Water bug in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

Vermont is home to water bugs, which are big beetle-looking insects that are commonly mistaken for cockroaches. While these two bugs look a lot like each other, they are quite different in a number of ways. For one, waterbugs are not the residential or commercial pest that cockroaches are—waterbugs rarely invade properties. In order to better understand what type of insect you’re seeing, it’s important to learn how to differentiate a cockroach vs. a water bug. The roach exterminators at Vermont Pest Control are here to break down what to look for when it comes to roaches and bugs that look like them!

What Are Water Bugs?

Water bugs have been called cockroaches or toe biters (due to their tendency to bite people in water). In Vermont, giant water bugs are a common insect. Water bugs live within the insect order Hemiptera, and are primarily an aquatic insect that lives only in bodies of water. When handled, water bugs can bite in defense (and are often called “toe biters”). These insects rarely enter homes and are not known to scavenge like roaches, making them a nonexistent pest problem for homeowners.

Because they look somewhat alike, water bugs and roaches are commonly mistaken for one another. So much so that people call the Oriental cockroach a “water bug”—especially because these roaches tend to frequent pipes and plumbing.

Cockroach vs water bug infographic in Vermont - Vermont Pest ControlHow Do You Tell if It’s a Roach or Water Bug?

1. Water Bugs

  • True to name, water bugs live in the water the majority of the time. They’re often found in ponds and lakes throughout Vermont.
  • Giant water bugs will hunt and kill other insects and small fish. They can also administer a painful bite to humans.
  • Water bugs are large, with some species reaching 4″. Their body shape is flat, oval, and tan or brown in color. Unlike roaches, water bugs have clawed front feet, a piercing mouth, and short antennae.
  • Waterbugs have wings that enable them to fly from one body of water to another in their mating season.

2. Roaches

  • If cockroaches get indoors, they will hide in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, and other damp areas in the home. Roaches avoid light.
  • Although cockroaches do not typically buy people, they are still a major threat in homes due to the fact that they spread germs and bacteria. They can also trigger allergies in individuals.
  • Roaches do not grow as large water bugs. Most species grow to be only 1–3 inches in length. They are also flat and oval-shaped and can range in color from red to dark brown or black. Roaches have longer antennae than waterbugs and hairy legs.
  • Certain species of cockroaches have fully developed wings, but they are unlikely to fly. Other species have shorter wings, while cockroach nymphs have no wings whatsoever.

Water Bugs vs Roaches in Vermont

With both cockroaches and water bugs in Vermont, it’s important to learn how to differentiate the two. If you need help with roaches or water bugs, the experts at Vermont Pest Control can help. Contact our roach exterminators today!

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Cockroach vs Water Bug in Vermont

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