Written by:An O'Neill, Licensed Pest Control Professional
Cockroaches are annoying and have a reputation for being one of the most hated household pests, but there are many other roach-like insects that can find their way into your home. The sight of a cockroach-like insect is enough to make some panic, so it's good to know what these insects are and how to tell them apart from roaches.
What insects can be confused with cockroaches?
1. Cockroach vs. Water Bug
Are Water Bugs Cockroaches? The American cockroach and the Oriental cockroach are often referred to as water bugs, but this is incorrect as water bugs are an entirely different species of insect.
However, it's easy to see why there's confusion, as giant water bugs (family Belostomatidae) resemble cockroaches in size and color.
Look:This water bug can easily be mistaken for a cockroach as it has a flat, oval, dark brown/black body and grows to 37-65mm in length.
Habitat: /Region:The giant water bug is found in southern Canada and the United States.
Differences/similarities with cockroaches:Cockroaches prefer moist environments like your basement and don't live in water like water bugs. Giant water bugs are commonly found in ponds and streams rather than in your home.
However like someTypes of cockroachesGiant water bugs are also attracted to light at night, which is why they can often be found in or around backyard swimming pools, but not in your home.
Roaches are scavengers and will eat just about anything they can find, from decaying dead animals to toothpaste and many others.Things that attract roachesin your house. Giant water bugs are a little more specific about their diet and these include insects, small crustaceans (crabs/lobsters), tadpoles, snails and small fish.
2. Cockroach vs Bug
The June beetle, or June beetle or May beetle as it is also known, resembles a cockroach and, just like them, can flysmoky brown cockroach.
Look:June beetles are reddish-brown in color with shiny wings and can grow to over 25mm in length. They have a wider body than a cockroach.
Habitat/Region:Found in North America on warm nights.
Differences/similarities with cockroaches:The June beetle resembles a cockroach in that it is a flying insect that is attracted to lights even at night. It has much shorter antennae than a cockroach and lives outdoors, feeding on flowers and leaves. If you see something like this in your house, then you entered it by accident and have no intention of making yourself comfortable there.
3. Cockroach vs Termite
Cockroaches and termites don't look alike. In fact, termites are often confused with ants, but they have also been confused with cockroaches. However, researchers have found that they are related to cockroaches and describe termites as social cockroaches.
Both can be destructive once in your home, but termites cause millions of dollars worth of property damage every year. Therefore, it is important to know the difference between the two insects.
Look:Termites are usually light-colored and have soft bodies with antennae that have pearl-like segments. These insects are small, growing to about 0.13″ to 0.75″ (3.18 to 19 mm) long, depending on the species.
Habitat/Region:Termites are found in the tropics, Canada, Europe, and the United States except Alaska.
Differences/Similaritiesto the cockroaches:Both of these pests live in colonies and invade your home for food and water and can go unnoticed until population numbers become clearer.
Termites are not known to carry bacteria, and they doharmfulor contaminate your food, unlike cockroaches. But they can cause major problems in other ways, engulfing wooden structures in your home with their mighty jaws and causing significant damage if not found early enough.
4. Kakerlake vs. Palmetto Bug
What is a palmetto bug? "Palmetto Bug" is a term commonly used in the Southeastern United States, particularly Florida, to describe all species of large cockroaches that live near and in palmetto trees, including the Florida forest cockroach as wellsmoky brownjamerican cockroaches.
Therefore, a palmetto beetle is a cockroach.
Appearance: TheFlorida CockroachIt grows 3.8–4.5 cm long and is dark brown/black in color. It has small forewings that are reddish brown to black.
Smoky brown cockroaches grow to 38 mm and are a uniform mahogany brown color with no markings on the pronotum. They have fully developed wings.
American cockroaches are larger than the other two and can grow to over 53mm. They have fully developed wings and are reddish brown with yellow markings on the pronotum resembling a figure eight.
5. Kakerlake vs. Wanze
Bed bugs are one of the worst pests that can infest your home. They feed solely on your blood when you sleep in bed and can be difficult to eliminate.
but do itlook like bed bugscockroaches? Baby roaches can be confused with bed bugs because of their size and color, but that's where the similarity really ends.
