Cockroach Bites

The German cockroach is the type of cockroach most commonly associated with biting, though all other species are capable.

Cockroach bites are most likely to occur when people fall asleep with food remnants in or around their hands or mouth. The cockroach is drawn in by the smell of the food and comes in for a taste. The intent is not to bite, but rather to look for food. 

Generally most of us don't worry about obtaining a roach bite when we see one of these dirty insects.  More often we worry about roaches getting into our food, spreading disease, or even cockroach identification so that we can eliminate them.  While a cockroach bite doesn't happen all that often, these insects do have mouths and are capable of biting.

A roach bite is said to be like other insect bites, it can swell and become very itchy, even infected.  Because they are not common, you will likely never have to deal with a cockroach bite. 

If you’ve been bitten by a cockroach. Do not panic. There are 3 simple steps you should be able to do anywhere.

Step 1 Exterminate the Roach

If a cockroach was crawling on you and you surprised it by (understandably) freaking out don’t lose track of it! Cockroaches work in groups and secrete pheromones to communicate with its brethren. Every cockroach that you see, could signal ten more and before you know it, you have an infestation.

Your wound can wait, squish the bug that bit you if you have the chance.

Step 2 Clean the wound

Cockroaches are a major vector of disease, they carry tons of bacteria in their mouth parts and a single bite can easily get infected and swell badly. Most often you wake up with a cockroach bite and the next day the bite wound is four times bigger and bright red. It is very important to clean the wound properly.

Get a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol, dip the swab in the alcohol with one hand, and with the other pinch the bite about an inch from the center. Then rub the alcohol all over and around the pinched bite area. This is important to help your body force the bacteria out of the bite and the alcohol will do its job killing the infection.

Step 3 Keep an Eye on It

Although the bite will likely disappear in a bit over a week, it is still important to keep an eye on the bite. If you did not thoroughly and properly clean the bite, it will almost certainly get infected. You can tell if a bite has become infected because it will swell with pus and change color. A cockroach bite could become bright red or dark purple and possibly a sickly green.

If your bite seems infected, you should go to a pharmacy or clinic and get some anti bacterial medicine. If the infection continues to worsen, see a doctor.

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