Do Cockroaches Bite Humans & Roach Bite Identification Guide

If the prospect of coming face to face with a cockroach in your home isn’t frightening enough, you also have to consider the possibility of being bitten by one while you sleep or attempt to eliminate them. Our readers have frequently asked us if cockroaches bite and how to recognize a bite from a cockroach.

do cockroaches bite

In this article we’re going to take a deeper look into the myth of if cockroaches can or do bite humans, and what those bites might look like.

Do Cockroaches Bite?

Yes, cockroaches have the ability to bite humans or other predators. That being said, it is extremely rare for cockroaches to bite as it’s not their natural defense mechanism, and they are much more likely to run away. Along with this, their mouthpieces generally aren’t strong enough to pierce human skin, so there is very little danger in cockroach bites.

That being said, since cockroaches have been known to eat dead flesh of humans and other animals, it is possible. But most of the time cockroaches are just looking to feed on dead skin or tiny bits of food on your skin, rather than attempting to bite you. There is a slight possibility that different types of roaches will be more willing to bite, but overall, you should worry about being bit.

“99% of the time, cockroaches will not bite you and will simply run away. So if you’ve noticed an unidentified rash or insect bite, it probably isn’t a cockroach bite.” says Burns Blackwell, owner of Terminix Triad in Greensboro, NC.

Do Cockroaches Bite Humans In Their Sleep?

In the off chance that a cockroach decides to bite a human, it would probably be when the human is sleeping! Cockroaches are afraid of humans, so if the human is sleeping, they might take a chance to bite at this point.

What Might Cause A Cockroach To Bite A Human?

The only situations which have the potential to cause cockroaches to actively bite humans would be if their household population grew out of control and they had to change their feeding habits in an effort to survive.

If there was a household with a severe cockroach infestation and the population of the infestation was so high that there wasn’t enough traditional food for the population, they might shift to attempting to bite humans.

That being said, since cockroaches are so skittish, they would only attempt to bite a human that was asleep or dead. Overall, cockroaches are not very dangerous.

Where Do Cockroaches Bite?

In the rare situations that a cockroach would bite a human, they would most likely bite these areas on the body:

  • Fingers
  • Toes
  • Face
  • Mouth
  • Hands
  • Feet

Generally, in these situations, cockroaches are looking for any scraps of food, and these areas on the body are the most likely to have food or crumbs on them.

That being said, if you have basic hygiene it’s unlikely that you’ll have much significant traces of food on your body, and it would be very unlikely to be bit by a roach.

What Do Cockroach Bites Look Like? – Roach Bite Identification

Cockroach bites are so uncommon that I personally haven’t seen an image of a roach bite. If we had proof of a roach bite, we would share it here, but since they are so rare, we don’t have anything to share.

That being said, based on the anatomy of a cockroaches mouthparts, we have to guess that a cockroach bite would appear similar to a mosquito bite but slightly larger. We’d expect to have a raise bump and some redness and irritation at the spot of the bite.

Cockroaches have traditional pair of mandibles that works like a human jaw, but sideways. These mandibles can’t break a layer of human skin so you won’t see blood, but it can slightly irritate or inflame the area. It’s possible to have an allergic reaction as well do to the fact that cockroaches can carry diseases and pathogens that humans aren’t used to.

So if you do get bit by a cockroach, you’re more likely to see a little bit of redness rather than an actual puncture wound.

Final Thoughts On Roach Bites

As mentioned above, it’s extremely unlikely to be bit by a cockroach. They are not very aggressive insects and would much rather run away from a threat than try to fight. Along with this, cockroaches don’t have the physical ability to break a human’s skin, so even if you did get bit, you won’t notice anything significant in terms of damage.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our guide on do cockroaches bite, and I hope you can sleep a little tighter knowing that it’s extremely unlikely! Check out some of our other cockroach guides!


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