Insects

Water Bug vs Cockroach | Differences Exposed

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“The water bug vs cockroach” has been one of the most searched for articles on the net as it is somewhat difficult to differentiate these two rival look-alikes.

The water bug botanically referred to as Blatta orientalis is a black beetle (most of its body parts are dark) that belongs to a large species of roaches, and have lengths that may range from 17mm to 28mm (in males) and 19mm to 26mm in females.

A cockroach on the other hand is an insect of the suborder Blattodea, and order Dictyoptera. They are known for having oval flattened bodies with long antennae and biting mouthparts and can become a nuisance if not properly checked for or exterminated.

The water bugs and the cockroaches are both common household pests and are mistaken for each other as most people consider them to be the same.

Lucky for you, we @pestclue have carried out various research to clarify this problem and give you outstanding facts, and differences between these two look-alike pests.

What are Some fascinating Facts About the Cockroach?

  • Did You Know Facts!

    1. The cockroach is under the group of winged insects.
    2. Cockroaches and Palmetto bugs are relatives as there are only a few differences between them.
    3. Cockroaches have existed since the time of dinosaurs.
    4. Mind-blowing but true; these bugs can live for a week with its head cut off, and will only probably die of hunger.
    5. A cockroach is capable of surviving for almost a month without feeding.
    6. A cockroach can live for close to two weeks without water.
    7. Most female cockroaches stay pregnant for life after mating only once.
    8. A cockroach can hold its breath for close to 144, 000 seconds.
    9. Cockroaches can run 3 miles per hour without resting.
    10. Cockroaches may be winged insects, but not all species can fly (they prefer to hop than fly).
    11. Cockroaches have thorn-like spikes on their 6 legs.
    12. Although we often refer to them as cockroaches (general names), there are several types of cockroaches.
    13. Cockroaches can survive without a mouth in terms of breathing, as they do not require a mouth to breathe.
    14. Cockroaches are very weird creatures as they find the Nails, Eyelashes, and Brows of human beings more appetizing.
    15. Just as they say “a cat has 9 lives” a similar incidence occurs in the case of the roach as it is capable of surviving underwater for close to 30 minutes.
    16. Roaches are able to withstand high radiation (close to 15 times the lethal dose a human being can withstand).
    17. In some parts of the world, cockroaches are used as tea and are sometimes eaten by human beings.
    18. It is inadvisable to leave a cockroach infestation unattended as they carry 6 different parasitic worms, 33 kinds of bacteria, and is capable of causing Asthma.
    19. They carry 33 kinds of bacteria, six different types of parasitic worms, and seven known pathogens and can cause asthma.
    20. Only four species of roaches are referred to as insects.

These are highlighted facts about the cockroach you probably did not about before now.

Want to know more? keep reading would ya!

 

What is a Cockroach?

Water Bug vs Cockroach
Picture of a Cockroach

A cockroach on the other hand is an insect of the suborder Blattodea, and order Dictyoptera. They are known for having oval flattened bodies with long antennae and biting mouthparts and can become a nuisance if not properly checked for or exterminated.

The cockroach is a worldwide pest that should not be joked with as you should immediately ring a roach exterminator or use DIY methods to get rid of them. When this pest gain access into your home, it is a matter of time before they:

  • Cause mayhem.
  •  Build habitats,
  • Increase in population.
  • Spread disease and infections.

While most species of roaches are large in size some are about the size of a thumbnail.

  • The longest cockroach on earth belongs to the species Megaloblatta longipennis, as they can reach a length of 96 mm.
  • The heaviest cockroach on earth is the Australian giant burrowing cockroach  Macropanesthia rhinoceros, as it can weigh 35 grams, and reach a length of 7cm.
  • The smallest cockroach on earth is the Attaphila cockroach, as they can reach a length of 3.5mm, and live with small ants as the leaf-cutter ants, etc

 

What do Cockroaches Eat?

A diet of any living organism matters so much, as it can be used to eliminate that particularly targeted insect or living being. What do these insects (cockroaches) eat? What do I have in my home that attracts these pests?

Cockroaches may feed on:

  • The slightest paper gum to stay alive.
  • They feed on a wide variety of human food.
  • They feed on plants
  • They feed on grains.
  • and even other insects.

 

What Feeds on a Cockroach?

Every living organism is bound to have an enemy or a predator; including the world’s highest group of primates, (the humans). What possibly eats a cockroach? I’m 90% sure that’s what you are thinking right now (smiles)

There are many predators who will happily add the cockroach to the menu, but we advise you to take the first 3 we will list below as these are the most disturbing predators of the roaches at the top of the menu:

  • Lizard
  • Frog
  • Wall Gecko
  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Turtles
  • Some birds

These listed above are common predators of the roach.

 

How do Cockroaches Forage for Food?

Why do you think roaches wiggle their antennas? It is simply to enable them to perceive food from far distances and move towards the food source with the use of their antennae.

The antennae of a roach serve as a sense of smell for them.

 

Where do Cockroaches live?

Cockroaches tend to build their habitats in warm, dark, wet areas like:

  • Sewers
  • Toilets
  • Basements
  • Pipes
  • Drains

They can be found in buildings like:

  • Restaurants
  • Hospitals
  • Grocery Stores
  • Theater
  • Malls
  • Offices

 

How Long Do Cockroach Live?

