Cricket Vs Cockroach: What Are the Differences?

head on shot of cricket
iStock.com/tracielouise

Written by Kyle Glatz

Published: February 25, 2022

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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

Cricket vs Cockroach
Cockroaches are generally larger than crickets.
CricketCockroach
SizeLength: 0.2in-2inLength: 1.5in-2in                                
ColorRed, 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
Legs6 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

Types of Cockroach - Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Cockroaches differ from crickets in several meaningful ways

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

What Do Katydids Eat?

Crickets can be

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

What Do Katydids Eat?

Crickets have large, angled legs that stick up and allow them to jump long distances.

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

Types of Cockroaches - Oriental Cockroach

Cockroaches can bite humans when they are hungry enough and lack other foods

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!


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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