Bed Bugs Vs Cockroaches: 2 Basic Differences Between Bed Bug and Flea Bites


Bed Bugs Vs Cockroaches

What are the main differences between bed bugs and cockroaches?

Table of Contents

Bed bugs and cockroaches are two different types of pests. Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on blood and are commonly found in beds and furniture. Cockroaches, on the other hand, are larger insects that can be found in various areas of a home and feed on various food sources.

The main difference between bed bugs vs cockroaches is their Size. Cockroaches are large insects, whereas Bed bugs are tiny, flat insects. Bed bugs feed exclusively on the blood of animals of humans, whereas cockroaches feed on various foods, including garbage, pet food, and even dead cockroaches!

These insects will bite humans if they feel threatened or if there is a lack of food for them to eat.

Cockroaches are one of the most common household pests. There are more than 3,500 different species of cockroaches worldwide and about 30 in North America alone.

These bugs thrive in warm environments with little water or food and have a very fast reproduction cycle.

One female can produce up to eight eggs per day, meaning a population could grow exponentially if left unchecked.

Bed Bugs Vs Cockroaches Key Information

Bed Bugs

Bed Bug

Bed bugs are small insects about five to seven millimeters long.

They are a reddish-brown color, oval-shaped and flat, and they can be found hiding in tiny cracks and crevices- particularly on beds and other furniture.

Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye but tend to hide during the day and come out at night to feed on humans.

They can survive for months without feeding, so it’s vital to sort the problem as soon as you spot it.



Cockroaches are an ancient group of insects: as early as in the Middle Carboniferous Period, sediments typical representatives of this order have been found.

At that time, they formed a more significant part of insects. It is usual that by the Tertiary Period, there was virtually none of the apterous or shortened wing forms among the Dictyopreta order.

Dictyoptera has a flat oval body and a head with a turned-down actinostome and is nearly or entirely covered by a large shield-shaped pronotum. Their antennas are multiarticulate and setaceous; pedicals are the cursorial type with applanate huckles and 5-articulate chelas.

Elytrum and wings can be shortened or absent. The abdomen is extended, 8-10-articulate with soft vestitures. The majority of Dictyopreta has a light russet-colored body and elytrum, less frequently, dark or black color is observed.

The entire exteriority of the cockroach with a flattened body and dense exterior vestitures splendidly fits the lifestyle of this insect.

Among them night species active in darkness are predominant. There are deviations, however, from this typical style of life. In all these instances, changes in the exteriority of cockroaches are permanently observed.

Interesting Facts

The investigation of children-asthmatics has indicated that the most frequent cause of the disease is cockroaches living in the bathrooms and the kitchens.

Allergy is caused by cockroach excreta and dead insects. The fact is that dust mite nests in chitinous vestiture of dead cockroaches, and it is what caused the allergic reaction.

The number of allergy cases in children caused by cockroaches is comparable only with the number of cases of allergic asthma caused by dust.

Patients sensitive to pets only give 3% versus 37% of “cockroach” allergic individuals.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Natural Cockroach Control Methods

If you want to get rid of cockroaches, you have to keep your home clean and sanitary. Cockroaches can be found in most types of structures, and they can enter your home through any crack or open space.

Whether they come from used furniture or are brought inside by potted plants, cockroaches will find a way into your home and multiply quickly.

Keeping your kitchen tidy will also keep cockroaches out, so it’s important to store perishable foods in your refrigerator and keep shelf-stable items on shelves. Wipe down counters, and you’ll be able to avoid infestation.

Cockroaches have a life cycle made up of three stages. The female cockroach produces between twelve and thirty-six eggs at a time, which are protected in a bean-shaped capsule.

The number of oothecae depends on the species of cockroaches, but it’s generally twelve to thirty-six eggs per nymph.

During the incubation period, the female cockroach carries the egg case from place to place. Once the eggs hatch, she drops them off on a dry surface or glues them to another surface.

Cockroaches tend to share dark places with their adult counterparts, so it’s best to make sure that your crawlspace and basement are both well-ventilated and well-lit.

Cockroaches are small but have interesting structures. The male cockroach, which is one-and-a-half inches long, flies around when disturbed or exposed to higher temperatures.

The female cockroach lays light brown egg cases that incubate for weeks. These egg cases may be attached to each other in large deposits.

Cockroaches can produce up to 600 cockroaches in one year. A typical female cockroach can produce more than six hundred eggs a year.

Chemical Cockroach Control Methods

Insecticides, the insect control preparations, applied to cockroaches, in particular, may be ranked into four big classes.

