So, you switched on the light in your bedroom last night, and something was on the floor.
It scurried up the wall quickly and got out of sight in no time as you turned on the light.
Was that a cockroach?
Or something else?
If you also don’t like these nasty insects like me inside your home, then you must have to call an exterminator or buy insecticide ASAP.
But before proceeding to that, make sure you have spotted the roaches in your home, as many bugs look like cockroaches but are not!
Let’s be honest; some people may not even be aware of the entomological classification of cockroaches if they are bugs or simply common bugs or what kind of insects they are.
However, without digging deep into the biological science of roaches, let’s have a detailed look at the different types of bugs that look like cockroaches but are not.
Let’s get started. Shall we?
What Do Roaches Look Like?
Do you know there are at least 4500 different species of roaches?
But only 30 of them are considered invasive.
Don’t worry. You don’t need to remember these 30 different species.
The roaches generally found in our households have a similar appearance to some other bugs that we will compare with.
Therefore, to know which bug looks like a cockroach, you need to understand what a cockroach looks like.
Revising their appearance before comparing bugs that look like roaches with actual cockroaches is necessary.
As I told you earlier, there are many species of roaches, but the cockroaches found in the home have some general features that you can look upon to know you have spotted a cockroach in your home.
Features Of Cockroaches:
- Starting with the length, the American cockroach has a length of around 2 inches, while the Oriental cockroach may have a length of about ¼ inches.
- Another common feature is the oval-shaped body of roaches, which you can quickly spot. And apart from American cockroach species, German cockroach is also famous for its terror.
- If you dare to get close enough to a cockroach, you can observe its six spiny legs, which are uniform and the reason they scurry up the wall quickly.
- Although cockroaches have wings attached to their backs, only a few can fly using these wings, so you better maintain a distance from them before they jump over you.
- Another common feature of the appearance of cockroaches is their oily outer surface with a small head under the pronotum.
- Oriental roaches have a long antennae with light brown, and these are also confused with the smoky brown cockroaches.
- German roaches are confused with brown banded cockroaches sometimes.
So by observing these standard features, you are more likely to be better aware of the cockroaches in the household.
Now is the perfect time to easily distinguish between roaches and other bugs that look alike.
Types Of Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches
This list includes most of the bugs found around the home that may appear similar to cockroaches but are not roaches.
Baby Cockroach Vs. Bed Bug
The very first type of bugs that look like cockroaches are bed bugs. These have quite similarities with baby cockroaches (see in the image).
The most resemblance of bed bugs occurs with the German roaches due to their same pale to dark brown color appearance, absence of wings, and similar size.
However, you can also check if you observe cockroach nymphs.
The size of the German roaches nymph goes around 0.25 inches, which causes confusion and resemblance with the tiny bed bugs.
Another critical difference is bed bugs have more oval-shaped bodies. The antennae size is comparatively shorter than roach nymphs, with a more prominent red-brown color appearance.
Main Differences Between Baby Cockroach And Bed Bug
- As the name suggests, bed bugs are more likely to stay around your bed because they only drink blood and thrive on that.
- On the other hand, roaches can be found anywhere and can eat just about anything.
- Bed bugs suck the blood by sucking mouthparts, while cockroaches bite and chew mouthparts.
- Baby cockroaches can survive alone as they do not need any other animal (to suck their blood) to live in case of bed bugs.
- Bed bugs do not fly, but many species of roaches can fly.
Cockroach Vs. Palo Verde Beetle
Palo Verde Beetle have quite similarities to cockroaches due to their size and color. The color of these beetles may range from darker brown to black color shades.
It is why they are more likely to get confused with cockroaches.
Additionally, these beetles have longer bodies and thicker antennae than the roaches, and the size can vary from 0.5 to 3 inches in length.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Palo Verde Beetle
- Palo Verde Beetle can not thrive indoors, while cockroaches can easily stay indoors for longer.
- Baby Palo Verde Beetles will have shelter in the roots of trees, while cockroaches are more likely to stay away from the trees.
- Another difference is that Palo Verde Beetles can fly with more rigid shells, but cockroaches can not fly (except for some species).
Cricket Vs. Cockroach
Crickets are another common bug found inside our home, and they easily resemble cockroaches due to their brown-to-black colors.
