Is That A Cockroach Bite? Here’s 5 Ways To Tell

by | Last updated Jul 17, 2023 | Roaches

What’s the only thing worse than opening a kitchen cupboard only to discover a family of cockroaches scurrying out? Answer: the fact that the answer to ‘do cockroaches bite’ is 100% yes.

But no, cockroaches don’t have teeth. It’s actually the mandibles that do the biting, with those mouthparts designed to chew and tear food rather than nip us humans. Those mandibles, however, are remarkably strong and powerful for this critters’ size, even though the good news is that we’re not talking about a Great White Shark here – and a cockroach bite isn’t even going to hurt very much. To simulate the feeling, pinch your skill until it stings just a little bit – perhaps just enough to leave a red mark behind.

Can roaches bite? Yes, they can and do!

Don’t forget, though, cockroaches are dirty. In fact, they absolutely love filth, and some of their favorite foods are what we would consider to be rotting garbage. They hang out in sewers, bins, and brains, they carry bacteria including the dreaded Salmonella and E. coli and Staphylococcus, and plenty of other pathogens and nasty microorganisms too, and they spread it around in their saliva, skin, and poop.

It’s also possible that the allergens produced by a cockroach can trigger allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in some people – and even a secondary infection if you don’t immediately clean and disinfect the bites.

But how else do you know if you’ve been bitten by a cockroach?:

1. You never notice at all

Do cockroaches bite humans in their sleep? Absolutely – and you’ll probably never know. If you’re not allergic and you don’t feel enough to wake up and scratch it, you may never feel or see a thing.

2. You see a small, raised bump

If you see a small, raised, red mosquito bite-like bite on your skin, that could be a roach bite for sure.

3. It’s itchy or mildly uncomfortable

If you feel anything from those roach bites, it shouldn’t be much. In fact, a cockroach bite that doesn’t infect will normally feel better than many other insect bites.

4. It’s red and swollen

If that cockroach bite is a particularly nasty one, though, it will be redder than usual and the skin around the bite area may become swollen. But don’t worry too much – the reaction should stay right where it is and go away in a few days.

5. Your skin is irritated

If you’re getting a stronger-than-normal reaction, the area surrounding the bite itself may become inflamed – it may even be so bad that it’s a rash. The likelihood of this rises a lot if you scratch that bite too much or you have particularly sensitive skin.


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Never worry about a cockroach bite again!

If you’re bite really is bothering you, give the area a good (but gentle) scrub with mild soap and water, and then:

  • Pat the area dry
  • Don’t rub or scratch
  • Apply a mild antiseptic or hydrocortisone cream
  • Monitor for infection.

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