Identify Bugs that Look Like Cockroaches – But Aren’t, Top 7

Cockroaches are one of the most common household pests, and they can be very difficult to get rid of. If you think you may have a cockroach problem, it is crucial to be able to identify them so that you can take appropriate steps to get rid of them.

One of the most common ways to identify a cockroach is by its appearance. Cockroaches are dark brown or black, and they have flattened oval-shaped bodies. They also have long, spiny legs, and they are usually between 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. But some giant roaches are up to 4 inches long.

But what if you don’t have roaches, but instead some other bug? So what insects resemble cockroaches? It turns out that there are a lot of them, including some bugs, and beetles.

In this article, we’ll assist you in determining whether your creepy crawler is a cockroach or simply a phony. There are 4,000+ species of roaches in the world. In this list, we have listed bugs that resemble the most commonly found roaches.

Identify Bugs that Look Like Cockroaches

Identify Bugs that Look Like Cockroaches

Cockroaches are among the most reviled insects. These nocturnal creatures are known for their ability to thrive in almost any environment, as well as their tendency to infest homes and businesses.

Because of this, people often misidentify bugs that look like cockroaches as cockroaches rather than other types of insects. However, not every bug that resembles a cockroach is actually a cockroach.

Cockroaches belong to the order Blattodea. There are more than 4,000 species of these insects, which can be identified by their long antennae and stout bodies with prominent wings.

When identifying other types of insects that look like cockroaches, it’s important to consider body shape, coloration, and habitat.

1. Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug

Giant water bugs are nocturnal insect predators. They have long, slender bodies with very small heads and black or brown coloring. Giant water bugs are often found in rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.

Giant water bugs are usually found in exterior environments, such as rivers, lakes, and streams. Because of their long, slender bodies, giant water bugs are often misidentified as cockroaches.

Giant water bugs are more likely to be found outdoors, which makes them less likely to be found indoors.

2. Big-eyed Bug

Big-eyed Bug

Big-eyed bugs are more closely related to aphids than they are to cockroaches. They look very similar to cockroaches, with a large brown body, long antennae, and reddish eyes.

Big-eyed bugs are most commonly found in exterior environments, such as gardens or by the side of the road. Exterior environments can attract big-eyed bugs, as they’re often rich in pollen and nectar.

While they look very similar to cockroaches, big-eyed bugs are less likely to infest homes.

3. Earwig


Earwigs are closely related to insects in the order Blattodea, and they’re often misidentified as cockroaches. They’re commonly found in garden soil, where they feed on decaying organic matter.

Earwigs are nocturnal insects, meaning they’re more likely to be found in gardens and other outdoor environments than cockroaches are.

Because of their dark coloring, they’re often misidentified as roaches. Because earwigs are often seen in parks, they’re less likely to be found indoors.

4. Dark-colored Stink Bug

Dark-colored Stink Bug

Stink bugs are common household pests in the U.S. They’re known for secreting a foul-smelling liquid from their abdomen when threatened. Because of their dark coloring and resemblance to roaches, stink bugs are often misidentified as roaches.

Stink bugs are more likely to be found indoors than roaches are. They’re known to congregate in large groups and can survive in a wide range of environments.

Stink bugs will often congregate in attics or crawl spaces. They’re particularly attracted to light colors, which makes them more likely to be found indoors.

5. False Scorpions

False Scorpions

False scorpions are arachnids just like real scorpions, but unlike scorpions, they don’t have stingers. False scorpions are known for their long legs and slender bodies, which can make them appear very similar to cockroaches.

False scorpions are often found in exterior environments, such as trees or in gardens. Because they’re nocturnal, they’re more likely to be misidentified as roaches.

False scorpions are more likely to be found outdoors, which makes them less likely to be found indoors.

6. Fire Ants

fire ants

Fire ants are known for their aggressive, venomous stings. Fire ants are more likely to be found indoors than roaches are. Fire ants are common in the Southeastern U.S., making them prevalent in certain parts of the Gulf Coast.

Fire ants are found in warm environments, most commonly near bodies of water. Fire ants are also very territorial, so they’re much more likely to be found in residential areas than roaches are.

Fire ants are more likely to be found indoors, where they can feed on crumbs or other snacks left by humans.

7. Book Lice

Book louse

Booklice are very similar in appearance to common household nymph roaches, with a reddish-brown body and a darker abdomen. However, on closer examination, you’ll notice that booklice don’t have the same long antennae that roaches have.

Because of their resemblance to roaches, especially roaches nymphs, booklice are often misidentified as roaches. Booklice are mostly found indoors in basements and attics.

If you have a booklice infestation, check out this guide on how to eradicate booklice.

They’re often drawn to unhygienic environments, as they feed on dead organic matter. While booklice are pests, they’re much less likely to infest homes than roaches are.


It’s easy to misidentify insects, especially if they’re found in the same environment. While some insects may look like cockroaches, they’re actually less likely to infest homes. To avoid misidentifying bugs, you should familiarize yourself with the most common types of cockroach look alike.

A simple way to identify cockroaches is by their behavior. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, so they are most active at night. They are also attracted to food and moisture, so you may see them in your kitchen or bathroom. If you see a cockroach during the day, it is likely that there is a large infestation. Check out this guide to see where roaches hide in your home.

If you think you may have a cockroach problem, it is important to contact a roach control professional to get rid of them. Cockroaches can be difficult to get rid of on your own, and they can cause serious health problems if not treated properly.


  • What is a big bug that looks like a giant roach?

    The rhinoceros cockroach and Queensland gigantic cockroach are other names for the huge burrowing cockroach (Macropanesthia rhinoceros). The majority of these endemic Australian cockroaches may be found in Queensland’s tropical and subtropical regions.

  • Is there a beetle that looks like a cockroach?

    Ground beetles are another insect that’s frequently mistaken for a cockroach. They are similar in color to roaches and have a flat, oval form.

    These beetles can fly better than flying cockroach species thanks to their highly developed wings. Since they are herbivores, they are not drawn to human food or habitations.

  • Do baby water bugs look like roaches?

    According to O’Neal, water bugs are generally brown or gray in appearance and measure around 2 inches in length. In contrast, cockroaches can vary in size and have a redder appearance. Additionally, they lack antennae.