You might see a particular cockroach that you know so much for up to a month or three months and yet it is still alive and you ask yourself how long do these pests live?

I was as marveled as you are going to be when you see this; Female cockroaches are known to be pregnant for the rest of their lives, and study reveals that the female cockroach lives for 700 days; while the male lives for only 332 days, that’s simple to say that females live longer than males.

Sadly, the male has only one chance at mating and dies before seeing its young one, and that is the reason the male cockroaches are that scarce.

 

What Are Some Fascinating Facts About the Water Bug?

5 Fascinating Top Picks About the Water bug

 

Fact

Explained

1. Giant water bugs exhibit cannibalistic behaviors Although it is rare for a water bug to feed on a fellow water bug; cannibalism may occur for a few reasons listed below:

  • When there is a limited food supply and these guys are very hungry they can go as far as feeding on a fellow water bug, a young, or even their eggs.
  • When there are not enough males with good egg-laying sites to go round, female water bugs will rip apart the egg clutches deposited by other females.

Although such cases are rare, the water bug can go the extra mile to satisfy its thirst for food.

 

2. A water bug holds the record for the largest true bug (in the order Hemiptera) in the world Water bugs are truly giants as they can reach a length of 2.5 inches to 5 inches. The United States holds the record for the water bug that is nearly half the size of the biggest water bug (Lethocerus Maximus)
3. Mating in the Giant water bug can take several hours, especially in the back brooding species
4. Not all giant water bugs are actually giants. Not all water bugs with “giant” attached to their names are actually giants, as members belonging to the genus Belostoma are usually small and maybe less than a centimeter long in length.

An example of such is the Belostoma parvum native to Northern South America.

 

5. Water bugs are capable of escaping floods before they happen The water bug crawls out of the water and walks perpendicularly to the bank until it reaches shelter away from the stream.  After the flood passes through, it crawls back into the water and carries on with its regular activities.

Thrilling right? That is what is thought too!

 

 

What is a Water Bug?

Water Bug vs Cockroach
Picture of a Water Bug

A water bug is also known as the black beetle (since most of its body parts are dark) and is a large species of roaches that are known to live in damp, wet areas.

Even though they are the same, there are still some outstanding differences between the males and female water bugs:

Differences Between the Male & Female Water Bug

  Male Female
1. The length of an adult male may range from 18mm to 28mm The length of an adult female may range from  20mm to 27mm.
2.  Males appear winged at first glance Females appear to be wingless but actually have non-functional wings.
3. The males have narrow bodies. Females have wide bodies than the males

 

Water bugs are brown in color and are sometimes mistaken for cockroaches.

Water bugs are related to the famous Water scorpions and the Backswimmers. They can be found all over the world in marshes, ponds, etc and will feed on:

  • Small Reptiles
  • Small Fishes
  • Amphibians
  • Aquatic insects, etc

Being a predator does not keep you from being prey to some other big guys. Below are animals that will happily have the water bug on the menu:

  • Aquatic Birds.
  • Amphibians.
  • Large Fishes, etc

 

What are the Differences Between Water Bug and Cockroach (Water Bug Vs Cockroach)?

Water Bug Vs Cockroach

    Water Bug Cockroach
1. DIET They are scavengers (feed on garbage, algae, etc), and also are predatory insects. They are scavengers (they feed on carrion, dead plants, etc)
2. BODY They have flat, oval bodies, non-functional wings, claw-like legs, pointed mouths (for piercing), and short antennae They have flat, oval bodies, wings for gliding, long antennae, Spike-like legs, and heads facing downward.
3. COLOR The colors of water bugs usually range between brown and grey (darkish) The colors of cockroaches usually range between red, brown, and black.
4. TAXONOMY Water bugs are insects of the order Blattodea. Cockroaches are insects of the suborder Blattodea and order Dictyoptera
5. SIZE Water bugs are truly giants as they can reach a length of 2.5 inches to 5 inches. The United States holds the record for the water bug that is nearly half the size of the biggest water bug (Lethocerus Maximus) The longest cockroach on earth belongs to the species Megaloblatta longipennis, as they can reach a length of 96 mm.

The heaviest cockroach on earth is the Australian giant burrowing cockroach  Macropanesthia rhinoceros, as it can weigh 35 grams, and reach a length of 7cm.

The smallest cockroach on earth is the Attaphila cockroach, as they can reach a length of 3.5mm, and live with small ants as the leaf-cutter ants, etc

 

6. Dwelling Places Water bugs are aquatic insects. Cockroaches are known to dwell on land
7. BITE Water bugs bite Cockroaches do not bite
8. HABITAT Water bugs are known to  live in damp, wet areas Cockroaches are known to dwell in warm, dark, wet areas
9. GROUP FORMATION Water bugs never cluster in groups except during the mating season. Cockroaches move in groups

 

Conclusion

The subject topic ‘water bug vs cockroach’ has been one hell of a topic as people have been anticipating to know the difference between these two rival look-alikes.

Lucky for you our readers, we as a pest organization have taken it as a personal duty to carry out research and create a satisfying write-up to satisfy the yearning of our readers.

For more information feel free to drop your comments below as we will be anticipating positive response!

Ememobong Umoh is one of the prominent authors of Pestclue. He is an undergraduate who is experienced in the field and has written numerous mind thrilling articles about insects and animals.

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