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Cockroach vs Beetle - What's the Difference & Identification

cockroach vs beetle

Cockroaches and beetles are both creepy crawlers that may find their way into your home at some point or another.

If you see bugs on your floor, you might wonder why. What's the difference between cockroach and beetle debates?

Many people do not mind beetle presence in our homes, but cockroaches do. Is this a real cockroach?

Fortunately, it's possible to tell by identifying the specific species you've just observed.

Here's a quick guide to help you tell the difference between these two common household pests.

Cockroach vs Beetle

Beetle may look more like roaches. Beetles also differ significantly from arachnids because they share similar characteristics with their counterparts.

There's also the first difference between them is that roaches have shorter antennae and shorter tails.

A bird's wing can still be seen when rest is present although the majority are not able to fly and a beetle's wings are bundled into a bag and hidden inside.

Several beetles can be as common as the roach. It includes ground beetles, May beetles, and wood-bore beetles.

How can I identify a beetle?


The majority of beetles have 2 wings, the stiff outer wings are used as protection for wings that are used as a wing for fly operations.

There are six legs. Ground beetle is generally misinterpreted as an insect but they have smaller heads. With nearly 400,000 different beetles, many appear like cockroaches.

Most of them have bright coloration and are beautiful – just like ladybugs – while others are a darker brown like Maybug or Reddish brown like Maybug.

Beetles are very dangerous to humans and this can be devastating to agriculture and forestry.

How to identify a Cockroach?


Male and female are coloured in varying shades from red-brown to dark brown. This insect has six long legs and an extremely long antenna.

Initially, they appear with hard shells (exoskeletons) on their body, but the shell is a papery leather, no longer solid. Shells are meant to prevent wings' destruction.

The body consists of 3 separate areas, the chest, thighs, and belly. Several cockroach species possess double wings whereas females lack wings altogether.

The head is big and has long antennas. Adults are generally about 1 inch tall.

Do Cockroaches Carry Diseases?

How can roaches cause diseases? Fortunately, cockroaches do not carry disease as effectively as rats do. Nevertheless, rats are susceptible to causing various illnesses.

Firstly cockroaches carry bacteria. The kitchen is the main area where cockroaches can live and be killed.

Roaches can often be found on the countertop or stove, or inside of a cupboard containing trays. It is a common location to eat, drink, and prepare food.

Wherever the roach lives it can cause contamination on the surface of its skin, and this includes your own food.

Damage Caused by Cockroaches!

Cockroaches, in any of their life stages, can transmit bacteria and diseases to you through contact or indirectly by contaminating your food.

Saliva and waste from cockroaches are known to cause food poisoning and lead to other infections.

There is a range of viruses and bacteria, including salmonella, staphylococcus, and the polio virus, that studies have shown may be present in cockroaches.

Additionally, depending on the level of infestation, they can also cause allergies.

Roaches prefer carbohydrates, but they've been known to eat whatever is edible to them.

Cereals and treat foods, as well as anything left out, will be consumed by the squirrels in your house.

Bigger cockroaches will harm paper items and glue, like book bindings, and have even eaten wallpaper before.

Damage Caused by Beetles!

The larvae of beetles are the most harmful part of their development. The larvae may be discovered at home, in barns, or within structures made of wood or carpet.

The wood-boring beetle may live in wood for up to 10 years without exhibiting any outward indications. It's too late to prevent damage once you've discovered a full-grown insect in your home.

Carpet beetles are frequently mistaken for clothes moths, although their damage may be similar.

Their mandibles, or two hard teeth in the front of their mouth, enable them to chew through leather and carpeting, any type of cloth material, and even dead organisms.

These creatures typically remain close to their natural surroundings like plants or flower arrangements. Others hang near fibers such as cloth or leather, on seat cushions, furs or hides, or in your kitchen.

Cockroach vs. Cricket

cricket vs cockroach

Cricket (family Gryllidae) is usually misdiagnosed with cockroaches, but there have been many similarities. Crickets are brown in color and black, as are many types of cockroaches.

