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Do Cockroaches Bite? Short Answers to The Popular Questions

Today, I want to talk with you about cockroaches. It seems that these annoying insects are just everywhere, in your apartments and houses, on your porches. But did you know that only 30 species of cockroaches out of 4,600 existing are associated with human habitation? And the fact that they appeared about 320 million years ago makes them practically indestructible.

In this article, I will try to reveal the most pressing questions about cockroach slopes. Do they really bite? If so, does it depend on the geographical location or the region where you live? What do roach bites look like? And finally, is there a cure for cockroach slopes? If you are interested in these and more questions, then read on.

Let’s Talk About Roaches Bites!


When I was preparing the article, I re-read hundreds of similar ones, visited millions of forums to find out what questions people are really interested in. That is why I decided to write an article not as a monologue, but as a dialogue. By the way, all questions were asked by real users on various sites.

So, can cockroaches bite or not?

It is the most popular issue! Hence, I want to start with the answer to this question. Do roaches bite? Definitely, yes! Cockroaches are omnivores. Scientists have found that they can eat both plants and meat. Therefore, human flesh is also food for roaches. Basically, they bite some “ledges” or limbs, for example, the feet, fingers or eyelids.

Such an omnivorousness is understandable. As I wrote above, cockroaches are one of the most “enduring” species of insects that appeared billions of years ago. That is why in order for them to survive, nature had to make them omnivorous.

Why and when roaches bite?

There are three main types of cockroaches that we can meet in our living quarters: German, American, and Australian. Answering the questions: “Do American cockroaches bite?” or
“Do German roaches bite?,” I found that the most harmless species are German cockroaches. It is they who least bite a person.

In truth, cockroaches, in general, rarely eat human flesh, only in cases of urgent need. For example, when their population has grown significantly and there is simply not enough food for everyone. Another possible cause may be the infection of insects. Since cockroaches are nocturnal, you should expect bites at this time of day.

How do roach bites look like (with pics)

So, you noticed some red spots on your body that clearly look like insect bites. Let’s find out now whether it’s a bite of a cockroach or the other insect. First, I want to describe how the roach bite looks like and then, I will show you some roach bites pictures. So, the signs of cockroach bites are:

  • red spots in places where the skin accumulates food supplies, for example, face, fingers or toes;
  • the size of such spots is about 1-4 millimeters;
  • they have a bright red color.

Below, you can see some examples of roach bites on humans.

examples of roach bites on humans 1 examples of roach bites on humans 2

How to treat cockroach bites?

First of all, if you notice a cockroach bite on your body, do not panic. Nothing terrible happened, it is absolutely not dangerous. In very rare cases, such bites can become a cause of something serious (for example, if you are allergic to a protein that is found in the saliva of a cockroach).

So, if you compared your bites with the cockroach bite pictures showed above, and it looks the same, you should:

  • wash the wound with soap and water to avoid possible infections and kill all germs;
  • apply a cold compress to remove swelling and itching;
  • and remember, in no case you may scratch the bite!

If you want, you can buy cockroach bite treatment at the pharmacy, but, as the practice shows, a cold compress and soap with water are enough.

How to prevent cockroach bites?

The best way to avoid being bitten by cockroaches is to avoid their appearance in your home. To do this, always try to follow very simple but effective methods:

  • follow the humidity level in your home;
  • pay particular attention to dark rooms. Cockroaches love darkness and humidity;
  • do regular cleaning;
  • do not leave food on the table.

Quick FAQ Section


There are so many different questions, so it was really hard to select the most important ones. Therefore, I decided to put four more questions in this section, and give very short answers to them.

Do roaches bite or sting?

There are insects that bite and sting. The cockroaches belong to the first group. As I mentioned before, their bites are a really uncommon thing that happens very rarely. Although cockroaches are omnivores, human flesh for them is still not as tasty as, for example, the remnants of food. Therefore, even if a cockroach bites you, do not worry, there’s no sting or poisonous substance.

Can you feel when a roach bites you?

Most likely, you will not feel how the cockroach will bite you. However, be sure, you will notice its consequences. Redness, burning, and itching are the main symptoms. Cockroaches do not bite as painfully as, for example, other insects (bees or mosquitoes). Moreover, do not forget that cockroaches are nocturnal animals. Therefore, most likely, when it bites you, you will sleep soundly.

Related Post: 7 Things to Repel Roaches

What happens if a cockroach bites you?

Nothing scary. You’ll just have small red spots on your body. Do not worry, they will pass soon. And in order for this to happen even faster, wash the wound with soap and water or disinfect it. After that, apply a cold compress for a few minutes or put a piece of ice. However, if you feel weakness, low blood pressure and nausea, then consult a doctor immediately.

Can a cockroach live without a head?

You will not believe it, but yes. A headless cockroach can survive for several weeks. First of all, this is due to the fact that the head is not such an important organ for them. The absence of a venous and arterial system, the body’s ability to breathe without a head, and a lesser need for food are the main factors that give cockroaches such a unique and unusual ability. If you want to know more, I highly recommend you to read this article about the Cockroaches Myths.

Cockroaches Bites: Summary

In this article, I tried to simply and clearly answer the most popular and bothering questions about cockroach bites.

To summarize:

  • yes, cockroaches can bite a person, however, they do this very rarely, only in cases of urgent need;
  • a cockroach bite is not dangerous, only if you have an allergy to a protein, which an insect’s saliva contains (this is a very rare case);
  • basically, cockroaches bite at night, so most likely you just won’t feel it;
  • cockroach bites are very similar to bug bites: red dots from one to four millimeters in size;
  • as a rule, cockroach bites pass by themselves, but you can speed up this process: disinfect the wound and apply something cold;
  • and lastly, yes, cockroaches can live without heads, but when headless, they certainly won’t be able to bite you.

Perhaps you still have questions? If so, feel free to ask them in the comments. I will try to answer as quickly as possible.

Also read:


  • Cockroaches (Mary Kay Malinoski, Principal Agent, University of Maryland Extension):
  • Separating Fact from Fiction: Cockroach Myths and Misconceptions(National Institute of Environmetal Health Sciences):


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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