Difference Between Roach and Waterbug (With Table)

Roach, also known as a cockroach, and a water bug are two distinct species of insects. However, the brownish colour of the two insects creates an element of confusion. Nonetheless, the shape, temperament, habitat, personality, size and life expectancy of each species makes it different. A cockroach is an oval and small insect. A water bug, on the other hand, has a long and round body.

Roach vs Water bug

The difference between a roach and a waterbug is that the size of a cockroach’s antenna is larger than that of a water bug’s antenna. In addition, cockroaches have flat, oval, and slim bodies. On the other hand, a water bug has a large and round body with flattened legs. The size of a cockroach ranges from ½ to 2 inches. In contrast, the size of a water bug ranges from 2 to 4 inches. 

A cockroach is an insect with a brownish colour. It belongs to the order Blattodea. Cockroaches have a round body shape. This insect is the most active at night time. They usually hide from the dark and from approaching humans. Cockroaches are usually small in size. The lifetime of a cockroach may last from 110 to 200 days. 

A water bug is an insect with a long and round body. It belongs to the order Hemiptera. They are aquatic insects and usually reside in wet sewers, basements, slow-moving pools, freshwater ponds, and marshes. The lifetime of a water bug is usually 365 days.  A water bug’s bite can cause side effects that include vomiting, fever, cramping, breathing difficulties, and swelling. Water bugs have two pairs of legs. 

Comparison Table Between Roach and Water Bug

Parameters of ComparisonRoachWater Bug
DefinitionRoach is an insect species belonging to the order Blattodea. Water bug is an insect species belonging to the order  Hemiptera.
Size½ inches to 2 inches2 to 4 inches
HabitatCockroaches are usually terrestrial animals. Water bugs are aquatic animals.
Life Expectancy110 to 200 daysup to 365 days
Body ShapeA roach has a round body shape, body and brownish color.A water bug has a long, narrow, and round body. 
DietA cockroach’s diet may include plant materials, decaying organic matter, meats, starch, sugar, oil, tadpoles, snails and the like. A water bug’s diet may include tadpoles, small fish, snails, insects, amphibians, and crustaceans.  
Antenna sizeThe size of a roach’s antenna is larger than that of a water bug.The size of a water bug’s antenna is smaller than that of a roach. 

What is a Roach?

A roach, commonly called a cockroach, is an insect that belongs to the Blattodea classification. It has a round body shape, body and brownish colour. Cockroaches are generally ½ to 2 inches in length. They have an oval shape and a large antenna. Cockroaches may live in water but are mostly terrestrial animals. 

Cockroaches don’t prefer hunting. Instead, they scavenge through the garbage. When it comes to temperament, cockroaches are shy. They usually hide from the dark and from approaching humans. In addition, they don’t bite people. The life expectancy of cockroaches ranges from 110 to 200 days. 

Some food items of cockroaches include plant materials, decaying organic matter, meats, starch, sugar, oil, tadpoles, snails and the like. This insect is the most active at night time. The colour of the four main household cockroaches is light brown, mahogany, reddish-brown, and black. Although cockroaches have wings, only a few species of cockroaches fly. 

Cockroaches are usually small in size. They put an individual at the risk of E.coli, salmonellosis, and listeriosis. Cockroaches are prey insects and usually come out in the dark. Species of cockroaches that fly include wood cockroaches, Asian cockroaches, Cuban cockroaches, and smoky brown cockroaches. All in all, cockroaches are a species in themselves with various identifiable features. 

What is a Water Bug?

A water bug is an insect that belongs to the classification Hemiptera. They are usually 2 to 4 inches in size, which is larger as compared to that of cockroaches. Water bugs are large and slightly round creatures with flattened legs. Although water bugs possess an antenna, it is relatively shorter in size as compared to that of roaches. 

The life expectancy of a water bug is 365 days. They are aquatic insects and usually reside in wet sewers, basements, slow-moving pools, freshwater ponds, and marshes. The diet of a water bug includes tadpoles, small fish, snails, insects, amphibians, and crustaceans. The water bugs are usually active at night time, during the fall and summer. 

Water bugs are predators. They hunt for their prey. After paralysing their prey with a proboscis, they inject a power liquifying enzyme which enables them to suck out the insides of the insect. When water bugs feel threatened, they are likely to bite. Although the bite of a waterbug isn’t dangerous, it is usually painful. 

Water bugs usually fly around large lights and in parking lots. Bright light attracts these insects.  A water bug’s bite can cause side effects that include vomiting, fever, cramping, breathing difficulties, and swelling. Water bugs have two pairs of legs. They have a long body and cross over wings. All in all, water bugs are distinct as a species. 

Main Differences Between Roach and Water Bug

  1. A roach is a round body shaped insect with a brown colour. In contrast, a water bug has an oval, long, and narrow body. 
  2. Roach belongs to the Blattodea classification. In contrast, a water bug belongs to the order Hemiptera.
  3. Roaches are not hunters. Instead, they scavenge for food. A water bug, however, is a predator insect who captures his prey. 
  4. Roaches usually come out in the dark and avoid bright-lit locations. On the other hand, a water bug can be seen hovering around a street lamp or any light source.
  5. A roach’s life span ranges from 110 to 200 days. In contrast, a water bug’s life span can go up to 365 days. 
  6. A cockroach’s diet may include plant materials, decaying organic matter, meats, starch, sugar, oil, tadpoles, snails and the like. On the other hand, the diet of a water bug includes tadpoles, small fish, snails, insects, amphibians, and crustaceans. 

Conclusion

The differences in the shape, size, habitat, diet, personality, lifetime and flying ability of roaches and water bugs justify the distinction between the two species. Roach is an insect that belongs to the Blattodea classification. In contrast, a water bug belongs to the order Hemiptera. A  cockroach may live from 110 to 200 days. On the other hand, a water bug usually lives up to 365 days. 

Roaches are prey insects. Water bugs, however, are predators. Some food items of cockroaches include plant materials, decaying organic matter, meats, starch, sugar, oil, tadpoles, snails and the like. In contrast, the diet of a water bug includes tadpoles, small fish, snails, insects, amphibians, and crustaceans. In a nutshell, roaches and water bugs are different species of insects. 

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=R7eVRP08kasC&oi=fnd&pg=PP17&dq=cockroaches&ots=80ctfsJRpA&sig=fAN1ML90qDv8NSVyiOJBM2Wdsc0 
  2. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/663671/summary 
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