There are millions of different pests crawling around the world. It is highly likely that many people will confuse the different species; whether it is due to similar physical characteristics or common traits, people misidentify pests all the time. Generally, people know a cockroach when they see one with their notorious grotesque appearance and habits crossing their paths. Cockroaches among other insects are often identified as waterbugs. We at A-Tex Pest Management would like to take the opportunity to relate cockroaches versus waterbugs.
What is a Water Bug?
Waterbugs are classified under the order Hemiptera and a true waterbug is an aquatic insect and though many people mistake cockroaches for waterbugs, they lack specified characteristics. Bugs that live in the water also consist of water boatmen and water scorpions. Waterbugs use their legs as paddles to navigate in the water. Water striders, pond skaters and water spiders belong to the Gerridae family. But these critters do not use their legs as paddles but rather make use of surface tension to stay afloat instead.
Oriental Cockroach or Waterbug?
An insect that is referred to as a waterbug is the Oriental cockroach a very common misidentification. Despite the name Oriental cockroaches are actually native to Africa. These particularly shiny roaches are black and dark brown in color. Nymph Oriental cockroaches are small, and adult females are bigger than adult males. Though they have full size wings, they are flightless. Oriental cockroaches prefer warm and dark places and are usually discovered in trash cans and sewers when the weather is warm. During the colder months, they will migrate to find warmer locations. Inside buildings they are likely found in basements and other damp areas at or below ground level. Oriental cockroaches have seasonal development cycles and the adults will emerge during the warm months. Like most roaches, Oriental cockroaches can eat many foods they come across; and like other species of cockroaches, they delight in starchy foods and decaying plant and animal matter. Without water, these roaches can only survive about two weeks but if they have access to water they can survive up to one month without food. They have a tendency to gather in warm, humid environments, but are very adapatable. However Oriental cockroaches are not aquatic like true waterbugs. During the day, they stick to dark crevices as they are nocturnal and prefer to be active at night. They will scavenge any organic food source available. Oriental cockroaches trigger allergy and asthma symptoms and commonly spread diseases.
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If you think you have waterbugs, you actually likely have Oriental cockroaches infesting your home. Like most roaches, they can reproduce fairly quickly and the health risk they pose on top of the food contamination and damage they do foraging for food and nesting materials, the repairs and food waste could be costly. Call A-Tex Pest Management at the first sign of cockroaches promptly to obliterate any infestation and to avoid future intrusions. Our specialists have the expertise to remove the quickly and efficiently before they become a major problem.