Types of Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches.

In the world of pests, cockroaches are the most common because we can find them even in the most luxurious houses.

But then, do you know that not all insects described and treated as cockroaches actually are?

Well… the truth is; some of them are just ordinary bugs. So, to help you identify the right bug and select the appropriate treatment, this article will analyze everything about some bugs that look like cockroaches.

But in the real sense, those bugs are far from being cockroaches.

Are There Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches?

Well, yes! And… we have a dozen of them. Although, there are no valid reasons why people misconceive some of these bugs like cockroaches. But then, for some bugs like beetles, the similarity is quite obvious.

This is because most beetles have the same skin tones, movement patterns, body dimensions and even share similar wing shapes with cockroaches. So, with a single glimpse at them, even a trained eye could be deceived. So, we can’t really blame people who mistake these beetles for cockroaches. Likewise, you can say the same for some spiders.

In fact, some of these beetles and spiders inhabit the same dark and undisturbed niche as some cockroaches. However, to keep the lines clear cut, we will only analyze the similarities and the differences between cockroaches and these so-called roach doppelgangers. Afterward, we will let you decide whether the confusion is worth it or not. Here’s the list:

1) Beetles.

Among insects and arthropods in general, beetles look the most like cockroaches.

In fact, some beetles differ from cockroaches only in their habitat, life cycle, and overall behavior.

In terms of looks, even an expert dealing with a new species of some beetles would get confused at first.

In this article, we’ll examine only three beetles that are commonly cited as cockroach look-alikes. They are:

  • Palo Verde Beetles.

bugs that look like cockroaches

Palo Verde beetles have very longhorns.

In North America, they are one of the biggest beetles found in the area.

On average, the largest size often seen in Palo Verde beetles is less than 4 inches. Compared to cockroaches, you can say they are similar.

Likewise, Palo verde beetles can come with dark or brown hues, lengthy antennae, and wings in the adults like in cockroaches.

So, it’s no wonder why people mistake Palo Verde beetles for cockroaches. But don’t go just yet; there is more than one way to tell them apart.

You see because Palo Verde beetles are beetles, they often have a very hard exoskeleton on the forewings.

These forewings are called Elytra. And underneath them, membranous hind wings lie therein. On the flip side, cockroaches, which are not in the beetle family, have membranous forewings with parchments at the tip.

That aside, most cockroaches are found mostly indoors. However, Palo Verde Beetles survive more as outdoor insects.

Now, we told you earlier that since some bugs only resemble cockroaches but aren’t the real thing, the way you get rid of them would also differ. The Palo Verde beetles feed mostly on trees with sickness-ridden roots.

As such, any pest treatment you use should be directed to the tree roots. This process, of course, would require some kinds of substances that cockroach-specific repellents don’t have.

  • May Beetles.

May Beetles, aka, June Bugs can reach a maximum length of about 8 inches.

Compared to roaches whose max length is less than 4 inches, May Beetles are much bigger.

Aside from that, May beetles have rounder abdomen, curled antennae, and are vegan in every way. On the flip side, cockroaches are omnivores. That is, they can eat anything that comes their way.

One fun fact though; May beetles have been named June Bugs because their eggs hatch around May/June and their adults emerge around the same time.

These adult June Bugs have less gyroscopic stability than roaches. As such, they regularly crash land when they come in contact with obvious obstacles like walls. Also, May Beetles are slow runners and unlike most roaches, they always run towards any light source.

Now, if June bugs are this different from cockroaches, why then do people mistake June bugs with roaches? Well… the reason is in the color. You see, like roaches, May Beetles have brown skins. Though, the brown color of May Beetles tends to be more reddish if you look close enough.

  • Asian Long-horned Beetle.

One thing is clear; most species of house cockroaches look quite different from Asian Long-horned beetles.

This is because these beetles have a glossy black color with spots of brighter colors.

However, outdoor roaches may also come in very dark colors and very few roaches may also have variegated spots.

So, to the untrained eye, these two insects might appear to be doppelgangers. This confusion is even fueled when you compare their long antennae and their head shapes.

But aside from the colors, size is another factor that can help you differentiate between Asian Long-horned beetles and cockroaches.

