Types of Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches

12 Types of Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches

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A cockroach, a small bug that gives us all the shivers at the thought of it crawling around the house. It has a nauseating smell, notorious for sampling our leftovers, and may spread diseases like cholera, salmonellosis, and typhoid. 

But do you know some bugs look like cockroaches but aren’t? Some of these bugs are harmless and are just lost wandering into your apartment or home. So, if you are wondering why you have roaches in your clean home, you might be dealing with a harmless beetle that wandered into your place from the nearby garden.

Have you seen a bug in your home and wondered if it’s a cockroach? Here are 12 types of bugs that look like cockroaches and how they differ from roaches:


Beetles vary in color, from black to dark brown, while most roaches are light brown. Moreover, beetles have a hard exoskeleton, while roaches have a light feathery body cover. Lastly, beetles have shorter legs and antennae compared to roaches.

Bed Bug

Bed bugs have shorter rounded bodies, unlike the roach nymphs, which are oval and slightly long. Additionally, bed bugs are reddish brown with a distinctive smell, especially if you crush the bug, while baby roaches are golden brown.

Water Bug

If you live near a water body or stagnant water, the adult water bug may trick you into thinking your home has roaches. However, the two insects are different. The water bug has no antennae but instead has large pincers that can bite. It is also longer, atleast 4 inches long, while the roach may not exceed 3 inches.

Palmetto Bug

Big Bugs That Look Like Roaches Palmetto Bug
Palmetto Bug

Is there a difference between a cockroach and a palmetto bug? We get your question because, technically, the two have no major differences. However, American roach has a fair brown color and likes hiding in cracks in your home. On the other hand, palmetto bugs are dark brown or smoky brown, and you can find them beneath palmetto leaves, which explains their moniker.

June Bug (May Beetle)

Both cockroaches and June Bugs are brown and have almost similar body traits. However, the June Bug is light loving has a rounded body and short antennas that resemble eyelashes. On the other hand, cockroaches loathe light and will crawl back to hiding when you turn on the lights. 

Ground Beetle

Surprisingly, there are about 350,000 species of beetles roaming the earth. The ground beetle is a black or dark brown insect that loves burrowing in outdoor soils. Ground beetles crawl slowly, and you can easily catch them. They also have a body that segments into a body and a head, with short antennae. 

Wood-Boring Beetle

The wood-boring beetle is yet another beetle species that resembles a cockroach in some traits. It is oval, with an elongated dark brown or black body and long antennae. However, this bug has sturdy and almost obscure wings, unlike cockroaches with light feathery wings. Moreover, wood beetles have distinct yellow patches on their body.

Asian Long-Horned Beetle

This grotesque beetle, with origins in China and Korea, has been spotted in six US states, and most people have mistaken it for a roach due to its bodily traits that resemble a roach. However, the two are different because the beetle has a shiny black body with distinct white spots. The antennae are also unusually long and thick compared to a cockroach’s long and slender ones.

Palo Verde Beetle

Named after the Palo Verde trees native to South Western US, these bugs slightly resemble the American roach. However, the Palo Verde beetles are darker, mostly dark brown or black. Additionally, they can fly and have thicker antennae. 


12 Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches Crickets

Crickets are noisy dark brown or black insects with elongated cylindrical bodies. Some people may mistake them for roaches due to their oval bodies and dark brown appearance. However, crickets have longer hind legs for jumping, while the cockroach has shorter legs and is more of a crawler than a jumper.


While their physical appearance differs, termites and cockroaches are closely related and trace back to a common ancestor. However, cockroaches are larger and brown with hard exoskeletons and long antennae. On the other hand, termites are smaller, whitish (with a few brown ones), with soft bodies and short antennae. 

Stink Bug

A stink bug is a shield-shaped creepy crawler introduced to America from Asia. Although it is majorly an outdoor nuisance, it may find its way into your house or apartment from nearby gardens or shrubs. It differs from a roach because of its shield-like appearance and stick-like legs.

Water Bug That Looks Like a Cockroach, Is It Really One?

Water Bug That Looks Like a Cockroach
Giant Water Bug

No, a waterbug is different from a cockroach. It has two pincers instead of antennae and likes the outdoors. Additionally, it has no interest in your leftovers and will crawl away to look for stagnant water.

Light Brown Beetle That Looks Like a Cockroach?

If you have seen the light brown beetle that looks like a roach, that’s probably a June bug (May beetle). These beetles come in various colors, including light brown, dark brown, green, and reddish brown.

Beetles That Look Like Roaches

Several beetles look like roaches, including the brown ground beetles, May beetles, wood-boring beetles, Palo Verde beetles, and Asian long-horned beetles. However, each of these bugs has a distinct feature that sets it apart from a cockroach.

Ground Beetle vs Cockroach: What’s the Difference?

Ground Beetle vs Cockroach
Ground Beetle

There are several differences between a ground beetle and a cockroach. These include:

  • Ground beetle’s wings meet at the center in a straight line, while those of the roach overlap
  • Ground beetles crawl slowly, while roaches are swift
  • The wings of a ground beetle are hard and almost opaque, while a roach’s wings are feathery and translucent
  • Ground beetles like the outdoors, while roaches like staying indoors
Difference Between Ground Beetle and Cockroach

12 Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches

Here are common 12 bugs that look like cockroaches:

  • Bed bugs
  • Termites
  • Crickets
  • Bettles
  • Ground beetles
  • June bugs
  • Water bugs
  • Palo Verde beetles
  • Wood-boring beetles
  • Asian long-horned beetles
  • Palmetto bugs
  • Stink bugs

Big Bugs That Look Like Roaches?

The following big bugs look like roaches:

  • Crickets
  • Water bugs
  • Asian long-horned beetles
  • May beetles/June bugs
  • Ground beetles
  • Wood-boring beetles

Bug That Looks Like a Cockroach With Pincers. What’s Its Name?

A waterbug looks like a cockroach with pincers. Instead of having antennae, the water bug, also called an oriental roach, has pincers it uses to bite prey.

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