Do Cockroaches Bite?

November 24, 2017


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 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 other pests that are more than likely the culprits.

A cockroach crawling on a butter dish

What Type Of Insect Bit Me?

Before blaming roaches, look into the possibility the bite you are seeing is a result of spiders, mosquitoes, bed bugs, fleas, ticks, or bird mites, all of which are treatable by our pest control technicians. If you have bug bites, unfortunately even medical professionals cannot definitively determine the type of insect that bit you based on the bite alone.

We recommend an inspection of your home be done to try to identify if any of the above insects are present. There have been times we have done a thorough home inspection and have found no evidence of any insects, which has helped people determine they have a skin irritation instead of a bug bite.

Why Do Cockroaches Bite?

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. If a cockroach bites, its intent isn’t to hurt you. Usually when cockroaches do bite, there is a very large infestation which causes there to be a food shortage. When the roaches get desperate they start looking for other food options they don’t normally eat, like dried skin flakes.

The area of a person they are most likely to bite would be where food may accumulate, like the face, mouth, hands or fingernails. They are looking for food and are more than likely inadvertently attracted to food on you or next to you, something that can happen if you eat food in bed or fall asleep with food remnants on your body.

What Do Cockroach Bites Look Like?

Roach bites are bright red and will cause there to be small raised bumps on your skin. They will likely be slightly larger than bed bug bites and there will usually only be one bite. Bed bugs bites would be more likely to occur in a line or a cluster. It is very difficult to identify which insect bit you based on a bite mark. We recommend scheduling an inspection of your home with a pest control professional so that if any insects that bite are present, they can be identified.

What Type Of Cockroaches Bite?

The most likely type of roach to bite you in South Florida would be the American cockroach, often called a palmetto bug or water bug. These are generally large roaches around two 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 if not treated.

We have treated many homes and condos in the South Florida area before that have had roaches crawling up walls, on ceilings, and behind picture frames. Since German roaches do not live outside, they are often a problem in townhomes and condos, since they can travel from adjacent units through the walls.

If You See A Cockroach In South Florida, Contact Us

At Native Pest Management we provide pet safe pest control services in West Palm Beach and its surrounding communities like Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Jupiter, Wellington, and all of Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, and St. Lucie counties. 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 insects that are in your home.




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