Cockroaches bite people, but in very rare circumstances. Most areas where these insect bites are likely to occur are; the face, mouth, fingers, and hands depending on if food remains on these parts of your body at night.
Do cockroaches bite hurt?
Cockroach bites feel more or less like a bedbug bite.
Now, although these insects are quite small, their bites can be very painful.
Their bite weighs about 50 times more than their entire body weight.
However, the resulting pain is relative. So, it depends on how tolerating the victim is.
To some, cockroach bites are mild. While for others, especially allergic victims, cockroaches can cook up some allergic reactions that come with excruciating pain.
But whether mild or excruciating, most cockroach bites often cause itching, irritation, and swelling. When scratched, these marks from a cockroach bite can turn into open injuries.
If the bruised area becomes infected, it may be inflamed and can produce pus. When that happens, the pain from a cockroach bite doubles up.
Then again, according to the World Health Organisation, cockroach bites also play a supplementary role in transmitting some diseases.
This is because cockroaches are suspected carriers of pathogens that cause diarrhea, leprosy, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and poliomyelitis.
What do cockroaches’ bites look like?
If either a cockroach, a bedbug, or a mosquito bit you, the bruised part will be bright red and around 1-4 millimeters wide.
However, compared to bedbug bites, cockroach bites are larger. Not only that, but they also occur in clusters. These clusters can be in 2 -3 red patches.
Likewise, these patches come with skin swelling and itchiness. But then, if the bite area becomes infected, inflammation may also occur in the bruised area and be filled with pus.
On the flip side, bed bug bites and mosquito bites occur in a series of places on your skin.
What can lead to a cockroach bite?
As earlier said, cockroaches naturally feed on both plant materials and animal flesh.
So, if they infest your home, cockroaches would opt to feed on stored food in the house.
However, sometimes, the food substances they came to find may be scarce or weigh less than their population. When that happens, the cockroaches would starve.
In such cases, they look for alternatives.
One of these alternatives is us humans, whether dead or alive. However, this occasion is very rare. In fact, they would only move closer to bite humans when they see food remnants on our skin.
For that reason, cockroaches bite on faces, mouths, fingers, and hands.
- READ MORE: How long do cockroaches live?
Do German cockroaches bite?
Well… yes, German cockroaches can bite humans.
This is because, like other cockroaches, their mouthparts are armed with powerful mandibles and maxillae. But then, such bites are occasional.
Often, they bite when the food cannot sustain their population.
So, they look at food remains they find on human bodies.
For that reason, German cockroaches bite around the mouth, fingernails, and human hair.
As for the pain, German cockroach bites inflict only numb pain on the victim. However, the story is different for anyone who is allergic to cockroach bites.
In such cases, asthmatic attacks and dermatitis may occur. Otherwise, a bite from a German cockroach is nothing more than a mild nimble with reddish spots.
However, sometimes, the bites from German cockroaches can spread diseases like fever and diarrhea. This is because German cockroaches often live in areas next to sewers, dumpsters, and garbage disposals.
- READ MORE: How Long Can Cockroaches Live Without Food?
Do American cockroaches bite?
American cockroaches often feed on fermented foods and dead animals.
This species is known all over the world. In fact, it is believed they are the largest house infesting pests.
To identify an American cockroach, aka, water bug, look out for the normal body outline of a cockroach.
By that, we mean you should look for an oval-shaped insect with 6 legs, a well-developed head, and a filiform antenna.
Once these features click on your insect, check for reddish-brown wings with yellow patterns. If your cockroach has that and it’s about 1.6 inches, then it’s an American cockroach.
These cockroaches, like most roaches, have mandibulate mouthparts. With that, American cockroaches can bite.
But they rarely do. Often, when they bite, it must be because they found residue in your mouth, fingernails, and hair.
These bites from American cockroaches only cause mere itchiness and skin irritation. But when infected, there is an array of diseases and allergic reactions that may land an individual in the hospital wing.
