Pest Advice Blog

Powerful Pest: Know the Difference – Water Bugs and Cockroach

Cockroach vs Water Bug

Cockroaches are often referred to as water bugs and vice versa due to their similar appearances. Aside from their similar looks, these two pests are quite different. Water bugs prefer to live in water, at least most of the time while cockroaches are able to live in a variety of habitats. Both water bugs and cockroaches are common pests to Atlanta area residents. Knowing the difference will help you determine which pest you’re dealing with and the best way to eliminate them.

Appearance

Cockroaches and water bugs both have flat, oval-shaped bodies. Water bugs are on average about 2 inches in length while cockroaches can vary in size by species. German cockroaches are about a ½ inch long while American cockroaches average about 1 ½ inches in length. Both the German and American cockroaches are native to the Atlanta area.

Diets

Cockroaches eat a variety of materials such as leather, bakery products, glue, flakes of dried skin, dead animals, and fermented foods. Water bugs prefer to hunt and kill insects such as tadpoles and small fish. These bugs also like to eat sweet-tasting food such as syrups as well as algae and starch.

Lifecycle

Cockroaches lay their eggs in ootheca or an egg sack, which may be left somewhere or carried with the roach. The number of eggs produced by a female cockroach as well as the time it takes for eggs to hatch varies from species to species. Many roach species are able to reproduce within a few months of hatching.

There are three stages in a water bug’s lifecycle – the egg, the larvae, and the adult phases. Female water bugs lay small, oval eggs about a week after reproduction. In the third cycle of their life, water bugs develop the ability to fly. Water bugs lay their eggs on floating vegetation or in debris.

Habitat

Cockroaches are known as land insects and prefer dark areas. They can often be found in warm temperatures inside crawl spaces, basements, cracks, and outdoors. Water bugs spend most of their time in freshwater, usually in moist and dark areas. Leaky pipes or standing water are the perfect place for these pests to breed and hide. Although these bugs swim well, they cannot breath underwater, which is why they often return to the surface to capture air.

Both water bugs and cockroaches can spread disease and cause damage to your home. For additional information about water bugs and cockroaches or to schedule your free inspection, contact your Truly Nolen Atlanta office today.


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