How To Get Rid Of Water Bugs? (Fast & Easy Methods)

Bugs are every homeowner’s nightmare; they can be destructive, disruptive, and sometimes hazardous to your health, not to mention that the water bug itself is one of the most difficult house bug species to eradicate.

“Water bugs” is the colloquial term given to the common cockroaches often found in homes. Water bugs may be challenging to deal with but not impossible to eradicate. So, if you’re dealing with an infestation and are wondering how to get rid of waterbugs, this article will give you insight into eliminating them quickly and efficiently.

Before you call professional exterminators, you can use several substances to repel water bugs. They include boric acid solutions, diatomaceous earth, peppermint oil spray, chemical insecticides, or commercial-grade bug repellants.

Read on for more information on identifying water bugs and using these repellents to keep the little pests away permanently.

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How to Identify the Water Bug?

Water bugs love to hang out around damp corners. This could be in your bathroom, kitchen, or a moist basement. Hence the colloquialism, “water bug”. They can typically live for up to a month without food but will not last longer than a week without water.

These insects are drawn to places with bits of food and warmth as they are conducive for them to feed, breed, and reproduce in their numbers. If this thought makes your skin crawl, you must be looking for what to get rid of them as fast as possible.

Before elimination, you must determine the exact kind of bug you’re dealing with. As mentioned earlier, Water bugs refer to varieties of cockroaches. However, there are true waterbugs that are often found in bodies of water, but experts say you are not likely to find them inside your home.

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What Are The Differences Between Water Bugs & Waterbugs?

“Water bugs” and “Waterbugs” are two different kinds of insects. Water bugs refer to any of these three common varieties of cockroaches; Oriental roaches, American roaches, or Smoky Brown roaches.

These domestic cockroaches reproduce near water and can grow up to 2 inches long in their adult stage. They are reddish-brown and can sometimes develop wings that allow them to fly (as if they weren’t scary enough).

On the other hand, waterbugs, also known as true waterbugs are much larger aquatic insects found inside bodies of water like streams or ponds. Unlike cockroaches, they can grow up to five inches in length, which makes them appear more formidable.

Thankfully, the chances that you’ll find a true waterbug in your house are slim, so you will not deal with any 5-inch insects anytime soon. True waterbugs have large pinchers, while cockroaches have thin long antennae. Roaches are also reddish-brown, while waterbugs are more dark brownish.

Besides their noticeable difference in size, roaches cannot directly harm humans except by transmission of diseases. At the same time, waterbugs can sometimes bite with their pinchers if they feel threatened or disturbed. This is why a waterbug is sometimes called the toe-biter.

Now that you know these differences, let’s look at ways to eliminate water bugs or cockroaches.

What Are Some Ways To Get Rid Of Water Bugs?


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Water bugs or cockroaches are good at hiding in dark, damp crevices. They also lay eggs that can yield as many as 14 roaches in one egg casing. This makes them somewhat tricky pests to eradicate, so you must be thorough in your measures of eradication.

The first step to dealing with these little pests is to find the dark crevices they’ve made their home. You’ll likely find them between cupboards, under sinks, and inside cabinets. You are also likely to find their eggs there too.

While eradicating them, remember to get rid of their eggs to ensure they do not reproduce any further. Once you find their hiding places, you can employ any of the following solutions to eradicate them.

Here are some simple solutions to getting rid of water bugs;

1. Boric Acid

Boric acid is one of the most lethal substances to household bugs, water bugs included. This powder dehydrates roaches once they come in contact with it and eventually kills them.

The best way to use boric acid is by sprinkling a thin layer of the powder around the perimeter of the water bugs’ hideout. Be careful not to put too much, as roaches tend to avoid thick layers of powder.

You can also sprinkle some of the powder or sprinkle essential oils like peppermint around your doors, window sills, and other entry points to deter roaches from coming close.

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) is also an effective way to eliminate water bugs. In its food-grade formula, this substance contains fossilized algae capable of cutting into the hard exoskeletons of cockroaches and dehydrating them.

