If you have been bitten by an insect, it is natural to want to know what it was so you can prevent it from happening again. Although roaches do not normally bite humans, they will on occasion, so it is valuable to know what cockroach bites look like. Here is some information about roach bites that may be helpful.
When Do Roaches Bite People?
Cockroaches are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and meat. Many cockroaches that are household pests will eat anything from grease and feces to crumbs and wallpaper. Despite this extremely varied diet, it is still uncommon for roaches to bite humans. Cockroach bites could signal a very large infestation that is facing a food shortage. The roaches may be so desperate that they are forced to forage for other kinds of food. Cockroaches are nocturnal, so if they do bite, it will most likely occur during the night while you are sleeping. They also tend to bite areas that may accumulate food residue like the face, mouth, hands, and fingernails.
What Do Cockroach Bites Look Like?
Roach bites can be easily mistaken for other insects like bed bugs. Roach bites are bright red, raised bumps that are approximately 1-4 mm wide. They are typically slightly larger than a bed bug bite and generally only occur one at a time, while bed bugs will bite in clusters or lines. It may be very difficult to identify what caused the bite unless you actually see the culprit or can narrow it down in other ways.
Cockroach bites look very similar to bed bug bites, but may be slightly larger and less grouped. Attribution: James Heilman, MD [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
What Happens if a Roach Bites You?
A cockroach bite my cause skin irritation and swelling. It may also become itchy. It is important not to scratch roach bites so that you do not develop a secondary infection. Generally speaking, roach bites may be a nuisance, but they are not dangerous. Unlike mosquitos, ticks, and other insects, roaches do not transmit diseases through their bites. They do, however, carry germs and bacteria that they can spread wherever they travel, so it’s best to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
How Do You Treat a Roach Bite?
Some people react to a protein found in cockroach saliva. This may cause increased swelling and itchiness. Start by cleaning the bite with warm, soapy water so that infection does not develop. Then you can work on controlling the symptoms. Reduce swelling by using an ice pack, applying aloe vera gel, or discussing with a doctor about using hydrocortisone cream. Rarely, severe allergic reactions involving anaphylaxis may occur. If you start to notice signs of low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, or other severe symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Roach bites are generally nothing to worry about physically, but they definitely could be a sign of a large infestation that you were unaware of. Control roaches in your home using PF Harris products and know-how. We are America’s oldest EPA registered brand, so you can trust that PF Harris can help you get rid of roaches for good.