Look:Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color with flat, oval-shaped bodies. They grow up to 0.19 inches (about 7 mm).
Differences/Similaritiesto the cockroaches:Bed bugs are nocturnal and native like the German cockroach, but they live close to where you roostInvade your bed or sofa. They feed only on blood and can live for months without a blood meal.
go toCockroaches picturesPage to see the different types of cockroaches that can invade your home.
6. Cockroach vs. Heimchen
It's easy to see how a cricket might be mistaken for a cockroach as they are similar in size and both have long antennae that are as long as their bodies.
Look:Crickets grow up to 22 mm long and are yellowish-brown or straw-colored. They have cylindrical bodies, while a cockroach's body has an oval shape. Crickets have long hind legs for jumping.
Habitat/Region:Canada and the United States.
Differences/similarities with cockroaches: Crickets are related to grasshoppers and not to cockroaches. Their long hind legs allow them to jump while cockroaches cannot.
Crickets prefer living outdoors, but like roaches, they like warm areas during the colder months, so they can sometimes come into your home and hang out by the fireplace, kitchen, and basement and oven area. They have also been found behind skirting boards.
Crickets are nocturnal, as are cockroaches. However, they are also known for their nocturnal singing while cockroaches are silent.
7. Cockroach against mealybug/cochineal
Bed bugs are also mistaken for roaches more often than you might think.
Look:Dark gray color with an oval body protected by seven hardened plates. They grow to about 19mm in length and have two long antennae and seven pairs of legs. The mealybug is also known as the mealybug because it can curl up into a ball.
Differences/similarities with cockroaches:Mealybugs are woodlice and are not related to cockroaches. They prefer to live outside in your yard, but when they do invade your home, like roaches, they seek out areas that contain moisture, such as the basement, crawl space, and similar areas.
Mealybugs do no harm and are not known to spread bacteria around your home, unlike roaches.
8. Cockroach vs. catchy tune
It's easy to mistake earwigs for little cockroaches like thatGerman cockroachsince they are both fast runners when threatened and are a similar color.
Look:Also known as pincher bugs, earwigs are brown-black in color with a reddish-tinged head and tawny legs. They have narrow, flattened bodies with filamentous antennae half the length of their bodies. They are about 25 mm long and have two pairs of wings. A notable feature of the earwig is the pincers at the end of the abdomen.
Habitat/Region:Worldwide (except Antarctica).
Differences/similarities with cockroaches:An earwig belongs to the order Dermaptera while a cockroach belongs to the order Blattodea, so they belong to different classes of insects.
Earwigs don't transmit bacteria like cockroaches. They also do not come in the ear at night and do not lay eggs, but there have been cases when cockroaches got in the ear when the person is sleeping! Both insects are nocturnal.
Earwigs are outdoor insects and accidental intruders indoors. They can crawl into gaps around sidings or through an open door or window.
Earwigs inhabit moist areas where they have access to water, so like roaches, they are often found in kitchens and bathrooms.
How to distinguish a cockroach from other insects
We've covered several bugs that look like a roach, so being able to identify a roach is important.
The German cockroach is thethe most common cockroachinfesting our homes, although other species such as the American cockroach, Oriental cockroach and smoky brown cockroach also make their way. Regardless of the species, they all share the following characteristics:
- Oval, flattened body with 2 antennae and 6 spiny legs.
- Most species have wings, but not all cockroaches can fly.
- Reddish brown to black.
- They range in size from 19 to 75 mm (0.75 to 3 in).
filewhat does a cockroach look likefor more detailed information and what you need to know about these pests.
While there are many similar-looking pests, most are harmless or at least don't pose any serious health risks unlike roaches. Hopefully this page has given you an idea of what types of roach-like insects can be confused with them.
If you still want to be sure, contact aRecommended pest control companyso they can inspect your home and identify the insect that looks like a cockroach. If you have cockroaches, you can follow thishow to get rid of cockroachesguidance, but it's always wise to put it in the hands of an exterminator who can do the right treatment and remove it for you.