For these beetles, the max length is just 2 inches. So, yes, they are smaller than roaches. Likewise, they bore into trees and eat wood tissues. To do this, Asian Long-horned tissues need boring mouthparts. On the flip side, cockroaches have their mouthparts modified for biting and chewing.

For now, the only known technique to get rid of Asian Long-horned beetles would require that you exterminate the affected tree.

The reason for this lack of more effective methods is because Asian long-horned beetles have very few natural predators. However, insecticides like Imidacloprid can also be effective.

2) Bugs.

Oftentimes, many people often confuse the word “bug” and the term “insects.” You see, dear friend, a bug is only an order of insects.

Oftentimes, true bugs have forewings that are thickened at the base. Between these wings, you will also find a triangular-shaped scutellum on the wings of true bugs. So, any other insect that lacks these two features isn’t a bug.

Of course, with that alone, you can disqualify cockroaches as doppelgangers for bugs. But then again, some bugs have modified their body parts to look a lot like cockroaches. Here is an anatomical analysis of three (3) bugs that are roaches’ look-alikes:

  • Water Bugs.

Some cockroaches like oriental roaches love water. So, they are sighted in regions where there is a frequent supply of water, like in water bugs. But there are ways to tell these two insects apart. You see, most roaches have brown or red skins.  On the flip side, water bugs tend to be dark-brown or sometimes grayish.

However, oriental cockroaches can also have dark hues of brown.

Coincidentally, most species of water bugs are dark-brown. For that reason, confusion sets in. So, to differentiate them, you’ll have to compare their size and the antenna type.

Generally, water bugs are smaller than oriental cockroaches. Likewise, their antennae are shorter. Then again, cockroaches, unlike water bugs, can’t bite under normal conditions.

2) Bed bugs.

bugs that look like cockroaches

With one look, bed bugs resemble tiny cockroaches (nymphs). In terms of size and skin tones, they both tally. So, to tell them apart, you will have to pay more attention to the eyes and the antennae.

If you notice long antennae and enclosed eyes, there’s a high chance that your insect is a cockroach. But if the antennae are short and its eyes protrude from the head, then it’s most likely that you have a bed-bug situation.

To avoid blood baths on a minute level, you need to act fast. This is because bed bugs, unlike most roaches, can bite. Specifically, they can bore into human skins to suck blood, leaving wakes of red itches on the skin. Aside from that, bed bugs have wings like cockroaches. Yet, they can fly.

  • Palmetto Bugs.

Ah, finally, the majority get one thing right; Palmetto bugs are indeed cockroaches. Specifically, the name is used for American cockroaches because oftentimes, these cockroaches reside within a tropical tree called the palmetto plant. Although, they can also be found within the household.

3) Spiders.

Though hard to believe because spiders have a pair of legs more than cockroaches, some spiders do resemble cockroaches. Of course, this is only when you consider the body shape and complexions. Such spiders include:

  • Crab Spiders.

Crab spiders reside under tree barks. They are small and they have six legs. But when they fold these legs in their stationary condition, you can mistake them for cockroach nymphs. Once they move, the blinds will be lifted.

  • Tailless Whip Scorpions.

Tailless Whip Scorpions resemble flat cockroaches with long bodies. Because these scorpion spiders even have fork-like appendages on their head, some say they resemble big cockroaches with pincers.

Bugs That People Mistake for Cockroach without Any Strong Basis

1. Crickets.

Crickets differ from roaches in many ways. Even in terms of color that confuses an untrained eye, crickets are much darker. They don’t fly like roaches and they make a lot of noise when they call for mates.

2) Termites.

It’s rare to see people confuse termites with roaches. For those that do, the color tone is the only reason they could cite. But the truth is, termites are much lighter in color than cockroaches. They inhabit different niches. And as a bonus, termites are social insects. So, they are kind of smarter than cockroaches.

With all that said and done, we can say that beetles look like cockroaches, aka, palmetto bugs, the most. Other insects include bedbugs, water bugs, and spiders. To tell a cockroach apart from other bugs, compare the size, antennae, color tones, and behaviors. The more they match, the more the bugs are cockroach doppelgangers.

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