Do Cockroaches Bite?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is you will most likely never be bitten by a cockroach in your life. Cockroaches are omnivores and mainly eat items such as decaying matter, paper, books, sweets, hair, and meats. Oh, and fortunately for us, they eat cockroach bait too!
While cockroaches, often called palmetto bugs in South Florida, can technically bite…we have never once had a customer tell us they have been bitten by one. If you believe you’ve been bitten by an insect, there a few more likely culprits. Before blaming roaches, look into the possibility the bite you are seeing is a result of spiders, mosquitoes, bed bugs, fleas, or mites.
You may think that your local pest professional can diagnose the type of insect bite you have, but unfortunately this is not the case. Even medical doctors often cannot definitively determine the type of insect bite based solely on an inspection of the bitten area of skin. If you are being bitten by insects, we recommend you contact us for a free inspection. During an inspection, our trained pest professionals can determine the type of insect that is infesting your home that may also be biting you or your family members.
Why Would A Cockroach Bite You?
It’s fair to say you hate cockroaches. Don’t worry, the feeling is mutual. Cockroaches generally dislike our presence and will not go out of their way to bite you. History tells us that most reports of cockroach bites actually come from ships. When there is a lack of food (which can be likely for roaches stranded on a ship,) they don’t tend to have many food options.
One of many foods cockroaches eat are dried skin flakes. When times get tough, roaches get hungry, and your dried skin can be an attractive option. If a cockroach bites, its intent isn’t to hurt you. They are just looking for food and are more than likely inadvertently attracted to food on you or next to you. This can happen if you eat food in bed or fall asleep with food remnants on your hands or mouth.
What Does a Cockroach Bite Look Like?
The most obvious indicator that you have a cockroach bite is if you saw one bite you! Without visual evidence of an insect bite, we recommend ruling out other insects as the aggressors before blaming a cockroach. Do you notice a lot of mosquitoes on your property? Have you seen any spiders recently or webs inside the house? Have you traveled recently to a hotel or slept at a location other than your home, possibly bringing bedbugs home by mistake? All of these are more likely causes of your bite than a cockroach.
If you truly think you may have been bitten by a cockroach, start by analyzing the size of the bite. A cockroach bite would be slightly larger than a typical bedbug bite. You would also probably only see one bite from a cockroach, whereas a mosquito, flea or bedbug will likely cause multiple bites. Like many other bites, the skin would appear bright red in the bitten area and also would raise up slightly due to inflammation.
What Type Of Cockroaches Bite?
The most likely type of roach to get bite you in South Florida would be the American cockroach, often called a palmetto bug or water bug. These are generally large roaches around 2 inches in length, reddish brown in color, and the adults have wings. American cockroaches travel quickly and primarily live in sewers and outdoors.
German cockroaches are another type of roach that is common in our tropical area, that may also bite.They usually only live indoors and while smaller in size than American cockroaches, they reproduce more rapidly. While they are less visibly frightening than American cockroaches, they can often multiply into the hundreds or thousands inside a single home if not treated.