Best Ways of Effective Water Bugs and Roaches Identification plus Prevention and Extermination

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 42 minutes.
Updated: .

Water bugs are often called roaches and vice versa. Some species of these insects are similar in appearance and therefore often mistaken for each other. In fact, they are quite different. Water bugs prefer to live in your swimming pool while cockroaches are common insects in your house.

Do they bite and spread diseases? What control methods to use for their elimination? Before we answer your questions, you’d better think how to identify them. When you know what type of insect you have on your property, you know what effective treatment to apply. Remember, control methods differ for each of these guys. Read and find out how to identify roaches and water bugs and what methods you can use to eliminate them.

Useful Information to Differentiate Cockroaches and Water Bugs: Terminology, Life Cycle and Food Habits

Bugs differenceWhat is a difference between water bug and roach? Those who find water bugs or cockroaches in or around their homes might feel it’s essential to know exactly what bugs they are dealing with. Usually these nasty little guys can be mistaken for each other.

So, how to identify water bugs that look like cockroaches? Although water bugs and nasty little cockroaches look similar, there are certain differences that set them apart. Knowing their terminology, habitat, diet, biting habits etc. will help you to determine which type of crawler you are dealing with.


Cockroaches terminologyCockroaches: there are nearly 4,000 species of these creatures worldwide. Among different species of cockroaches there are such ones as American cockroach, Florida wooden cockroach, the Brown cockroach, the German cockroach, the Asian cockroach etc. These insects can live an average of 2 to 4 years.

Water bugs terminologyWater bugs: Is water bug a roach? In fact, water bugs are known as a species of cockroach, commonly called black beetles or oriental cockroaches.

What is a water bug? Water bug is actually a broad term used to refer to different kinds of little bugs. The most common ones are the giant water bug, electric light bug, brown water bug and toe biter. Being members of the order Hemiptera, they have mouth parts that pierce and suck.
There are about 1500 species of water bugs worldwide. Some of them live on fresh water and some on the surface of the water. They are oval in shape, have a set of antenna and six legs.

Water bugs are more solitary insects but may congregate at the time of breeding season. When it comes to cockroaches these nasty guys prefer to be surrounded by other roaches at all times.
Both cockroaches and water bugs have parental care.

Difference:  While water bugs are predatory scavengers, cockroaches are not predators and usually referred as non-aggressive insects. Water bugs are identified by much larger sheer size than a typical cockroach.

Appearance of insects and danger of bites

Cockroache sizeCockroaches: The size of these non-aggressive insects varies from species to species. German roaches are about a half-itch long, while the size of American cockroach can be up to 2 inches long. These insects don’t bite people but can be a nuisance when invading homes.

There are over 150 articulated segments in cockroach’s antennae.

Water bugs appearanceWater bugs: These bugs in contrast to cockroaches can bite people and their bites are really painful. As far as their mouth parts are designed to suck fluids, water bugs inject digestive juice into the body and extract liquefied tissue. Some water bugs like backswimmer and eastern toe-biter can attack your bare feet underwater.

Difference: Water bugs are bigger in size than indoor cockroaches. Roaches are known as non-aggressive insects that don’t bite humans while water bugs are known to bite and attack people. However, they do bite only when humans invade their environment.

Have you noticed a white cockroach? Why is it white? Find out what these insects are and why they could be dangerous for you.


Cockroaches habitatsCockroaches: Known as land insects, they prefer dark, slightly-wider-than-their-bodies vertical areas. Kitchen, bathroom are their favorite places in the building.

These little guys prefer warm temperatures and don’t tolerate cold temperatures. You can find them indoors in crawl spaces, basements, crack and crevices and outdoors where they can move during warm weather.

Water bugs habitatsWater bugs: Known as aquatic or amphibious, these little bugs spend most time of their life in freshwater.  Usually they look for moist and dark areas to hide and breed. If your property has places with standing water or leaky pipes, water bugs will surely find them.

Usually, water bugs are commonly found in America giving their preference to humid, hot climates. You can often find them in rotting wood, leaking faucets or hiding in leaves where they enjoy a wet environment. Although they swim well, these bugs are unable to breath underwater. That is why, they often return to surface to capture the air.

Difference: Although cockroaches are really adaptable and can live in different places, they are not aquatic like water bugs are.


Cockroaches foodsCockroaches: They can eat a large variety of materials such as leather, bakery products, glue, flakes of dried skin, plant materials, dead animals, fermented foods. They can even feed upon wounded or dead cockroaches of their own or other species.

Water bugs: They prefer to hunt and kill insects like tadpoles, minnows and small fish. These little bugs also like sweet-tasting food like some syrup, things made of starch and algae which people may have on the bottom of their swimming pools. Black water bug known as Oriental cockroach can feed off garbage and decaying matter.

Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen area.
Why? This attracts cockroaches. Don’t leave pet food out in dishes. To prevent attracting roaches keep it sealed in an airtight box.
Clean underneath and behind refrigerators, stoves, sinks etc., empty the trash regularly to prevent roaches in the kitchen.

Difference: Diet is what differentiates these 2 bugs. Cockroaches as distinct from water bugs can eat any available food source including fermented food and decaying.

Life cycle

Cockroach life cycleCockroaches: Before becoming adults, roaches undergo egg and nymphal stages. These insects can be divided into oviparous and ovoviviparous.

Eggs produced by oviparous roaches are enclosed in egg cases known as ootheca. This case is attached to female abdomen.

When it comes to ovoviviparous roaches’ reproduction, the eggs – produced by this type of roaches – are enclosed in ootheca inside the female’s body.

An average lifespan of 1 cockroach is around one year.

The number of eggs produced by female cockroach as well as the time it takes for eggs to hatch varies from species to species.

Water bugs: There are 3 stages in water bugs’ life cycle – the egg, the larvae and the adult phases. About 600 days is the total length of time during these 3 phases. Female water bugs lay small, hardy and oval eggs about 1 week after their reproduction.

With the second stage these insects will undergo several periods to accommodate rapid growth. At this time water bugs don’t develop wings but are already considered as predators.

Adulthood is the third and the last stage of their life cycle at which these creatures develop the ability to fly. Having around 19 body segments, males are bigger in lengths than females which have 13-or 14 body segments.

Difference: cockroaches lay their eggs in ootheca – an egg case – which may be left somewhere in a nook or carried with the roach, while water bugs, in most cases, lay eggs on floating vegetation or in debris.

Do cockroaches poop and how to clean their droppings? Interested? Find out the answers here.

How to determine if you have water bugs or cockroaches

Knowing what kind of insects you are dealing with may seem like a puzzling task. But, by doing some simple assessments you will surely find the difference between these little guys:

  1. Aquatic or notAquatic or not aquatic?
    The main difference between these bugs is that water bugs are aquatic and people often find them near water or pools. When it comes to cockroaches, they are not aquatic at all.
  2. Where did you find them?
    Cockroaches are attracted to humidity while water bugs to wet area. Therefore, cockroaches prefer to stay inside the house. When it comes to water bugs, you can find them outside.
  3. How do bugs look likeHow do they look like?
    If you found a little bug of a black or very dark brown color with paddle-like legs, then chances are this is a water bug. Cockroaches tend to be of an orange-brown color.

Ways of prevention and extermination: How to make away with roaches and water bugs before they become a huge problem

There is a huge number of ways to crack away those nasty guys. Let’s see some of them.

Step 1. Prevention: Cleaning

Bugs cleaningThe best way to prevent and get rid of roaches and water bugs is to clean up thoroughly. It doesn’t include too much. If there is nothing to eat in the house, cockroaches will have no reason to come to your property.

If you limit water sources inside the house and pay attention to standing water areas outside the house things will go much better as you will crack the water bug problem in no time. Make sure you clean up any wet surfaces to prevent the crowd of water bugs.

Once you have closed off the entrances to the house and removed the food and water sources, hire a professional exterminator who will use special pest control products to kill off any remaining water roaches in your home.

Step 2. Exclusion: traps, sprays and powders

There are various solutions on the market that are effective and help to cope with cockroaches and water bugs infestation problem. We suggest choosing one of these efficient options:

  • Check your local stores for traps. You can purchase either glue traps to capture the roaches or poison traps to kill roaches with poison bait. Most people choose 12 Month Roach Bait by Combat.
    The cost of the bait is $18.
    The bait should be stored in dry and cool area out of reach of children. It is recommended to place this bait where roaches are found. Keep in mind, you shouldn’t use sprays around the bait.
    Check your local stores for traps
  • Kleen-free naturallyDouse these nasty creatures with pesticide sprays. The pesticide works on contact. The best way to use it when you see a live roach running through your property.

    For those who prefer organic solutions we recommend using Kleen-Free Naturally Insect Eliminator by Non-Toxic that doesn’t depend on toxic chemicals.

    The average price for the product is $21.75.

  • Rroach powder and trapsAnother efficient solution is powder. It should be sprinkled wherever you have an insect problem. While deciding on the best powder, consider that roaches tend to congregate in dark places near food source.
    Speaking of the most popular powder, we should mention Boric Acid Roach Powder by Harris. You can find this solution at Amazon.
    The price is $10.77.
    The product is effective for roaches as well as water bugs and palmetto bugs.

