If you live near an area surrounded by lots of water, then you’ll be more than familiar with the insects that inhabit these places, like cockroaches and water bugs. And if this creepy crawlies freak you out, then the thought of them taking flight to torture you, even more, can cause nightmares.
But are you worrying yourself silly unnecessarily? Can a water bug fly?
There are many different types of water bugs, and many are confused with roaches. So some can fly, and others cannot (interestingly, some roaches can fly, but not all).
In this article, we’ll look at the most common water bugs and house bugs and explain whether you need to worry about them buzzing your head in your sleep.
Can a Water Bug Fly?
To answer the simple question, can a water bug fly may cause a bit of confusion, because it is yes — and no. Even though water bugs have wings, they don’t always necessarily use them, as we’ll see below.
Water bugs hang out in and around bodies of fresh water with lots of vegetation, such as lakes, ponds, and rivers, although they also love swimming pools, which is why they are also found in many backyards.
Water bugs use the vegetation near the surface of the water to hold onto, so that they can prey on other insects, small fish, and frogs to feed. It is only in the evening that water bugs will become more active, and they will start flying around looking for more light.
During the day though, water bugs don’t fly.
It is only in the evening that water bugs will become more active, and they will start flying around looking for more light.
During the day though, water bugs don’t fly.
Keeping Water Bugs Away From Your Pool
As mentioned, water bugs need the vegetation around watery areas to hold on to. They also need air to breathe, so will suffocate if they are in the water for too long.
Therefore, the first thing you should do is remove any plants growing near your swimming pool. This will get rid of their resting and nesting places, as well as stop them from hanging around the area of your pool.
The next thing you’ll need to do is balance the water chemistry in your swimming pool by scrubbing off all the algae from the bottom and the sides.
Finally, you’ll need to wipe these down with bleach or hydrogen peroxide, which will oxidize the algae. With no algae available, the water bugs won’t be able to lay their eggs.
And although water bugs only fly at night, they can migrate to other areas of standing water, such as a large puddle, by crawling around during the day. Y
ou can stop this from happening by sprinkling borax around the pool decking.
Doing this will reduce the chance of water bugs crawling from one body of water nearby to your swimming pool. If you have pets like cats or dogs, though, you’ll want to keep them away from the borax, as it can cause them to have an upset stomach or digestive irritation.
What’s The Difference Between a Water Bug and a Cockroach?
Lots of people get water bugs and cockroaches confused, especially because both tend to be nocturnal creatures with beetle-like shells. However, they are different types of creepy beasts, even though they both are known to hang out in moist, humid, and watery areas.
For starters, although they may look similar at first, on closer look their differences are easy to see.
Water bugs have varying outer shells that are darker in color, whereas cockroaches have reddish brown and shiny thoraxes, along with long protruding antennae that are very noticeable.
Water bugs also tend to be larger than the average cockroach, with some being as big as four inches in size.
And as you now know, a water bug is simply a type of insect that generally hangs out near bodies of stagnant water, whether that be a swimming pool, lake, pond, river, or stream.
In this slow-moving water where vegetation can grow, water bugs will take shelter on any plants living near the water’s surface, where they’ll prey on other bugs like mosquitoes, as well as small fish and frogs, which some water bugs do eat.
Diet is something that also definitely distinguishes water bugs from cockroaches. Everyone knows that cockroaches are crazy creatures that will feed on just about anything, including poop, garbage, cardboard boxes, and any food that is left out unwittingly or by mistake.
Water bugs, however, are a completely different kettle of fish. They mainly eat the eggs and larvae of mosquitoes, frogs, and any other species that spend a lot of their time in watery areas.
This includes crustaceans like crabs, small fish, and guppies, other insects like crickets and ants, as well as lizards and turtles. That is if the water bug is large enough to kill it.
And some do grow to be as big as the size of an average palm, like the Giant water bug, which holds the title of the world’s largest insect — and also a fearsome bite!
Larger water bugs will kill their prey by biting into them and depositing venomous enzymes into their flesh, which ends up dissolving their body tissues. The water bug then feeds by sucking up the mushy and liquified tissue.
Another big difference between water bugs and cockroaches is that water bugs aren’t known for spreading disease, even though they do bite and secrete venom when they feel threatened.
And although a water bug’s bite can hurt because of the venom, it won’t cause sickness or disease.
Water bugs even eat mosquitoes that carry malaria! So in essence, they help to prevent the spread of disease and illness.
Cockroaches, on the other hand, are well known for being chaos-causing disease spreaders, especially where there is a sudden infestation in kitchens that prepare food for the public, somewhere you definitely wouldn’t have a water bug problem.
Cockroaches also tend to live in housing in garages, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens under sinks, cupboards, baseboards, in and around appliances, or wherever else there are damp and dark crevices that are near sources of water and food that are left out.
These disgusting insects carry microbes and bacteria that will cause serious health problems if they aren’t dealt with.
So if you have a problem with them, you should call in an extermination service to help you with this.
Also, as far as flying goes, most water bugs have wings in which to fly, even though they only use them at night, if at all.
Some cockroaches have wings, others don’t. Some jump like crickets.
Biting Into It
If a water bug ever feels threatened, then it will go on the defensive and bite whatever it feels is attacking it, and that includes humans if it has been disturbed or provoked.
If you do get bitten by a water bug, it can cause a severe burning or numbing sensation that can be quite painful and last for hours. There have also been a few incidents noted where people have had an allergic reaction after being bitten by a water bug.
If you do get bitten by a water bug, it can cause a severe burning or numbing sensation that can be quite painful and last for hours.
This is because the venomous enzymes in the water bug’s saliva react with their immune systems. But again, this is extremely rare and unlikely to ever happen to you. However, if you swim in stagnant water areas where water bugs hang out, you could be bitten – especially on the toes and fingers.
They don’t have the nickname ‘toe biters’ for nothing!
The Name of The Game
The name water bug is self-explanatory when you think about it. They are aquatic insects that hang out in stagnant water with vegetation.
So, can a water bug fly?
Well, as you now know, they will fly at night looking for sources of stagnant water and will come near your home, especially if you keep your porch light on at night.
However, they don’t usually congregate in groups. And as long as you stick to the rules about keeping your swimming pool clean of algae, they won’t cause you too much of a problem in the end.