Cockroaches are one of the most popular pests in the UK. What do they look like? How do you know if they’ve been in your home? Here’s everything you need to know about cockroaches and their bites.
Do Cockroaches Bite?
When we say “most of the time,” it’s 99%. Roaches don’t bite very often, so it almost never happens when they do. Although the documented instances of cockroach bites on humans throughout history are slim, members of the public seem to be fascinated by issue.
Some animals use bites to pierce through tough materials, but that’s not true of roaches. Even if they did, their mouthparts wouldn’t be strong enough to penetrate human skin, making biting a completely ineffective defense mechanism for them. The chances of being bitten by a cockroach are slim, as most prefer to stay out of the way and avoid human contact. They won’t seek-out humans unless they have no other option.
You may be able to find some evidence of insects on your skin, such as insect bites. However, you should be able to locate them on the bottom of your feet, underneath furniture or in the corners or shadows of your home. In these cases, they’re most likely not from cockroaches.
In What Situation Would Cockroaches Bite Humans?
There are many reasons why cockroaches might try to bite humans. Perhaps the only reason why is that if they’re starving and there’s no other food source for them, then they might go after a human with their sharp claws.
If cockroach populations are left unchecked, they could suddenly go on the run from their usual foods.
What this means is that they are rarely aggressive and don’t bite unless they feel threatened.
Where Do Cockroaches Bite?
Looking for where cockroaches bite? Below are some of the most common spots where these insects like to inflict their searing pain:
Face: Cockroaches love to feed on human sweat and tears, so they’ll often zero in on the face. Watch for telltale red welts and pockmarks where they’ve settled in for a long stay.
Mouth: You’re not likely to see roaches crawling up your nose, but if you have any food or drink leftovers near your snack station or dishwasher area, be sure to keep an eye out for them scavenging. They also enjoy nibbling on lips and cheeks. And, of course, they love our salty lunchtime perspiration!
Fingers: Cockroaches aren’t fussy eaters – they’ll happily munch away on fingers and hands if they can find them. If someone has handled raw meat recently, be sure to rinse your hands well and don’t leave any leftovers near places where cockroaches are known to frequent.
Hands: Roaches like warm cramped spaces so they’re frequently found living on the undersides of kitchen cabinets, behind loose wallpaper (particularly near windows), or in any other inaccessible spot where the temperature is high and there’s little air circulation.
What Do Roach Bites Look Like?
Most people are familiar with the classic roach bite – a big, red welt that appears on the skin after being bitten by a roach. But beyond just looks, there’s another important detail to know about roach bites: what they feel like.
While all biting insects cause some level of pain when they bite, the intensity and duration of that pain will vary depending on what part of the body is bitten. Generally speaking, bites near the head or feet will be the most intense, while those around the middle or lower torso can be less severe.
Roaches also tend to leave smaller bites than other types of biting insects. This is partly due to their small size and partly because their claws aren’t as sharp – so even if you do get an intense bite, it isn’t likely to result in major injury. If you fear getting bitten by insects, you can use insect repellents to protect yourself from stinging insects.
A cockroach’s jaws are lined with sharp teeth that can pierce flesh. In addition to their mouthparts, cockroaches have two very long antennae that they use to sense their surroundings. These insects are attracted to light and will run away from it; so if you’re trying to identify one in your home, turn on a light and watch it run!