Do Cockroaches Bite?|Symptoms, First Aid, Treatment for Cockroach Bite

Do Cockroaches Bite?

Cockroaches eat both meat and plants hence belong to the category omnivores that include eggs, insects, fungi and algae. It has been recorded that the cockroaches prey on the human flesh (living and dead). They are more prone to bite hands, feet, eyelashes and fingernails. The bites cause swelling, irritation or lesions. Small wound infections are found in few people.

Do Cockroaches Bite

Cockroaches are less likely to bite human beings (living) except in cases where the food is limited due to extremely high cockroach population. Cockroaches do not bite humans in majority of the situations when there is an adequate food resource available like garbage cans and exposed food. Cockroach population can grow faster than the normal food sources if their numbers are left unchecked. The cockroaches will be enforced to search more for food when the food becomes limited and they forage more on things they do not consume usually. Usually, pest control is contacted before the populations of the cockroaches reach these levels.

The most serious case of cockroaches biting humans are found in ships. It has been observed that certain cockroaches on seafaring vessels have become innumerable that they bit the nails and skin of the people on board. Certain sailors even reported of wearing gloves to protect their fingers from the bite of the cockroaches.

It is the Periplanetaaustralasiae and the Periplaneta americana are the two cockroach species that are most probable to bite humans on ships. German cockroaches are also known for biting the humans.

Bites of cockroaches are not fatal but they can cause secondary infections and allergies. So, instead of ignoring them, visit a physician.

What are the Symptoms of Cockroach Bite?

There are some symptoms of cockroach bite which include:

  • The appearances of red colored bumps are the initial symptoms of a cockroach bite. These red colored bumps are a little bigger than mosquito bites and these bites are very similar to scab. Scratching these bumps can cause further problems such as inflammation and other complexities.
  • The cockroach bites also produce skin rashes and redness similar to many other mosquito bites.
  • One can observe a group of bumps at the location of the cockroach bite in course of time besides the swelling and rashes.

What is the First Aid for Cockroach Bite?

If someone is bitten by a cockroach, the first aid is to wash the bite with soap and water. Apply ice to the area if there is swelling. Scraping the bumps may infect the bites hence avoid scratching. First aid for cockroach bite includes aloe Vera gel, tea bags, lemon juice and a combination of water and baking soda. It is advisable to consult a doctor immediately if there is a harsh allergic reaction to the cockroach bite and this is very necessary for the people who suffer from medical illnesses or asthma allergies especially the children and elderly.

  • The first aid for a cockroach bite is to apply ice cube or cold pack on the cockroach bite and it brings down the swelling and inflammation.
  • Rubbing a piece of sliced onion instantly on the cockroach bite brings out the toxin, germs and other substances and is a good first aid.
  • Applying alcohol on cockroach bite reduces inflammation and prevents infection as it acts as solvent & an antiseptic.
  • Administer baking soda paste to the cockroach bite that is made with a teaspoon of water and baking soda. Leave it for fifteen to twenty minutes. The alkalinity of baking soda neutralizes the acidity of cockroach bite and has a cooling effect too. Mixing equal units of baking soda and vinegar into a thick paste can also be applied on cockroach bite.
  • Rubbing the inside portion of banana on the cockroach bite is found to be effective in few people giving wonderful results in decreasing the swelling and irritation.
  • Remove the inside film of the raw egg carefully and apply it on the cockroach bite. Leave it to shrink completely & dry. It draws out the sting and clears up the swelling and redness that cause pain and itching. The remedy using egg is found to be very effective for cockroach bites.
  • Liquefy 1 teaspoon of epsom salts in hot water and touch lightly on the Cockroach bite for some time with a ball of cotton.
  • Rubbing peppermint on the bite helps in cooling the Cockroach bite that prevents itching and increases the flow of blood to the location thus helping in getting rid of the impurities.
  • Administer calamine lotion, baking soda paste or hydro cortisone ointmet (ratio of 3 : 1 teaspoons to water), to cockroach bite many times in 24hours until the symptoms recede. One can also consume an antihistamine that contains chlorpheniramine maleate or diphenhydramine.

What is the Treatment for Cockroach Bite?

If you discover that you are bitten when awakening, you should not conclude instantly that these there the bites of cockroaches or someone else. Primarily, these symptoms have to be treated so that you do not scratch yourself.

Numerous kinds of treatment are available for cockroach bites and few of these variants are as follows:

  • Avoid rubbing or pressing the affected area and wash it with water that is clean.
  • Wash the affected area gently with alcohol.
  • One can use hydrocortisone ointment to the cockroach bite but it is good to consult an expert prior to that. It is good to use the perfect variant for avoiding the side effects since numerous medicaments are available with specifications.
  • The insect bites especially cockroaches are not deadly. But definitely they can generate allergies and secondary infections. So it is better to visit a physician than to neglect them.

There are products available in amazon for treating cockroach bite.

Cockroach bite causes swelling and itching and infected too. Keep the house clean and tidy to prevent their bites and also their infestation and make sure everyone in your home especially children go to bed clean. Since cockroach bites are typically not intentional, it is usually the children who do not clear up after food that are bitten by cockroaches. Brushing teeth and washing are essential ways of preventing the cockroach bites. The bite of a cockroach can last for a week.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 22, 2017

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