Difference Between Water Bugs, Palmetto Bugs and Cockroaches

home pest

South Carolina is no stranger to pests of all shapes and sizes. While some people might call it by a different name, cockroaches are one of the most unwanted house guests. Knowing how to identify these pests is the first step to getting rid of them. To help avoid confusion, here are the main differences between water bugs, palmetto bugs and the American cockroach.

Water Bugs

The term “water bug” or “waterbug” is incorrectly used to refer to a wide variety of insects. True water bugs are referred to as such because they actually live on or in water. Common examples include the giant water bug, creeping water bug and backswimmer, all of which use their specially-designed legs as small paddles to move through water.

All true water bugs belong to the scientific order Hemiptera. Cockroaches, on the other hand, belong to the order Blattodea. Even though they can survive in water for an extended period of time because of their hardy disposition, cockroaches are not aquatic insects and cannot be considered true water bugs.

Palmetto Bugs

While the term “palmetto bug” can be used to refer to one particular breed of cockroach, the term has become widespread and is now often used interchangeably with “cockroach.” True palmetto bugs are better known as the Florida woods cockroach. These insects get their name because they like to hide under the leaves of palmetto trees, a type of palm tree native to Florida.

The Florida woods cockroach can reach a length anywhere between 1.2 and 1.6 inches. When frightened, the adults can spray a foul smelling liquid up to three feet away! This has also earned them the name skunkroach or stinkroach. While they can sometimes find their way into residential areas, most prefer to live in dead trees, woodpiles and stumps.

American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are the largest species of common roach. They may also be referred to as a “ship cockroach,” “kakerlac” or “Bombay canary.” This particular species is found all over the world. They grow to an average length of 1.6 inches, can travel across the ground quickly and even have wings.

Roaches are not only unsightly pests, but can be carriers of multiple disease-causing bacteria. Their droppings and body parts can trigger asthma and allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.

Home Pest Prevention Services

At Home Pest Control, we understand how important it is to keep your home and family safe. Insects play an important role in the global ecosystem but can sometimes threaten the health of you, your house and your loved ones. That’s why we offer our Home Shield Pest Prevention Service. Contact us today to discover the best pest control solutions for your residential or commercial location.
water bugs, palmetto bugs and cockroaches

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