- READ MORE: Can Cockroaches Survive in Water?
Do cockroaches bite dogs?
Dogs are common pets people have in their households.
So, it’s important for pet owners at home to consider the safety of their pets around roaches.
Well… we have bad news; cockroaches can bite your dogs and other pets.
However, as in humans, this roach-biting situation happens more often than not.
That means roaches, except in cases of heavy infestation or starvation, would rather not bite your pets.
Like in humans, cockroach bites create an itching sensation in dogs. They can also contaminate the foods of your pets.
When such foods are consumed by your pets, the dogs may become inflicted with diseases caused by both tapeworm and salmonella.
Of course, this becomes problematic because the symptoms that come with such diseases are very difficult to diagnose. So, watch out; at least for your precious dogs!
Can Cockroach Bite Cause Health Problems?
The short answer to this is yes; cockroach bites can pose health risks.
Although, it can happen both directly and indirectly. So, let’s explain.
Cockroach bites cause only mild pain.
Indirectly, cockroaches have been identified to be secondary transmitters of certain diseases, says, World Health Organisation. Such diseases include typhoid, dysentery, fever, and even viral infections like poliomyelitis.
Then again, heavy cockroach bites leave reddish and itchy bite marks behind.
- READ MORE: How to kill cockroaches without touching them.
How to treat a cockroach bite.
Cockroach bites give reddish skin tones around the bite area.
This condition gives the skin an odd look, and it itches a lot.
However, the first precaution to take towards treating a cockroach bite is to avoid itching.
This is because scratching would cause open wounds. Open wounds, of course, could mean an invitation to tetanus and myiasis.
With that said, let’s look at a few steps to effectively treat cockroach bites:
- Once again, avoid scratching the bite area.
- Wash off the bite area with lukewarm, soapy water. This will help to kill off any germs.
- In case of swelling, place ice packing on the bite area.
- Likewise, you can use a cocktail of baking soda and vinegar or tea bags or aloe vera, or even lemon juice.
- Whichever substance you choose above, leave it in for about 20 minutes, and then rinse off.
- In case of allergy, you can use some over-the-counter antihistamine drugs. Or better still, visit a nearby hospital.
How to Get Rid of a Cockroach Infestation.
Before cockroach bites, there must have been a heavy cockroach infestation in your house. So, the best way to prevent cockroach bites is to rid your house of the real culprit – cockroaches.
To get rid of cockroaches in your house, the following strategies can help:
- Eliminate all food sources that can attract roaches – Cockroaches love rotten plant matter and old books. Food crumbs on kitchen cabinets and tabletops are other. If all these places are free of what cockroaches can feed on, you’ve already cut down the chances of cockroach infestation by half.
- Lure and kill individual cockroaches with poison baits – Mix boric acid with sugar and water. Place in it an open jar and find a suitable location to lay it down. Within 3 days, an unfortunate cockroach that eats it will die off.
- Spray non-repellent or pyrethrin-based insecticides – Ensure to spray your entire house with insecticides. You can concentrate this spraying on dark and cool spots.
- Squash every cockroach you see with your shoe or broom – After spraying, some cockroaches will still survive. Once you spot anyone, kill it with a good smash.
- Clear the cutter – Cockroaches hide in dark and cool places. That’s why often, we sight them around newspapers, old books, cardboards, cabinets, shelves, and attics. Clean out all these places.
- Use natural repellents – Essential oils like lavender oil and lemon oils will work just fine. Bottle up a mixture of these oils and water in a spray can. Use as required.
All Roaches, whether German, American, or African, rarely bite. This is because they prefer to eat more plant materials than human flesh.
But when threatened or starved, some cockroaches switch to biting modes on areas like our mouth, nails, hair, and faces. These bites cause mere redness, itchiness, and skin irritation.
However, some cockroaches are known carriers of diseases like cholera, typhoid, and poliomyelitis. So, you must do everything to get rid of any cockroach infestation in your house.