Water Bugs vs. Roaches:

What’s the Difference?

As like cockroaches, water bugs enjoy being in wet areas, but they are not real water bugs. They are actually cockroaches as some of the species of cockroach are referred to as water bugs. 

It is not uncommon for people to not know the difference between a water bug and a cockroach. Water bugs are from the Hemiptera family. They get the name “water bug” because they have paddle-like legs that help them thrive in aquatic environments.

As for cockroaches, water bugs enjoy being in wet areas, but they are not real water bugs. They are actually cockroaches as some of the species of cockroach are referred to as water bugs. Examples of true water bugs are giant water bugs (Belostomatidade), water scorpions (Nepidade), and water boatmen (Corixidade) to name a few.

The American cockroach is also referred to as the American Water Bug and can adapt quickly to its surroundings. The main difference between cockroach and water bug is that cockroaches do not need to live in water the way that true water bugs do.

American Cockroach scurrying on the floor

American Cockroach

Water Bug vs. Roach Identification

Cockroaches can survive in areas that are both moist and warm while real water bugs, however, need large bodies of water to ensure their survival. Cockroaches can adapt to their surroundings, and although they frequent warm, moist areas, they are not aquatic.

American cockroach or American water bug adults grow to an average length of 1.6 inches. They are reddish-brown in color and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head.

Water bugs can be found almost anywhere, but they are dark brown in color and have a particular preference for moist dark areas in your home or business including:
• Bathrooms
• Kitchens
• Basements
• Garages
• Storage areas
• Commercial buildings

Water bugs can survive in dry areas if they have access to a water source. They prefer warm temperatures and can survive in sewers and will often move outside during warmer weather.

a giant water bug on soil

Giant Water Bug by Frank Vassen from Brussels, Belgium [CC BY 2.0]

Cockroach Disease Vector

Cockroaches can lead to serious health problems. They are known for spreading disease-causing bacteria including Salmonella which they carry on their legs and deposit on food.

House dust which contains cockroach feces and body parts can trigger an allergic reaction including asthma in individuals who are susceptible.

How Are Cockroaches and Water Bugs Getting into My House or Business?

The most common way for American cockroaches to enter your home or business is through your drains. They can also enter your property through cracks and other openings, and they can even come through the gap under your door.

Water bugs rely on water to survive, and more often than not they will enter your home or commercial property and move towards areas that are warm and moist. Water bugs enter homes and businesses looking for water.

To ensure water bugs stay out of your home or business, you need to take care of any leakage or drainage issues inside your property. It is also important to seal or throw out any leftovers and clean up crumbs.

Water Bug and Cockroach Removal in NYC

If you are experiencing an issue with cockroaches or water bugs in your home or business, contact the experts at Control Exterminating. With over 40 years of experience in pest control, our knowledgeable exterminators can take care of your pest problems. Whether its cockroaches or water bugs, give us a call and we’ll take care of them.***

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