There is always a limited amount of time to stop insect reproduction after you notice the first signs of their infestation in your home. Before you can draw up a pest control plan, you must know exactly which insects have settled in your home. Many people conclude that they have cockroaches at home and immediately buy insecticides and cockroach traps. Unfortunately, there are several types of bugs that look like cockroaches. Some of them are not dangerous, while others are not susceptible to the same chemicals as cockroaches.
How many types of bugs exist in the world?
Even scientists do not know exactly how many bugs exist on the globe. They live everywhere – in the ground and on trees, salt, and freshwater, moss, and silt. There are beetles of enormous sizes, such as the largest beetle in the world and the titan lumberjack living in the Amazon forests. The largest beetle length reaches 18 cm. The Ussuri lumberjack and the African goliath beetle are up to 10 cm long. Some other bugs can only be seen only with a magnifying glass. They come in different colors – black, blue, red, brown, yellow, etc.
Here are a few bugs that are most often confused with a cockroach.
1. Ground beetle
The Ground beetle is probably a bug which is most often mistaken for a cockroach. She has similarities with the Prusak. The ground beetle has a wide body of dark brown or black color and leathery wings. They are about the same size, and, at first glance, it may seem similar to a cockroach. A cockroach has partially atrophied wings, and they do not fly. While the ground beetle has full wings, and its body has a metallic tint.
There are about 2500 known species of ground beetles of various sizes and colors. Although they are generally not welcome in people’s homes, it is helpful to know that beetles are not dangerous. They do not spread diseases, do not spoil soil property and do not pose a danger to pets. These insects are susceptible to cockroach kills if they come in direct contact with an insecticide. Thus, most insect repellents will not help in controlling the ground beetle. Instead, a barrier must be created to prevent them from entering the house.
While many people are familiar with the sound that crickets make, few actually have the chance to see many of these insects in one place. Crickets are very small, fast, and have a brown color similar to cockroaches. Besides, crickets are usually active at night and hide when someone comes too close. Their speed and color make them look like cockroaches.
The best way to tell the difference between the two is with the long hind legs of cricket used for jumping. Like ground beetle, crickets are usually not harmful to humans. But they typically live in the same conditions as cockroaches. In this way, they can spread some diseases. The good news is that fighting crickets is comfortable with simple traps, so you don’t need chemicals.
3. Water bugs
Another type of bugs that look like cockroaches is the water bug. Some people even call cockroaches water bugs. It is important to know that these are completely different species. The term “water insects” actually refers to a wide range of insects that prefer to live in areas with access to stagnant water, while cockroaches only look for wet areas.
Unfortunately, water bugs are usually larger and more aggressive than cockroaches, and their bites can be painful for humans. They look very similar, so sometimes only a professional can differentiate between a water bug and a cockroach. However, water bugs are darker in color, while the Prussians have a light brown hue. The best way to prevent them from appearing is to keep the bathrooms and kitchens clean. It is essential that there are no sources of water that will attract these insects.
How to distinguish between a bug and a cockroach
Cockroaches are distinguished by a flattened body of an oval shape, with a length of 1 to 10 cm or more. At the end of the abdomen, they have a long, usually articulated cerci. In males, the last one has 1-2 lead. Typically, cockroaches have a light body color with elytra of yellowish-brown hues, dark and black colors are less common.
The elytra of the cockroach are dense, horny or leathery, with pronounced venation. The hind wings are equipped with membranes and, when folded, hide under the elytra. In some species, the front and hind wings are shortened, and there are also wingless species of cockroaches. Some species of cockroaches can fly, although their flight does not last long.
In total, the cockroach has six legs. The hips and legs are spiked. The legs of these insects have five-segmented paws that are well developed and adapted for running. The speed of the cockroach is quite high: for example, an American cockroach covers a distance of 75 cm per second. In addition, it is almost impossible to catch a cockroach with your bare hands, because a nimble insect changes its direction of movement about 25 times per second.
Where do cockroaches live?
Cockroaches are distributed almost everywhere and inhabit almost all parts of the world, with the exception of icy Antarctica and other polar regions. The most numerous populations live in the tropics and subtropical latitudes, although these insects feel no less comfortable in the temperate zone. Cockroaches live in the Americas, in Europe, in Russia, in Africa, Asia, and Australia. In countries with a rather cool climate and frosty winters, mainly synanthropic species, live in heated human dwellings.
In nature, cockroaches prefer to settle in shady places with constantly high humidity: they hide in the thickness of fallen leaves, under semi-decomposed wood, “feast” where there is an accumulation of rotting fruits or vegetables, and often live in pretty vegetation along with shallow water bodies. Sinanthropus cockroaches often equip their nests in ventilation shafts and sewer highways of multi-storey buildings, in basements, in cracked walls and behind baseboards; they like city dumps and garbage chutes.
There are a lot of misconceptions about cockroaches and how to deal with them. The best way to determine which insects are in your home is to pay attention to their habits and color differences. A professional can help you identify specific insects. Specialists can give a good idea of how to deal with each type of pest. Besides, it is worth remembering that some of these species are not dangerous and even have a positive impact on the environment.
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