There are many kinds of bugs that look like roaches, making it difficult to identify the culprit when you see one.
Seeing a cockroach roaming around in your house is an experience no one wants to go through, but it can be very easy to mistake other similar bugs for a roach, especially amidst all the panic. It is crucial to be able to distinguish between these lookalike pests, as each one of them can cause varying issues and may need different precautions depending on the bugs’ species.
Some common household pests that may be mistaken for cockroaches include crickets, water bugs, various types of beetles, palmetto bugs, bed bugs, termites, stink bugs, bed bugs, and many more.
In this blog, we have collected information about all of the aforementioned bugs and numerous others to compile an extensive list of bugs that look like roaches (but aren’t).
Bugs that look like baby roaches
Almost all small household bugs look a lot like each other, which is exactly why it can be very easy to confuse other bugs with baby cockroaches. The bugs that are most commonly confused with baby roaches are as follows.
Bed Bugs are one of the most look-alike bugs of baby roaches due to their similar body size and shape. Furthermore, both of these pests have six legs, an oval shape, two antennas, and a reddish-brown skin color.
Staying true to their name, these bugs are most active from late spring to mid-summer and are commonly confused with baby roaches due to their dark red/brown color and spiky legs.
Red Flour Beetle
Red Flour Beetles are a specific type of beetle that is most commonly found in food storage and dry food packages like cereals and rice packets. They have elongated bodies with the same dark color as a baby roach. Red Flour Beetles are also considered notorious household pests as they can damage and add contaminants to stored food.
Black bugs that look like roaches
Black bugs are often mistaken by people as an oriental cockroach, as it is also black and has a relatively different shape than American or German cockroaches. A few of these black bugs that look like cockroaches have been listed below.
Ground Beetles are a bit smaller than an average cockroach, but they have flat, shiny, and metallic bodies with a dark black or brown color which makes them look a lot like baby oriental cockroaches.
Palo Verde Beetle
This beetle has an oval-shaped abdomen, six legs, two antennas, and a dark black/brown color, making it look very similar to common household cockroaches. Adult Palo Verde Beetles are about 3.5 inches long and fly around outdoors.
Water bugs that look like roaches
If you have ever seen bugs that look like roaches swimming around in a body of water, chances are that they are one of the many different species of water bugs as there are only a few species of cockroaches that can swim or float in water. Following are some of the most commonly found water bugs.
Water Boatman has an elongated oval shape with mottled skin and dull color. These bugs are the largest group of aquatic true bugs and are sometimes confused with cockroaches as they both have the same general shape.
Giant Water Bug
Although the term ‘water bug’ may be used to refer to a cockroach, they are most definitely not the same thing. Giant water bugs can be as big as 1.5 inches (4cm) and have oval-shaped bodies, which might be the reason why some people started calling them cockroaches. However, water bugs have two pincer-like front appendages and a grayish-dark-brown color (like a dead leaf), which makes it easier to identify between the two.
Flying bug that looks like a roach
Many species of cockroaches have wings and some of them can even fly. Although, there are many more bugs that look like roaches and can also fly. Following are some such flying bugs that may be referred to as cockroaches.
Black carpet beetle
Black carpet beetles are one of the most commonly encountered types of invasive beetles. Just as its name suggests, it has a shiny black colored exterior with an oval-shaped body. Adult black carpet beetles are known to fly and commonly infest homes by flying in through windows and doors.
Drugstore beetles are another great example of bugs that can fly and look like cockroaches, as they are also a type of invasive beetle that shares both physical and behavioral attributes with cockroaches. Drugstore beetles are cylindrical, have two serrated antennas, six legs, and a reddish brown color.
Beetle bugs that look like roaches
There are thousands of different species of beetles out there, and most of them look a lot like cockroaches as they share a similar body structure, shape, and color. Some of the beetle bugs that look like cockroaches the most are as follows.
Mainly viewed as a nuisance pest, a click beetle is about 40mm or 1.5 inches long and has a black or brown body. It can snap its spine into a notch and release it to bounce in the air and produce its iconic ‘click’ sound. This beetle uses this maneuver to run away from predators, scare them away with the clicking sound, or turn itself upright.
Great Diving Beetle
Commonly found in ponds and streams, the great diving beetle is known to have a distinct black-colored body with a yellow outline around the thorax and wing cases. Adult beetles of this kind can grow up to 15 inches or 4 cm long and feed on other smaller animals like tadpoles and small fish.
Brown bugs that look like roaches
People often confuse various brown bugs with cockroaches as many species of cockroaches are brown, such as the Brown-banded cockroach, the American cockroach, and the German cockroach. However, it is easy to tell them apart by keeping an eye out for a few key details.
Stink bugs are just about the size of a cockroach (2 inches) and have a mottled brown color with metallic gray/silver patches on their heads. They also have a unique triangular shape on their back, which is why they are sometimes referred to as shield bugs.
Small bugs that look like roaches
There is an abundance of small bugs that look like roaches all around the world. Various species of such small bugs can be easily found inside your home, with some pests being dangerous to have around.
Sawtoothed grain beetle
Adult sawtoothed grain beetles are small, slender, and brown, with characteristic saw-like teeth running down the thorax. They are only 3mm long and attack a wide variety of dry food products, such as wheat, barley, oats, dried fruit, etc.
Wood bugs that look like roaches
Wood-infesting pests are found throughout the world and are most active in forests and woods. However, they can easily make their way into your home and wreak havoc by destroying your wooden floors, stairs, or furniture. Following are a few of these wood-infesting pests to look out for.
Old House Borer
Old house borer is another species of house-infesting beetle that is black or gray and can reach a length of up to 1 inch. They have long antennae, six legs, and a flat oval-shaped body, which can make them very similar to roaches.
Summer bugs that look like roaches
Summer is the perfect time for these cold-blooded pests as they are more active and prolific in warmer temperatures. Because of this, bugs like to reproduce more in a warm climate, creating a spike in overall insect growth.
Black cicadas, also known as black prince, appear in the summer and usually inhabit wooded areas. They are about 1.5 inches (4 cm) long with a black body and brown markings. They also have four transparent fly-like wings that are longer than their abdomen.
White bugs that look like a roach
White bugs are often mistaken for cockroaches, but there are some key differences between the two. Most common white bugs are smaller than cockroaches and have more rounded bodies. They also do not have the long, filament-like antennae that cockroaches have.
Based on recent DNA evidence, termites are considered one of the most closely related pests to cockroaches, which means that both these bugs share a common ancestor. However, termites live in colonies and have distinct casts. Termites are also small, white, or colorless insects with small antennas. They have a strong mouthpart, which they use to bite wood, seeds, and leaves.
Beach bugs that look like roaches
Most people associate cockroaches with filthy environments, but these pests can be found in all sorts of places. In fact, roaches and bugs that look like roaches are often found near beaches, where they feast on seaweed and other organic matter.
Beach Isopods are small crustaceans often found in the sea or on sandy beaches. They are 1 inch long and have a dull gray or yellow-brown color with a segmented exoskeleton. Their flat bodies and antennas are why some people confuse them with cockroaches.