It’s not always a simple task to tell cockroaches from other bugs, especially if it’s your first time dealing with them. Common insects like beetles and crickets are often mistaken for cockroaches. Well, if you think you have seen a cockroach, and you are not sure about it, we have compiled a list to help you better identify them and to apply cockroach extermination properly.
Physical characteristics of bugs that look like cockroaches
Cockroaches are naturally flat, with an oval shaped body. They also have long legs with an antenna. Beetles, on the other hand, have shorter legs with an antenna. Beetles also have a hard exoskeleton, and you will be able to hear a definite crouch when you squash them. Crickets are shaped like grasshoppers and have strong hind legs that they use for hopping.
Markings and colour
Cockroaches have a distinct reddish-brown colour and sometimes black. Some cockroaches will have a single colour of brown while others will have more than one colour. A common cockroach species, the American cockroach, has reddish-brown wings with a light-coloured circular marking on its thorax. It also has a light-coloured band right below its head.
There are more than 300,000 species of beetles in the world, and they have various sizes, shapes, and colours. However, many beetles are brown, which makes it very easy to confuse them with cockroaches. The June bug and beetle are the two most commonly confused bugs for cockroaches.
A lot of cockroaches have wings that usually lie flat against their backs and are always visible. Some beetles have wings; others don’t. When a beetle is at rest, its wings are covered up by hard wing cases that are a part of the exoskeleton. Cricket wings often extend over their abdomens. It’s good to note that not every cricket species has wings.
Crickets just like grasshoppers are known to jump over great distances. A cockroach may also hope when startled. However, running is normally their best escape. Beetles are sometimes known to scurry, and some of its species make exceptional swimmers.
Habits and habitat
Cockroaches are normally attracted by water; however, they live on land. It’s easy to confuse the smoky brown cockroach to a water bug, which is a type of true bug that lives in water. Cockroaches are more comfortable in and around your home, while crickets and bugs are mostly outdoor bugs, however, under the right conditions, they will enter your house. Crickets, as well as some beetles, are attracted to light, finding their way into your house. Cockroaches, on the other hand, prefer dark or dim lighting conditions.
Cockroaches come from eggs, and they resemble adults from the time they hatch. Beetles start as worms later morphing into an adult bug. Crickets also hatch from eggs, and just like cockroaches, they look like adults from the nymph stage.
Cockroaches are scavengers. They will eat plants as well as other insects, food, feces, and garbage. Cockroaches will not eat garments or bedding unless it’s soiled. Certain beetles are known to be very destructive to fabric, wood and food crops. Some species of beetles are even predators.
Beetles have very powerful mouthparts, and some are known to bite. Cockroaches, on the other hand, are not known to bite humans, except in very isolated circumstances. However, they are still a serious threat to humans. Cockroaches travel through sewers and filth and will leave traces of this filth on your food and surfaces. Some people are sensitive to allergens that are found on cockroaches’ cast skins and feces.
Bugs that look like Cockroaches
It’s easy to confuse a Cockroach to a Beetle or a June bug; cockroaches have a reddish-brown colour. Their size ranges from half an inch to two inches long. They have a measure of shine on their bodies, and their wings are folded tightly against their backs. The following are bugs that look like cockroaches
They are approximately the size of a cockroach. However, their colouring is much darker, with some appearing as black. Crickets make a distinctive chirping noise, cockroaches, on the other hand, are silent insects.
Giant water bugs
You could easily confuse a giant water bug for a cockroach. This is because, in some regions, cockroaches are mistakenly called water bugs. However, true water bugs are their own species as much as they share similar size and colouring with cockroaches.
Something that distinguishes them is their habitat and size. Water bugs can be found near outdoor water sources like ponds and measure up to one full inch across. Cockroaches, on the other hand, prefer basements and dank sewers and are much narrower.
May Beetles or June Bugs
They are normally no larger than one inch in length and vary in colour from reddish-brown to almost black. Active June bugs are active after dusk in May and early June reason behind their names. When they fly, they will often run into windows and will be found clinging on to screens. Their backs are higher and more rounded compared to a cockroach. They also have an overall stockier appearance.
The Asian Longhorned Beetle
It’s amazing how these insects are sometimes confused for cockroaches since they have their distinct look. They have black colourings with prominent irregular white spots. They also have an extremely long antenna curled back and can appear to completely encircle its body.
If you have a problem with bugs that resemble cockroaches, it is almost the same as having an actual cockroach problem. It doesn’t matter the type of insect that has invaded your home; once you notice a bug that its presence isn’t welcome, it’s important to have an expert examine your home. Cockroaches are known to carry harmful diseases and if left to thrive could lead to dire health consequences. In case you notice a cockroach or a bug that resembles a cockroach in your home, call your local pest control company to check it out. They will be more than happy to deal with your problem safely and effectively.