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Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches: Spot the Difference

bugs that look like cockroaches

It's important to know bugs that look like cockroaches and what they are, so we can spot the difference. There is a common misconception that are bugs that look like roaches.

This isn't true! Cockroaches have wings, bugs with wings don't look anything like them!

That means there are bugs out there who disguise themselves as these pesky creatures in order to scare us away from our homes or even worse: spread disease.

How do you tell if it's really a cockroach or not? This article will discuss bugs that look like cockroaches and provide information on how to spot them.

What are Cockroaches?


Cockroaches are bugs that have been around for over 300 million years! They're considered one of the most successful creatures on Earth and can be found in almost every environment.

There are four main types of cockroaches: American, Oriental, Australian, and German. The two most common ones that you'll find in North America are the American and German cockroaches.

Cockroaches are nocturnal (meaning they're active at night) and eat anything: from rotting food to glue! They can also spread diseases, so it's important to get rid of them if you see them in your home.

Cockroach nymphs are bugs that have flat, oval-shaped bodies and six legs. They're usually brown or black in color and have a smooth texture.

They also have two antennae on their head. You'll most commonly find them in warm, moist environments like kitchens and bathrooms.

Types of Roach Species

There are four main types of cockroaches: American, Oriental, Australian, and German. The two most common ones that you'll find in North America are the American and German cockroaches.

American Cockroach

american cockroaches

The American cockroach has reddish-brown wings and can grow up to around an inch in length.

They prefer warm, moist environments like kitchens and bathrooms because they thrive off of water (much like bugs that look like roaches).

Oriental Cockroach

oriental cockroaches

The Oriental cockroaches have wings that cover the entire length of their body and are dark brown in color. They can grow up to around an inch long, and like the American cockroach, they prefer moist environments.

German Cockroach

German Cockroach

German cockroaches are light brown bugs that have two black stripes on their wings. They're much smaller than American and Oriental roaches, growing up to around half an inch in length.

Australian Cockroach

Australian Cockroach

Australian cockroaches have two long, spiny legs and can grow up to 0.75 inches in length. They're usually found outside of homes near trees or tall grasses because they love warm climates.

Smoky Brown Cockroach

smokybrown cockroach

The dark mahogany brown cockroach is nearly black in color. Beetles number over 300,000 species, and they come in a variety of forms, sizes, and colors. The majority of beetles are brown, which gives them a resemblance to cockroaches.

What do roaches look like?

The most common type of cockroach is brownish-red with an oval-shaped body, six legs with spines on them, and long antennae. Some bugs are black or dark brown in color while others have yellow stripes across their wings.

How big are cockroaches?

American roaches can grow in size as much as three inches on the ground depending on how big they are and the species used.

Oriental roaches average length is about a foot while smoky brown and brown roaches are the smallest peridomestic roaches.

Often the size of the roach does not differ from others. They don't go above 3 inches in diameter while all the insect wings might be around 3 inches bigger.

They are considered to be the roaches that produce the biggest infestation in the home or whose niches it resides are.

The roaches don't grow longer than 3 inches in diameter while other insects can grow up to this length.

What do small roaches look like?

By "small roaches" we mean the small raccoon, such as cockroaches and red-shinned roaches. The bird can be distinguished by either the submersion of wings or the absence of wings altogether.

Different species of roaches reach 0.2 to 1 inch long. American and German roaches have a brown-red color, smoky browns, and smokey-brown ones small and light gray to brown.

Oriental and brown are black while oriental varieties are black. A small roach is distinguishable from underdeveloped or missed wings.

Cockroach vs. Termite

cockroach vs. termite

In the US there are approximately 40 species of termites ranging from light brown to white. A typical Cockroach species has a larger body, tougher hands, and long antennae.

Termites prefer to live in walls that give plenty of space to build their colonies and provide food.

On the other hand, termites primarily eat cellulose made from bark grass and leaves. However, cockroaches eat nearly anything.

These two insect groups are acting differently indoors with the termites living in large colonies with a queen and a king and the cockroach are solitary creatures with short antennas that don't form colonies.

Cockroach vs Beetle

cockroach vs beetle

Some species of bees and one specific scarab beetle called Julybug seem similar in appearance to roaches. For example, cockroaches are generally longer than beetle-infested beetles.

June bugs are greenish-brown to black, rounder than cockroaches, and consume plants. During cockroach bites some insect bite, although cockroach bite is uncommon. It's very hard to find beetles in your home.

The black ground beetles are sometimes compared to an Oriental cockroach that has a more downward-pointing head and shorter wings. You may see April bugs bobbling or flying across walls.

Cockroach vs Water Bug

cockroach vs water bug

Unlike roaches, water bugs have a tendency to thrive in stagnating water. Adult roaches were able to hold their breath in water for 40 seconds.

Water bugs can grow to over 4inches long while the largest roach is only around 3inches long. The legs have a pincer and their beak is strong for this purpose.

This car lacked an antenna. Water bugs have always been a known water predator for their diet While roaches will mostly feed on any food source.

Roaches also often bite but water flies bite. They are more likely to bite than roaches but are known to be water predators. Most roaches are just over 2 ft long.

Cockroach vs Palo Verde Beetle

cockroach vs palo verde beetle

The Palo Verde beetles thrive outdoors but don't live well in the home. Their name comes from hatching their eggs at the palo verde plants. They could be confused with roaches because they were smaller and more colorless.