More information on effective cockroaches’ extermination methods you can find here.

Step 3. Hire professionals

Cockroach exterminationA do-it-yourself insect removal makes the process of elimination much easier. However, it sometimes happens that methods of elimination don’t work. If you can’t eliminate roaches and water bugs yourself, hire exterminators. An initial visit of Pest Control Company is $100 to $300. Before you hire professionals, check their guarantees and make sure the chemicals they use are safe for your family and pets.

Having roaches around the property should be considered a serious matter. Whether alive or dead, they are prone to causing allergic reactions, hepatitis virus, salmonella and even asthma.
If you see one lying anywhere in the house, get rid of it immediately. Observe the areas with severe roaches’ infestations and fight them by placing glue or sticky traps.

Remember an excess to food and water source can lead to explosion of roaches’ population. Don’t let these troublesome insects take control of the house.

You can find further details of Roaches Control here.

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  1. Oriental cockroaches are cockroaches not black water bugs. I find it very amusing that an article claiming to explain the difference just adds on to an extremely common misconception

    • I find it funny these are specialist talking about the article and you yet think you know more about the professionals and it just explain to you the difference between a black cockroach and a water bug and still you think that your mind is more Superior than the experts congratulations you’re part of the American problem

      • I find it amusing that a roach or a water bug is assigned a national origin. I also find humor in anonymous above, assessing Adrian’s thought processes related to his conceptualization of the bugs, in relation to the “professional’s,” knowledge.
        I find it, by looking for it.

      • This is not a very good article from “professionals”. And for your information, Adrian IS correct. Get informed from some other source than this article. It’s not the best and they don’t even offer pictures. This is from a better source: Oriental Cockroaches are Sometimes Called Water Bugs

        According to the Santa Barbara County of California Public Health Department, there are over 4,000 types of cockroaches worldwide. In the United States (U.S.), the four main cockroach pests are the German, the American, the brown banded, and the oriental cockroach.

        The most abundant is the German cockroach, and according to the University of Kentucky, a single female produces 30,000 babies in one year. The oriental cockroach, which prefers dark and damp places, is identified by some people as a water beetle, or a water bug.

        As the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department points out, a possible reason for calling a cockroach a water bug is to make us feel better, implying that you aren’t looking at or dealing with a nasty cockroach, but just with a bug that usually lives on top of the water.

        The problem with that philosophy is that unless you have continuously standing water within your house, complete with mud under the water and filled with aquatic plants, frogs, and other invertebrates, you don’t house the environment suitable for a true water bug.

      • But he is right.

    • Exactly it confuses people

  2. Your information is very confusing. First you say cockroaches and the big black water bugs are different. Then you say use roach bait for both of them. I’ve tried the exterminator and their stuff doesn’t work. I need an alternative. Boric acid has been suggested to me but all my research says it useful for roaches and palmetto bugs but nor specifically for the big black water bug. Is there anything specific that is useful?

    • Look up unl oriental cockroaches the images are among the best for identification. if that is what you are dealing with the information on there site will be quite beneficial. Use the boric acid in very light dusting or they will avoid it

    • I have been putting Amonia down my drains and that seemed to stop them. But if you dont do it at least once a week then u will probably find one in your shower. I just pour about a cup In each sink and tub. I also put a cup in my toilet for precaution.

      • Putting ammonia in the toilet is VERY hazardous! It can create toxic fumes

        • Ammonia is not hazardous in a toilet. In fact, urine can have ammonia in it. However, it can be toxic (in or out of the toilet) if mixed with other chemicals.

          • Ammonia is basically Hydrogen and Nitrogen. When it goes through the septic plant, it will just be broken back down to its basic element.

      • Omg I do the same!!!!! I put bleach in mine though and the don’t come up if I don’t they will come up the drains and I have an exterminator too once a month. Mine are concentrated in the mater bath drains!!! No where else!

      • Thank you for that idea! I will use it but just out of curiosity have you ever tried bleach I wonder if it would be effective?

  3. The article was very good in differentiating between the household cockroach and the larger variety of dark brown water bug. It was a little confusing in one or two places.

  4. i have these cockroach looking bugs that are outside only at nighttime. i dont see them during the day, and once in a while i see 1 inside my house. they are huge, and im unsure if they are cockroaches or not!

    • Please let me know what you have tried because I just recently have the same exact problem and i do not know what to do and i really do not want to put out the expense of an exterminator but i do not know what else to do because they are driving me crazy!!!

      • I have the same roaches. The only come out at night, when I spray for them with Home Defense I find them upside down on the patio legs kicking. They must be hiding in my surface drain that surrounds the pool patio for run-off. I Spray once a week till I don’t see them on their backs anymore, does the trick for me. Oh, I also have German and Oriental Roaches too. They are the light brown ones that have wings, so says my research. Good luck !!

