Cockroach Control

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Cockroach vs. water bug

People are especially concerned about cockroach infestations. Consequently, many different insects are often confused with some species of cockroach in a state of panic. To determine the most effective type of treatment necessary, it is important to correctly identify the type of insect that is causing the problem.

Water bugs are one of the most commonly confused insects with cockroaches. The two insects bear a certain resemblance to each other, but there are key differences. Water bugs are pack a powerful bite, but they are not the pest that cockroaches are. 

The experts at Western Exterminator can easily determine if your problem is with cockroaches or another insect. Call us at 800-937-8398 or use our online form to connect with us.

Cockroach and water bug differences

The main difference between cockroaches and water bugs is their appearance. Though they do look similar, there are some distinctive differences that will help determine which pest you are dealing with.

  • Size - Typically, water bugs are larger than cockroaches. Most cockroaches are between 1 - 1 1/2 inches long, whereas water bugs are usually about 2 inches long.

  • Habitat - Water bugs get their name from how much time they spend in the water. Though the term "water bug" is colloquially used to refer to many different insects, it is the Giant Water Bug that is most often confused with cockroaches. Some cockroaches can survive in water, but they prefer dry land.

  • Eating habits - Cockroaches are not picky when it comes to eating. They don't really hunt, but instead scavange through garbage in search of food items left behind by others. Conversely, water bugs are hunters. They paralyze their prey with their proboscis and then inject a powerful liquefying enzyme, allowing them to suck out the insides of the prey.

  • Temperament - Cockroaches are fairly shy creatures. They'll scamper away from bright lights and approaching humans. Cockroaches also don't usually bite people. Water bugs, on the other hand, will bite if they feel threatened. The bite is painful, but not dangerous to humans.

  • Pest determination - Water bugs are actually not considered pests. They feed on other insects, and don't traditionally bother humans. Cockroaches, bringing with them a whole host of health concerns, are true pests. 

common cockroach on white backround


This is the common cockroach. The round body shape, wings and brownish color differentiate it from the water bug. Cockroaches are also usually smaller in size and their habitats differ greatly.

water bug on white backround

Water Bug

As you might guess from their name, water bugs usually live in water. They can hold their breath for a long time, without resurfacing. If handled, water bugs can bite in defense. However, they rarely enter homes and are not known to scavange like cockroaches. Instead, they prefer to eat other insects and creatures in the water.

Western Exterminator specialists are experts in cockroach identification

If you have questions about whether the pests you're seeing are cockroaches or water bugs, don't hesitate to call the experts at Western Exterminator. Our specialists have the experience and training to identify the type of infestation you have and then recommend the most effective treatment plan.

Give us a call at 800-937-8398 or contact us via our online form.



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