Do Cockroaches Bite? The Symptoms And Treatments

Cockroaches can eat anything that is edible, including humans if they do have the chance. However, though it is possible for cockroaches to bite you, it is extremely rare. Fortunately, they do not inflict painful bites, as they do not really see us as food, but they do see us as a threat to them, so they only bite once they feel threatened. If you do experience a cockroach bite in your home, you might be dealing with a cockroach infestation, where a cockroach must have come across the scent of food left on your mouth, hand, or anywhere on your body and managed to bite you for a little taste.

When Cockroaches Bite People

The fact is cockroaches are timid creatures that will not dare come near humans while they are awake. As such, if you find yourself suffering from a cockroach bite in the morning, then it was inflicted while you were asleep. Though cockroaches bite and feed on human bodies as a food source, they only do so if they were dead, as they only feed on callused skin, eyelashes and fingernails of dead human bodies.

Cockroaches do not transmit diseases when they bite unlike other insects, but they do carry germs on their bodies and even transmit diseases through their waste matter. So, if these germs or diseases manage to get inside your body through open wounds or if inhaled, then you can become infected.

Symptoms You Can Expect

Usually you can expect allergic reactions to occur when triggered by a cockroach bite when your immune system reacts to the proteins found in the saliva, feces and the body of the cockroach. This also includes inhaling the allergens found on the waste matter and the body of the cockroach or after the insect comes into contact with the skin. Since the allergens cannot be seen and are able to become airborne, an allergic reaction can occur if you are exposed to the area where the cockroach was once present.

Allergic symptoms occur when the white blood cells of the bitten person attack cockroach allergens. However, the symptoms will vary based on health conditions. The most common symptoms are itchy skin, nose and throat. Those with asthma are most likely to experience an asthma attack when exposed to the allergens. The most severe of all allergic reactions is anaphylaxis which involves low blood pressure, shortness of breath and shock, leading to fatal conditions such as death.

Treating Cockroach Bites

The first thing you must do when you are bitten by a cockroach is to clean the wound with soap and water. If there is swelling, you must have ice applied onto it. It is important that you avoid scratching the wound as you might only end up infecting the wound. You can also use home remedies for cockroach bites such as lemon juice, tea bags, aloe vera gel and a mixture of water and baking soda.

In cases of severe allergic reactions to the cockroach bites, immediate medical assistance must be sought. This is also essential for those who suffer from asthma allergies and other health conditions, especially in young children and the elderly.

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Valerie Adams is a freelance writer specializing in safe pest control methods and treating insect stings and bites. She regularly contributes articles to various pest control business websites such as