    • Cockroaches are small, water bugs are big, and come out at night, if u water a lot they love that, I use a granule around the perimeter of the house and that controls them a lot!

      • What is granule an where do you get it at? I hate these pesky things an I’ve heard they bite other than on this site ….. Ughhhh yuck plz help thx

      • What granuals do you use?

      • Cockroaches are NOT small in Washington, D.C. where I was for a few months in college…the biggest one I saw was 2 1/2-3 inches…why I left!!!

    • i have done alot of research on roaches and it sounds like you seeing cockroaches. Are they brown/light Brown ? Do they look like they have wings ? If yes then these are the American Roach they are huge like 2 inches long .

    • Those are a type of cockroach that live outside. You will primarily see them in the summer when it’s warm. And yes they are huge.

    • I live in Virginia and once in awhile I’ll see these two inch cockroach looking things scurrying on the floor but once the light turns on they go into a crack in between the counters and the stove and then I won’t see one for ever. I heard it’s because I live on a slab that these bugs here in this area are common.

      • I live in VA as well and just started having the same problem. What do you do about your situation? They are starting to irritate me. I hate turning on the light to see one crawling around somewhere

      • My house is also on a slab and so far this summer I’ve killed four !!!! I thought it was an awfully big cockroach ….. As I don’t see any small ones , and they don’t tend to be shy I see and kill them during the day. ….. I don’t have any other bugs and my house is clean ……. I will look for a water source …. Thanks All for the info

  5. Amy, I hate to tell you, but it sounds like oriental cockroaches. I just bought a house, then seen a few in the house, here and there, then I looked around 4am outside on a day after it rained, and they were all over the lawn.
    I would suggest searching images to id them. keep in mind the males and females are a little different in appearance. The males are dark brown (even reddish) with wings that cover all but their butt. The females are usually a little bigger, almost black, and they have tiny wings that you won’t even see unless you look really close.
    If inside, I would suggest the use of a gel bait, keeping in mind that application sites will make the difference in effectiveness. (you want it close to their entrances) Also boric acid baits are effective but theres no “secondary kill” like with the baits. (with the baits, the poisoned roach returns to the nest and poisons others)
    Most importantly seal any exterior cracks and crevices. Carefully inspect the exterior of your home. personally I dont believe in sealing interior walls, because that just keeps them inside your walls.
    If outside, first off eliminate any harbors they may have. If you have tall weeds, mulch, compost piles, these will attract them. I would suggest keeping any grass next to the house extremely short. For further control you can get a granular form of “fipronil” (probably the most effective neuro-toxin against them) this stuff has no KNOWN toxicity to most mammals, however it will kill most bugs. If you go this route please, please use as directed. You will not see instant results either way, but in a few weeks you should. Please if you use this, understand that it really is a nasty, synthetic neurotoxin and should not be used loosely where it will wash away. it is bad for birds (they eat the bugs) if it goes to a wash, or pond it is extremely toxic to fish.
    Hope this helps, best of luck. These species can be beat. (nothing like the German ones) If you caught them before they infested your house, consider yourself lucky. Get a jump on them! this is the time of year eggs are hatching. so pretty soon, for awhile you wont see as many adults. Next spring, you will see more.

    • Boric Acid works better than the baits. There actually is a secondary kill with Boric Acid. Roaches are cannibalistic and when they ingest the Boric Acid, they go back to the nest to and die. When the other roaches eat it, they are also poisoned. You just have to watch our for small pets and children – make sure you keep the Boric Acid away from anywhere they can reach.

      Growing up, we lived in a triplex & the houses on both sides of us were infested with roaches & not 1 roach in our house. my mom used Boric Acid along all the baseboards, in crevices and in cabinets where no food would be stored – but especially around the baseboards of the bathrooms – even outside, but you have to be careful of other small animals if you do that.

  6. Have you tried Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Bug Killer? It’s as good as Boric Acid and may be a lot cheaper. You can get a 4 lb bag of the stuff, I think I bought it at Home Depot. I poured some in a clean sock and gently hit or touch all surfaces with the closed sock. inside and out of the kitchen, all walls, etc. Use a plastic bottle where you can squeeze small amounts into small crevices, behind the stove, refrig, etc. Read instructions carefully regarding children and pets. You may want to put a nose mask on so you don’t breathe it. Diatomaceous Earth and Boric Acid will last about a year on surfaces. We never had bugs after using these powders. Very economical, also.

