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Do Roaches Bite?

Cockroaches have chewing mouthparts. Unlike houseflies or bedbugs, cockroaches are able to eat solid food.

Documented cases of cockroaches biting humans are rare. Stories of people going to hospitals with cockroach bites may be urban legends.

However, scientists have found cases of people, usually children, having eyelashes or eyebrows bitten off by cockroaches during the night. In one case in South America, the cockroaches also chewed toenails. All of these took place while the children were sleeping. All of them happened in dwellings that were heavily infested with cockroaches.

While some species like the woods cockroach hardly infest homes or cause serious personal threat to humans, others like the German cockroach, the leading species of cockroach infestations, are often the subject of reported cockroach bites.

Due to carrying a number of infectious diseases, a potential cockroach bite should be taken care of immediately. Clean and dress cockroach bite wounds as soon as possible upon discovery. If faced with populations of cockroaches large enough that they are being bitten, individuals should consult a pest management professional to plan a long term cockroach suppression plan.

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