This small, social insect lives in large congregations inside and around decaying tree trucks, stumps and limbs. Keeping the generations together is the only way of keeping the population alive. Nymphs of the Brown-Hooded Cockroach are hatched without the ability to digest cellulose, the chief component of plant cells. Their diet is decaying wood, so nymphs need a way to break down wood. Adults rely on cellulose-destroying protozoans in their digestive organs in order to glean nutrition from the wood. In order to ingest the same necessary protozoans, the nymphs must feed on the fecal matter of adults. Without the feces, which harbors the living protozoans, the nymphs would essentially starve to death.
The Brown-Hooded Cockroach does not enter buildings with the intention of living there like other nuisance cockroaches. It is not considered a pest. The outdoors is their preferred domain. As rotting wood is both their habitat and food, it is likely to be found in woodlands and forests with fallen trees and broken branches that likely hold many others of its kind.