    • I forgot, you really don’t need to use much of this Diatomaceous Earth Powder.
      Bug Sprays are so expensive and don’t last but 2-3 months

    • Your comment wàs verry interesting and sound like its worth trying. However is it used for water bugs or cockroaches? I can’t figure out which kind I have. At first no doubt there were water bugs. Then we higherd an exterminator and subsequently I now have three kinds of bugs… The original wb and a small browñ kind of Roach however I didn’t see any wings, and last but not least this black bug that is oblong yet sort of diamond shape. With six jointed rather long for its size legs. I’m beside myself.

      • Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder that works on most bugs. It is considered a mechanical insecticide, as it deteriorates their exoskeleton, leading to dehydration over a period of several days after they contact it. Make sure you get the food-grade version that has not been heat treated.

  7. I use flat glue boards. I just saw a flying large roach first time indoors. Omg. I can’t!!!

  8. Sorry for bein lame, but as far as the Water Bugs go, isn’t there a way to make them go away WITHOUT the killing?

  9. Hi, so, I have slight OCD, I clean my house religiously, I don’t even leave my house for the day or to run errands unless my house is spotless. With that said, I noticed two cockroaches or water bugs in my kitchen, near the second bathroom when going to the bathroom at night. One was smaller than the other, so I’m guessing it was the offspring. We have never had an insect problem at all while we have lived here and my house is always clean, I leave no dirty dishes out, the counters get wiped and I follow up with sweeping around the areas around the counter in case any crumbs drop. We are going to get an exterminator, but my question is, how and why would bugs enter a house with limited food sources? We have no leaky pipes as well. I’m just confused. And grossed out.

    • Tiffany same here .in my bathroom today it crawled from linen put wet wash clothes in the floor next to hamper.I am praying its a water bug and was can eat off my bathroom floor .no idea unless a kid brought a guest with them in their bag,or I have tampon boxes,tissues in closet it may have hitched a ride here from Walmart

    • i never had a roach problem neither. I did hear that if you live in a row home and one of your neighbors spray for bugs you can get their leftovers. And you had mentioned you have OCD, i used to be a housekeeper so I now how you are. Although your probably a better cleaner than me, lol.

  10. I grew up in an apartment filled with waterbugs. Probably for about 16-17 years. It was just a way of life for us. When we were finally able to leave I was able to sleep like a normal person. That was amazing. People that live with bugs really lose a lot of their lives just trying to rid their lives of getting these insects out of our lives. I’ll never forget my teenage brother screaming in the middle of the night when a cockroach climbing in his bed freaked him out. I know any child that grows up like this has issues.

  11. So we just moved into our apartment not that long ago, and my fiance the restroom and felt something wet fall from the ceiling we call the landlord to come and see what the issue was and she takes a look in our bathroom and says well u need to clean urair vent fan so after she leaves I do just that and OMG I swear it’s been years since she had cleaned that fan there was dust all over even wrapped around the wire, well to get to the point well cleaning up there a huge long dark bug fell down into the sink it was dead thank god but eww could it be a roach or a water bug no issues otherwise I do know she told us she bought the property a few years back so I wonder if that wasn’t just a previous left behind pest

  12. We bought our house new 16 yrs ago and haven’t had a roach problem until a few weeks ago. Now I’ve killed 3 in the kitchen and 1 each in the master BR and bath. 2 were already belly-up so maybe encountered the Home Defense I’ve applied for years around the exterior foundation or boric acid i put down in the master bath to control ants. Not sure how the roaches are getting inside but I am going to put stainless steel wool in the weep holes around the foundation. Inside I’ll dust boric acid behind the refrigerator and into the pipe penetrations, etc.

    • Our problem is solved. Turned out the water in the seldom used powder room toilet evaporated and allowed the roaches/water bugs access. I lifted the lid and saw a bunch of them in the dry bowl–really disgusting. Needless to say, it got a thorough cleaning and now gets a regular flush. Haven’t seen a single bug since.

  13. I’ve had my house 15 years and never a bug last summer at night they would run when the light went on in the kitchen and bath room. They run on the walls , not a lot but one is bad enough. There reddish brown with strips.

  14. Omg I also never had one! The ppl that moved upstairs last year. Ask me today. If I ever seen a roch! I said no..Omg she said there crawling on her ceiling. I’m on first floor. I said please call the landlord.. asap. We’ll she didn’t. As soon as I heard that. Everything in my kitchen and bathroom got thrown out. Food everything. And I called the landlord. He said they never told him. I’m so upset! Now I am in a panic. I see a light brown bug.above my sink. Kill it.called landlord back. Crying. WAiting for the bug man too get here! What I’m saying if they Don’t do there parts upstairs. . .. they won’t go away. ..only seen one but now I’m full with anxiety. .! Will they go away after they have been treated? ? And, stay away. .or do I have to leave Everything I own..and move .

