Think You Have Cockroach Bites? Here’s How To Tell for SURE.

cockroach bites

Wondering if cockroaches can bite humans? Roaches can indeed bite people. But it is quite rare for a cockroach to bite a human because the cockroach’s food supply is extremely limited.

Though cockroaches, being omnivores, will eat plants and meat, human flesh is not on the top of their list of preferable foods. 

They will eat living and dead things and will bite human hands and feet in particular. When there are large infestations of roaches there tend to be limited food sources and they will turn to people to start taking little bites. This can cause irritation, swelling, and lesions.

You will find large populations of cockroaches on ships as they prefer to be near moisture. Since there is a limited food source on boats, many workers on the ship will wear gloves and socks while they sleep as they tend to get bit throughout the night.

Video showing two patients with likely cockroach bites

Roaches are nocturnal insects, living in the dark. If you see them during the daytime then you must have an infestation in your home. They will typically be found near moist areas including near refrigerators, under sinks, stoves, inside motors of major appliances, and in floor drains. They can also be found near washing machines and piping.

Cockroaches carry diseases and have caused asthma attacks in some people when there are many. With careful attention, you can identify cockroach activity by finding their feces around your home. These insects typically leave behind black coffee ground like feces to black pepper. Large roaches will leave behind black or brown cylindrical shaped droppings to give you an idea that there are quite a few in your home.

Vacuum often and keep the countertops clean of any food laying around. Take out trash frequently and contact a cockroach control expert who can come out and spray in familiar areas to get rid of both small and large roaches. The most common roaches found in the United States are Periplaneta Americana and Periplaneta Australasiae and they are most commonly the roaches that will bite.

To identify a cockroach bite is going to be difficult as it looks very similar to mosquito bites. They are raised red bumps on your skin and are a little larger than the mosquito bite, but they itch the same and can sometimes be painful depending on where the bite is located.

Avoid scratching the bite just like you would any other bite. However, for infestation problems that you will find new bites frequently it is best to stay away until the problem is taken care of. Otherwise you will end up with an infection. Use calamine lotion to help relieve the itch and avoid scratching. Without additional bites, these markings will eventually disappear just like any other insect bite.

Take measures in getting rid of the problem. If you choose to try to take care of it yourself you can use boric roach powder sprinkled in areas you have seen the roaches along with common places you find them. Spread the powder around the borders of the exterior of your home and along the baseboards and walls of the interior of the home.

Boric powder can be dangerous around pets. Roach gel bait may be an alternative choice as it stays in the places you put it without getting blown or distributed in areas you don’t want it. It will stick to the applied areas and stay there.

It’s very hard to remove once you put it down so make sure it is in out of reach of children and pets. Another choice of method is a spray that is pretty strong, Bengal Roach Killer. This will kill the roach on the spot, but you can spread it around the borders of rooms and around appliances to help reduce the roach infestation number. Inevitably, your best bet is calling a professional exterminator.

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy home from roaches is keeping everything clean. Vacuum regularly and never leave food out overnight. If you have neighbors that tend to be a bit messy and attract roaches, especially if you live in an apartment or condominium, it can be difficult to eradicate the roaches by just maintaining a clean place. Sometimes it just cannot be helped and you will need professional help if your attempts do not work.

As cockroaches will bite children and pets as well, make sure to keep them clean of any food markings or leftovers. Children especially tend to have some scent of food on their fingers and around their mouth.

Keep these areas clean from food smells so that the roaches are not attracted to the scent. Your pets will need to remain clean as well. You may not know if they have been bitten by a cockroach but chances are if you have been bit then they probably were.

Are You Sure it is a Cockroach?

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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