Cockroach Control

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Cockroach vs water bug

There are a lot of insects out there that are confused with some species of cockroach. In order to determine the type of treatment necessary, it is key to identify what type of insect that you have in your home or on your property.

One of the insects that is most often confused with the cockroach is the water bug. They do bear a resemblance to one another, but there are key differences. Although water bugs are known for their painful bites, they are not the pest that cockroaches are. 

Sometimes it's best to just call the experts to determine if you have a cockroach infestation or you just have a water bug. Call Ehrlich at 1-800-837-5520 or use our online form to get an appointment scheduled.

Cockroach and water bug differences

The main difference between the two insects is their appearance. It can be a bit tricky, however, as they do bear a certain resemblance to each other. However there are some distinctive differences that will tell you if you are dealing with a water bug or a cockroach.

  • Size - generally a water bug is bigger than a cockroach. Most cockroaches are between 1 - 1 1/2 inches long. Water bugs are usually about two inches long.

  • Habitat - water bugs get their name because they prefer to spend their time in the water. Although the term water bug is applied to a wide variety of insects, the Giant Water Bug is often most confused with cockroaches. Some species of roach can survive in water, but they prefer to be on land. Water bugs can hold their breath for a very long time and hunt prey in the water.

  • Eating habits - cockroaches eat just about anything and everything. They are generally not hunters, but are scavengers who will crawl around garbage and seek out food that is already there and ready to eat. Water bugs are infamous hunters who subdue prey with their proboscis that injects a powerful enzyme that liquefies the insides of their prey so they can suck out the liquid.

  • Temperament - cockroaches are generally shy. They scamper and hide when the lights are turned on or when people approach. There are also no known cases of cockroaches biting people. However, a water bug has been known to use that proboscis to bite a person. It is a very painful bite, but not dangerous to humans and most water bugs will only bite if handled.

  • Pest determination - cockroaches bring with them a whole host of medical and health issues. Water bugs are not considered pests, and actually feed on other insects.


This is your typical cockroach. Notice the round body shape, wings and brownish color. They are also usually smaller in size than a water bug and their habitat is vastly different.

Water Bug

Water bugs tend to live in water. They can actually hold their breath for a long time, but do have to resurface. They can bite if they are handled. They rarely enter homes and prefer to eat other insects and creatures in the water rather than scavenge like cockroaches.

Ehrlich Specialists are experts in cockroach identification

If you have any questions about whether or not the insects that you are finding around your home are cockroaches or water bugs, don't hesitate to call the experts at Ehrlich. We can determine very quickly if you have water bugs or a cockroach infestation and then recommend just the right treatment plan. Our experts know the best methods to get rid of cockroaches.

Just call us at 1-800-837-5520 or visit our online form to schedule an appointment.



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