Brown-Hooded Cockroach: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Brown-hooded cockroach facts are interesting to read

The brown-hooded cockroach is one of the most common insects found in North America. Also known as a wood roach, an eastern wood-eating cockroach, and a wingless wood roach, it has layered hoods covering its upper body. Male and female roaches slightly differ in appearance. Female roaches have a broader abdomen. These cockroaches are primarily found around decaying wood logs which is their typical food source. Nymphs do not have the required protozoans to break down wood and feed on the fecal matter of their parents. They produce two generations of cockroaches in one life span.

Read on for more facts about the brown hooded cockroach. For more relatable content, check out these hissing cockroach facts and oriental cockroach facts for kids.

Brown-hooded cockroach

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Decaying wood

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.003-0.004 oz (0.1-0.12 g)

How long are they?

1-1.2 in (25.4-30 mm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black or brown

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Climate change

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Woodlands, forests, fallen trees, and broken branches


North America





Scientific Name

Cryptocercus punctulatus





Brown-Hooded Cockroach Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a brown-hooded cockroach?

The brown-hooded cockroach is a type of bug which shares some characteristics similar to termites.

What class of animal does a brown-hooded cockroach belong to?

The brown hooded cockroach, Cryptocercus punctulatus, belongs to class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda and order Blattodea of the Animal kingdom.

How many brown-hooded cockroaches are there in the world?

There are more than 4,600 species of cockroaches existing in the world. These brown-hooded cockroaches (Cryptocercus punctulatus) have a minute body, so the exact number of cockroaches of this particular species is yet unrecorded. However, they can easily be found in Alabama, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Cockroaches are fairly abundant in the world.

Where does a brown-hooded cockroach live?

A brown-hooded cockroach (Cryptocercus punctulatus) abodes in woodlands and forests with fallen trees and broken branches in North America.

What is a brown-hooded cockroach's habitat?

The Cryptocercus punctulatus lives in the tropical and mild climate of woodlands and forests of North America.  As it is a wood-eating insect, the wood comprises both its habitat and food. They can be found dwelling in large logs of wood.

Who do brown-hooded cockroaches live with?

Cryptocercus punctulatus live in monogamous pairs and produce their own community of cockroaches through reproduction. Offsprings in their nymph stage do not have the required protozoans in the digestive system to break down the cellulose of rotting wood to imbibe nutrients. Nymphs feed on the fecal matter of adults whose digestive system is equipped and without this, they might starve to death. It becomes necessary for the parents to feed the family for some months after hatching. They live in an association, exhibiting the most primitive sub-social behavior.

How long does a brown-hooded cockroach live?

The average lifespan of a wood roach is about 200 days in which they produce two generations of cockroaches annually.

How do they reproduce?

The hooded cockroach (Cryptocercus punctulatus) of the animal kingdom reproduces mainly in the months of May and June. The females of this species have paired ovaries with fallopian tubes in which the eggs develop. The fallopian tube leads to an oviduct and finally to the vagina. There are ovipositor valves present at the opening of the vagina to enhance copulation. Females have a spermathecal duct to hold the male's sperms which opens at the base of the ovipositor valves.  Males have paired testes. A spermatophore is formed during the initial two minutes of copulation and it extends to the spermathecal duct of females. In a single oviposition period, females produce one to four oothecae. These oothecae are to be found embedded in the wood roaches. A single ootheca consists of 12 to 41 eggs. The nymphs produced are subsocial and demand interaction with the adults to grow.

What is their conservation status?

The Cryptocercus punctulatus exists in good numbers and can easily be found around tropical woodlands and forests of North America. Their conservation status is stated as Least Concern by the IUCN.

Brown-Hooded Cockroach Fun Facts

What do brown-hooded cockroaches look like?

The hooded cockroach, Cryptocercus punctulatus of family Cryptocercidae, is a wood-eating cockroach that lives in dead and decaying wood logs around the moist forests and woodlands of North America. This cockroach is either brown or black in color with integuments. It remains wingless its entire life and hence cannot fly unlike the adult American cockroach (Periplanata americana) which can fly up to a short distance. These cockroaches are not regular fliers. The brown-hooded cockroach Cryptocercus has a flat, oval, and shiny body of about 1-1.2 in (25.4-30 mm). Their mouthparts point backward whereas their head is bent downwards. It has certain protozoans in its digestive tract which help in the breakdown of cellulose in wood and thereby aiding in digestion. These protozoans are absent in the nymphs so they depend on the fecal matter of the parent species to feed themselves. Protozoans live in a symbiotic relation with the host which is Cryptocercus punctulatus. This species shares common features with termites which belong to the same order as Cryptocercus punctulatus. Termites are also wood consumers often hollowing the wood furniture in houses. The termites (Isoptera) have cellulose digesting protozoans which Cryptocercus punctulatus also has.

Cockroaches are the most primitive living beings on the planet.

*Please note that the picture is of a bush cockroach from Australia. If you have a picture of a brown-hooded cockroach please let us know at

How cute are they?

It is not a domestic pest which we are used to. It is just a wingless roach insect that performs nothing other than wood eating. This species of roach can be disgusting because of its unusual appearance. Cockroaches usually do not have a friendly disposition. They might get scared if encountered by any human.

How do they communicate?

The Cryptocercus punctulatus releases an awful odor. This odor is due to the pheromones which give insects their individualistic identity and they communicate through these pheromones.

How big is a brown-hooded cockroach?

They can grow up to a length of 0.9-1.2 in (23-30 mm). The male and female vary in size. The female species is comparatively shorter. They are bigger than cuckoo wasps but nearly two times smaller than painted lady butterflies.

How fast can a brown-hooded cockroach run?

The Cryptocercus punctulatus is wingless so it cannot cover any significant distance soon. It was however recorded that they can run 3 mph (4.8 kph).

How much does a brown-hooded cockroach weigh?

The Cryptocercus punctulatus weighs around 0.003-0.004 oz (0.1-0.12 g). They are smaller than northern paper wasps.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female species of this genus do not have distinct names. Both the sexes are called Cryptocercus punctulatus.

What would you call a baby brown-hooded cockroach?

The babies of Cryptocercus punctulatus or any insect, in general, are called nymphs. The best name to call a juvenile brown-hooded cockroach is a brown-hooded cockroach baby.

What do they eat?

The cockroach Cryptocercus punctulatus feeds on rotting wood its entire life with the help of the protozoans present in their guts similar to termites.

Are they dangerous?

The cockroach Cryptocercus punctulatus is not dangerous.  However, they might contaminate your food and utensils and possibly your furniture if they are housed in your homes.

Would they make a good pet?

They can be a good pet but this species are outdoorsy, unlike American cockroaches and termites. It might be a task to find rotting wood to feed them similar to their natural habitat, so, hardly anyone keeps them as pets.

Did you know...

These cockroaches still look like how they used to look 320 million years ago. They are the most primitive living creatures present on this planet.

Are brown-hooded cockroaches related to termites?

Brown-hooded cockroaches and termites share the same order in the animal kingdom. They are also a fellow category to wood-eating cockroaches of the genus Cryptocercus. Termites can feed on any sort of wood but the brown-hooded roach of the family Cryptocercidae eats specifically rotting wood. Both of these insects are wingless with a digestive feature of having cellulose digesting enzymes in their guts.

How to tell male and female brown-hooded cockroaches apart?

The body of the female is comparatively larger than male brown-hood roaches. Males have a slender abdomen while females have a boat-shaped abdomen with a blunt ending segment unlike the pointed one in males.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our purple emperor butterfly facts and mud dauber wasp facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable cockroach coloring pages.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.