Are Water Bugs and Cockroaches the Same?

Are you seeing creepy crawly insects in your home and wondering if they’re water bugs or cockroaches? It’s easy to mistake one for the other, but it’s important to know the difference. In this article, we’ll explain what each bug looks like, where they’re commonly found, and why it matters.

Appearance and Characteristics

Water Bugs:

  • Are also known as “giant water bugs”
  • Are larger than cockroaches, with some species growing up to 4 inches long
  • Have long legs and a flattened, oval-shaped body
  • Are usually brown in color
  • Have wings and are strong fliers
  • Live in or near bodies of water, such as ponds, streams, and lakes


  • Have a more oval-shaped body than water bugs
  • Are typically smaller than water bugs, ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 inches in length
  • Have long antennae and legs
  • Come in various colors, including brown, black, and reddish-brown
  • Are not strong fliers and often prefer to run instead
  • Commonly live in warm, moist areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements

Why It Matters

While both water bugs and cockroaches can be a nuisance, cockroaches are considered to be a more serious pest. Here’s why:

  • Cockroaches can carry diseases and contaminate food and surfaces with their droppings and shed skin.
  • Cockroaches can trigger asthma and allergies in some people.
  • Cockroaches reproduce quickly and are known for being difficult to eradicate once they’ve infested a home.

Call in the Professionals

If you’re experiencing an infestation of either water bugs or cockroaches, it’s best to call in the professionals to handle the situation. At Terminix, we offer a free home pest inspection to help identify the pests in your home and determine the best course of action for eliminating them.

Don’t let pests take over your home – contact us today to schedule your free inspection.