Do I have Cockroaches or Waterbugs?

No one likes the idea of having unwanted visitors in the form of roaches residing in the home or business. Many people do not realize whether or not they have a cockroach or water-bug problem as their unwanted house guests.

What’s the Difference?

roach, cockroach
Cockroaches are a non-aggressive insects with nearly 4,000 species of which only 30 are associated with human environments and housing quarters. Even termites are considered part of the cockroach family. Cockroaches are non-aquatic insects but do tend to prefer moist, warm and dark land based environments.


waterbug, water-bugWater-bugs are a type of roach that include about 1,500 species who are usually larger than cockroaches and are predatory scavengers that have mouths that pierce or suck. Water-bugs are aquatic insects that live in water and use their legs as paddles or fins to navigate through water.

Are They Harmful?
Cockroaches are passive insects that are non-predatory and are typically not known to bite or attack humans. While usually passive, cockroaches can still be harmful to humans. Cockroaches can contaminate food and have been found to cause allergic reactions in many humans.

Unlike cockroaches, water-bugs have piercing mouths and have been known to bite human’s bare skin. While not venom, some water-bugs have digestive fluids that can irritate skin when coming in contact with human skin when bitten.

How do They Reproduce?
Both cockroaches and water-bugs lay eggs but in different ways. Cockroaches lay their eggs in a case called an ootheca, while water-bugs lay their eggs freely on floating vegetation or other preferred surfaces.

How are They the Same?
While there are differences between the two bugs, they do share some similarities. Both water-bugs and cockroaches are types of roaches that can intrude human habitats. They both like to stay in moist places, even though cockroaches are not aquatic insects in nature. Both bugs also share very similar appearances and oval shapes to their bodies with antenna on their head for sensory purposes.

How to Get Rid of Them?
Cockroaches and water-bugs do share another similarity and that is how to get rid of these unwanted visitors! The first step to getting rid of either roach is to thoroughly clean your house. Cockroaches and water-bugs are attracted to food and water. Be sure to not keep food or crumbs laying around such as dirty dishes or trash. It is also good to avoid clutter because both insects like to hide in dark spaces and under things for protective coverage. If cleaning does not work, calling an exterminator may be required. They can spray a chemical or release a gas to get rid of these unwanted insects.