You can bait roaches into ingesting Diatomaceous Earth by mixing it with dry, powdered sugar or other powdery food substances. Food grade D.E. is safe to use around pets and children. However, try not to inhale it when applying it.

When mixed, sprinkle thin layers of the D.E. around dark crevices and corners. You can also sprinkle some outside your building to discourage cockroaches from entering. If appropriately used, D.E. works within minutes.

3. Glue Traps And Baits

An easy way to get rid of water bugs is by using cockroach traps. They are usually in the form of glue strips or glue boards. Non-toxic Cockroach glue traps keep the roaches immobile; staying in this position eventually weakens and kills them off.

Before installing these glue traps, it is best to use food crumbs as bait to lure the water bugs. Once they are trapped, you can carry the bugs far away from your house and dispose of them before setting the traps up one more time.

4. Chemical Sprays

While this may not be the safest option due to its toxicity, chemical sprays are also an effective solution to ridding your house of water bugs. Any commercial-grade pesticide, bug spray, or repellant will quickly eliminate water bugs from your property.

When using these sprays, ensure you properly cover your nose and mouth with masks and protect your hands with gloves.

If you come in direct contact with them, wash your hands thoroughly before handling food and make sure all food substances are closed before application.

How Can I Prevent Water Bugs From Coming Back?


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If you’ve succeeded in chasing the little pests out of your home, you must be wondering how to stop them from ever making a return. Here are some simple measures you can employ to keep them away forever:

1. Seal All Access Points

Cockroaches must’ve found their way into your house through small entrances like cracks in the wall, broken window sills, or holes in the building foundation. Sealing these entrances using caulk is best to ensure they do not reappear.

After sealing, you can also sprinkle some Diatomaceous Earth or boric acid around those areas every few weeks. Doing this will ensure that even if the bugs try to come back, they will be warded off by these lethal substances.

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2. Ensure You Fix Leaky Pipes And Faucets

If you have any leaky water pipes or faucets that can contribute to making your house damp, get them fixed immediately. Additionally, ensure you air out your house as often as possible. Even if you have no leaky pipes, droplets of moisture in the air can dampen the environment and cause high levels of humidity. Hence, airing out your furniture, clothes, and upholstery is advisable.

3. Keep Your House Clean

Roaches will be discouraged from visiting you if you keep a clean house. Carry out regular sanitation and dispose of any food crumbs, garbage, dirt, or litter. These bugs thrive in dirty environments.

Besides cleaning the inside of your house, ensure that there are no dirty dishes, dirty toilets, gutters, or stagnant bodies of water in your surroundings. Clean your pools and gutters regularly and invest in proper drainage systems to keep the bugs away.

4. Always Cover Your Food

Whether it’s your food or for your pets or children, use tight lids always to cover it. If you store your food in open containers or carelessly closed bowls, you might just be serving it on a platter to the cockroaches lurking around in your cabinets.

Besides feeding the bugs, leaving your food open leaves you at risk of getting contaminated. Some cockroaches carry disease-causing bacteria like salmonella and the like. Once they touch your food and you consume it, you may find yourself rushing to the emergency room in no time.

5. Call A Professional

Do not wait until you experience a water bug infestation before carrying out fumigation in your home. Experts advise regularly disinfecting and fumigating your home every few months to keep it safe.

As you may not be thorough while doing it yourself, it is best to contact professional pest control services to help you fumigate inside and outside your house. Once they are done, ensure your air is out and thoroughly clean the house before settling in again.

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Water bugs, also known as oriental cockroaches, thrive around damp, dark areas often filled with dirt. The best way to eliminate them is by using boric acid, Diatomaceous Earth, chemical sprays, bug repellents, or glue traps.

Before extermination, close all entry points with caulk and clean any hiding places. To prevent water bugs from returning, keep a clean, dry house, and get rid of any dirty gutters or stagnant bodies of water in your surroundings.

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