Cockroaches are some of the most robust insects around. It’s believed they’ve been around for millions of years. There are thousands of different types of cockroaches in the world, but only a few types of roaches are found in Ontario.
Yet, these roaches can carry and spread bacteria that can make us very sick. And these pesky bugs can be difficult to get rid of. But sometimes you may wonder, ‘do cockroaches bite’? While the answer is yes, they can. It might not be something to worry about. Here’s why.
Do cockroaches bite?
Cockroaches do have the ability to bite humans, but some types are more likely to bite than others. That’s why it’s important to know the type of cockroach you have in your home. The American and Australian cockroaches are more likely to bite than other types, such as the German cockroach.
It’s also important to note that cockroaches will not always bite human skin but instead target fingernails and eyelashes. They can also be attracted to places on your body where there might be food residue, like your mouth and hands.
What does a roach bite look like?
It can be challenging to identify a cockroach bite as it can appear like any other insect bite. Moreover, if you notice something unusual on your skin, it’s possible it is not a bite but an allergic reaction to cockroaches. According to Texas A&M AgriLife, allergic skin irritations are often mistaken for insect bites.
If you have a cockroach bite, it will likely look like other insect bites. If you notice a large red lump on your skin that is itchy, there are some ways you can determine if it’s a roach bite. One of the best pieces of evidence is that you see the cockroach before they bite you. But because most cockroaches bite at night, you might not have this opportunity.
Inspect the bite site to determine if you’ve been bitten by a cockroach or another insect. A cockroach bite will appear larger than a bed bug bite. It will also be bright red between 1 mm and 4 mm wide. Bed bug bites will often appear in a straight line on your skin. But a cockroach bite will just be one bite in the area.
Cockroach bites can also be painful for some people. It’s been said that a cockroach has a bite force that is 50 times its body weight. While not everyone will be bothered by the discomfort of a cockroach bite, you may want to take an over-the-counter pain killer to help if it is too much to handle.
Why do cockroaches bite?
Cockroaches have been known to eat other roaches when food becomes scarce. That’s the same reason they might bite or eat dead skin cells. You shouldn’t need to be concerned about it unless you have a large infestation of cockroaches. In these situations, if food becomes limited, cockroaches may bite.
When cockroaches are not able to find food sources and bite humans, they’re doing it for survival. More often than not, they’re trying to eat the dead skin off your face or hands.
What happens if a cockroach bites you?
Cockroach bites are more likely to happen at night because they are nocturnal creatures and skittish. If you have a large number of cockroaches in your home, competition for food can cause them to seek out other sources. You’ll likely be sleeping when they are active, so you may not even notice the cockroach bite until you wake up.
Cockroaches are more likely to bite you in certain places, such as:
It’s essential to keep your eyes on the bite site to prevent infection. Cockroaches carry diseases and bacteria that they can pass along in their saliva. If you notice it getting larger or if there is pus in the area, seek medical treatment for the infected bite.
How to treat cockroach bites
If you suspect you have a cockroach bite, there are some ways to treat it and make it go away faster. However, contact a medical professional immediately if you start to have a serious allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. Here are some things you can do at home to help treat the cockroach bite and promote healing of the area.
When you first notice the bite, it’s vital to wash it with warm water and soap. This can remove any bacteria left behind by the cockroach. Removing germs can prevent infection of the cockroach bite site.
Should the cockroach bite start to swell, apply ice to soothe the area. Ice can also reduce the pain and itchiness of the bite.
Take allergy medication
If you’re finding the itchiness of the cockroach bite is too much, you can take over-the-counter allergy medicine with an antihistamine.
Like with other insect bites, scratching a cockroach bite can make it worse. This is because you can open the area, and bacteria can get inside, causing infection.
Some people have found that treating the cockroach bite with safe home remedies can also reduce swelling and itching. You can try applying lemon juice to the site or put a tea bag over the area. It can also be beneficial to use aloe vera. This cream promotes healing and reduces the chance of infection.
Get rid of cockroaches
The best way to prevent more cockroach bites is to eliminate them from your space. You can do this in a number of ways, including store-bought cockroach traps. However, the most effective method of getting rid of cockroaches and preventing further roach bites is to call a professional.
Professional cockroach exterminators know how to remove the pest quickly and efficiently from your home. They have the tools and experience needed to get it done correctly the first time. So, you won’t have to worry about cockroach bites again.