    • Advion Bait. See Amazon for details and reviews. It works. I feel for you, so I figured I would let you know about this product.

  15. I live in apartment which I am the last one on a row for over 20 years. For the last 3 years ago I been dealing with differ types of roaches. When the owner spray they get worst the 2 types of Raid, baits, gel, glue and hot shot I used is not helping. What can i do next.

  16. Bleach all cracks and crevises ,,it worked for me

  17. Diatomaceous Earth works wonders. Shreds the crap out of the exo of the insect, and they dry out in a few hours. I love the stuff. Hell, I actually took 2 tablespoons of the food grade stuff with my coffee every day for detox for a bit. Be careful to get ONLY food grade. Anything else could get airborne and do the same thing to your lungs, that the food grade does to an insect’s exoskeleton.

  18. Okay I’ve read everything and I still don’t fully know for sure it’s these are Water Bugs or Oriental Cockroaches. They have taking over our house inside and out. You need to know that I live in Oklahoma. We did not have a good winter. And it has flooded a lot more. (Flooded!!).these things are huge and either dark dark brown or Black. I have never seen anything like these before. These are approx 1″ and I think the female is over an inch. Does anyone have more than 1 picture for water bugs? Or where can I find them? I’m used to seeing the textbook cockroach here in Tornadoville! I’m at my wits end. Thank you everyone for all the information! Very helpful 🙂

    • Hi Tiffany, I’m in Okla. City. I’ve been in my house since 2005 and water bugs and 3/8″ cockroaches (?) were in my yard and house when I came. Can’t get rid of them. Hoping boric acid will work. Baits have done best for me. Exterminator didn’t get rid of them. Trying boric acid today. Blessings to you, Patty

  19. I am very lucky have none but I can tell ya look in your potatoes and onions and stuff like that cause they r shipped and get in the bags and stuff I know this cause my grandmother came home and one came cawrling out she never had one till that day she screamed it got away she finally had ta put bait out for them so I get the pototoes and onions that u puck your self not the bag one’s

  20. I have a clean home; No food left out; No dirty dishes; No cardboard boxes. Yet, large bugs are in my kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. They used to come out at night. Now, during the day I am afraid for anyone to visit. They run under the washing machine and refrigerator. My house has a bad smell like dying bugs. Help! I don’t know what to do. Everytime I see one it’s larger than the one before. Just last night I saw it fly from the wall, walk along the baseboard and disappear.

    • That’s totally crazy it’s the same here in my house and they fly !!! Omg. I can’t with this and don’t know what to do. Everything is always clean.

  21. I just purchased a foreclosured HUD home. I only own 3 lamps a fridge that doesn’t work and installed all new stove and microwave. That is all i have in my home. I stay at mom house till I’m ready to move however I’m noticing every day i go back to my home a new dead water bug. I never see them when I’m there and I’m terrified of anything that looks like a roach always have been. I spray all the time but i want them gone! ! I have a lot of pine trees in the back and wondering if that’s part of my problem. Trust i won’t be spending the night in my own home until this is over! Otherwise I’ll end up in the ER from panic attack. I notice them outside hanging around the porch . My mom opened the door to leave and 1 ran right on in. She killed it thank goodness but i saw another one by the door. It’s giving me anxiety that they may be there during the day I’m there and i just can’t see them. I have no air on while I’m not there either. All leaks have been repaired as well so i have no food source Cuz i don’t even have food over there since I’m still living with my mom . Please help. #scaredfirsttimehomebuyer

    • Once you think they are all gone and haven’t seen them for a while, you’ll move in, and then notice them again crawling all over the place. They love the dark
      Once there they will never leave.

  22. I actually was fixing to go to sleep one night and a huge water bug flew out and landed on my face. Needless to say I never went to sleep

  23. Hi my name is Tina and I dont know if they are water bugs or not, I know when it rains these things come out more, I walk outside and these things are scurring along the porch but the same ones that are outside are coming inside, All this week I have been going to the kitchen and when I turn the light on they are everywhere and running they are always by the window and sink and they are very huge with wings I guess. They are very creepy and I read this article and its says they are toe biters so that doesnt help matters any either, I am so terrified of these things especially when thier are little ones sleeping and I dont want them near the babies what do I do, I have little ones and animals, these lazy freakin cats are helping kill them, ugh!!!

  24. We live in Sun City, Arizona and when it gets really hot here we have some kind of huge bug that I have been told is a Water Cockroach by neighbors. We don’t see them running. All we see are the belly up version laying on the floor. This week we found one in the kitchen; one in a bathroom and one on the computer room floor…all belly up and two of them weren’t dead yet. We have been told to cover our drains and toilets if we leave for any length of time???? Sinks, toilets, shower/tub. Does that make sense? Our House is clean and food/dirty dishes not left out. They are definitely creepy!

