Cockroaches and waterbugs are two completely different sorts of insects, yet their appearance often leads to confusion. The enormous waterbug, also known as toe biter, electric-light bug, or alligator tick, is the most prevalent species of waterbug. The reddish-brown American roach and the shiny black oriental roach are two cockroach species that are sometimes misidentified as waterbugs. There are a few things you should know about cockroach and waterbug control. How to differentiate between cockroaches vs water bugs?

cockroaches vs water bugs


Most water bug species are rather large and at least 3.8 cm long, in contrast to typical house cockroaches, which are always smaller and approximately half an inch long. The American roach is the only roach that is similar in size to a water bug, but it can be distinguished from a water bug by its yellowish figure-eight pattern on the back of the head. Cockroaches are normally light tan to dark brown in color, whereas water bugs are tan to black, but their colors are ineffective. Their bodies are circular and flat, and they both have antennae and wings. Water bugs have piercing tongues and a short, pointed beak on the bottom of their heads.


Water bugs, as the name implies, are most usually found in or near bodies of water. Aside from water, they may live in decomposing materials such as leaves and trash. Adult water bugs cannot breathe underwater, so they must surface for oxygen. Cockroaches live in humid environments, although they never go near water on purpose. Both of these insects can enter and escape your property through cracks, holes, or pipes that lead indoors. Contact Atap for cockroach extermination.


Cockroaches are scavengers and opportunistic eaters, capable of consuming a wide range of items and meals such as leather, bread, flakes of dried skin, dead animals, fermented food, and many others. They eat mostly plant-based foods, although they can adapt to any food source accessible to them. Water bugs, on the other hand, are frequently observed killing insects, small fish, frogs, and other small vertebrates. Water bugs evolved front legs that can grab prey as a result of this.

Bite Hazard

Adult giant water bugs capture larger prey species with their clawed front legs. They can also bite humans, but only if provoked or their habitat is disturbed. Their bites can be uncomfortable, but they rarely have any negative consequences; nonetheless, an allergic reaction to a waterbug bite is unusual and requires quick medical attention. There have been no confirmed reports of cockroach bites.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches and Water bugs

Water bug treatment focuses on eliminating unneeded water sources to keep these insects at bay. Cockroach management often comprises hygienic sanitation methods such as clutter and rubbish removal and trap placement. A cockroach or water bug infestation can soon become out of control because these insects spread so quickly, so your best bet is to contact a ATAP to deal with the situation.

Are water bugs harmful

When it comes to gruesome predators, a big water insect could easily outmatch a hungry polar bear. These brown, flattened beetles hide in watery habitats all around the world, ambushing and sucking their prey dry.

Feeding and Behaviour

Tadpoles, small fishes, insects, and other arthropods are among the aquatic life that giant water bugs feast on. Some have been observed killing animals many times their own size. They inject deadly digesting saliva into their food by grasping victims with their “raptorial” front legs. They can then suck away the liquefied leftovers.

How do these bugs breathe while submerged? Insects, unlike humans, do not have lungs and instead get oxygen through tiny openings in the body wall called spiracles that connect to air-filled tubes called tracheae. To acquire oxygen, giant water bugs have an extension on the tip of their abdomen that extends above water. This is why you’ll occasionally find them tipped at an angle facing downward underwater, with only the back end visible at the surface, “breathing.” When the gigantic water insect dives underwater, it carries air in the form of a bubble behind its wings, which can gradually diffuse into its body while it is submerged.

Males rear the young, which is an unusual characteristic shared by many huge water bugs. Males in the Belostoma genus hold developing eggs on their backs until they hatch. Lethocerus males guard eggs stuck to foliage until they hatch. Because some species fly towards lights at night, this beetle has earned the nickname “electric light bug.” This can sometimes land them in your backyard pool overnight!


Adults mate in the spring and early summer, and the female lays a batch of 100+ eggs on vegetation or on the back of her male partner, depending on the species. The eggs hatch into nymphs after 1 to 2 weeks of maturation. The nymphs, which resemble miniature adults, go through five stages of development (instars) over the next two months before reaching adulthood. Adults spend the winter in muddy stream and pool bottoms. Read why I see cockroaches in kitchen at night. Atap Exterminators are best company in Chicago for cockroach pest control. You can contact them at 773-701-7705.

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