Dead cockroach on floor

What will happen if a cockroach bites you?

Do Cockroaches Bite?

Roach bites are rather rare. Roaches prefer actual food to humans. They are omnivores, which means they will eat both plants and animals. All kinds of fatty, sugary, meaty, and starchy foods are among their favorites. Even paper and clothes are fair game.

Generally speaking, cockroaches will not bite humans. In fact, roach bites are so uncommon that they hardly ever occur. Cockroach bites on people have only been recorded a handful of times throughout history.

Roaches don’t bite as a natural defensive mechanism or as a means of attack like other insects do. Their mouth parts are so weak that they can’t even cut through a human’s skin.

Usually, when people suspect that cockroaches might be biting them it’s more that they are simply picking at food crumbs or dead skin. Cockroaches often stay away from people, so even that scenario is unusual. The only time they’ll come looking for you is when they have no other option.

What Would Make Cockroaches Bite Humans?

There are two primary explanations for why a cockroach might bite you, none of which include the cockroach’s intention to harm you.

The first reason roaches bite is because they can detect food on your skin. Food is more appealing to cockroaches than biting humans is. And so, you might get bitten if you have food scent on your skin and a cockroach happens to be crawling on you.

The second potential cause of cockroach bites is an infestation that has surpassed the food source in or near your home.

Cockroaches may resort to biting humans if they run out of other food sources such as garbage, spilled food, crumbs on the floor, or leftovers in sinks. And this would only occur in the most severe of circumstances.

Do Cockroach Bites Hurt?

Whether or not a cockroach bite is painful is entirely dependent on the person and the situation. Every case is different, and different people handle pain in different ways.

A roach bite may feel like a pinching sensation or sharp pain. The initial bite should only be painful for a few seconds. Some people may not even notice a bite.

If a cockroach bite turns into an infection, it could cause you a lot of pain. We’ll come back to that later. But that pain will be caused by an infection, not by the bite itself.


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