Do Cockroaches Bite?

As if seeing a cockroach isn’t terrifying enough, imagining them biting you in your sleep is already the stuff of nightmares. Luckily, the truth is that its very uncommon for cockroaches to bite humans, even though they are able to do so.

Do Cockroaches Bite?

Most of the time, cockroaches do not bite humans. It happens occasionally, but only in extreme circumstances.

Generally speaking, cockroaches prefer to avoid humans as much as possible. They won’t seek you out unless they have no other choice. Sometimes, cockroaches might seem like they’re biting a person when in fact they’re just trying to pick at food remnants or dead skin.

Biting also isn’t a natural defense mechanism for cockroaches as it is for other insects. Their mouthparts are often not strong enough to pierce through human skin.

If you find insect bites on your skin, they’re most likely NOT from cockroaches.

In What Situation Would Cockroaches Bite Humans?

The main reason why cockroaches might try to bite a human is if they are starving and there are no other possible food sources for them to survive on.

In a severe and unchecked infestation, it’s possible that a population of cockroaches might grow to the point where they’re forced to change their feeding habits and resort to biting humans. 

If you’re worried about cockroach bites, you can prevent it by practicing good hygiene (e.g. keeping your face, mouth, fingers, and hands clean), especially before bed.   

What Do Roach Bites Look Like?

Cockroach bite marks may be between 1–4 millimeters in diameter.

Based on the physiology of their mouthparts, cockroach bites may appear as red, raised bumps on the skin—similar to bed bug bites or mosquito bites but slightly larger.

They have two small mandibles that operate like a sideways version of a mammal’s mouth. These mandibles cannot pierce human skin, so instead they can only gnaw on the outermost layer. Therefore roach bites typically don’t break the skin, but might feel itchy and cause the skin to become irritated or inflamed.

About MMPC

When it comes to dealing with cockroaches, MMPC is here to help! Our licensed and knowledgeable pest control experts have more than 25 years of experience exterminating cockroaches with effective and eco-friendly methods.