Imagine you walk in the kitchen just as a brown insect scurries under your cabinets. What in the world was that? Was it a harmless cricket or the beginning of a dreaded cockroach infestation? We’re going to give you a closer look at the cricket vs cockroach so when you get a good look at the bug, you know what you’re dealing with. Learn how to tell these insects apart with a look and what to do if you think you have the beginnings of an infestation.
Comparing a Cricket and a Cockroach
|Size||Length: 0.2in-2in||Length: 1.5in-2in|
|Color||Red, brown, black, green||– Brown, gray, tallow, black, tan|
|Shape||– Thinner, cylindrical body||– Wider, more oval-shaped body|
|Wings||– On top of the cricket, but not as long as their thorax or much longer than their thorax|
– The wings rarely cover the entire thorax perfectly as seen in roaches
– Rarely use their wings
|– Wings envelop the entire top side of their thorax |
– Rarely use their wings
|Legs||– 6 legs like other insects |
– 2 very special, large, angled legs for powerful jumps
|– 6 legs |
– nearly uniform in length
|Sounds||– Loud chirping noise made by males||– Rarely make noise except some species may hiss|
|Human Interactions||– Very, very rarely bite humans|
– Rarely infest in massive numbers
|– Create large infestations in human areas, numbering in the hundreds or thousands|
– Rarely bite humans, but they do in large infestations and when food is short
– Leave small, raised bumps on the skin
The 7 Key Differences Between a Cricket vs Cockroach
The biggest differences between a cricket and a cockroach are their color, body shape, and wings. Crickets can be red, brown, black, and green, but a cockroach will often have brown, gray, black, or tan colors in its exoskeleton. Thus, green, gray, and tan are colors that differentiate the two insects from each other.
Another way to tell these insects apart is by looking at their body shape. The cockroach’s body is more oval in shape compared to the thinner, cylindrical cricket’s body. Neither bug will give you much time to examine them close-up for long.
Lastly, the wings of a cockroach neatly fold over their thorax and appear to be a part of their body rather than a different segment. However, crickets’ wings are clearly defined and don’t cover the entire thorax.
These are the most obvious ways to tell these creatures apart.
Cricket vs Cockroach: Size
Cockroaches tend to be a little bigger than crickets on average, but both insects can reach the same length as adults, about 2 inches. Crickets can vary from as little as 0.2in to 2 in, but fully grown cockroaches can grow between 1.5in to 2in.
Still, in terms of size, crickets tend to stand higher off the ground owing to their large back legs that help these insects achieve their long, high jumps.
Cricket vs Cockroach: Color
Crickets usually appear in red, green, brown, and black. The latter of those two colors are also seen in cockroaches. However, cockroaches can also integrate brown, gray, tallow, and tan into their color schemes.
Thus, telling these insects apart by color can be difficult, but it can also help you discount one species entirely. For example, you probably won’t see a tan cricket or a green cockroach. If the color is common to both creatures, then you need to look at other physical elements to distinguish them.
Cricket vs Cockroach: Shape
Crickets are thinner and more cylindrical than cockroaches. Cockroaches are wider and have an oval shape to their body that is not seen in crickets. If you can manage to look down on these insects, you can easily tell the difference between them based on their shape.
Cricket vs Cockroach: Wings
Cricket wings fold over their thorax, but the wings either do not cover the entirety of their thorax or they extend far beyond their thorax. Cockroaches have wings that are as long as their body and appear seamless with their thorax. If the bug looks like it is one long insect with excess thorax visible at the bottom of its body, then it’s probably a cockroach and not a cricket.
Cricket vs Cockroach: Legs
Both cockroaches and crickets have six legs like other insects. Cockroach legs are relatively similar in length to each other. However, crickets have very large, angled hind legs that are long enough that they rise over their body and trail past the end of the insect.
Crickets use their legs to produce a very powerful jump that takes them away from predators. However, cockroaches have no such legs.
Cricket vs Cockroach: Sounds
Male crickets are known for their distinctive chirping sound, but cockroaches rarely make any noises. However, some species of cockroach, like the Madagascar hissing cockroach, will make quite a bit of noise. Depending on the sound you hear, it’ll be obvious which creature is living in your area.
Cricket vs Cockroach: Human Interactions
Crickets tend to avoid humans, often jumping away when they sense one nearby. They rarely bite human beings. Cockroaches do bite human beings when they infest a human area and need sustenance. These bites will appear as raised red bumps that are typically not in a pattern like those seen in bedbug bites.
Cockroaches and crickets are very unique insects, and it’s possible to tell them apart with a little effort and a keen eye!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/tracielouise
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How Do I Prevent a Cockroach Infestation?
The best ways to prevent a cockroach infestation are to not leave out food, make sure you clean up waste, and declutter your living area. Also, you need to make sure that you fix any of your leaky pipes in dark areas because roaches will seek out moisture. These are just a few of the easiest ways that you can prevent a cockroach infestation.
How Can I Kill a Cockroach?
When left to their own devices, cockroaches can live for half a year or up to five years. If you want to end an infestation, then you need to break out the bait traps, insecticides, boric acid, and other items that will kill cockroaches very quickly. It’s also wise to consult a pest control specialist.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.