competent flyers, as they can maintain flight for at least 30 minutes, and indoor invasions are most common during May and June. Since only males tend to congregate within homes, these roaches do not typically establish reproductive infestations, unless females wander or are accidentally transported indoors.
Have you ever witnessed a cockroach/es fly into your home?