Why do water bugs come out in the summer? Explained

Waterbugs, also known as “black cockroaches” are a species of cockroaches but, more specifically known as aquatic insects belonging to the Blattidae family. They are forced to change their environments and become more active in the summer months. While they typically live in freshwater environments, they can also be found in swimming pools, puddles, and other moist areas. Let’s explore this topic in full:

water bugs tend

Table of Contents

Why do water bugs come out in the summer?

Waterbugs live in environments that are typically damp or moist. As the temperature rises during the summer months, these insects’ natural surroundings such as marshes, ponds, and lakes begin to dry up. So what do they do if they can no longer find these wet damp environments? They, of course, are forced to leave and find places which are more suitable for them to thrive. You’ll find them in places such as:

  • Moister areas of your home such as bathrooms

  • Kitchens

  • Swimming pools

  • and other places where they can also find suitable food sources.

What are water bugs and how do they differ from roaches?

Waterbugs are very similar in appearance to cockroaches and it’s easy to be mistaken. After reading this, you will know some of the key distinctions between the two and you’ll be better prepared if find them in your home:


Waterbugs have a flattened oval shape and are dark brown or black in color. They also have two pinthers that protrude close to the mouth. Cockroaches, on the other hand, can be a variety of colors but are typically reddish-brown or light brown. Their body is more of an oblong shape and they only have one set of wings.


Waterbugs are much larger than cockroaches and can measure up to 1.5 inches in length. Cockroaches, on the other hand, only grow to be about half an inch in length.


Waterbugs are carnivorous and will typically eat small insects, tadpoles, and fish. Cockroaches are scavengers and will eat just about anything including garbage, food crumbs, and dead skin cells.

Life Cycle

The waterbug’s life cycle consists of three main stages: egg, nymph, and adult. They go through a metamorphosis where they shed their skin multiple times before reaching adulthood. The cockroach’s life cycle is very similar except they have four stages: egg, nymph, sub-adult, and adult.


As we mentioned before, waterbugs are typically found near water sources such as ponds, lakes, and marshes. Cockroaches can be found in a variety of places including homes, restaurants, hospitals, and other commercial buildings.

Biting behaviour

One of the most notable differences between waterbugs and cockroaches is their biting behaviour. Waterbugs have been known to bite humans and animals when they feel threatened. Cockroaches, on the other hand, do not typically bite unless their population is very high and they are competing for food sources.

water bugs will eat tadpoles

Where Do Water Bugs Come From?

So what you first need to realise is that waterbugs are not your usual household pests. More accurately, they are classed as aquatic pests as they are often found near water. Cockroaches, unlike water bugs, belong to the Blattodea order, which also includes termites.

Waterbugs, spend much of their time outdoors but can be found in your home if they have been forced out of their natural environment due to a lack of water, or in search of food. They frequently hang out near marshes, ponds, water drainage systems, and other wet locations.

As mentioned above, waterbugs will leave these environments when the temperatures start to rise during summer and in search of food sources. They will have passed through waterways, drainage systems, and sewers if you find them in or around your house. They’re looking for food and a place to stay before the cooler temperatures return.

killing water bugs found in drain pipes

What Is A Water Bugs Natural Habitat?

A water bug’s natural habitat typically includes freshwater environments such as ponds, lakes, and marshes. However, they can also be found in other moist areas such as swimming pools, puddles, and even damp areas in your home.

Waterbugs are most active at night when the temperatures are cooler. During the day, you’ll likely find them hiding in cracks and crevices near their food source. When the weather starts to warm up in the summer months, waterbugs will become more active as they search for new sources of food and water.

hot temperatures force water bugs to move from marshes

Why Are There Water Bugs In My House?

So let’s have a think about what specifically attracts water bugs into your house. We know that they move from their natural habitats in search of food and water but what other factors contribute to them being there?

First things first, you need to consider clearing out your garden. This could be anything from removing excess vegetation and repairing any leaks. By doing this, you will make your garden much less attractive to waterbugs and other pests.

