Wood roaches are also known as water bugs, palmetto bugs or tree roaches. Pest control companies call them American cockroaches. They are reddish brown in color, and they are one of the larger species of cockroach. Although they do not bite or sting, they can be unsightly and leave behind roach droppings. They generally live outdoors, but will come inside in search of water or food. Hot and dry months tend to be the worst months for spotting cockroaches indoors. Several simple measures will reduce or eliminate their presence in your home.

Prevention

Step 1

Check your home for cracks and openings where cockroaches can enter the home. Pay special attention to problem areas such as the bathroom, kitchen or any area where you have spotted cockroaches inside.

Step 2

Seal off any openings with caulk, plumbing tape or foams that harden to plug up cracks and holes. Closing up these openings are an effective and long-term measure to keep cockroaches from coming indoors. Cockroaches sometimes come in from the attic, so check and seal any cracks between your living area and the attic.

Step 3

Dust a thin layer of boric acid powder along cracks and other places where you have seen cockroaches. Boric acid dehydrates and kills cockroaches.

Step 4

Repair leaky pipes and remove any source of standing water, as cockroaches are drawn to moist areas. Keep your home as dry as possible, taking care to not let water collect in pools in the bathroom, kitchen and on the floor.

Step 5

Store food in airtight containers and do not leave dirty dishes in the sink. Make sure counters are wiped down at all times. Cockroaches can detect a molecule of food, so don't underestimate the importance of sanitary habits in the kitchen.

Step 6

Move and store any firewood away from the house, because cockroaches will often live in the firewood. The farther it is from your home, the farther the cockroaches will have to travel.

Step 7

Cut outdoor plants and vines so that they are not grown over your windows and doors.

Elimination

Step 1

Place baits for large cockroaches in problem areas, such as underneath the kitchen sink or behind the clothes washer and dryer. Tuck them out of the way so that children and pets do not reach them.

Step 2

Spray a cockroach spray on infestations. Since wood roaches generally live outdoors, this is usually not necessary.

Step 3

Use a cockroach fogger for severe cockroach infestation. Foggers require that no one is in the home during the fogging and for at least several hours afterward.