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Best Ways of Effective Water Bugs and Cockroaches Identification

Cockroach and water bug on the white.

Complaints about cockroach and water bug

People usually complain that they cannot differentiate between these two creatures as they look alike. There are two variants of cockroaches which resemble water bugs a lot which includes black shiny oriental roach and brownish red American roach. They have the same characteristics like color and outer shell like structure called exoskeleton.

Differentiate them from seven aspects

1. Terminology

Water bug isolated on the white.Water bugs are also known as true bugs they belong to the family of Hemiptera.They live on land as well as in water. They breathe through their backs where the gasses exchange takes place. There are around 150- 1600 species of water bugs. The most common ones underwater bugs include Giant water bug, Toe-biter, Electric light bug and a Brown water bug.

Cockroaches belong to the insect family called Blattodea.Cockroaches have around 4500- 4600 species, and the most common ones are, German Cockroach, American Cockroach, Australian and Oriental cockroach.

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Water bugs are often called Oriental cockroach or Black beetles.

2. Appearance and size

Cockroaches vary in size from one species to another. German roaches length range from around half to one inch while American cockroaches are 2-3 inches long. They are brownish orange in color.

Water bugs are greater in size when compared to cockroaches. Water bugs vary between brown and black color. Their bodies are oval in shape. They possess particular feature rostrum for injecting their toxic saliva into the prey.Cockroach on the white.

3. Danger of bites

Cockroaches do not bite people, but they create a nuisance by invading your homes and creating a mess.

Water bugs bite is very painful and harmful. They inject their poisonous saliva and cause liquefaction of tissues. Water bugs, for example, Eastern toe biter and backswimmer can bite your feet underwater.

【Read more about Cockroaches Bite】

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4. Habitats

Cockroaches are called as land insects. They are not aquatic insects. They prefer to stay in dark environment, including kitchen and bathrooms. They are found in indoor spaces crawling in the basement and prefer a warmer environment. Cockroaches prefer to live in groups while water bugs live alone.

Water bugs are called aquatic amphibians. They prefer to live in freshwater especially ponds or streams. They breed and hide near dark and moist areas. Avoid keeping leaky pipes or standing water near your places. Water bugs prefer to live in hot, humid climates. They prefer wet environment escaping and hiding in rotting wood, near leaves or leaking faucets. They are found on land as well as in water because they can’t breathe under water.

5. Food

Cockroaches feed on a variety of items like fermented food, plant materials, dry skin, leather and bakery products, dead animals. They may also feed on dead or wounded cockroaches of other species. Cockroaches also eat fermented or decayed food.

Water bugs prefer to kill other insects, fish, tadpoles or minnows. They feed on sweet food like starch, algae or syrup which may be found commonly near swimming pools.Two gaint water bugs on the white.

6. Life cycle

Cockroaches first undergo egg stage, then nymph stage and finally mature into adults. Reproduction divides them into ovoviviparous or oviparous roaches. Eggs of oviparous roaches are captivated in cases called ootheca which is joined to the female abdomen while in ovoviviparous roaches egg’s ootheca is attached to female bodies. Cockroaches live for around one-year life span.

Water bugs undergo three stages in life which include egg, larvae and adult stage. During their adult stage, they can fly. Males have 19 segments while females have 14 segments.Water bugs lay their eggs in debris or floating vegetation.  They usually have a lifespan of around 3-4 years.

7. Temperament

When water bugs are terrified or when we get scared and disturb their habitat they bite humans. Their bite is very painful and may show some adverse reactions like allergic reaction which may require medical attention. Cockroaches are not confirmed to show any bite cases to humans. Water bugs are very strategic and play dead when they see humans while cockroaches run when they see people.

Water bugs are considered as omnivorous scavengers, but cockroaches do not act as predators and are considered as non-aggressive in nature.

Cockroaches are carrier of diseases

Dirty kitchen pile of filthy dishes infested with roaches.Cockroaches carry a variety of human pathogens including Salmonella and Ecole.These bacteria are then spread to humans by these insects promoting food poisoning, diarrhea, and other severe diseases. American cockroach can spread serious diseases including Hepatitis virus, Typhoid fever, and Dysentery.

Cockroaches may also cause the spread of allergens in the air.

【Read more about Cockroaches】

Oriental cockroaches are sometimes called water bugs 

Water bugs are often called Oriental cockroach or Black beetles.Because they have the same color and they possess same outer shell exoskeleton on their bodies.Oriental cockroaches also prefer damp and dark places like water bugs.

Three questions to determine if you have water bugs or cockroaches

1. Aquatic or not

The most important difference between water bugs and cockroaches is that water bugs are aquatic in nature while cockroaches are not at all aquatic.

2. Where did you find them

Cockroaches prefer to live in a humid environment that’s why they are found in indoor areas of your house while Water bugs are attracted towards the wet environment, so they are found in outer areas.

3. How do they look like

Cockroaches have brownish orange color while Water bugs tend to be black or dark brown in color.They also have paddle legs.

Bottom line

So, finally, now we know that there is a huge difference between water bugs and cockroaches. Water bugs and cockroaches can be reduced by practicing hygienic sanitation, removing stagnant water, using repellent sprays, setting traps, removing any clutter or spilled garbage.

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