Cockroach vs Bed Bug

You wake up feeling uneasy. A dark-colored insect just scurried past you. There is no way of knowing…

Was it a cockroach? A cricket? Or are you the victim of a dreaded bed bug infestation

Bed bugs and Cockroaches are two of the most common pests that you can get in your home, disturbing your sleep and making you worried and irritated.

Important Note: If you're tired of pests and want a reliable solution, then you should definitely consider seeking help from a professional pest control company. DIY solutions can be effective, but if you're dealing with a significant pest infestation, you don't want to rely solely on DIY methods. Pest control companies typically don't charge huge fees. You can fill out this form to receive free quotes from the top local pest control companies, and compare the quotes and see for yourself. Then, finally, your pest problems will be eliminated for good.

Most people mistake bed bugs for cockroaches, often failing to adopt the correct measures to eliminate their guests. Granted, both look similar at some point in their life cycle and are both nocturnal visitors. 

The bad news is that they’re both bad. 

While cockroaches act as vectors for harmful diseases like Typhoid fever and Cholera, Bed bugs suck your blood and leave nasty scars on your skin, causing allergies and hives. 

The good news is that they can both be eradicated, considering you know how to tell them apart. Read on!

Cockroach vs. Bed Bug: How to Tell Them Apart?

Bed Bugs are usually reddish-brown in appearance with a flat oval shape. They have short antennae and only grow up to 5mm in size. They also have wing-like structures on either side of their head.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, ONLY look similar to bed bugs when they are babies. They can be as small as 5 mm and as big as 3 cm — depending on their type. 

They are placed in the Blattodea order. The only other members of Blattodea are termites. They have six legs, all of the same length, which are used to crawl, run, and sometimes climb. 

Bed Bug vs. Cockroach: Major Differentiators

Size and Shape

In size comparison, bed bugs are tiny, often making it impossible to locate them. They are rapid crawlers, escaping almost immediately after they’ve filled up with enough of your blood. 

On the other hand, all of us are familiar with roaches. They have flat bodies and are bigger, quieter insects infesting our fridges and cupboards and emerging secretly in the dead of the night.   


Both cockroaches and bed bugs have tiny, razor-sharp teeth. Theoretically speaking, they are both biters.

However, cockroaches are much less likely to sink their teeth into your skin. They are not blood-sucking insects and prefer dead skin, feces, trash, and leftovers instead. 

Bed bugs, on the other hand, are infamous for their insatiable hunger and habit of biting innocent humans as they sleep. Their survival depends on your blood, and they are determined to suck their fill every night. 


Both roaches and bed bugs possess wings. However, bed bugs cannot still fly and depend on crawling to move about. Cockroaches too prefer to walk on foot. But they DO possess the gift of flight, an ability they rarely use. 


While Bed bugs hide in small tight bedroom spaces like mattresses, cupboards, and bedside furniture, roaches usually survive in damp places rich in food, like your fridge, garbage dump, etc. 

So, cockroaches are more active at night, bed bugs feed on blood both during the day and night.  

Bed Bug vs. Cockroach: What’s Worse?

Now to address the elephant in the room. Which of the 2 is the worst infestation to have?

Can you ignore a few cockroaches roaming around? 

Is it okay to let the bed bugs suck on your blood occasionally?

NO. And NO. 

While Bed bugs are generally just annoying biters, they still need to be shown the door ASAP. 

They theoretically don’t spread diseases, only content with biting humans all over. Their anatomy allows them to fully digest the blood, so there is no chance of transmission of disease either. 

Cockroaches are a little complicated in this case. They don’t bite much, but can still spread dysentery, salmonella, etc by crawling on your food. 

Final Words

A bed bug infestation is a common problem but needs to be dealt with at the earliest. If left untreated, it interferes with your sleep and makes you cranky and depressed. 

A cockroach infestation is a regular nuisance too and demands your attention before you get very, very sick. 

Bed bugs are tiny and can be difficult to spot with the naked eye. Cockroaches are much easier to spot. 

When you know your infestation, it is easier to opt for the right set of practices to eradicate the pests encroaching on your home. 

Remember. It’s always best to hire exterminators and rid your house of such pests to lead a happy, tension-free life. They’re trained and have better equipment to sort out the mess. 

And of course, regularly vacuuming your home and maintaining hygiene is always the number one solution to avoid any kind of infestation. 

Cleaning utensils after meals, pouring drain cleaners and thorough dusting can all reduce the chances of pests and lower the proliferation of diseases in your family.

Photo of author


I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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