No one wants to be eaten by bugs but cockroaches have no regard for human wants or desires. They eat meat and as far as a roach is concerned, you’re dinner. If you would only hold still. However, cockroaches are nocturnal and might take a bite out of your flesh while you or your children are sleeping, but they actually prefer to munch on your fingernails, hair, or eyelashes.
While there are countless reports of la cucaracha biting humans, the bites are usually not life-threatening. They might cause irritation, lesions, swelling, or minor infection. If you believe you have been bitten by a roach, the wound should be cleaned thoroughly and immediately with rubbing alcohol or an antiseptic. If the bite does not disappear after a week, or appears infected, seek medical attention.
By far the creepiest reports of cockroach biting come from seafaring lore. In the old days, cockroaches were so numerous on ships; they gnawed the flesh and fingernails of sailors. Some wore gloves while sleeping to preserve their fingers.
While tales of cockroach cruises are nightmarish, bites are the least of it. Bigger problems are caused by cockroaches shedding their skin. The molted skins not only contaminate food but decay into fine dust over time. This powder becomes airborne along with detritus created by dead decomposing cockroaches and the dried feces they leave behind. Around fifty years ago doctors discovered this devil’s dust can cause allergies and trigger asthma attacks. Some have blamed cockroach dust for the recent increase in asthma among children. And unlike seasonal allergies, cockroach induced asthma persists throughout the year.