Water Bug vs. Cockroach – Which One Is in Your House?

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Given their similar appearances, water bugs are usually confused with cockroaches. The truth is that there are a lot of differences between these two.

Basically, water bugs prefer to live in swimming pools while cockroaches are the most common insects usually found in households.

water bug vs. cockroach

Aside from thriving in different environments, they also feed on different types of food. Thus, you need to know the right methods to eliminate them. Let us take a closer look at water bug vs cockroach in terms of their nature, habitat and food.

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water bug

There are over 4,000 species of cockroaches that can be found all over the world. This includes the Florida wooden cockroach, Brown cockroach and the German cockroach.

They live from 2 to 4 years on average. Water bugs are in fact considered species of cockroaches. They are also referred to as black beetles or Oriental cockroaches.

They belong to the order Hemiptera. They have mouth parts used for piercing and sucking. They are referred as water bugs because they prefer to live in wet areas. They usually are oval in shape, and have a set of antenna with six legs. This makes them look really similar with regular cockroaches.


Water bugs are usually predatory scavengers while cockroaches are not predators. They might seem scary, but they are non-aggressive insects. Water bugs are more aggressive, as they are much larger in size than a regular cockroach.

Cockroaches are about half an inch to 2 inches long. They don’t necessarily bite people, but they are annoying when found all over the house. They might bite in occasions when they feel threatened. Water bugs on the other hand may bite people and their bites can be excruciatingly painful.

Cockroaches prefer eating baked goods, flakes of dried skin, leather, dead animals and fermented food. They can even eat their fellow dead cockroach or dead animals from other species. Water bugs prefer hunting their food such as small insects, small fish, and minnows. They also feed off decaying matter so they can be found in dumpster too, just like regular cockroaches.

When feeding, water bugs prefer to use their mouth to suck fluids. They also inject digestive juices into the body of their prey and eventually extract the liquefied tissue. Some of them can even be scarier. Since they love staying in swimming pools, they can attack your feet underwater out of nowhere.


Cockroaches prefer staying indoors. This is why you usually find them inside your house. They stay in areas such as your bathroom and kitchen. They also prefer to be in warmer areas and can’t stand the cold weather. They might crawl deep into your basement and other abandoned areas in your house. If there are cracks on your walls or floors, you might find them hiding inside.

Water bugs on the other hand are aquatic. They spend most of their lives on water. They live on freshwater, mostly just on the surface. Though they can swim, they can’t breathe underwater. They have to go back up to catch air. They are always in search of places that are moist and dark so they can breed. You might also find them inside your house. They can hide on leaky pipes, broken faucets or anywhere in your bathroom. Unlike cockroaches, they prefer hot and humid environments.

Eliminating the insects

Though water bugs and cockroaches are different in so many ways, both of them can be killed when you clean your house.

This is the most effective (and easiest) solution.

When your place is dirty and disorganized, you make it more of a home for the insects and not for you. It is also possible to buy glue traps that they can walk into and be trapped. Poisons may also be present on the trap so they die when they can’t get out. Insect powders are also available which you can use to kill these insects.

You need to remember though that when you are using chemical and other strong cleaning agents, you need to keep your children out first. Once the house is thoroughly cleaned and the chemicals have been wiped out, then you can bring them back inside. Whatever the differences between cockroach vs water bugs are or whether they bite or not, they can pose serious health risks. You need to eliminate them as soon as possible.








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