Water Bugs and Cockroaches: Are They the Same Bug?

Water Bugs and Cockroaches: Are They the Same Bug?

February 28, 2022

While some believe that water bugs and cockroaches are different names for the same insect, there are some important distinctions to be made. Because water bug has a unique regional meaning, there tends to be some confusion around these pests - leading people to use the wrong type of treatment on the water bugs or cockroaches found around their house. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to tell them apart. Learn more below about water bugs and cockroaches.

What is a Water Bug?

A water bug is an aquatic insect, but it's also incorrectly a colloquial name for cockroaches. When used to talk about cockroaches, the term water bug most often refers to the American cockroach, which prefers to live outdoors but is also known to infest homes. Some may also use this term to refer to Oriental and Smoky Brown cockroaches, but this is much less common. Depending on where you live in the world, every cockroach can be considered a water bug. However, not every water bug can be considered a cockroach, as water bugs are a specific type of insect found dwelling in or around pools of water. This will be explained better below.

True water bugs are larger in size and similar in shape to cockroaches, but they lack antennae and have a less rounded body. Unlike the colloquial cockroaches, you won't find true water bugs around your home, but rather near streams or ponds in certain areas of the United States. These large bugs can bite and are best left alone.

What is a Cockroach?

Cockroaches are common pests that can cause infestations in homes where food is readily available. They hide in dark, damp areas until they are out of sight, making them difficult to locate. Not every type of cockroach lives indoors, however, leading to the colloquial term of water bugs. There are a few cockroaches that are never referred to as water bugs. The Brown-Banded and German cockroaches tend to live in human homes, rather than outdoors, so these bugs are always referred to as roaches.

How to Tell a Water Bug and Cockroach Apart

The best way to determine what pest you're dealing with is to compare a dead one to an image online. Water bugs are often much bigger than cockroaches. True water bugs can be between two and four inches long, while the American cockroach, sometimes called a water bug, can grow over two inches long. The German cockroach rarely grows larger than a penny. You can also tell them apart through the excrement they leave behind. German cockroaches will leave tiny black droppings that look similar to coffee grounds, while American cockroach water bugs will drop larger, more cylindrical droppings. These two tells should be enough evidence to determine which species is infesting your property.

Eliminate Roaches and Water Bugs with MosquitoNix®

If you have determined that you have been infested by water bugs or cockroaches, it is important to act as quickly as possible. It is important to call a professional so that you can be ensured that the pest has been completely eliminated. If you are looking for a professional exterminator with years of experience, you have come to the right place. Contact MosquitoNix® today if you are interested in our cockroach and water bug removal processes. Give us a call or send us an email to learn more about inspection, free quotes and more.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.