It measures around 3 feet long and has longer bodies, longer antennae heavier shells and they fly better than fish.

They also inhabit olive trees, rose bushes or olive trees, and even rose bushes in southwest America.

The beetles are located in southwest America and are estimated to be in America. It is considered the largest insect on the earth.

Cockroach vs. Palmetto Bug

cockroach vs. palmetto bug

The Florida wood cockroach got that nickname because it enjoys hiding under palmetto leaves.

Smoky brown cockroaches got it because the polite Southern folks liked not acknowledging the cockroaches.

Of these three the American cockroach is the more common one and are often called "palmetto bugs". Other names include flying waterbugs Bombay canary and South Atlantic cockroaches.

The smelly brown cockroach gets it too because you should say no to any cockroach if you have them at the house. The American roach is most famously dubbed as the most despised species.

Cricket vs Cockroach

cricket vs cockroach

There is not enough information in our data for an accurate comparison between crickets and cockroaches.

Crickets have larger cylindrical bodies whereas roaches have oval body shapes. Long back legs provide an even signature sound. Roaches are however more agile which they can run or glide more than jump.

Like beetles, crickets can't pose any problems in the wild. They jump if they get upset or startled and compared to a roach the jump rate is higher.

They attract more outdoor wildlife and cause no infestation problems that can arise if an infestation does.

Chinese Longhorn Beetle vs Cockroach

chinese longhorn beetle vs cockroach

Asian long-horned beetles are easy to determine by their bright black color, long and thick antennae, and white spots on their body hair.

The closest thing that makes them comparable to roaches would be their big oval-shaped bodies and their size ranging from 2 inches in length to 2 1/2 inches like roaches.

Except that they are distinct and can be easily identified apart from roaches that according to their bright black and white antennae. The beetles are like roach beetles.

Bed Bugs vs Cockroaches

bed Bugs vs cockroaches

Bed bugs are usually rounder whereas nymphs are softer rectangular or oval. Bed bugs are often reddish as compared to the brown or tan of the baby German roach.

To differentiate between these two-bed bugs you'll need to look for how they're shaped. Bed bugs and Nymph are similar in size.

Cockroach vs Wood Boring Beetles

cockroach vs wood boring beetles

Wood boring beetles look more like wasps than as they have roach teeth. They penetrated wood not only inside the house but also in windows when they enter yours.

If anyone sees a beetle flying into your walls or wood panels then they are probably an insect. But they aren't rodents.

They are also identified for the black or white marks on their bodies and are smaller than cockroaches making them easy to detect.

It also has the same antennae length six legs long oval-shaped bodies and opaque wings as they appear to be Wasps.

Baby Cockroach vs. Bed Bug

baby cockroach vs. bed bug

Adult bed bugs are usually less than 0.1 inches long and cockroach nymphs-especially tiny german species- can be similar in size. Bed bugs are generally thinner and rounder than cockroaches who have larger oval bodies.

They are also reddish-brown in contrast to the German cockroach's tan or golden color and have a much shorter antenna.

But you may only have to find one to distinguish between a bed Bug and a baby cockroach because they look tiny. The German cockroach nymphs are only at a certain stage and is seen in early January.

Ground Beetles vs Cockroach

ground beetles vs cockroach

Ground beetles are 2,000 identified and roaches are about a quarter. Ground beetles make burrows outdoors and are less than likely to be a niche in homes.

They are also vegetarians meaning that they don't cause pests in homes like rats are.

Normally wings are soft and leathery but there are wings in birds. Ground beetles however are known for their solid front wings.

Of course, the ground beetle produces burrows for digestion and is less likely to niche in home in addition to being vegetarian.


In this article, we've gone over bugs that resemble cockroaches and what you should do if you find one in your home.

You'll notice some bugs are easier to identify than others so it's important not to panic-call an exterminator every time you see a bug.

If the bugs are getting out of hand or they're taking up residence in your home, call for professional help!

We hope these tips have helped shed light on bugs that look like cockroaches and how to handle them when they show up uninvited at your place.

Frequently Asked Questions

What bugs can be mistaken for cockroaches?

Common bugs that look like cockroaches and are often mistaken for roaches are crickets and water bugs as well as insects like the ground beetle or.

How do you tell if it's a cockroach?

Shared traits Among Cockroach Species Each has a distinctive oval-shaped body common to all cockroaches.

The bodies appeared flattened and can go 3-5 cm a length. Most are reddish-brown but are white for only a short period of time after molting.

Why do I have palmetto bugs in my house?

A lack of good and easy contact with feed and water increases your chance of getting a lot of Palmetto bugs.

If you've had leaky taps or pipes inside your house there's a higher odds you'll cause an infestation. It is likely that any food you leave out may attract the palmetto insect including pet food.

What should I do if there is a cockroach infestation?

If you suspect that your home has an infestation of bugs that look like cockroaches, it is best to call a professional pest control service.

These experts will be able to inspect your home and identify the bugs that are causing the problem.

They will also develop a plan to get rid of the bugs safely and effectively. In some cases, people may try to treat an infestation on their own by using over-the-counter pesticides.

About The Author:

Meet Mark Calhoun, a seasoned pest control expert in the realm our pest control company. With over 10 years of dedicated experience and Managing Editor. His primary mission is to furnish you with precise and invaluable DIY insights, ensuring your home remains pest-free while aiding you in distinguishing various household pests.
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