Roaches are one creepy-crawly that causes most people to cringe at the mere sight of them. They are synonymous with filthy and unsanitary conditions and can survive in almost any ecosystem. Even though roaches have such a bad reputation, they play an essential role in the natural environment. Roaches feed on decaying organic matter that is rich in nitrogen, and in turn, they release that nitrogen back into the soil in their feces. Cockroaches are also an important food source for many other creatures on earth.
Other bugs end up with lousy reputations by merely being mistaken for roaches. One must not jump to conclusions about every bug that looks similar to a cockroach. If left unchecked, a roach infestation can lead to the spread of disease and cause serious health issues. Learning how to tell the differences between bugs mistaken for roaches and actual roaches can help you to protect your house and your family.
What Does a Roach Look Like?
Roaches are typically unmistakable because of their unique characteristics. For instance, the American cockroach can grow to slightly more than 50 millimeters in length, they’re mahogany or reddish-brown, and they have a yellow band outlining the area behind their heads. They also have wings, six legs, two antennae, a mouth, and two eyes.
A roach’s body consists of three sections, including a head, thorax, and abdomen. Depending on the species, their color and size can vary, the overall appearance of a roach remains the same. They are known for their flat, oval-shaped bodies. Their legs and antennae are rather long.
Bugs Commonly Mistaken for Roaches
Those who aren’t as familiar with or haven’t had to deal with roaches within their home may confuse other common bugs with roaches. Roaches are fairly distinctive if you know what to look for when comparing other pests in and around your home. The following are a few of the bugs that are commonly mistaken for roaches:
- Palmetto bug:
- The simple explanation of how this bug is mistaken as a roach is that it’s a roach. Sometimes referred to as the Florida Woods Cockroach, the palmetto bug is considered to be one of the largest species of roach, measuring anywhere between 30 to 40 millimeters. Unlike the German or American roach, the palmetto bug prefers to live outdoors in a damp and secluded environment and is rarely found inside of structures.
- Water Bug:
- The name water bug references a few species of semi-aquatic bugs. They can be found in and around water and have a body that is similar in shape to that of a roach. This shape is where the similarities end, since water bugs have pincers in place of antennae, and though cockroaches need water to survive, water bugs live and swim in water.
- The common ground beetle is often mistaken for a roach because of its coloration and stocky body. Further inspection of a common ground beetle will reveal that the segmentation between its head, thorax, and abdomen is more prominent. A roach, on the other hand, has a more smooth, round-looking body. A beetle’s antennae are also shorter, and they have pincers, something that roaches lack.
- Crickets are usually a readily identifiable bug and have been mistaken for roaches before. The most identifying trait of crickets is the annoying high-pitched chirping sounds that male crickets make when searching for females. Physical characteristics that differentiate crickets from roaches are their longer legs, slimmer body, and noticeable wings.
- Asian long-horned beetles:
- Asian long-horned beetles are sometimes misidentified as small roaches. This beetle is black and has exceptionally long antennae that are curled backward, nearly encircling their body. They also have random white spots over their body. In addition to these differences, they stand taller and have longer legs than roaches.
A bug is mistaken for a roach, due to the bug encounter circumstances and the person’s experience. The bugs that are commonly mistaken for roaches get a bad reputation because of their similarities. Still, they are not as bad as roaches and should be given a little slack. Roaches have earned their bad reputations and should be dealt with promptly.
If you feel that you have a roach infestation in your home or you aren’t sure that roaches are the problem, a professional pest control agency can help diagnose and eliminate the threat from your home. Taking adequate measures to ensure that your home is roach free will protect you, your family, and your home from the disease and filth that cockroaches can spread.
Preventing Roach Infestations
Roaches are attracted to filth and decay. Keeping your home clean is the most important thing you can do to deter cockroaches from entering it. Sweeping and vacuuming your floors, cleaning countertops, and ensuring that you don’t have leaky faucets or drains can help to reduce the risk of finding roaches in your home. You will also want to check around windows, doors, and your home’s foundations for cracks or crevices where cockroaches may enter, and seal them off.
Other aggressive approaches that you can take to keep roaches in check are to use gel roach baits, glue traps, and methods that have been proven effective against intrusions. Knowing the difference between a cockroach and another type of bug is quite possibly the most important thing when dealing with a roach problem. Working to get rid of roaches is much different than battling with other pesky bugs and will need to be handled by someone who knows how to get the job done.
Let Bulwark Exterminating help keep your home, pets, and family safe from the threat of roaches and other pests that may invade your personal space. Their trained exterminators can identify the pest, determine the best course of action, and implement a plan to eliminate the current threat and prevent future issues. Sometimes it is in your best interest to seek out professional help when it comes to pests invading your home.