One of the ultimate survivors living on this planet is the many different species of cockroaches. They can be found across the globe, eat almost everything and are a pest in many a home and property. When there is plenty of food their diet includes meats and vegetables, cardboard, even glues. When the food is scarce they will even turn cannibal and eat other weaker cockroaches. Do cockroaches bite humans? Yes, they can do in certain situations but they do not need to bite us to survive and so bites while they can happen are less common. A cockroach might bite a person only when they have run out of other options for food essentially.
Cockroach bites are not common
While the cases recorded of bites are not many, it has happened, and it is possible more bites than have been recorded. In most cases, if a cockroach does feed on a human it will be one already deceased and they have been known then to eat fingernails, eyelashes and dead skin. Cockroaches are naturally shy of people and are mostly nocturnal. So if a cockroach bite happens it is at night when the human is sleeping and the cockroach is active. The main places they might bite a person then are the fingers, hands, face and mouth. Their bites are very strong, being more than 50 times stronger than their body weight!
Identifying cockroach bites
It is quite possible that since the bite happens when people are asleep for some cases to be mistaken for bed bug bites or even some other biting insect. But there are differences in the bite that can help you work out what caused that red and itchy bite mark on your body. If you catch the bug you can, of course, identify straight away what caused it. But since it is likely it happened while you slept that is not often possible.
The shape of the bite is similar to a bed bug bite. It goes bright red and is a little larger in size though, between 1 to 4 mm. What is also the case with cockroach bites is they are one at a time whereas bed bugs have groups of bites in a line. As with other insect bites a cockroach bite swells and is itchy. Should it get infected it can become more swollen and fill with pus.
What are the risks with a cockroach bite?
It will likely surprise you to learn that the health risk from a cockroach bite is actually less than from another biting insect like a tick or mosquito. They do not transmit disease with their bite but that said it is not completely risk-free. They are not clean insects and they carry around different pathogens and bacteria on them. Through their saliva, vomit, faeces and urine they can transmit such diseases. Some people have an allergic reaction triggered as well from either a bite or from the germs it carries and excrement it leaves on surfaces and foods.
Treating a cockroach bite
The primary reaction to a bite is to handle the swelling and reduce the risk of infection. If the swelling is extreme or an allergic reaction that affects your breathing happens then you need to seek medical care straight away.
If you do not need medical attention you should first clean the area with warm soapy water to remove germs and reduce the risk of infection. If there is a small amount of swelling use a cold compress or ice pack to reduce it. You can also take allergy medicine to ease the itchiness. There are some home remedies you can also look at. Lemon juice, aloe vera, and tea bags are things that will reduce itchiness and swelling. It is important to not scratch at the site of the bite as that can break the skin and greatly increases the chance of infection setting in.
Dealing with cockroaches
Wondering do cockroaches bite? Yes, they are and what’s worse is that some variants of cockroach even fly!
If you have a cockroach problem, your best option for getting rid of these pests is a pest control expert. If you know you have a pest situation but are unsure what the bugs are, the expert can work that out a lot easier than you can. They know where certain pests like to hide and what to look for. They know what methods work best and how often the treatment needs to happen in order for you to have effective removal of those pests. A professional pest controller can not only take care of the infestation you can also ask them for guidance on how to prevent any future issues. Stop ignoring the bites and start dealing with the situation. The quicker you act the easier it is to remove the pests.