June 6, 2024

Do Cockroaches Bite? Explaining these Unwelcome Pests

Finding a cockroach inside is never an ideal situation. These pests are known to spread bacteria and eat about anything in your home. Getting rid of cockroaches is no easy task either. They often hide in inaccessible areas and stay concealed until night.

Spotting a cockroach indoors also may leave you wondering, do cockroaches bite? This article will discuss common cockroach species and uncover if these pests truly bite. 

The Most Common Cockroach Species

Over 4,000 species of cockroaches inhabit the world, but only a few occupy homes in the United States. The most common cockroach in America is the German cockroach, but you may also see the American cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, and the oriental cockroach. 

The American cockroach is the largest species in the United States and can grow up to two inches long. In comparison, the German cockroach can grow no larger than half an inch on average. 

Many of the common cockroach species you see inside won’t fly. American cockroaches can use their wings to glide short distances, but you are unlikely to see any other types catching much air.

Areas that Cockroaches Inhabit

While most cockroach species prefer to live outdoors, some roaches like the German cockroach have to live near humans to survive. Unlike their other relatives, these roaches rely on commercial and residential homes for warmth, food, and water. 

Unfortunately, our homes become sanctuaries for these pests. Sharing a space with cockroaches is nerve-wracking as they feed on your food and spread bacteria around your home.

You can find cockroaches living in cabinets, especially under sinks or in your bathroom. These pests can hide under fridges and stoves or inside pantries and walls. If you suspect you have an infestation, look in damp areas and try to move your appliances to check for signs of roaches. 

Look for dark brown droppings or egg casings as indications of a roach population. If you spot any of these signs in your home, contact us here for a free quote.

Cockroaches can be hard to get rid of on your own. Empty egg casings suggest the presence of new roaches in your home. Some species of cockroaches can breed quickly, like the German cockroach. These pests can lay around 40-50 eggs every four to six weeks. 

Do Cockroaches Bite?

So, do cockroaches bite humans? Unfortunately, these pests will occasionally bite humans, but it is extremely rare. 

A cockroach’s diet consists of almost anything they stumble upon. Cockroaches will gravitate towards any crumbs or uncovered foods. You can also find these pests crawling over your pet's food or inside your garbage, ready to take a bite. 

If a cockroach can’t find “normal” sources of food, it will turn to other things in your home, like the glue from your book bindings, soaps, or pet waste. Keeping your home clean is the best way to prevent and slim down a roach population. 

Roaches typically bite humans only if there are no other food sources available. Instead of biting at your skin, cockroaches will more likely try to eat your hair, eyelashes, or fingernails. 

While this visual is unnerving, it isn’t a likely scenario. Roaches will feast on almost anything, and it’s unlikely they will run out of things to eat. 

Cockroach Bite Care

Cockroach bites resemble other small bug bites. Most roaches do not have large mouths, so you shouldn’t have significant marks on your skin. If you wake up with multiple bites grouped together, you could have another pest in your home, like bed bugs. 

Treat cockroach bites like most other insect bites or stings. Cockroaches do not spread diseases, but they are unsanitary creatures. Clean the bites with soap and water to remove any lingering bacteria. 

Washing hands

If you experience any pain or swelling, apply a cold pack to the area. While you shouldn’t have any additional side effects, visit a doctor if your wounds show any sign of infection. Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Heat
  • Pain
  • Pus
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Discharge
  • Itching
  • Tenderness
  • Odor
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Do Cockroaches Bite Pets?

If you have a furry friend, you may also be concerned about their wellbeing. Do cockroaches bite cats and dogs?

Typically, a cockroach won’t approach your pets. They will prefer to find other forms of nourishment before trying to take a bite out of something that resembles a threat. 

When lacking a food source, roaches could bite your animals. It’s unlikely they would cause any harm, and the insects would be more interested in their hair. 

Your pet's fur may make it difficult to see any bites on their skin. If they begin scratching or appear uncomfortable, it could be helpful to take them to a vet to figure out the cause and find an appropriate treatment. 

This article offers some helpful tips for what to do when a bug bites your pet.

Eliminating Roaches in Your Home

You have options when it comes to removing cockroaches from your property. Many bug sprays and pesticides repel insects and even kill them on contact. Be mindful of spraying chemicals around your home, especially if you have children or pets.

Cockroach baits also help eliminate roaches. Place the bait in areas they may frequent, like your pantry or inside your cabinets. The roaches will consume the bait and carry the poison back to the nest, wiping out their population. 

There are natural solutions to handling cockroach populations, as well. Diatomaceous earth is safe for animals and people, so you won’t have to worry about your pet consuming anything toxic.

As the roaches eat the powdery substance, the particles in the diatomaceous earth break down their bodies and make it difficult to retain water. This will take care of any roaches out and about, but it may not impact the remaining insects in your home.

You can similarly use baking soda mixed with sugar to combat cockroaches. Because the mixture is toxic to the roaches, they will die soon after consuming it. Here’s a video to better explain how to make baking soda cockroach bait. 

Because many cockroach species pick difficult to reach nesting areas, it is hard to know if you have eliminated them all. Some DIY options like sprays or baits can help control a portion of the population, but they won’t impact most of the roaches in your home. 

If you are struggling with cockroaches, contact us today. With our pest control services, we can locate the cockroach nest and make sure to eliminate the population in your home.

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