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Are you creeped out by crawly critters scurrying across your floor? Do you find yourself shrieking and jumping on a chair at the sight of one? Well, you’re not alone! Cockroaches and water bugs are two of the most common pests found in and around the home, but what’s the difference between the two? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. There are some ways to tell them apart without having to be a bug expert. You also want to check to see if it was a beetle that you saw.


Size is one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between cockroaches and waterbugs. Cockroaches are usually smaller in size, growing up to about an inch in length, while waterbugs are typically larger and can reach up to two inches in length. This makes it easier to differentiate between the two pests based on their size, especially if you come across a larger bug in your house. Keep in mind that there are different species of both cockroaches and waterbugs and the size can vary within each species. For exaple, the American Cockroach is pretty equal in size to the waterbug. However, as a general rule, waterbugs tend to be larger than cockroaches.

Color Me Impressed (or Grossed Out)

When it comes to bugs, color is often the last thing on our minds. Who cares what color they are, right? Well, when it comes to differentiating between two pests like cockroaches and water bugs, color can actually be a pretty big deal.

First up, we’ve got the classic cockroach. These creepy crawlies are usually a dark brown or black color, which is about as unappealing as it gets. I mean, let’s be real, no one wants a brown or black bug scurrying across their kitchen floor. But hey, at least you know what you’re dealing with, right?

Now, water bugs on the other hand, they’re a little more of a wild card when it comes to color. These bugs can range from a dark brown to a dark green or even black. So, if you’re dealing with a bug that’s a little on the green side, congratulations, you’ve probably got yourself a water bug.

Now, some folks might think that a green bug is a little less gross than a brown or black bug, but let’s be real, they’re still pests. They’re still creepy crawlies that you don’t want in your house. So, even if it’s green, don’t get too impressed (or less grossed out), because you still need to get rid of it.

Antennae Up: Who’s More Antsy?”

Cockroaches tend to have thin antennae that are about the length of their bodies. Think of it like a long pair of fingers that they use to feel their way around. They’re like a built-in GPS system for these pests.

Now, let’s talk about the water bugs. These guys have much shorter antennae, only about half the length of their bodies. It’s like they traded in their GPS system for a map and compass. These short nubs still get the job done, but they’re not as fancy as their cockroach cousins.


Cockroaches have a more cylindrical body shape compared to waterbugs, which have a flatter and more oval-shaped body.


Cockroaches are found in many different habitats including homes, buildings, and outdoors. Waterbugs are typically found near and around bodies of water such as ponds, streams, and rivers – thus the name WATERbug.


Cockroaches are nocturnal and prefer to hide during the day. They typically hide out in dark, damp places during the day. Waterbugs are more active during the day and are often seen around water.

Health and Safety Concerns – No Bueno

When it comes to health and safety concerns, there’s a reason it’s important to properly identify the bug you’re dealing with. Cockroaches can carry harmful bacteria and viruses that can spread disease. They can also trigger allergies and asthma in some people, which is why you want to get rid of them as soon as you see one.

Water bugs don’t carry the same health risks as cockroaches, but they can still bite or sting if they feel threatened.