  25. I believe that people who are confused by this article are just not reading carefully enough; missing key words and phrases like “known as”, “generally” ect…these bug species are in the same family so they are very genetically similar. So there is a lot of crossover here.

  26. I moved from the east coast to the west. Didn’t grow up or around roaches. The apartment was empty but not scrubbed. We saw roaches here and there. They bombed and sprayed. Basically soaking the walls with outdoor bug spray. Nothing worked. I slept in the car a few nights while my bf slept in the apartment. They were Always in the kitchen, on the walls and carpet. For the first year or 2 we didn’t get any furniture. Just a bed and table. After the first year I had cleaned, scrubbed, caulked, sprinkled and sprayed so much I now have a cyst on my wrist. It’s crazy. You would think if a place has a bug issue this bad they would bomb sections at a time. Not place by place, only for the roaches to run back and forth. My mother in law saw plugs on QVC for bugs. We’ve seen 5 roaches and 1 water bug in the 2 years since. Which probably made there way in because some one else’s apartment was sprayed or bombed. They are made by Bell Howell. A pack of 3-5 is about $30 on Amazon.

  27. Just moved into a home…. 3 days later noticed. Lil bugs thru out home. Window ledges, kids mattress. …dont know what they are small. Resembles more a beetle body frame…. Arghhh. So upset. Never. Had. Issues in my entire life with bugs till now

    • They are most likely German roaches.

    • Sounds like bed bugs

  28. Water sources and they love the plumbing electric wires they eat off of their own nuclear bombs won’t eliminate the egg sacs constant cleaning literally one apartment has it the whole building has them schools have them everywhere every type. They eat our dead skin get together with all joining neighbors otherwise they just keep going back and forth when they poison eventually they’ll end up right back. Common emergency room visit roaches going into ears getting stuck. Your car will have them too if bringing A backand forth especially if you park by a dumpster or if u set a bag dow outside bugs crawl in u cab have the cleanest house and still have the issue I do not care about spell check I have a life. If you have a storage unit guess what roaches. Grow up get ur home in order!you cannot let it get out of hand and I did a little bit of everything the whole building got them when an elderly disabled couple moved they were too sick to help them selves garbage food everywhere when they moved

    • If it was just the spelling then maybe it would be okay, but with the punctuation issues as well as the run on sentences it’s very hard to understand what we are reading. Just because you have a life ( not much of one) doesn’t mean that you can’t know how to spell, speak or write proper English. It just makes you sound ignorant

  29. I live in Oklahoma. I bought a house in June 2005. It had new carpet and in the large bedroom masking tape had been left on the carpet all around the edges, I suppose for painting. When I pulled the tape off, it was completely covered with these 3/8″ bugs (cockroach or water bug). I have not been able to get rid of these bugs. They would come in Spring and disappear in fall. I also had a berry tree at my back door. I went out one night and the ground was covered with black bugs. I freaked out! We had the tree cut down, but the bugs are still here. I have done best with the baits, but where the baits are, so are the bugs. I just sprayed my bedroom with Home Defense. Bugs were back next night. One bit me on my bed! We never had bugs growing up. Or rather, I remember a few water bugs, Mom called them. Never an infestation. Eleven years now. I am going to try boric acid. Sure hope it works and my dog doesn’t get into it. The spray bothers my allergies. I hope to get some control before winter. Thanks for all comments and suggestions. Think I will also get more bait and glue things. Over the last 3-4 years I also have earwigs. Yuk! Hard to kill. Blessings to all of you.

  30. Occasionally in the morning I am finding what I think are roaches on the bottom of my bathtub! Very isolated incidents and only one at a time. We have recently had some drain issues with lots of plunging going on. Could these insects be in my drains and if so what can I use to get rid of them?

    • Nothing. If they are in your pipes and drains they are there to stay I am afraid…That’s until they procreate more and more and then they will start to invade your home. It’s probably too late already. My advice to to become one with the roaches and embrace them, become their friend.

