Water Bugs vs Cockroach: Difference Between Roach and Water Bug


Cockroaches and water bugs are both extremely common pests. They frequently infest the same parts of a house as well. You can find them anywhere from your bathroom to the kitchen and basement. This begs the question, are water bugs truly roaches?

You may have heard or noticed that water bugs look like roaches. This blog post explores the topic of water bugs vs. cockroaches, how to identify them, and effective methods to get rid of them. So, let’s dive in!


Are Water Bugs and Cockroaches the Same Thing?

Water bugs and cockroaches are often mistaken for each other due to their similar appearance and habits. These critters may seem identical at first glance, but you’ll discover some significant distinctions upon closer inspection.

One of the most significant differences between a water bug and a cockroach is that a water bug refers to a variety of insects that dwell in freshwater or on the water’s surface, and the amphibious cockroach is one of 1,500 aquatic insect species.

  • What is a Water Bug?

    Water bugs are aquatic insects found around bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, and streams. They are good swimmers who are drawn to light sources at night. While primarily aquatic, they may occasionally travel indoors, particularly during wet seasons.

  • What is a Cockroach?

    Cockroaches are widespread home pests that flourish in warm, humid settings. They are well-known for their capacity to adapt and thrive in various environments. They can contaminate food, spread infections, and cause allergies. Therefore, if your efforts fail to curtail their infestation, you shouldn’t delay calling a reliable cockroach control service.


Water Bug vs. Cockroach: Difference Between Roach and Water Bug

Now is the time to dive deep into the cockroach water bug differences based on physical appearance, habitat, diet, and other unique aspects of their personality. Water bug that looks like a cockroach due to its similar appearance, but they have their unique characteristics. Cockroaches are resilient insects that have adapted to various environments worldwide. Let’s discuss what sets them apart:

Water Bug Cockroach




Water bugs have flat, oval-shaped bodies with a lustrous, dark brown or black exoskeleton. Their lengthy legs are ideal for gliding across the surface of the water.


Cockroaches have a flattened, oval-shaped body with a brown or reddish-brown exoskeleton. They have long antennae and six legs, which allow them to scuttle quickly across surfaces.




Water bugs can range from 1 to 4 inches, depending on the species. Some of the bigger ones may be pretty frightening! Cockroaches come in many sizes, with the most common species measuring between 0.6 to 1.6 inches. Some tropical species can grow even larger.


Water bugs, as the name implies, live predominantly in freshwater habitats such as ponds, lakes, and streams. They are good swimmers and can fly short distances.


Cockroaches are highly adaptable and can thrive in almost any environment. They seek warm and humid places, making kitchens, bathrooms, and basements their preferred habitats.


Water bugs are nocturnal insects, which means they are most active at night. They utilize their piercing mouthparts to inject digesting enzymes into their prey and rely on their excellent sense of smell to discover prospective food sources. Cockroaches prefer to hide during the day. They are known for their ability to squeeze into tight spaces and can even flatten their bodies to fit through small cracks. Although rare, you can spot flying roaches in your kitchen or storeroom.


They have a voracious appetite and feed on tiny aquatic organisms such as insects, tadpoles, and even small fish. Water bugs are also known for their ability to catch and devour prey much larger than themselves. These scavengers have an omnivorous diet. They would eat almost anything, including food scraps, decaying matter, and glue. They can survive without food for several weeks, making them formidable opponents to eliminate.
Health Impacts


Water bugs may look intimidating, but they generally do not pose any direct health risks to humans. However, their presence can indicate poor sanitation or an underlying pest problem, so addressing the root cause is essential.


Cockroaches are infamous for their potential health hazards. They can contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria, allergens, and parasites. Their droppings and skin can trigger respiratory problems and allergies in sensitive individuals.


Predators Common predators of water bugs include larger fish, amphibians, and birds.


Cockroaches face threats from predators such as spiders, centipedes, and certain reptiles.

How to Get Rid of Water Bugs and Cockroaches?

If you have noticed cockroaches or water bugs in the house, taking immediate action is essential to prevent an infestation.

To eliminate the nuisance of water bugs, first, seal any gaps, cracks, or openings in your home that might allow them to enter. Remove any stagnant water sources around your house, such as clogged gutters, leaky pipes, or birdbaths. Reducing outdoor lighting during the night also helps as common house water bugs are drawn to light sources.

When it comes to cockroaches, they are notorious for their ability to reproduce rapidly, making it crucial to address an infestation promptly. The first thing you need to do to get rid of cockroaches in the kitchen is wipe countertops, clean dishes promptly, and store food in airtight containers.

Declutter your living space to eliminate hiding spots for cockroaches. Pay special attention to areas such as basements, attics, and garages. Sealing any cracks or entry points of your house helps in eliminating roaches as well. You can also place cockroach baits and traps where cockroach activity is observed.

If the infestation of cockroaches and water bugs persists or becomes unmanageable, then there is no point in delaying professional intervention. Contact a licensed and experienced pest control service to get effective treatment options.

Are Water Bugs Bigger Than Cockroaches?

While the size of water bugs and cockroaches varies depending on the species, water bugs are generally more giant than cockroaches. Water bugs may grow several inches long, whereas cockroaches are typically half an inch to two inches long.

Get Help to eradicate waterbugs and Cockroaches!

Are you dealing with a persistent water bug or cockroach problem in your Tracy, CA, home? Don’t hesitate to contact Take Care Termite for reliable and effective residential pest control services. Our experienced team will assess the situation, identify the pests accurately, and provide tailored solutions to rid your home of these unwanted guests.

Give Us a Call Today to Schedule an Appointment!

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