  • The first and most famous class of insecticides is represented by organophosphorus compounds (FOS), which are highly toxic for both cockroaches and the man. It includes the following compounds: karbofos, sulfidofos, dichlorvos, methyl-acetofod, etc.
  • The second class is carbamates. The action mechanism of this class of compounds is very close to FOS, however, they are more toxic and, consequently, more dangerous for people. In this class, only propoxur is used in some aerosols.
  • The third class of substances most harmless to the man is formed by pyrethroids. These are various synthetic variations of pyrethrum powder.

Pyrethroids are low toxic and affect insects as a strong neuroparalytic compound, being almost harmless to the man.

Meanwhile, perythroids preserve their properties during 2-6 months, whereas FOS provides protection during 2-4 weeks.

The following compounds from this class are most often applied: permethrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, etc.

  • The fourth most peculiar class of protection means represents biological preparations, which are specially selected microorganisms pestilent for cockroaches.
  • This group includes “hormones” able to change the program of insect development that results in unviable species.

How do you know if a flea has bitten you?

Bed Bugs don’t spring up due to poor hygiene or bad housekeeping, and they are often found in dwellings with a high rate of occupant turnover.

For example, hotels, hostels, university halls, and prisons all have lots of different people coming and going, so it’s easy for bed bugs to spread.

Bed bugs were originally parasites that took bats as their hosts and lived in caves, but when people moved into the cave, the bed bugs sucked their blood instead.

Bed bugs hitchhiked with the cavepeople, spreading through Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.
With more and more people traveling for business and leisure, bed bugs are spreading rapidly.

Bed bugs tend to hide during the day, and sometimes you won’t see them.
One sign of bed bug bites on the skin, and nine in 10 people show signs of being bitten.

Bed bug bites tend to be found on the areas exposed while you’re sleeping, like the face, neck, and arms.

Some people have a reaction to the bites, and they may be very itchy or cause painful swelling.

The bites may form a line, cluster, or be in a zigzag pattern. You may also see blood spots on your bedding from the bites or from squashing the bed bug while sleeping or tiny brown spots of bed bug poo on bedding or furniture.

How To Know the Difference Between Bed Bug and Flea Bites?

If you have a pet, you may have experienced flea bites before.

It can be tricky to tell the difference between bed bug bites and flea bites.

One way to tell is by judging where the bites are on your body, as flea bites are more likely to be found on the lower half of your body or in areas like the bends of your elbows and knees.

Bed bug bites are more likely to be found on the upper half of your body such as your face, neck, and arms.

Bed bug bites have a dark red spot in the middle of a raised area of skin.

If you suspect you have bed bugs, you’ll need to contact your local council or pest control service.

Bed bugs can be resistant to some insecticides and so it can be tricky to get rid of them.

Immediately wash your bedding and clothing on a hot wash at 60 degrees, or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least half an hour.

Alternatively, freeze the affected bedding and clothing for four days.

Ensure you clean and hoover your mattress at least a few times a year.

Final Thoughts

When discussing “Bed Bugs Vs Cockroaches,” it’s essential to highlight the major differences between these two common pests. Bed bugs, scientifically known as cimex lectularius, are nocturnal insects that primarily feed on human blood.

Adult bed bugs are roughly the size of an apple seed and can be distinguished by their flattened exoskeleton. They predominantly reside in box springs, luggage, and even airtight containers. The signs of bed bugs include feces, droppings, and marks from their saliva, which they use while feeding. One of the best ways to handle a bed bug infestation is through heat treatment, targeting the entire infestation from adult to baby roach.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, fall under the Blattodea order, with roach species like the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), German cockroach, and oriental cockroach being the most prominent. Unlike bed bugs, roaches are omnivorous scavengers. Their diet ranges from human food to materials like droppings from other insects, ants, termites, and even other roaches.

Cockroaches have spiny legs, and long antennae, and are larger than bed bugs. Mature cockroaches, especially species like the Periplaneta americana, can sometimes be mistaken for other bugs, such as spider beetles or spiders, due to their size and longer hairs.

Being predominantly nocturnal insects, it’s rare to see roaches in the daytime. The presence of baby roaches or roach droppings usually indicates a roach infestation.

One significant difference lies in their feeding apparatus. While bed bugs feed on warm-blooded mammals with a preference for human blood, cockroaches, being omnivores, have a varied diet. However, both pests pose health risks.

Cockroaches can spread diseases like typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery due to their scavenger nature. Although rare, cockroach bites have been reported. Bed bugs, while not known to transmit diseases, can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

In summary, understanding the kind of bug you’re dealing with is crucial. While both bed bugs and cockroaches are unwanted guests, their lifecycles, feeding habits, and treatment methods differ vastly. From the scavenger roach to the blood-sucking bed bug, knowledge is indeed the key to effective extermination.