The antennas are long. In comparison, cockroaches' bodies are rectangular oval shaped bodies, whereas cricket has curved bodies.

Crickets have a long back leg modified so they can jump if disturbed. Cockroaches have six legs that are basically identical lengths, and use them for climbing and crawling. Crickets can't be seen by humans as quickly as beetles.

Cockroach vs. Palmetto Bug

cockroach vs. palmetto bug

Can you name two different varieties of palmetto bugs? This was one of those stupid questions. We have none. American and brown cockroaches are also known as "palmetto bugs".

So does Florida Wood cockroach. It's also possible to see wood roaches. Florida wood cockroaches are nicknamed for hiding under a palmetto leaf.

Americans got that because polite southerners didn't like cockroaches in their homes. So the stinky brown cockroach was there to make you think about the fact.

But to be a bit polite, it's ok to ignore the cockroach.

Cockroach vs Palo Verde Beetle

cockroach vs palo verde beetle

Palo Verde beetles are widespread throughout the southern USA. Because of their size, it is thought that the fish looks similar to roaches.

Palo Verde is an insect that has a darker brown or black colour body, longer antennae, and longer shell than that of roaches. It can fly.

Palo Verde beetles thrive outside but do not live long outside. This species is named after the hatching of eggs on a Palo Verdes tree.

Some people live among olive trees or rose trees. The baby beetles can niche within the root zone until adulthood.

Cockroach vs Wood-boring Beetle

cockroach vs wood boring beetles

At its initial glance, one could mistake wood-boring insects with cockroaches. Apart from the same color, the two also carry the same antenna length six legs long oval-sized bodies with reddish-brown wings.

As its name indicates, wood-boring beetles are able to penetrate wood both indoors and outdoors when they get into your home. So the beetles coming out of holes are likely beetles rather than roaches.

They are small and easy to identify. Wood boring beetles actually appear to be smaller Wasps than roaches.

Ground beetle vs cockroach

ground beetles vs cockroach

It is important to remember that ground beetles are 2,000 known species and roaches are nearly 4500 thus their similarities completely depend on some obvious similarities like colours and dimensions.

They have similar colors and a round shape. They differ surprisingly in a few places though. Not everyone roach carries wings whereas those with wings usually are soft, leather.

Ground Beetle is known for its sturdy wings. Ground beetles create burrows in their environment as well as establish food.

Cockroach vs. Water Bug

cockroach vs water bug

This may seem confusing to some. Are water bugs cockroaches? Generally, this seems the correct answer to the common misunderstanding.

Maybe you have heard of the Oriental cockroaches / brown cockroaches called water bugs. There are actually several species of aquatic insects that can be referred to as water bugs.

True waters bugs (family "Belostomatidus") live under the waters, unlike cockroaches. Roaches enjoy moister soils but are resistant to water. But there's more than that difference in roaches.

Contact Us To Become Pest Free Today!

Cockroaches are one of the most resilient pests, and therefore can be very difficult to get rid of. If you think you may have cockroaches, it's important to contact a pest control professional as soon as possible.

At 24h Pest Pros, our team of experts will work with you to develop a customized cockroach treatment plan that will get rid of your cockroach problem for good.

Frequently Asked Questions

What bugs can be mistaken for cockroaches?

Common insects that look like cockroaches are also sometimes mistaken as roaches.

How do you tell if a bug is a cockroach?

The cockroach first has shorter legs compared to beetles and they also have a shorter antenna. The wings are leathery on top like the beetles, but the beetle wings are hard.


Now that you know more about the key differences between cockroaches and beetles, you should be able to tell them apart with ease!

Just remember that cockroaches are longer and thinner than beetles, they have longer antennas, and they have wings (although not all species can fly).

Meanwhile, beetles are shorter and stockier than cockroaches, their antennas are usually the same length as their bodies or shorter, and they do not have wings.

If you think you may have a cockroach infestation or beetle infestation in your home, don't hesitate to contact your local pest control company for assistance!

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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