What Is the Difference Between a Waterbug and a Cockroach

What is the difference between a waterbug and a cockroach? That depends on what bug you are referring to. The name Waterbug is applied generically to species of aquatic insects, and it is also another name for the Oriental Cockroach. There is one main difference between a true waterbug and an Oriental Cockroach: Where they live.

Meet the Oriental Cockroach
Although the Oriental cockroach goes by the nickname waterbug, there is nothing aquatic about it. Like all species of cockroaches, the Oriental Cockroach is a nocturnal insect. Like all other cockroaches, it is a scavenger, feasting on any food available to it, including other roaches.

The Oriental Cockroach, like all other cockroaches seeks out homes and business that provide it with shelter and food. Waterbugs are rarely found indoors. If you see a waterbug, killing it will solve your pest problem. If you see an Oriental Cockroach, you may need an exterminator to prevent a full infestation.

The Oriental is the largest species of cockroach, often measuring more than one inch in length. Its habitat is the same as any other cockroach: damp, dark spots.

The Oriental Cockroach most likely got the nickname waterbug from the fact that it prefers to hide in warm, moist places. It is often found lurking in sewers, drains, damp basements and under porches. It prefers to be near water, but it does not live in the water and is not a true water bug.  

A true waterbug is an aquatic insect that is vastly different from a cockroach. They are not scavengers, and they live on or in the water. 

There are many species of true aquatic insects that are mistakenly lumped together as waterbugs. For example, the species Hemiptera contains Water Boatmen and Water Scorpions. They are unique in that they use their legs to paddle through the water.

Other aquatic insects include the Gerridae family. This family contains Water Striders, Pond Skaters and Water Spiders. These fascinating bugs have light bodies and legs that end in pads, allowing them to use surface tension to literally walk on water.

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