Cockroaches That Look Like Crickets – Easy To Miss

With their rather similar looks, it isn’t a surprise that many people often confuse cockroaches for crickets.

Sure, crickets and cockroaches may belong to a completely different insect family, but there is no denying that a quick glance could easily confuse their similar colors and long antennas. 

In this article, we are going to explore the following:

  • Why people confuse cockroaches and crickets
  • Which cockroaches could be mistaken for crickets
  • How to tell the difference between a cricket and a cockroach

Why Do People Confuse Cockroaches And Crickets?

Cockroaches and crickets are both classed as insects. However, they belong to completely different families of insects. There is no relation between the two of them.

However, this doesn’t really stop there being similarities. In fact, it is pretty easy to mistake a cockroach and a cricket if you aren’t quite sure what you are looking for.

Both Have Wings

Yep. That is right.

While crickets are known for hopping about everywhere, and cockroaches are known for scurrying about on the floor, both of these insects can fly.

If you look closely at their backs, both will have wings. However, it is rare that either of them will use them.

The way that their wings look is one of the main ways to tell the two apart, although we will talk more about that later on.

Both Have Similar Colorings

The vast majority of crickets, and all of the cockroaches that you are likely to encounter, will have a black or brown color to them.

The shade is so similar that it is from a distance, it can be incredibly difficult to tell whether you are looking at cricket or a cockroach.

Both Have Long Antenna

Crickets and cockroaches both have long antennae coming from their heads. In fact, if a cockroach and a cricket are roughly the same size as one another, then their antenna will be roughly the same length too.

Similar Body Shape 

Yes. Cockroaches and crickets do have body shapes that are ever so slightly different from one another (more on that in a short while), but a quick glance will have you mixing the two of them up.

The Most Common Cockroaches Mistaken For Crickets

While there are thousands of different cockroach species, there are only four that you are ever likely to see. These are the four that live in North America, as well as throughout some parts of Europe.

The thing is that all four of these species of cockroaches can look exactly like a cricket, some more so than others. 

German Cockroach

It is likely going to be the German cockroach that most people mistake for a cricket. This is because it is incredibly small, and the same can be said for many different cricket species. 

The small size of the German cockroach makes it harder to spot the features that make it unique from a cricket. 

Not only this, but the black bands on the German cockroach’s head are very similar to the black bands found on the head of a house cricket.

Although, the black bands on the head of a German cockroach are vertical, while they are horizontal on a house cricket.

Not that many people will be considering the placement of the bands too much “in the moment” 

Oriental Cockroach

The Oriental Cockroach is black. It is the only black cockroach that can be found in the United States.

The oriental cockroach is often confused with the Southeastern Field Cricket, simply because the two of them are roughly the same size. They are also completely black in their colorings.

Southeastern Field Cricket

Brown-Banded Cockroach

As the name suggests, the brown-banded cockroach has bands. The body is mostly black, with yellow horizontal bands across it.

This cockroach is often mistaken for the banded cricket. While the banded cricket is native to Asia, it has gained popularity as a reptile food for pet owners. As a result, it has started to appear in North America and other parts of the world.

Banded cricket

Sure, the coloring of the brown-banded cockroach and the banded cricket is slightly different but, once again, if you only took a glance at the two animals, it would be incredibly difficult to tell the difference between the two of them. 

American Cockroach

By American-cockroach.jpg: Gary Alpertderivative work: B kimmel (talk) - American-cockroach.jpg, CC BY 2.5,

Honestly, this is going to be the cockroach less likely to be misidentified as a cricket. This is because it is the largest cockroach on this list.

Therefore, it should be pretty easy to see the features that will differentiate it from your typical cricket.

Still, it has very similar colorings to your typical cricket. Some would also argue that because the hind legs are considerably larger than the front two pairs of legs, the look is very similar to that of a cricket.

After all, crickets are known for having incredibly powerful hind legs so that they can hop around everywhere. 

How To Tell The Difference Between a Cricket And A Cockroach

That all leads us neatly to this section. We want to tell you exactly how you can tell the difference between a cricket and a cockroach. This way you will never mistake the two of them again, even if they can look similar at a glance.


As we said previously, both crickets and cockroaches have wings. However, the placement of the wings is going to be very different.

If you look at the back of a cricket, the wings are going to be immediately obvious. They are attached to their body, and you can clearly see that they have wings.

Even if the cricket is never actually flapping their wings, you know that they are going to be there.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, have hidden wings. You won’t be able to tell that they have wings just by looking at them. You will need them to open them up, which they very rarely do.

Because cockroach wings are well hidden (behind the outer layer of their body), some people have likened a cockroach flapping their wings as being similar to opening up their body.

You are more likely to see this behavior in the American Cockroach, a species of cricket that can often be caught gliding.


This is probably going to be the biggest telltale sign that you are looking at a cockroach instead of a cricket (or vise versa)

Both crickets and cockroaches have six legs, which is why many people confuse the two of them in the first place. However, their legs are ever so slightly different.

If you look at a cockroach, their legs will go underneath their body. Even though it may not look like it from the top, all of their legs should be a roughly equal length too.

This is completely different from cricket. You will be able to see exactly where their legs are attached (generally to the side of the body).

However, the most prominent feature will be the fact that their hind legs are much larger than their other four legs. It is these powerful legs that allow them to hop around with ease.


While we are on the subject of movement, the way in which these animals get from A to B is accomplished in a completely different way. If you can’t tell whether you are looking at a cockroach or a cricket, watch how they move. 

A cricket will hop around. A cockroach will walk. As we said, while they are both capable of flying, you are probably not going to witness them doing this. 

Body Shape

Unless you are looking very closely, you can be forgiven for believing that the body of a cricket and a cockroach have the same body shape. However, they don’t. 

A cockroach has a much flatter body., It will be almost oval in shape. The outside of their body will look very hard too, almost like a shell. This is how they protect themselves.

A cricket will have a thinner body, and it will be quite long. They do not have the tough outer shell that a cockroach may have.


Crickets are known for that irritating chirping sound that they often make when you are trying to fall asleep at night. For the most part, cockroaches aren’t going to make a sound.

Well, they can hiss, but it can be very difficult to hear this.

If you notice a chirping sound coming from the insect that you are looking at, then it is 100% guaranteed to be a cricket. Cockroaches cannot make that sound at all.


Most of the common cockroaches in the US can easily be mistaken for a cricket. However, once you know what you are looking for, it is easy to tell the difference between cockroaches and crickets.

They have different body shapes, and while they have 6 legs, they are built slightly differently. Armed with a bit of knowledge, you will never confuse crickets and cockroaches again. 

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

How Often Do Cockroaches Reproduce?

How Much Do Cockroaches Eat?

What Do Cockroaches Eat – I Was Not Expecting This

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page

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