So, you’ve spotted a cockroach scurrying across the floor, sending you into a panic. First looks can be deceiving, so our NJ pest control experts share the names and characteristics of five common insects that are frequently mistaken for cockroaches.
1. Water Bugs
While cockroaches do favor damp and humid places, water bugs actually live in water, whether it’s fresh, standing, or stagnant. Water bugs and cockroaches do have a similar shield-like appearance to their backs, but the former has a wider body overall. Most importantly, water bugs are far more aggressive with a painful bite.
Both crickets and cockroaches feature six legs, long antennae, and reddish-brown or black bodies, making it easy to confuse them initially. Generally, crickets prefer the outdoors, and their distinctive chirping is a certain giveaway. Crickets also use their long, slender hind legs to hop rather than run.
3. June Bugs or May Beetles
Whichever month name you prefer, these flying insects are usually the same size and color as cockroaches. What sets June bugs/May beetles apart are their high, rounded backs and vegetarian diet.
4. Ground Beetles
Nearly the only feature that sets ground beetles apart from cockroaches is their hardened front wings, as opposed to the leathery wings of the latter. Unfortunately, ground beetles suffer from a bad reputation due to their close resemblance. These beetles are actually useful for their proclivity to eat pests that damage gardens and crops.
5. Wood-Boring Beetles
If you see a cockroach that suddenly takes flight, chances are you’ve actually come across a wood-boring beetle.