Next, you need to think about the condition of your home. Are there any cracks or gaps around doors and windows? If so, then these need to be repaired as they provide easy access for waterbugs (and other pests) to enter your home.

Finally, you should make sure that all food is properly stored away and that your kitchen is clean. Water bugs are attracted to food sources, so by ensuring that all food is sealed away, you will make it much harder for them to find anything to eat.

giant water bugs can be attracted to damp

Are Water bugs Dangerous To Humans?

Waterbugs kill their prey by injecting them with a paralyzing toxin. This toxin is not harmful to humans, but it can cause irritation if it comes into contact with your skin. In severe cases, the toxin can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Waterbugs are also known to bite if they feel threatened. These bites are not poisonous but can be annoying (a little like a mosquito bite). If you are bitten by a waterbug, you should clean the wound with soap and water and apply an antiseptic cream.

In general, waterbugs pose no threat to humans and are more of an annoyance than anything else. However, if you have a severe allergy to their toxic fluid, then you should seek medical attention.

water bugs can cause skin irritation

How To Kill Water bugs

Water bugs are usually non-aggressive and docile pests, it is never pleasant to have them on and around your property. As a result, not only must they be killed, but also any future infestations must be prevented. Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer is one of the most efficient treatments for water bugs.

Boric acid, water bug trap, and essential oils including peppermint and lemongrass are some of the alternatives. Pouring baking soda, detergents, natural aphid vinegar spray, or alcohol into their nests can also naturally destroy water bugs.

Can an exterminator remove water bugs?

Water bugs can only be eliminated or prevented from returning to your house to a certain extent. When you see water bugs on your property, you can contact a professional pest control company as a last resort.

The experts at these businesses will eliminate most of the water bugs in your home and map out their breeding grounds and entry points. As a result, they provide a long-term solution for water bug problems.


Water bugs are attracted to many things, but the main reasons they come into your house are because of food, water, cracks and gaps in the home. So let’s summarise:

  • Waterbugs come out during the summer mainly because their damp, moist environments are drying up
  • A rise in temperature forces them to look for other water sources
  • Water bugs look very similar to cockroaches but they are larger and darker in size
  • Waterbugs mainly eat other insects, tadpoles and small fish
  • They have a 3 stage life cycle – egg, nymph and adult
  • They shed their skin
  • Water bugs can bite humans but their bite is not lethal
  • Waterbugs come into your home because of water and food sources
  • You can kill waterbugs using Diatomaceous Earth, essential oils, baking soda, vinegar spray or alcohol
  • You can use an exterminator if all else fails to remove them
water bugs can be a pest

People also ask

How do you find a water bug nest?

Waterbugs usually nest outdoors in areas that are damp and humid. However, they can also nest indoors if they find a suitable environment. To find a water bug nest, you should look for them in dark, moist places such as basements, crawl spaces, under sinks, drains and cupboards.

What is the difference between a water bug and a cockroach?

Water bugs are larger and darker than cockroaches. They also have a flattened body shape and longer legs. Cockroaches are more oval-shaped and have shorter legs.

Do water bugs crawl on beds?

Water bugs are nocturnal and subterranean insects, although they do occasionally crawl onto beds, attracted by the perspiration and skin cells that accumulate in the sheets.

water bugs can be found in your bed

How long can water bugs live?

Water bugs can live for up to one year. However, the average lifespan of a waterbug is around three to six months.

What animal eats water bugs? 

Water bugs are a food source for many animals, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. They are also eaten by other insects, such as spiders and centipedes.

What is the purpose of water bugs?

Waterbugs are predators that help to control the population of other insects and animals. They also play an important role in the decomposition of dead plants and animals.

Can water bugs come up toilets?

Waterbugs can come up toilets if they are looking for a water source. They can also enter homes through drains and cracks in the foundation.

water bugs in toilet
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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