Difference Between Roach and Cockroach

We see a number of pests and insects in our day-to-day life, and some of them happen to be very common that almost every person has seen them. However, some of these organisms happen to be similar to one another in many aspects, and it becomes very crucial to know the differences that exist between them.  

There are two different terms that are Roach and Cockroach, that refer to the same organism only. With no major differences present, these two terms create confusion for many people.

Roach vs Cockroach 

The main difference between a Roach and a Cockroach is that the former is a term that is widely used to imply that the speaker is talking about all the species of this insect in general, while on the contrary, the latter is another term that usually refers to a particular type of roach usually found in households or industry-based properties. Apart from this, there is a difference in the places where these terms are mostly spoken and the purpose they serve. 

Roach vs Cockroach

Term Roach implies that the person using the term is talking about all the possible species of cockroaches in general. However, at certain points, there might be specific purposes of using this term instead of a particular species. This term is also used to speak less and use it as a shorter term for cockroaches. Apart from this, there is nothing that can be said much about its distinction. 

On the other hand, the term cockroach refers to a particular species that fall under the order Blattodea. This term is a complete term in itself and can be used in many places. It can be found in many places, but mostly it is seen as a disgusting pest in common households. Recognizing this insect from a bunch of insects happens to be really easy. 

Comparison Table Between Roach and Cockroach 

Parameters of Comparison  Roach  Cockroach  
Meaning  A term popularly used to talk about cockroaches in general. A popular term used by many people instead of talking about a particular species. 
Mostly used by This term is mostly used by people living in the United States The term is mostly used by people living in countries like China, Russia, etc. 
Interrelation  The term happens to be a short form for the term cockroach This term happens to be a long-form of the term Roach 
Refers to Whenever a person uses this term, he refers to all the species of cockroaches at one go. whenever a person uses this particular term, he refers to certain specific species of cockroaches, such as American or German cockroaches 
Used to describe the term is mostly used to describe those cockroaches that live nearby the human population the term is a generalized term and is used for almost every type of cockroach

What is Roach? 

The term Roach happens to be relatively confusing for many people as there is no significant difference between this term and the term cockroach. So, in simple words, this term refers to nothing but all the species of cockroaches in one go. 

This turn happens to be a shorter form for the term cockroach and is very popular as a linguistic factor it stayed in the United States. This is the reason behind the usage of this word in American English to a very wide extent. But in countries other than America, this term is not very popular, and people hardly use it. 

When a person uses this term, he implies those cockroaches that are presumed to live near the human population. This is the reason behind the generalized concept belonging to this term in almost all the places all across the world. 

In a nutshell, it can be said that a roach is similar to a cockroach and the only difference existing between the two is the change in the nomenclature. 

What is Cockroach? 

Belonging to the order Blattodea, a cockroach is an omnipresent insect that hardly requires any sort of introduction. From normal households to big industries, this insect can be found in almost any place. With more than 5000 species, this is something that cannot be overlooked, and almost all of us have come face to face with this for at least one time. 

A factor of relief is that this insect does not cause major harm to us humans, but the fact remains that this insect looks very disgusting and can be a major problem for many households. Not just this, this insect also brings an unhygienic atmosphere to many places. 

The term cockroach refers to certain specific species of this order Blattodea, and it implies that the speaker is referring towards those particular species. Keeping aside America as a country, this term happens to be very popular in almost all the countries. 

Main Differences Between Roach and Cockroach 

  1. The term Roach happens to be a very generalized and common term that usually refers to all the species of cockroaches. 
  2. The term Roach happens to be a short form of a cockroach, while the term for fruit happens to be a long-form of roach. 
  3. People mostly use Roach when they refer to all the species of cockroaches at one time, but people use cockroach when they refer to a particular species. 
  4. A Roach is a very generalized term for those cockroaches that have a habitation near the human population, while as far as a cockroach is concerned, it might be any species belonging to this particular order. 
  5. People of America tend to use the term Roach more than the term cockroach, and there is no specific reason behind this phenomenon. 


After looking at all the comparisons and differences between the terms mentioned above, it can clearly be evaluated that there exists no major and significant difference between the terms cockroach and Roach. It’s all about what people prefer calling it and in which country we’re talking about.  

If one is to refer to all the species of cockroaches in one go, then Roach is the most suitable word for it, and it is also popular because it takes less time to pronounce. But if we talk about specific species such as American or German cockroaches, then cockroach happens to be the most suitable as it gives a clear idea of what we’re talking about. Although there might not be any significant difference between these two, it is still crucial to have known the exact reference of these two terms. 


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00114-008-0395-7 
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=R7eVRP08kasC&oi=fnd&pg=PP17&dq=cockroaches&ots=80bBhpJOoF&sig=EcIN4EWlS1ZVVZARirRPrysNlVQ  
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