Having insects around the house is never pleasant, so you might be in the market either for more particular pest-control items such as Japanese beetle traps, or for some good old roach traps. One of the first things that people ask themselves is whether roaches actually bite and, if they do, what are the risks associated with this.
However, before answering this question, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of roaches in general, so that you know how to best deal with them if the situation requires it. If you take the time to do this, then you will most probably no longer be as scared when you find yourself face to face with one.
These large insects are actually part of the largest species that enters our homes, offices, and everyday lives. While they normally live outdoors, since they prefer warm conditions and moist areas, they sometimes come indoors to look for the most basic thing that you would expect, namely food and water.
When they remain outside, roaches live in places such as log piles, mulch, or under flower beds. They are pretty scary looking, since adults can grow as much as 2 inches in length. in terms of colors, roaches are usually either mahogany or a reddish-brown, which makes them easy to spot and identify.
Another thing you might want to be aware of is that roaches have fully developed wings and they have no problem flying whenever they need to. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they are going to attack you, but you should know that they have this ability.
Do they bite?
Since we’re getting to the main question of this article, it’s important to mention the fact that roaches do not usually bite. Actually, there is a much higher chance of you being stung by a wasp or bitten by a mosquito than it is to deal with a bite from these insects.
Moreover, they don’t have venom, which is always a good thing especially if we’re thinking about children or pets that might come in contact with them. It’s true that roaches can do a splendid job in infesting a home, but they don’t really work together as organized as other insects do, ants being the best example.
On the other hand, getting bitten by a roach is not impossible. If such a situation should occur, it’s probably in a place where an exceptionally bad infestation took place. If a building is dealing with large numbers of these insects, this is a problem since they are most probably running out of things to eat, which means there is a chance a person could actually get bitten.
As morbid as it may sound, roaches usually choose extremities if they are to bite a person. These include the hair, eyelashes, and fingernails. In rare instances, the insects might even try to bite someone’s skin, but this rarely happens, so you shouldn’t really worry about it.
Other health risks
Even though we’ve established that the risk of being bitten by a roach is not that significant, there are other aspects that you need to consider, as they can pose some health risks. Roaches might not bite you throughout the day, but they do live in spaces that are less than clean, such as dumpsters, drains, and bathrooms.
For this reason, they can contaminate their surroundings and carry bacteria across rooms, or even across homes in a neighborhood. As they move around, the bacteria on their body is carried around and can reach the food in your kitchen, which in turn can lead to various health issues such as fever, diarrhea or vomiting.
In rare cases, this can even mean they can transmit Salmonella. Even though this might not be something you want to think about, it’s definitely good to be aware of it, especially if you want to do everything you can to protect your family and loved ones.
Another potential risk that the presence of roaches in your house can lead to consists of triggering allergies or other conditions. Since these insects can leave excrements behind, some people who are sensitive might be subject to various health issues, including asthma attacks.
How to treat a bite
A bite from a roach looks like a red bump, just like most of the other ones caused by other insects. In this case, the bite area could itch or it could swell up, similar to mosquito bites. However you should not be scared, as normally it should not be dangerous.
One thing that you can do right away is to wash it with soap, keep it clean, and your body will start healing it right away. However, if the location you are in has a case of bad infestation and poor sanitation, then bites could get infected. This can also be the case if the person who got bitten is sensitive, or if the culprit roach carried bacteria on its body.
If you are concerned about the bite or about the reaction that your body might have to it, then do seek medical attention after having cleaned it right away.
We’ve been talking about roaches and about bites, but another approach that should be taken into consideration as a first step is preventing any potential infestations before they actually happen. To achieve this, there are some aspects you need to remember and several steps you can take.
You can seal cracks in the foundation of your building, install weather stripping elements underneath the doors, and repair any pipes that might leak in your bathroom, kitchen, or basement areas. These measures will keep roaches outside your home and avoid creating a suitable environment for them.
Moreover, since garbage is one of the main attraction points, you should make sure that the cans, wood piles, and compost are always kept away from your home. If possible, get closed garbage cans and clean them regularly to ensure they don’t develop bacteria and smells that might trigger an infestation.