Pest Identification

Learn More About the Pests Invading Your Home

Do Roaches Bite or Sting?

There are more than 4,500 species of cockroach roaming the world and only about 30 of them inhabit human environments. Of those, only 4 species of roaches are considered pests, American, German, Asian, and Oriental cockroaches. These cockroaches multiply like… well roaches, and can take over an entire structure if left to their own devices. And while the scurrying scourges have been known to nibble on live human flesh, roaches prefer decaying plant and animal matter. Oh, and raw sewage.

Considering where cockroaches spend their days and nights—in garbage cans, carcasses, and sewer pipes—you don’t want them in your home. Roaches don’t sting because they don’t have stingers and they aren’t flesh-eating zombies. But like most living creatures, roaches will go for the easiest meal. Cockroaches will approach a sleeping victim, attracted by the scent of food residue around the bed or the smell of food around the mouth. That is why they usually bite only children who might take candy bars to bed and fall asleep with a creamy chocolate coating around their cherubic faces.

That said, in most homes there are plenty of other things less dangerous than people to chow on. Cockroach bites are uncommon unless there is a major infestation and other food sources are scarce. If one of the filthy bugs does bite, it is important to immediately clean the wound with alcohol or antiseptic liquid like Bactine. Roaches are a major disease vectors and carry dangerous bacteria in their mouths. A bite can easily get infected, swell, and turn bright red. And if the bite does not seem to be disappearing in 4 days, or if it turns orange or purple, it might be wise to visit a doctor.

The best way to prevent cockroach bites is to keep the roaches out of the house, and certainly out of your bedroom. Don’t eat crackers in bed or leave food wrappers on the floor. And clean up food, crumbs, unwashed dishes, and other items that provide a green light to hungry cockroaches. If you see even one cockroach, there are likely thousands more lurking somewhere nearby. Use roach killing bait strips or roach killing gel to get rid of the pests. Roach bites are painful and hazardous to your health. Get rid of roach invasions before they take a bite out of you.