Do Roaches Bite?

Biting bugs seem to be hitting the headlines right and left including bed bugs, mosquitoes, kissing bugs, etc. What about a common pest like cockroaches, do roaches bite?

Food Preference

Cockroaches are omnivores which means they can consume both plants and meat. So technically yes, cockroaches could bite a human, but this would be a very rare situation. Roaches are reclusive and avoid threatening beasts such as humans.

The situation would have to be dire for a roach to go after a person. This would be a large infestation where food is cut off. Roaches do not mind rummaging around in garbage cans, so even garbage food is much more attractive than a human.

The Roach Mouth

The mouthparts of a cockroach consist of:

  • labrum
  • mandibles
  • maxillae
  • labium
  • hypo pharynx

The roach is capable of biting and chewing both hard and soft particles. In addition, cockroaches can lap up liquids. Just because they are capable of biting and chewing food does not mean they will bite and chew anything around them…especially something so ominous as a gigantic human (even infants are gigantic to roaches).

The Rare Bites

There is record of cockroaches biting people though rare. In these situations, roaches are more likely to consume fingernails, hands, feet, eyelashes, etc. The bite may cause the typical irritation and swelling that is generally associated with insect bites, but roaches carry an additional factor. Roaches like to hang out in less than sanitary conditions. Since they may have been coming in from a sewer or hanging out in rotting trash, they carry the possibility of secondary infection. Again, it is good that bite situations are rare and people typically have contacted a pest control company long before the infestation would get to this point.

Biting Back

In an interesting twist, it is more common for humans to eat roaches than the other way around. In some places such as northern China, twice-fried cockroaches in a wok are commonplace.

Booting them Before they Bite

As mentioned above, the pressure to get rid of cockroaches usually surpasses tolerance before they reach the biting level. However, don’t wait that long! if you know you have roaches or even suspect they may be lurking, tackle it right away. Rove Pest Control has technicians with years of experience solving cockroach situations even when they originate with a neighboring house or unit. They can help with identification, monitoring, and simply solving the issue from start to finish.