Water Bugs vs. Cockroaches… 
What’s the Difference?
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A cockroach infestation is never a good thing. They can create havoc within your home. However, most people confuse cockroaches with water bugs. They look similar on the exterior, but are very different in other ways.  
What Exactly are Water Bugs?
There are many kinds of water bugs found in different parts of the world. Did you know there was such a thing as a giant water bug? Did you know that it’s typically found in the U.S.? It’s scientific name is the Lethocerus Americanus. They are normally two inches in length. However, there have been many that have reached four inches in length! Imagine seeing that insect in your home.
What Do Water Bugs Look Like?
Most species of water bugs have flat bodies and a light to dark brown color. They have short antennae and a sharp beak. Their hind legs are strong and thick from swimming in their natural habitat; water. They also have wings that allow them to fly from one water source to another. They typically are found in wetlands and ponds, but you can also find them in calm streams. They have distinguished wings that make the shape of an “X” when folded across their flat body.  

What Do Water Bugs Look Like? Most species of water bugs have flat bodies and a light to dark brown color. They have short antennae and a sharp beak. Their hind legs are strong and thick from swimming in their natural habitat; water. They also have wings that allow them to fly from one water source to another. They typically are found in wetlands and ponds, but you can also find them in calm streams. They have distinguished wings that make the shape of an “X” when folded across their flat body.  

Water bugs are seen as predators to tadpoles, tiny fish, and other insects. When a water bug captures its prey, it injects digestive fluids into the captured body. They are known to bite humans. A water bug’s bite is not life-threatening to a human, but it can be quite painful. However, if you have been bitten by a water bug, it’s important to watch out for any allergic reaction you might have. 
Water bugs seek out any water source, which is why they are typically found in kitchens and bathrooms. Are you catching on to why they’re called water bugs? Though they are active all year round, they typically become a problem in homes during the summer and fall months. One of the reasons they become a problem is their attraction to light. Your exterior lights combined with open windows can attract water bugs to your home. 
If your home is too hot during the summer and you want to open the windows, invest in some screen protectors! This is a great way to avoid these unwanted visitors. You might also want to check around your home for any unsealed cracks. This can keep many bugs from entering your home! 
What About Cockroaches?
Cockroaches feed on decaying organic matter and rarely bite. Generally speaking, most cockroaches invade your home by being transported through boxes and grocery bags. If you come across a roach in your home, it is very likely that there are hundreds more. Roaches are skilled at hiding and are extremely difficult to get rid of. They will often require professional help.
What’s the Difference Between Water Bugs and Cockroaches?
The exterior characteristics between cockroaches and water bugs are very similar. They both have flattened bodies with a light or dark brown coloring. However, there are many differences between the two insects:
Wings
Like mentioned above, water bugs have distinguished wings that make the shape of an “X” when folded across their flat body. Some species of cockroaches also have wings, but most cockroaches don’t and can not fly.
Size
The most common cockroach species in the U.S. are the German and American roaches. They both are considerably smaller than water bugs. Cockroaches are sized at about ½ inch to 1 inch whereas water bugs are typically about 2 inches in length.
Fight or Flight 
Water bugs are predators. Cockroaches are scavengers. When cockroaches are spotted by a human, they are likely to flee and hide. However, water bugs have an instinct to bite.
Light
Like mentioned earlier, water bugs are attracted to light. They thrive where light sources are found. Cockroaches, however, are nocturnal. They prefer to hide in walls, basements, or well shaded areas.
Antennae
Cockroaches have antennae that are as long or longer than their bodies. Their legs also look like they’ve never been shaved. They’re hairy looking. Water bugs have much shorter antennae and their back legs are much thicker than their front legs from swimming.  
It can be difficult to differentiate between cockroaches and water bugs within your home, especially from a comfortable distance. Even though water bugs are an annoyance, they are not harmful to your home. Cockroaches, depending on the species, can be a very serious pest. They can create a multitude of damage to your home. When you see one roach in your home, more than likely, you are only seeing one of many. There’s a possibility that an infestation has already rooted inside your house. 
Call Akela for Professional Help
Our seasoned technicians will be able to distinguish whether you have cockroaches or water bugs during a thorough inspection. Our Akela professionals are trained to control and eliminate roaches effectively. The products that we use are always pet and family friendly. Let us do the hard work while you spend your time and energy on more important things. 
Take a step closer to becoming pest-free by getting in contact with us today and let’s get started!