Some field crickets can also be confused with Oriental cockroaches.
Also, crickets have more cylindrical bodies, while roaches are more likely to have oval-shaped.
Like cockroaches, crickets jump when disturbed; however, crickets are more likely to have a longer jump than that roaches.
Another critical feature of cricket is that the male cricket makes a chirping noise, while roaches do not make any noise at all.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Cricket
- Crickets have longer antennas than cockroaches.
- Crickets have longer rear legs through which they produce their signature sound, but it is not the case with cockroaches.
- Crickets are more likely to stay outdoors, and therefore, they should not be a problem when it comes to infestation, but cockroaches are just the opposite of that and they create a cockroach infestation.
Cockroach Vs. Termite
Due to their opposite inhabitance, termite and cockroaches never resemble due to appearance.
But as they are closely related due to structure and entomological makeup, you need to understand their critical differences between each other.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Termite
- Termites have generally softer bodies and comparatively shorter antennae than cockroaches.
- Termites are 0.5 inches long only, while cockroaches are generally of more extended size.
- Cockroaches are a kind of solitary creature. However, termites are highly social and stay in a close-knit group.
- Cockroaches love to stay near water resources and a steady food supply (which can be anything), while termites remain in walls and roofs to build colonies.
- Termites feed themselves on wood and paper, while roaches can eat anything.
Ground Beetle Vs. Cockroach
As said earlier, cockroaches have around 4500 different species, while ground beetles have 2000 species.
Therefore, distinguishing between them becomes a factor in their appearance.
Ground beetles have a red-brown hue and winged frame, making a close resemblance to cockroaches.
Also, the oval-shaped body makes the work easier. Let’s have a clear look at the differences that these two insects have:
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Ground Beetle
- Ground beetles have front wings, and cockroaches have on the upper part of the body.
- Cockroaches can eat anything, but beetles are more likely to get outdoors for food. And therefore, they are less likely to be found inside the home.
- Ground beetles are vegetarians; therefore, they do not cause an infestation, unlike cockroaches.
Cockroach Vs. Water Bug
Water bugs are anoter kind of bugs that look like cockroaches. Some people even call a water bugs as oriental cockroach.
However, they have a vast difference in appearance and biological structure with the cockroach species.
Water bugs, as the name suggests, like to stay in stagnant waters, while adult cockroaches cannot remain in the water for long.
Apart from this, water bugs are also known to bite humans.
Also, water bugs can grow up to 4 inches long while a giant cockroach is just 3 inches in length, and this is why they have a close resemblance and confusion while distinguishing them.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Water Bugs
- Cockroaches can hardly hold up their breath for more than 30 seconds, so they cannot stay in water for as long as the water bugs.
- The main difference that you can observe between water bugs and cockroaches is their antenna. Water bugs do not have an antenna, just like cockroaches.
Cockroach Vs. Wood-Boring Beetle
Wood-boring beetle is more likely to get confused with the cockroaches by people, thanks to their highly resembling features.
Wood-boring beetles and cockroaches have almost the same color and length of antennae, along with six legs, long, oval-shaped bodies, and reddish-brown, translucent wings.
It is why they are confused the most with cockroaches.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Wood-Boring Beetle
- Wood-boring beetles bore into wood, as the name suggests, and can stay outdoors and indoors if you allow them to invade your home. However, cockroaches do not have this feature.
- Therefore, if you see any insect from a hole in your wood panel or wall, it is more likely to be a wood-boring beetle and not a cockroach.
- Wood-boring beetles are comparatively smaller than that cockroaches, also check cockroach vs wood roach!
Cockroach Vs. Beetle
Beetles are more likely to get confused with cockroaches as they are of the same color and shape as the body. For example, you can easily observe a red-brown hue on beetles, oval-shaped bodies, and winged frames.
However, beetles have wings on the front, roaches are more likely to have them on their backs, and beetles are less likely to stay indoors as they find their food outdoors only.
A fun fact, beetles have 2000 recognized species, and roaches are near about 4500.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Beetle
- Beetles love to stay outdoors and find their food on outdoor premises, but roaches are more likely to stay indoors.
- Although beetles and roaches have similar colors and body shapes, some cockroaches cannot fly, and beetles can fly.
- Roaches have soft leathery wings, but beetles have sturdy front wings.