  31. Okay I have never ever ever had these things in my life I had to move into the place I am two years ago due to an extreme emergency we had a fire so I’m in a trailer park I haven’t had them here either until about 4 weeks ago I have only seen 4 of them but the girl that lives next to me her place is so infested that they are pouring out of her place they are all over her counters and everything even during the day I’m not infested but I need to stop this but I have animals so it has to be safe for them as I have no place for them to go I don’t know what to do can anyone help me with out being negative about this please

  32. The true key to dealing with these creatures is understanding enough about them and what the world is like for them. If you have a hard time visualizing it, just remember the movie ‘honey i shrunk the kids’ and how the smallest crumb of some junk food can go a very very long way for these guys. Learn about the type of foods and enviroments they like and need – and use this information to make coming anywhere near your home like crossing the sahara desert. No food, no water, no discernable scents of food or anything desirable- i cover it up by wiping with lemon scented ammonia wipes. Cleaning the floors with pine or ammonia, all windows and mirrors with windex (which has ammonia) – the spray bottle of windex is a great way to do target practice. Alternatively you can fill a sprayer bottle with 50/50 vinegar/water or water super saturated with boric acid – now you have a way to apply it deep into crevices and drains water evaps and leaves behind the acid – be sure the sprayer can handle the powder without clogging, dry oppressive, stinky and cold, from thier perspective. They also seem to stay away from the scent of vinegar as well as pine – all scents i can tolerate. Those of you wearing contact lenses need to be careful because tiny bits of vapors like from ammonia or bleach (which should NEVER be used near eachother by the way)can become trapped underneath the lens and cause serious problems.

    With certain bugs like the new york waterbug which seems to be one hell of a survivor, those alien looking bodies are actually coated with a substance that is very simililar to your own ear wax. This is probably why certian ones like human ears, it’s like going to car wash. Again, thinking from thier perspective helps you figure out how to deal with them.

    This waxy coating is very important for thier survival, but it needs to remain flexible for them to move – so any enviroment with an ambient temp below say about 60 degrees farenheight and a relative humidity below lets say 50 percent is very uncomfortable for them. I happen to love the cold and being like a OCD CSI about not leaving food traces anywhere helps a lot to keep them away, even when you live with slobs.
    They’ll hang out with the slobs who smell the best and leave you alone. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Just make sure your kitchen and bathrooms get regular perimeter sprays of home defense or something and cleanings with ammonia OR bleach, never both

    An important thing to note is that they use those anntenna to communicate and to sniff out food. They communicate at least partially through some type of phermones (which you can smell ) and some form of sonic pitch noises just outside the range of human hearing, but i could be confusing them with rats here. This is also partly why they prefer air that is above 65F, warm, stale, non moving air and humid enviroments. What this tells us is that for those who prefer to prevent, scents they stay sway from, a chilled room and some moving air are your best freinds here. So are tupperwear containers and ziploc bags.
    Those of you with baseboard peoblems should replace the board with cederwood – it repels them because they hate the smell – i suspect that since these bugs pretty much see with thier noses, these scents are like a bright blinding light

    Mint is a good one too, rats hate it since it overwhelms those super sensitive noses.

    Ive heard lavendar repels roaches but may attract dragon flies, this is similar to the bait problem,you dont want to attract them, you want them to pack up and leave for greener pastures.

    Anyway i hope this helps someone.
    become the predator rather than the prey for these things and allow nature to eesp.

  33. I think this article was written by a small child. Seen better 3rd grade school projects than this.

  34. Do outside pets attract water bugs?

  35. The difference has no merit to me they’re both discussing creepy skin crawling bugs or animals if you will, and the one I found in my tub yesterday is probably by now cooking hotdogs over an open fire he built. Gee I hope it’s a waterbug cause if it’s a roach it might get offended.

  36. All I can say is brother big roach was here before us and will be after us. I just wish he go hang out somewhere else instead of my apt. I really don’t want his kind of company. I read all the responses. Thanks for the help. I appreciate it. Least I know it isn’t me alone.

  37. We have a pool in the backyard, and we have six oak trees that provide endless piles of leaves from late summer through the winter. We have always had the dreaded water bugs. Usually these massive monsters can be found dead or dying belly up on the floor. Occasionally these armored aviators can be heard before being seen, I kid you not, flying across the room. Today we are going to Home Depot to buy bags of D.E. to spread around the foundation of the house, and we’ll pick up extra weather stripping to secure the doors. Thanks for the tip!

  38. I’ve lived in my house for 15 years and have never seen a cockroach here until a week ago. It was in our garage. I was able to kill it so I thought “no big deal”. Tonight there was one in our basement. I was able to kill this one too. So I guess I have 2 questions/concerns. #1 Can cockroaches travel on a person’s clothing? I ask this because I have a friend who lives in a very filthy camper and his last 2 visits here match the timeline and areas I found the roaches. #2 Should I start exterminating right away? Any help would be greatly appreciated, I am so creeped out by roaches. I’ll freak out if this turns into an infestation!

  39. The appearance and behavior of Oriental and American cockroaches are almost similar to water bugs. Therefore, you will not be able to find any significant difference in between these two types in terms of appearance.

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