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What’s The Difference Between Water Bugs and Cockroaches?

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Water Bugs vs. Cockroaches

Many different regions in the United States have their own particular names for the same insect. “Water bug” is one such denomination. Depending on where you live, American cockroaches, smokybrown cockroaches, and Oriental cockroaches can all be referred to as water bugs. True water bugs resemble cockroaches in many ways, but there are some key differences. Water bugs and cockroaches belong to different orders of insect, which means that treating any infestation or issue you might have depends on first correctly identifying which species of insect you might be dealing with. Read on to learn about the key differences between water bugs and cockroaches. 

What Do Water Bugs Look Like?

The true water bug is the giant water bug. These insects get their name from the fact that they are aquatic insects. You can find the giant water bug in various water sources including ponds, lakes, and slow-moving water sources like streams and creeks. They live off other insects, tadpoles, snails, crayfish and even small fish. 

Commonly larger than cockroaches at about 2 to 2.5 inches in size, these insects are brown in color and have oval shaped, elongated bodies. Giant water bugs are winged like cockroaches and are attracted to light. Giant water bugs differ from cockroaches in that they have 2 claw-like appendages which protrude from the side of their head. These are used to breathe while they are at the surface of the water. 

What Is The Main Difference Between Water Bugs And Roaches?

Cockroaches like to gather in warm, moist areas, including anything near water, but unlike water bugs, they mostly live on land. Appearance-wise, the main difference between a cockroach and a water bug is the antenna. Cockroaches have very long antennae, while water bugs have clawed feet.

Perhaps the largest difference between the giant water bug and common roach species that are misidentified as water bugs is that giant water bugs are known to bite if disturbed, threatened or handled. Their bite can be painful but is not toxic or venomous. 

The key to controlling any pest successfully is initial identification. Misidentifying any insect or rodent may only delay the solution.

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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