Cockroach Vs. Asian Longhorned Beetle
There is no close relation between long-horned beetle and roaches, as they are pretty different.
However, the comparable factors in between these are their similar size of body which goes around 3 inches like roaches, and the long oval-shaped body.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Asian Long-Horned Beetle
- Long-horned beetles have a long and thick antennae with a shiny black appearance which differentiates them from the roaches.
- Also, the roaches do not have a shiny black color like Asian long-horned beetles.
Instead, they have more likely to be of reddish-brown appearance.
Cockroach vs. Palmetto Bug
Florida roaches or Palmetto bugs are similar to cockroaches, and therefore, they are often confused.
As the name suggests, these bugs are found around or beneath the palmetto leaves.
Additionally, American roaches, Florida roaches, and smoky brown roaches are also referred to as palmetto bugs thanks to their similar appearance.
From having pale brown color to yellow marking, wings for gliding are some similar features.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Palmetto Bug
- There is no such difference between these bugs and cockroaches. They are the same but named differently.
- One main difference is that generally, roaches are found indoors or in darker areas to hide; however, palmetto bugs hide beneath palmetto leaves.
June Bug (May Beetle) Vs. Cockroach
June Bug, also known as May beetles, is similar to roaches and often get confused.
The color of the June bug is reddish-brown which resembles cockroaches.
However, the antenna of the June bugs is more likely curled like eyelashes. But the body shape of June bugs is round.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And June Bug
- June bugs or May beetles are vegetarian, i.e., they eat leaves and other vegetation, but roaches are not vegetarians and eat anything.
- June bugs are attracted to light, but only some roaches have this tendency.
- May beetles like to live on the trees, but roaches don’t.
- Also, there is a difference between the antennas of these two bugs.
- June bugs can fly but often crash on the walls and fall on the floor. On the other hand, cockroaches who can fly can quickly jump from here to there.
Earwigs Vs. Cockroaches
Earwigs are one of the creepiest insects, even the name these insects got due to the myth that they enter people’s ears while they sleep!
Due to the size of earwigs and typically brown or black color, they are often confused with cockroaches, especially in the dark.
The size of earwigs ranges from ¼ inch to 1 inch long only, however, earwigs are nocturnal like roaches, which is why people observe earwigs more during the night and get confused with cockroaches.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Earwigs
- The main difference between these two is the pincers on the abdomen of earwigs which are not found on the roaches.
- Earwig directly lays the eggs into the soil, but a cockroach encapsulates their eggs before laying them.
Cockroach Vs. Stink Bugs
As the name suggests, stink bugs got their name because these insects have a foul-smelling liquid that they release when they are threatened or disturbed.
Also, stink bugs are attracted to the lights, so you can easily find them near your household windows.
Stink bugs are more likely to have a brown or back color and a shield-like body shape, but the main difference is their size which ranges from 17mm to 19 mm long.
If you find one of the stink bugs in your household, don’t panic; capture them and place them outside your home premises.
Main Differences Between Cockroach And Stink Bugs
- Stink bugs usually don’t infest your kitchen like a roach.
- A female cockroach will lay 16 eggs simultaneously, but a stink bug can lay up to 28 eggs.
- Adult stink bugs will have five segments to their antenna, whereas a mature cockroach will have around 94 components.
- Additionally, a stink bug is in the Hemiptera order (true bugs), while roaches are in the Blattodea order.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Several bugs look like roaches, like beetle, bed bugs, stink bugs, earwigs, June bugs, palmetto bugs, and even termites.
However, these bugs only look like and are not cockroaches.
Many beetles are brown, which increases the chances of confusion with the cockroaches, and crickets are brown to black, which resembles roaches.
Yes, bed bugs can easily be mistaken for cockroaches, especially baby ones, as they are of short size, just like bed bugs, and also have antennae.
Apart from this, the bed bugs are reddish-brown, resembling cockroaches.
Once you know about cockroaches and their basic identification features, you can quickly spot them and take action to eliminate them.
However, many other bugs resemble cockroaches, but actually, they are not.
And once you get to know if cockroaches are residing in your home, you need to call an exterminator or get the best insecticide or any other product that can get rid of cockroaches.
Apart from this, you are now aware of different bugs that may resemble roaches but do not need to be treated as same as cockroaches.